We’ve been working on our visual development project since we got back from winter break in January and I thought it might help if I posted some additional examples of vis dev work from a variety of artists.
We’ve spent the last few weeks very much focused on creating character designs. Character design is, for many people, the most compelling element of our visual development project. However, crafting a visible world for your characters to inhabit can greatly enhance the work you’ve done so far by giving your character designs context and greater authenticity.
Thomas Eccles is a freelance illustrator based out of Melbourne, Australia.
Looking at some excellent artwork by Eccles I soon realized that he makes frequent use of implied backgrounds by using an illustration concept known as a vignette.
Check out the full post to learn more about vignettes and implied backgrounds.
As we recover from our Winter break it would seem to be a good time to provide an overview of what we have planned in Cartooning & Animation for the Spring semester. Keep in mind, those of you that still need to finish or shoot your animation project will have plenty of time in January and February to work on that during sketch journal time.
However, the bulk of class project time will now be given over to new work. Check below the fold for more on that.
In Part 1 of our Spring 2017 Semester Overview we learned the basics about visual development and took a close look at the work of artist Fabien Mense.
In this post we will:
- Take a look at work from a number of different artists working in a variety of styles and applications.
- Take a look at different aspects of visual development (character design, environment design, etc.)
Today, it sits above a Doutor coffee shop a few doors from a train station in a busy part of Hiyoshi, Yokohama.
Visit the building and you won’t see a plaque commemorating the history or remnants of a company whose characters now model Louis Vuitton clothes and sell millions of games. Yet on that spot in 1983, inside his father’s office space, founder Masafumi Miyamoto began a development studio called Square.
Initially, it wasn’t even a formally-designated company. It was a room where people came and went.
Some describe the company in its early days as a family business. One of Square’s first hires, Shinichiro Kajitani, joined simply because he was friends with Miyamoto and compares the young studio to a college club. Another, Hironobu Sakaguchi, designed games while working part time.
“We treated it like a hobby, not a career,” says longtime Square composer Nobuo Uematsu. “We just wanted to do what we liked. We weren’t worried about our salaries or living situations or thinking, ‘Where is this company going?’”
But people grow up and things change.
There are some good sections on two very important artists that played important roles at Square: Yoshitaka Amano and Tetsuya Nomura.
Simple Cartoon Figure Drawing
Simple is probably the wrong word. Veteran students might recall the times I’ve shown the work of artists and described their work as deceptively simple. When I say that what I’m getting at is that an artist’s work may seem superficially simple but there is often a great deal of complexity hidden underneath the image. In order to achieve a simple look and do it really well requires a great deal of skill, technique, and thoughtfulness on the part of the artist.
Anyhow, we’ll discuss those aspects of simplicity more in class. For now, let’s move on:
As part of your visual development work we need to think about dressing your characters. The clothes worn by a character, and how they wear them, are another aspect to consider as you develop the personality of a given character and place them in the world you’re creating.
Part 1: Introduction to Fashion & Costume
In part 1 of our Fashion & Costume post series we’ll be considering some basic questions about how to approach this element of character design in a thoughtful way. Does your character exist in a specific historic time period? Can your character’s clothing place them in proper context within the world you’re building? Do clothing choices tell us where the character lives or what time of year it is? What questions do clothing choices answer for your characters?
I would like to thank my students for a great fall semester. Hopefully everyone finds plenty of time for rest and relaxation over winter break. Those of you that still need to finish or shoot your animation will find plenty of opportunities to do that during sketch journal time in January and February. Until then: drink cocoa, curl up with a good book/video game, and enjoy your well deserved break.
Image Credit: Pixel Fireplace Application by Hex-Ray Studios