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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Thanked 173 Times in 129 Posts

    Environment concepts- thumbnails and workflow

    Im sure this kind of thread has been posted a million times before, but my browsing of CA for answers hasnt been fruitful yet.

    I'm a little stuck in terms of having a workflow for environment concepts. Characters, weapons, vehicles, standalone buildings i understand-

    - Get silhouettes down then elaborate and refine them so you have a little selection of more detailed examples,
    - Pick the strongest ( or your boss picks em) then do a tighter version
    - ???
    - PROFIT

    However when it comes to sketching out environments with the same speed and confidence as one can take doing silhouettes i hit a bit of a wall. And i know its one of those short walls too that you can see over but just cant seem to get past.

    When i do characters/object silhouettes/thumbs i know to pay attention to the relationships between lines and curves, of anatomy, of intended purpose. So a cliche example- evil character = pointy, so use lots of triangles and make him hunched over like a vulture with claw like fingers.

    But when it comes to environments i kind of fritz out and dont know where to start- then my imagination starts to move faster than i can get anything down and i end up with a bunch of scribbles ( but not the good kind of scribbles that you can use later on)- or, i go the other extreme and get so caught up in tweaking the perspective that i end up with something that looks like a render from google sketchup.

    I should probably add on, because its proably important- that im talking about environments from a video game perspective, where the environment (and associated lighting, texture etc) is the main focus of the image rather than as a 'background' to characters or the likes within a scene.


    So what im wondering is-

    - When doing environment thumbnails, what are the absolute bare essential things to keep in mind?

    - Have any of you had a similar problem? How did you get over it ?

    If anyone can recommend tutorials,books, videos- anything involving environment concept development, that would be like, awesome.

    I've looked through a lot of ' heres how i did image X' tuts, but they tend to focus more on adding detail to an established, illustrative idea- not generating the idea itself with the intention of it being made 3D at a later stage.

    I cant help but feel like the answer to this is staring me in the face- i've been grinding away on environments for the past year after a long period of neglecting them (outside of 3D models), and i've came close to finding a flow that works for me but i still lack that 'eureka!' moment where it all makes sense.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Thanked 408 Times in 235 Posts

    Downloads > Whit Brachna Environment Speedpaints Volume 1

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    that place between Sleep and Awake
    Thanked 62 Times in 46 Posts
    try to approach your enviromental thumbs in no more than 3 to 4 values. As with most other kinds of thumbnails its not about getting detail but getting the general idea of what is important within the scene that your are trying to board or develop.

    Try finding this book

    Dream Worlds: Production Design For Animation
    by Hans Bacher

    His credits include Mulan, Lion King, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast . . . the list goes on. The book has a lot of information and its become like a bible to me.

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