~ Back to Uni tomorrow ~

So, Uni comes around again, bringing around my Third and final year. Things have changed, my Computer for one has been upgraded, I decided to go overkill and get 8gb of RAM now, so I can hopefully say goodbye to those damn Mental Ray Memory errors. I've also decided to suck it up and try out Vista 64 bit, and I'm actually really liking it, once I got past the annoying "But are you sure you wanted to put this CD in the drive?" "But seriously, are you truly sure your hand didn't just slip and accidently put said CD in there?" etc etc.

But any way, the first year begins and so then, must the Concept art drawing. Most of my concept art on this course has been very linear. I've produced one or two drawings, and then produced the 3D Model from that. This isn't how Concept art works. So my main focus with the concept phase is to do it in as professional a manner as possible. So here is a list of things that I have to remember when starting this :

  • A lot of my previous concept art I wouldn't consider to be good drawings, at the very least I wouldn't want to show anybody said drawings, they are much too embarrassing. The same with certain models, where I've cocked up and then had to start again, the models wherein I made mistakes would never be shown to anyone else. This might be exacerbated by my desire to not have people looking at a piece of my artwork and not liking it. Concept art has a different purpose than that, and so the effort to make it look great is usually unnecessary and here lies my previous errors. I spent too much time trying to make my conceptual drawings look pretty.

  • Think of the characters as real people, with a history. Think of their personalities, Age, Ethnicity, Gender, back story and biographies. Anything to help me visualise this character and to give me a stepping stone into designing it. Gone are the days of just drawing a random character that looks good, enter the days of everything on said character being justified, and being there for a reason!

  • Lots of fast drawings need to be done. I need to produce as much as is needed, and then test them in the context of the story and the storyboard, to see if they fit the period. I need them to have great silhoettes, but also, I need a lot of options so that we can go through them and decide which is best in aesthetic terms, and technical. For example, if you had long flowing clothing, you could say "Is it really necessary for us to calculate nCloth for so much clothing?" and then you can take that element out. So from that you can decide whether things would be too difficult to rig and skin, put nCloth and dynamics on, or even if it fits with what you're producing, and eventually you can take elements from each and have a practical character design.
And there it is, my guidelines of things I have to remember when producing Concept Art for my Characters in the future. It's time for me to work on this stuff.


Hades said...

hi jon!
just checked yah work and i think yah great man!
how does it feel after 2 years? ive jus started this course and cant wait and have heard how hard times can get.
howd yah pull through it?
is it passion or is it a task?
because from looking at yah work id say passion, but does it sometimes feel a hard task may i ask?

Jon Stewart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Stewart said...

Hi mate. It's all passion, you have to live this stuff at all times. My friends and family get sick of me commenting on CG stuff in Films and TV. Or I'll even be playing a video game online with my friends and suddenly I'll stop because I've noticed an interesting or shoddy texture/model and i'll be commenting on it whilst my friends are dieing. Funny stuff.

After 2 years, it feels quite scary, 1 more year left and I'm done :(

There has been weeks of little to no sleep to get projects up to scratch, and it can get stressful. But what you realise in the end is that it's all worth it :D

I hope your first year goes well, and use it to experiment and learn as much as you can, equally the second year too. Because the Third year needs to be as little about experimentation as possible. I'm sure I'll see you around at some point. (My uncles in the first year - David Ratcliffe)

Pol Winandy said...

Pump out those drawings!!

About Me

My photo
I am a video game artist at Dovetail games, working on Train Simulator 2014, 2015 and an unannounced title. I also graduated from the CG Arts course at UCA in 2010 with a First Class. www.jonstewart.co.uk