What makes a good concept?
 
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  1. #1
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    What makes a good concept?

    I'm currently working on a personal project for school. Every student has to make a product, whether that's artwork, or an essay, and then write about 4000 words on how they did it, what they researched, and so forth. Naturally, I opted for concept art. I still have to write about it though, and that's quite difficult, since most of my sources come from DVD features and such.

    The toughest part of the writing is the following question I'm determined to answer: "What makes a good concept?" I thought it would make a good discussion, and possibly, we can all learn from it.

    So, I'll start off - I admit I haven't thought too much about this subject myself up untill a few weeks ago. I don't know a lot about the industry, and don't draw too much from imagination either, so I dont have a lot of experience to draw from. I'm a total n00b when it comes to this, so please excuse me.

    For me, a good concept needs to first and foremost clear and concise in it's form and function. You don't want the audience to ponder it's design and purpose for the next ten minutes, that needs to be clear from the start so that they can focus on what's going on. A good example of a clear show of function would entail that the description in the script or book is summed up in a paragraph, but the concept can show it in a few frames or seconds. (I.E: The tripods of War of the Worlds show clearly how they catch humans and feed from them) A good concept for me doesn't have to be original and creative as so much as fresh - putting a different perspective on something that's been done before and making it look new and exciting. I'm still an advocate of orginality, though. And of course, the best concepts can suspend disbelief and make it look real.

    Anyone else have any thoughts?

    Last edited by darkarts; September 11th, 2005 at 05:39 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkarts
    I'm currently working on a personal project for school. Every student has to make a product, whether that's artwork, or an essay, and then write about 4000 words on how they did it, what they researched, and so forth. Naturally, I opted for concept art. I still have to write about it though, and that's quite difficult, since most of my sources come from DVD features and such.

    The toughest part of the writing is the following question I'm determined to answer: "What makes a good concept?" I thought it would make a good discussion, and possibly, we can all learn from it.

    So, I'll start off - I admit I haven't thought too much about this subject myself up untill a few weeks ago. I don't know a lot about the industry, and don't draw too much from imagination either, so I dont have a lot of experience to draw from. I'm a total n00b when it comes to this, so please excuse me.

    For me, a good concept needs to first and foremost clear and concise in it's form and function. You don't want the audience to ponder it's design and purpose for the next ten minutes, that needs to be clear from the start so that they can focus on what's going on. A good example of a clear show of function would entail that the description in the script or book is summed up in a paragraph, but the concept can show it in a few frames or seconds. (I.E: The tripods of War of the Worlds show clearly how they catch humans and feed from them) A good concept for me doesn't have to be original and creative as so much as fresh - putting a different perspective on something that's been done before and making it look new and exciting. I'm still an advocate of orginality, though. And of course, the best concepts can suspend disbelief and make it look real.

    Anyone else have any thoughts?
    Form follows function, the basis of Industrial Design.

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    1. "a product, whether that's artwork, or an essay".. so therefore, anything? Like, toilet paper rolls?
    2. 4000 words? that's a bit much for a highschool project, isn't it?
    3. "a few weeks ago" how long have you had this project? -_-

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    Hey, 2100 - lemme ask you a question - What the hell? How is that in anyway related to the question at hand? I'll admit I'm looking for help through a discussion, but that doesn't mean the question at hand isn't relevent to other beginners like me. I don't see what's the problem with stating those few facts first. But to answer your questions, yes, you're absolutely right - if you can write 4000 words about a toilet roll and get away with it, yeah, you can do that. And 4000 words isn't so much for a project that started truly three weeks ago.

    Magic Man's comment, on the other hand, was interesting enough for me to check out some principles on Industrial Design today, something I thought about but quite overlooked. Thanks for that.

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    I felt what you and MM said pretty much covered it. Concept Art is illustrating concepts and designs, your own or those of others. It's good if it does it's job, even better if it looks great.

    I don't mean to hijack your thread (or offend you if i did), but I just think 4000 words is ridiculous. There would be a riot at my school if it got around that a teacher gave that big of an assignment. 600 = 1 page typed, so 4000 is like... a short story ~~ I thought it was a typo, and u actually meant 400. Do you get this regularly?

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    4000 words is like my health policies essay. I'll be more surprised if the teachers are happy with it - they're the ones who'll have to mark it!

    As for your question darkarts, I quite agree with what you said. To me a good concept will have to be fresh and will have to fit the topic. I've always thought fresh more or less equals creative though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    I felt what you and MM said pretty much covered it. Concept Art is illustrating concepts and designs, your own or those of others. It's good if it does it's job, even better if it looks great.

    I don't mean to hijack your thread (or offend you if i did), but I just think 4000 words is ridiculous. There would be a riot at my school if it got around that a teacher gave that big of an assignment. 600 = 1 page typed, so 4000 is like... a short story ~~ I thought it was a typo, and u actually meant 400. Do you get this regularly?
    Haha, nah, it's ok. I just thought that what you said was kinda pulling everything I did so far for the project in question, thus the reacton.

    Yeah, we do get this regularly - 2000 words is a normal essay, and this is part of our diploma this year. We get a good few months for this, so it's okay.

    JERI - Well, it depends. It's hard to draw much of a difference between 'fresh' 'original' and 'creative' but of those three words, I'd say fresh is the least 'new' of them.

    I forgot one more thing: A good concept will fit in with the overall art style, always.

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