My Montreal Workshop Notes

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  1. #1
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    My Montreal Workshop Notes

    ===Dan Milligan===

    -Compose a picture like a screen capture: A little off-kilter, not too perfect (parts off-frame, skewed horizon, etc.)
    -Chalk brush set to build-up (painter)
    -storyboarding is meant to be pure eye candy, not necessarily concept art
    -after the sketch is done, drop the opacity of the sketch layer to make it underly the drawing layer
    -pencil set to build-up, thin to think
    -pastel set on multiply to block in local color under drawing layer
    -oil pastel set to pick up underlying color, can be set to multiply to get more subtle
    -kinda has a visual idea but also lets it emerge-loose thinking


    ==Nox's Painting Style==

    Default PS brush, 100% opacity, normal mode with pen pressure set to opacity - that's it!
    color picker to blend
    starts with monochrome sketch/block-in, overlays color, models form using above painting style


    ==The "Aleksi Technique"==

    -Set layer style to bevel/emboss, draw as normal (or with custom brushes) or paste in graphic shapes (skew, erase parts, distort)
    -switches between Artrage and PS


    ==Black Frog - Creature Design==

    -1st layer of randomness- Starts w/random blobs
    -if assigned, pushes it towards a direction - page composition (ie. 5 creatures)
    -2nd layer of randomness- Magnetism of shapes to eachother - do they go together but are still different from eachother?
    -3rd layer - shows where you want to go
    -story should be emerging at this point
    -4th layer pulls it all toghether - shapes are tightened, detail
    Be able to show where you're going by about 2 hrs in: in case directors come by to see what you're going to give them
    -story to your creature: how does it move,mate,hunt,eat,breathe? should be obvious
    -shape of things doesnt really matter till the end (4th layer)
    -simplify your design so that it reads to viewer in case it doesnt yet
    -Dont get too clever - make sure its a good design but doesnt distract from the movie's story: if your creature takes viewer's attention out of the movie then it's a bad design
    (like a visual tangent)

    ==Environment Design - Jason Manley==

    -Tell a visual narrative in an environment
    -visually improve the idea of the client - how can you add beyond the cliche?
    -dont do "only" what the client wants, always add more
    -there are clients who will push it in the wrong direction
    1. gameplay storyboard 2. idea design development 3. look and feel illustration 4. detail bits
    -ask yourself all the questions: "what would __________ say?"
    -drawing from life - 'draw it in, into your mind, not necessarily sketching
    ----Aleksi's Process---
    1. Starts out with random brush scribbles - custom brushes
    -starting with composition and mood - what creates mood? (look and feel)
    -metaphors - Justin Sweet calls them "secrets" - visual cues to reinforce your idea, ie. doors shaped like coffins in a hostile environment
    2. Layer Mask (red sheet) - draw into it or lasso/erase
    adjust layer propertiees to change value - make highlights, lighten planes
    -better geometric shapes than with selection tool
    3. Bevel/emboss layer with straight lines or custom brushes (quick way to add dimension to thin objects
    ==Why use photo?
    -part of photo has close to the right look/feel/texture etc. - paint over/push/pull till it's what you want
    -flipping image checks lighting, perspective, etc.
    -blur tool - blurs background objects/picture planes
    -overlay of random color and texture picture towards end
    -Facegen Modeller (freeware) -Use other people's real faces (default heads are horrible)


    ==Andrew Jones - Creature Design==

    -Fear is the enemy of imagination
    Beginning a creature:
    -starts heavy on texture, pattern, abstract shapes - purposely avoids trying to see things too soon
    -beauty out of chaos
    -paper texture (painter) - abstract pattern, simple shapes (things like textiles, paisley,
    etc)


