Meet The Artist: Scott Robertson

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  04 April 2005
Meet The Artist: Scott Robertson

Our first artist featured in this Meet the Artists series is Scott Robertson. We featured Scott on CGNetworks last year here.

About Scott Robertson
Scott Robertson was born in Oregon and grew up in the country. Under the guidance of his father, who was also an artist and had attended Art Center College of Design, Scott was drawn to the world of design through his love of vehicles. This passion led him to Art Center in 1987, where he studied industrial design and graduated with a degree in Transportation Design in 1990. “I loved going to Art Center and everything about Industrial Design,” explains Robertson. “But during my final year of school, I had grown bored with cars and the pace of their development, so after graduating, I opened a design firm with Neville Page.”

For the next five years, Scott was commissioned for a variety of design jobs with Kestrel, Giro Sport Design, Nissan, Volvo, Yamaha, Scott USA, Schwinn, and Medical Composite Technology. The collaboration with Neville Page continues to this day, where the two now share a studio in Culver City, California. Recent clients have included BMW subsidiary Design-works/USA, Bell Sports, Raleigh Bicycles, Mattel Toys, Patagonia, Scifi Lab, 3DO, Minority Report feature film, Nike, Universal Studios, OVO, Black Diamond, Rockstar Games, and Sony Entertainment, to name a few.

Scott founded Design Studio Press, a publishing company dedicated to art and design. He also teaches at Art Center College of Design, where some of the best talents have recently emerged under his guidance, several such talents being Feng Zhu, Mike Yamada, Felix Yoon and Khang Le.

Scott has released numerous training DVDs with The Gnomon Workshop. His latest two DVDs cover Industrial Design Rendering and Creating Unique Environments. Both are available from the CGProShop.

Related Links
Scott Robertson & Neville Page's website
Design Studio Press
The Art of Scott Robertson (CGNetworks)
The Gnomon Workshop


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Last edited by Leonard : 04 April 2005 at 04:37 AM.
  04 April 2005
Hello Scott. I am and aspiring 2-d concept artist currently putting together work to submitt to game studios. I have been going to your site for a while for inspiration and your work is nothing but inspiring and motivational to me, I am trying to gain a little insight of what is expected of the work load of a concept artist new to the industry.

My question to you is what is the genral time limit for and artist to complete a concept piece of work on a given project.

I find myself doing hand renderings for most of my work which can take a good amount of time to complete. I am currently trying to cross over into the digital medium.

If you can shed any light on this that would be great thanx for your time.
  04 April 2005
I, currently a sponge of a listener for information, am just breaking into the 3D imaging scene. Just wanted to delve into a quick obvious (for me) question.

Your art work is amazing and original. Where do you find the inspiration for such works?
I do not go where the path leads. I instead create my own path and leave a trail.
  04 April 2005
Hi scott. I love your work, and the way your render cars and things like that is beautiful.

I just have one question. When you are sketching concepts, how do you start out, and with what? Do you start out with markers or pens or pencils? Do you just outline the idea itself right away or do you draw guidelines first for the sketch? Thanks in advance.
Dialog and characters that transcend their video game origins, thus highlighting humanity's place in the universe. -Paul W.S. Anderson IMDB Trademark
  04 April 2005
Hi Scott,

#1. I've always wanted to know why it seems like great designers, such as yourself, rarely see your more radical designs implemented in the automotive industry? I'd pay good money for one of your vehicles.

#2. Your tutorial in photoshop for the bicycle looks like a real work of engineering genius, I could be wrong, but do you have an engineering background or is it just part of your talent to create great designs that look so sound?

Thanks for being here!
Sincerely John Le Baron

Last edited by chillnlikeamug : 04 April 2005 at 04:12 AM.
  04 April 2005
Hi Scott.

I have only a couple of questions.

First: What tools do you use in a given day. Does it chance for every piece of art work you do or are there a couple tried and true things that you use to make your drawings.

Second: Which do you prefer, working with computers to make art, or working more with your hands. By this I mean do you like drawing with a tablet (if you use one) or do you prefer to work with a simple piece of paper and pencil or a canvas and a paint brush.
I really need to do some work
  04 April 2005
Kudos...seriously. The material I have seen of yours is amazing. One question: is the reason that your stuff comes out so life-like a result of technique in a particular software or softwares? Can someone who desires life-like results from their work achieve them just through observation of nature or must one know HOW to achieve particular results within their 2d software package of choice?
Anyway, I appreciate your time.
You have to let it all go....Fear...Doubt...Disbelief. Free your mind.
  04 April 2005
1. Have you ever painted traditionally or just got your hands wet? What one/two tips do recommend or stress to become a great painter.

