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  04 April 2005
from: NoSeRider,
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?

As a creative design exercise I do not see that there is much of a difference. Anytime you are doing entertainment design all of the subjects such as environments, characters, vehicles and props only exist to support the story and move it forward. Formally speaking traditioanal ID work is quite different in that it encompases many more disciplines in regards to making a 3D product that people live with and use. Ideally I believe that good well rounded entertainment designers should be able to design anything for any time period.

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?

No, I do not usually see this. Here is why I think that is.
Most of the figurative training that exists is from observation and rarely from one's own imagination. When this is all you have it will be hard to start with nothing to create something entirely new in regards to ID subjects or environments. One of the most important skills lacking in figuatively trained designers is their abiltiy to draw in perpsective and fully realize an imagined space of their own design from multiple view points. Even if you draw a lot of architecture from observation you will be filling your visual library which is good and can be helpful but you do not need to know anything about perpsective to accomplish well executed representative drawings. If you can imagine what you are looking at as flat 2D shapes it is all about properly reproducing these shapes to make a "good" drawing. Knowing how to build the same thing in perspective a month later from your imagination is where having some knowledge of more technical drawing skills is very helpful.

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.

True it would be nice to see more charcters in the environments we see and like wise more environments supporting the character designs we see, but if you are hired to design one or the other it is hard to make a case for spending the extra time to do so when you most likely are not being paid to do so.
  04 April 2005
I think that's it for tonight...I'll try and get through more as soon as I can.

All the best!

  04 April 2005
Mr. Robertson : thanks for your reply.

In connection with my previous question, I've got one about portfolios as well. When applying for jobs, I've usually included a broad range of stuff : sketches, finished 2d art, low and high poly 3d models, textures and animations. This has burned me a few times, since it seems some studios get confused by this and prefer single-function artists that focus solely on one aspect of production
- whereas I think being an all-rounder is a good thing, especially if you show some proficiency at all of them (I guess it's up to the studios to judge that, though )

Anyways. My question is: would you recommend compiling a portfolio singlemindedly, showing off only stuff that's directly relevant to the position you're applying for, or would you include other things to show off your range as well? To what extent do movie studios appreciate all-rounders?

(Although I'm guessing that your answer is going to be : moviemakers mainly employ single-function artists because they're usually better at that one function, so include some other stuff, but concentrate on the things directly relevant)

Thanks again for taking time to do this.!

All the best

  04 April 2005
Hello, Scott.

Your dvds helped me a lot. They are the best learning material I've seen on perspective drawing.

My question
When designing any fast moving vehicles, I'd assume you have to have knowledge of aerodynamics to a certain degree or mechanical engineering if you are designing a machine/robot. How do you balance the technical and design aspect in your designs? How much knowledge of the technical is required when doing ID. Are there any good books/resources you can recommend specifically for designers?

I guess one of the things you can do is copy vehicles/machines and build up your visual library?

Thank you in advance.
  04 April 2005
Hey Scott,
First of all thanks for answering these questions.

Anyway here goes...

I've been doing the whole CG thing now for about two years now while attending a degree course (which I don't think is very good but I'll stick it out just to get that piece of paper). My problem is that I find I keep on going from one area to another (2D to 3D...modelling to some animation...and even programming.)

I would really like to focus on one area and become as much of an expert at is as I can because I'm aware that alot of places aren't looking to employ a jack of all trades kind of guy.

So basically my question is: When you were starting to learn over the first few years did you find it hard to focus on one area like me or were you always very focused on the 2D design end of things?

  04 April 2005
no questions, but from what i have read so far.....thanks for making yourself accessible to people.................................


  04 April 2005
Change of industries?


I love your work. It's awesome.

My question is that I'm a self-employed graphic designer and I'm creating more and more 3D models for animation or rapid prototyping for either other studios/companies (sub-contract), or illustrations for my own clients (directly). Graphic design is becoming a very small part of my business (currently about 20-30%). I'm wondering if I should look at staying in business for myself, or should I look at jumping into the TV/ Film industry? I would like to jump into either industry, but it comes down to finances. Currently I make only $35-40K CDN/ year but is it worth it?

I look forward to your reply.
Fabmedia Studios
print, interactive, & motion media design

My Blog
  04 April 2005
I really love the "fish like" air ships. The design is absolutely fantastic.
Pawel Jonca
> "Master & Servant"
> my website
  04 April 2005
Scott, my question is regarding your design process, and your opinion of my design process:

1. hand drawings, scanned
2. contrast adjusted in photoshop
3. Corel Painter IX w/Wacom >> @ this point of the process, I would like to know if you suggest creating multiple layers for multiple items, or, like someone like Ryan Church, do you also like to "merge" or "collapse" your layers while you work? If you have a different technique, what do you feel are their advantages/disadvantages?