    ==Coro - Environments==
    --Composition - the less you worry about it the better (does it work or not?) - try to go

    beyond conventions of what traditionally works
    - color and value laid in, sculpt next ...angular vs organic
    -"Quicky" brush: For speedpaint - same as solid round brush but spaced higher - less lag (for slower computers)
    -Big-budget hollywood films have good lighting (they pay for the expertise)
    -photos of windows from the 6th floor to get a straight shot of it - transform in ps to fit
    -photos of pavement to save time instead of rendering
    -atmospheric light - bouncing off particles in the air
    -airbrush set on overlay - overlaying color can change the mood in seconds
    -environment paintings establish mood, inspiration for level designers
    -crtl+u can change mood (hue/saturation)
    -ctrl+a, ctrl+c+shift, ctrl+v = selects and flattens all layers onto a new layer withoutflattening image
    -level of finish depends on client - budget/vision/etc.
    -some clients need very tight finish (concept illustration)
    -most need semi-finish
    -2500 px -medium size (matte paintings typically 4000 px)
    -in CS2, color pick outside of canvas to get black
    quick atmosphere - 1. new layer 2. airbrush color over entire canvas, 3 erase out areas that come forward
    coro-isms: "working on someone else's rig is like jerking off someone else's dick"


    ==Kemp - Creature design==
    CS2 transform/warp to change proportion
    tends not to give creatures eyes - takes away from strangeness


    ==Tech Design w/ el coro==

    -1st comes the draft view
    -starts off with silhouettes - think of function
    -guns: agressive shapes, angular
    -guns in 1st person view = 3/4 perspective -design gun with the knowledge in mind that you will be seeing it in top view 90% of the time
    -play with spacing on brush to get "fakey" textures/grills/notches, etc.
    -make sure it looks "cool" and that the viewer gets it
    -contrast
    -should be rendered as quickly and efficiently as possible
    -look at unrelated things for inspiration, ie. high heeled shoe in Victoria's Secret catalog becomes spaceship
    -Color layer keeps value
    -metaphors/visual puns = entertainment value
    -hit them over the head with the design & function
    "little squiggly lines = technology"
    "random white marks = shiny stuff"
    -dont take anything too serious!
    *good graff artists - inspiration for good design
    __________________________________________________ _________________

    ==Bioware Lectures==

    -Film, theatre, games : highly stylized reality-based narrative
    -"How many carpenters does it take to build the black abyss of hell?" Determining and Giving the client what he wants
    -narrow the scope based on economics, technical considerations

    --Fran gaulin--
    Orient/Direct/Deliver
    visuals orient, story directs, gameplay delivers
    avoid cliches - ditch the 1st idea (obvious ideas)
    photoref - visual jump-off point
    -Illusion of freedom - Direct the viewer - extend visuals past gameplay
    -break it down before giving it to a level designer
    show you care about what you do
    Programs - Unreal, Sketchup

    --Matt Rhodes--
    -Learn to work into a proces
    -when all else fails, silhouettes
    -crossing 2 animals together helps you learn anatomy
    -get all the ridiculous/obvious ideas out
    -dont put in more than you need
    -instead of changing visuals, change the idea

    --Kevin Chu--
    **How do you do concepts under pressure w/no time/inspiration/info?
    -observe-analyze-study-
    -shouldnt be systematic-should be freeform
    1. isolate psychology of the concept
    2. Use archetypes to exploit psychology
    3. Add value to make it memorable

    1) Psychology of Subject
    -observe the cognitive, emotional, visual elements (repulsion/attraction)
    -form a connection with player through: empathy/sympathy/relate to familiar
    -exploit the psychological to elicit a heightened response and thus enhance entertainment
    (create emotional roller coaster)
    example - large things evoke a sense of towering over you - mood based on spatial
    relationships
    2) Archetypes
    -primal - taps into psychology - sensual, -knives - fear of physical pain
    -provocative - taps into psychology
    -complex - challenges you, poses questions, interactive experience
    -what does something mean to you or your viewers?
    What is Fear? matts picture - fear of spiders, the dark, sharp objects, oddly reserved

    epression/gesture compared to his weaponry
    3) Value
    -iconic - signature that's psychologically provocative (giger)
    -twist - take archetype or cliche and twist it - achilles->bond->Indy
    -Achilles - Classic hero, ideal, feeling of confidence, undefeatable, perfect (james bond)
    -Indy - Different (twist the archetype) - accidental hero
    -forgettable - Triple X ('extreme' Bond), Lara Croft (Female Indy) - Didnt go enough

    past the archetype
    -TMNT - Everything ninjas are not
    What does this mean?
    -As concept artists, your job is to make unique, profitable, memorable ideas
    -understanding psychology helps us develop stronger concepts
    -process is everything - use the tools to deliver high quality concepts quickly
    what made matrix I successful and matrix II & III not?
    I - pyschology of theme had meaning, unique
    keep your process loose and adaptive yet methodical
    think before you draw!
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________


