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ivancruz

Feedback for an up and comer illustrator (Not me)

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Hi all,

 

I currently started handing out styleframe creation assignments to one of my good mate's. He's a really good illustrator (in my opinion) and needs some guidance since he wants to get into motion design and animation.

 

I thought that getting him to start making some styleframes with a few given limitations would be a good place for him to start, I posted the results of the first assignment on my blog.

http://shiftsave.com/projects/styleframe-assignments-week-1

 

I would love to hear what you guys think.

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It's a little hard to tell from just one example, but he does seem capable of illustration, and illustration skills are definitely a benefit in this industry, as are photography skills, or collage, or writing, or editing, or animation, or sound design, etc. So the upside is that he has a foundation in something and he can build on it and branch out from it. A lot of people end up in this industry via their aptitude for the technical side of it, which is almost completely unrelated to the design and storytelling side, so it's a confounding journey if they're interested in doing creative work.

 

The weird thing about this industry is that you sort of need to maintain a bunch of different skillsets and that you CAN be an animator and a filmmaker and an editor and a character designer and a whatever all at the same time and still be called a motion designer. The more skillsets you master, the more valuable you are, but everyone chooses their own path through these. You might start with an illustration pedigree, and learn character animation to compliment that, which evolves into 3d character design, and then into an interest in lighting and compositing your stuff, which moves you into visual effects, and then directing effects sequences, which spawns a need to get into shot composition/photography, storytelling and editing, and then you get into the planning stages and authoring which takes you into storyboarding for your own films, etc. Somewhere down the line you'll be more of a director than anything else, but no one really knows when that happens or if the titles really matter.

 

These projects are going to help if they're based on real-world goals but you need to critique the output based on how well they meet those goals. If you look at the Tintin boards and ask the question "does this sequence accomplish what it needs to?", you kind of get the answer "I don't know." And that means that the project brief probably wasn't thought out well enough. Which is true, because all you asked him to do was create "styleframes for Tintin" and do it in an art deco style. Indeed he attempted that, but to what end? What would this be used for? Why? What did the client (you) actually need out of him? A title sequence? A commercial? Was there pertinent information that needed to be conveyed? Are there any marketing strategies that need to be adhered to? He has to know what it is that he's making, what its role is, where it will be seen, in what context, and so forth. Without all of that, it's not a design exercise, it's just another illustration project, and you're not putting him up to any challenges where he'll start exploring the other skillsets he'll likely need to start developing.

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Hey thanks that was a really good reply, I told him it was a title sequence but you're right there was not a lot of direction, I was thinking that we could start by making some boards and then this could scalade into more thought out briefs, like the ones you would get from an agency or a client. I will definitively take all this in consideration for the next round of this

 

Thanks for your time!

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Well hello, Ivan Cruz.

 

I don't really have much to add, other than his style and design chops seem good. If he's interested in motion design, I'd throw motion assignments at him. Stuff like "animate a ball bouncing down a flight of stairs" (which is probably the assignment that teaches the most about animation the quickest).

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