2. Do you draw from life? In past? Now? How do you keep your skill up by practicing drawing which subjects? (life, anatomy, imagination?) One/two tips you recommend or stress to become great at drawing?

3. How long do you spend on a drawing/painting to have it finished approximetly?

Take care Scott and thank you for your time to answer these.
  04 April 2005
Hey Scott!

I'd like to know your thoughts on the history/trends of industrial/entertainment design. It seems that the current generation is mostly influenced by Syd Mead, from his marker rendering style to the design sensibility. But of course Syd Mead isn't the only designer in the history of industrial/entertainment design. What are some of the other pioneers and innovators that you think deserves more notice, and how would you describe the various trends in the modern history of industrial/entertainment design? (For example, the 70's was dominated by boxy designs, then that gave away to emphasis on curves and more aerodynamic looks.)

On a side note, I don't know if you're familiar with Yamashita Ikuto's works. I highly recommend his manga series "Dark Whisper," published by Bandai (there are only two volumes). His design sense is very slick and very beautiful. Dark Whisper has never been translated and published in English, so you'll have to hunt them down from Japanese online bookshops or local ones in your area. Yamashita is currently most known for his mechanic designs on the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Last edited by Lunatique : 04 April 2005 at 05:06 AM.
  04 April 2005
hey scott if your teaching a class again at art center next term, do you mind if i sit in?
im a fine art major and im not to hot at sketching and figgure your lectures would help out a bit hehe
  04 April 2005
Your industrial design experience could help a lot !

Scott, i started a thread, Car studio lighting recepies here, on CGTalk. I am looking for that PERFECT car lighting in studio with 3d Max and MentalRay. Any advices ? Hope to hear from you !
  04 April 2005
Hi Mr Robertson,

I'm a huge fan of your work and have been a been captivated by your sketches of the Snow Cruiser. It is truely outstanding to see how many variations you came up with of the same machine, to me that is true inspiration.

I have made an attempt at bringing your 2D drawings to 3D and would love to hear your comments and/or suggestions regarding the modeling as well as texturing. Perhaps you saw the cruiser in different colours, purpose ect.

Snow Cruiser Link

Also what is their true purpose of them? i saw them as some type of specialised rescue unit, and that is why i chose the colors that i did.

Thank you for taking the time for this thread.

  04 April 2005
Mr. Robertson

I've been working professionally with print and game art for four years now, mainly painting, texturing, modeling and concepting. During that time, I've gotten increasingly interested in working in the movie business as well, either as a texturer or a matte painter - but given that I'm self-taught and without a traditional background, my question is this :

To what extent do studios go on portfolio when hiring people? Is it all about the experience, or does the education behind it factor massively as well? I'm assuming it's all about the talent, but given a choice between person A and B - both talented - the choice would most likely be the person with a traditional background?

Thanks for spreading your knowledge around, I enjoyed your workshop at the 3d festival last year. (And the others, for that matter. Sad to see there won't be a 3d festival this year)

All the best

Last edited by Skjoldbroder : 04 April 2005 at 09:49 AM.
  04 April 2005
Do you think Industrial Design and Character Design are two different disciplines, or do you believe if you know one you should be able to do the other?

Such as if you train yourself to do anatomy, life drawing and character concepts, you should be just as able to do architecture and environments?

Basically, I'm asking this because it seems you can't do one without doing the other.....well a character generally needs an environment............however, an environment does not necessarily need a character.
  04 April 2005
Hello Scott,
I was wondering what your toughts were on the the subject of the influnce of matreials on design. It seems as manufactured and refined materials have improved in composition, strength, and the ease with which they can be formed into shapes, industrial design has moved ever closer to pure organic forms.
Now that we're close to the limits of our technology to create and manipulate these manmade materials ( barring any leap in nanotechnology in the near future ), do you think industrial design will begin looking back to it's own history for influnces in the future, as opposed to nature.
Looking forward to your thoughts on this, as well as the attached image.
Thanks for taking the time to do this.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CITY01_MK8_2000Bsmall.jpg (79.9 KB, 545 views)
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