    ==Jason Manley - Color Theory & Composition==

    -warm and cool can make light & shadow - contrast
    -saturation can be manipulated (unsaturated light - saturated shadow)(saturated light, unsaturated shadow)
    -to mimic natures light, stay out of pure white and black - more color
    -inducing color vibration - 2 saturated colors next to eachother
    -remember relationships:
    -relationships between colors are relative to you
    How you percieve them is based on experience but the relationships are constant
    -use you color rather than be used by it
    Theory is just that - Signposts pointing to the truth - there are no absolutes
    -what was the purpose of the artist?
    -what choices did he make to serve that purpose?
    Pushing art forward
    Art Is Manipulating Other People's Emotions
    -"feel it" - if you can just act and not think too much, it's better
    -you have to have that emotion to get it out on canvas
    capturing emotion - How is it done?
    -disney : happiness - designed with soft curved shapes - bumping into objects in disney world wouldnt hurt
    -pixar : contrast of shapes in composition - jagged shark teeth in Finding Nemo vs

    everything else, vibrant color, not too strong value contrast
    Saw II poster - Goya's Saturn
    -take something that works, break to make it better
    -exercise - make abstract shapes to show emotion
    -to make color vibrate, vary it with same value level


    ==Ubisoft Demo==
    Shapes generated in Maya, rendered in Mental Ray
    focus heavy on random shapes, happy accidents, brush settings
    generate thumbnails fast with random brushes?
    __________________________________________________ ______________


    **Sketchbook/Portfolio Crit**
    (notes i took as they looked through my portfolio, im sure you can apply most of it to your own work)

    -More interesting surfaces
    -new shapes, better silhouettes
    -do more!
    -list design factors/assignment
    -push emotion of piece
    -push the fantastical part of creature design
    -do more of what you want to specialize in-
    industry is starting to let people specialize, but dont forget to be well-rounded
    -put the freedom & creativity in sketchbook into finished work
    -idea before technique
    -carve into shapes
    -Figure drawing vs Concept Art - Scales vs. Music
    -storytelling as you go along
    -Dynamic Figures: Drawing the biggest line you can in gesture - show either the furthest before action or furthest after (example - arm all the way back before punch or arm fully extended afterward)
    -make sure figures dont lean to one side
    -make sure backgrounds help - characters should stand out better
    -exploit your own individuality, explore more
    -do more scenes rather than single figures
    -look at ID/Car/Fashion design - learn the language

    HPX - Sketchbook Crit - Design Lesson
    -Function Dictates form
    -story must be there or else you will design aimlessly
    -brainstorm before sketching
    -what shapes convey character?
    ex. fast and scary: what abstract shapes imply this emotion?
    essential elements - simplicity - ie. american soldier
    2 main things to consider: 1. Simple readable design 2. details to show plausibility
    -how do pieces connect to eachother? glued or stitched? ie. kneepad connects to thighpad - how?
    -These details help modellers & animators
    -Test your design : After drawing them in one position, draw them in a relaxed relaxed pose, sitting down, etc. - does it make sense still? if not, change it
    -scale of shapes is like scale of values : light to dark, line to curve, box to circle, cube to cylinder
    -treat shape relationship like value relationship - visual hierarchy, highest contrast near focal pt.

    Last edited by Main Loop; June 15th, 2006 at 06:10 PM.
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  4. #2
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    I just want to thank you for the awesome, easy to read set up. This has been saved onto my HD.

    [
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  5. #3
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    so much useful information, lots of eye-openers.
    kudos on the sum-ups. much appreciated, brother.


    salut,
    Pat.

    We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.
    -Bill Hicks


    Sketchbook Old SketchBook Portfolio GorillaArtFare
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  6. #4
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    Great notes dude, this open my eyes in some good views of my work and tell solve some question how this is do it, great this one, tnks a lot for trade this, i will save this for future reference.

    Cheers

    Icaro

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  7. #5
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    wow, thanks man =D
    very helpful and insightful

    polylover.com
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  8. #6
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    thanks! it's awesome how
    old notes can inspire. ;]

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