Do you have custom Painter brushes that you would like to indicate to us? I want to make a set of custom brushes, and I was wondering what your favourites are (possibly 5-10), and for what purpose you usually use each for?

Final Comment:
Thank you for your patience and time to help all of these artists here, if I lived in California, I would sign up for your classes in an instant. You are an inspiration to many, including myself!
ATTN TORONTO ARTISTS Only:Mar 21,05:Graphire2 6x8 grphics tablet group deal. Negotiating btwn $160 and $190 CAD (current retail price = $239.99+.PM me
  04 April 2005
"Talent, talent, talent. Really your past formal education or lack thereof means very little to getting a decent job. Your experience is important, but being pleasant and have great skills is the key combination to sucess."

Hey Scott,

Thats really cool that you take the time to help out this community. Props man.

My school is garbage they dont teach me anything, Im at a degree mill pretty much. But it is a University and if I manage to pass I will end up with a Fine Arts Degree in New Media.

I have prolly a 2.0 GPA so I'm barely passing, but I spend all my time practising my art. Seriously, like 24-7.(It's why I'm barely passing). How recognized is a degree in this New Media field?

And how do I break in to places that say Minimum 2 years XP ( pretty much all of them),

Thanks for your time man.

  04 April 2005
from: BC1967,
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.

I don't have a lot of time tonight, as I still have some prep for a series of lectures I'm giving in Vancouver BC comencing tomorrow. I hope to be able to find some good response time on Saturday.

Here is one at least...

I would think that for nostalgic reasons some designers will continue to do what has been coined "retro" design, others will try to emulate nature and courageous few will experiment with the truly orginal. Retro design is very marketable due to the fact that it makes people feel good, regardless of what it is made of. The forms are very familar, and they do not visually challenge anyone. It is like seeing an old friend. Even with new materials this will remain the case. As new materials make their way into mass production I think we will hopefully see more of the conceptual designs that we have seen in 2D for so long become real objects. It seems to be what has happened throughout our history. And as we all know history is a great forcaster of the future.

Comments on the artwork...

It would appear from the foreground lights on the sphere that there is a lot of atmosphere present due to the strength of the light beams and so I feel that the background buildings have too much contrast. Try adding some more atmosphere back there to knock them back and or lower the amount of haze in the foreground. Also it might be nice to experiment with something in the extreme foreground. One last thought, double check the perpsective of the ring building supporting the sphere as it looks a bit sketchy, unless that was the intent.

Last edited by Scott_Robertson : 04 April 2005 at 04:41 AM.
  04 April 2005
from: tonich03,

Q I am only 16 year old,and i know i still have a way to go,i was drawing really a lot lately,especially sketching,learning photoshop etc. all by myself.I wasnt thinking of getting to be an artist because my mother is,and advises me to get another job,as this may be very risky.After all not averybody has success.Though she doesnt know anything about the cg,and the way it could be used(webs etc.)So i was thinking of studying something else first,then art.
Do you think this makes sense?i enjoy drawing,so i think it wont be a major problem going to an art school after getting any other degree.Do you think going to an art school is crucial about getting a good job,having a nice portfolio?

You are still young enough to have many careers over your lifetime. But really your life will be longer and you'll be happier doing what you love first. No job is secure. I have always chosen freedom in my career over money and working for someone else. It can be a tough road to travel sometimes but untimately much more rewarding. If you have family obligations though things may have to progress at a slower pace but keep your head up and pursue your passion.
  04 April 2005
from: ArYeS,
Do you prefer 2D car renders or 3D car renders?

I'm going to have to go with both, but as you might guess I come down on the side of the 2D pieces more than the 3D. I like to know that someone drew an image with their hands and created the illusion of 3D with their knowledge of perpsective, light, shandow, and material indication. The thing that is tough to pull off in 3D is the abilty to vary and manipulate the physics of light to best show off the design you have created. Also I prefer illustrated images over photo realistic ones.
  04 April 2005
I think that's it for tonight.

I have just finished reading all of the questions and I'll start to formulate some hopefully helpful answers over the next day or two.


  04 April 2005
Hey Scott,
I'm making a career change from being a graphic artist to a concept artist. Freelance work
has been going very well but I have little time to draw at night after work and am not making enough from it to quit my job.... so I am going to do a degree full time.

My question is, what degree would you recomend? I have been considering 3D animation or Fine Art but I see that you studied Industrial Design... Is this the obvious choice for Concept Artists?


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