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Member Since 26 Jul 2006
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In Topic: Educational Video - Arc Flash Boundaries

14 May 2016 - 01:19 AM

Again, there are a lot of ways to move forward, to build character into the illustrations. And that will convey things to your audience, much like how the animation conveys things. Thinking about curvy vs angular, eyes or no eyes, etc.... that's a good start. But also consider the other aspects of illustration. What are the materials involved? Ink, pencil, aliased vector, newspaper cutout, photoshop airbrush, real airbrush, real broken sputtering airbrush, crayon, cross-stitch, printed transparency, cel-shading? Is it filmed, or rendered, or stop-motion photographed? These decisions affect the qualities of your elements, and therefore their character. Some may be more right than others for your story, but it's mostly up to you to dictate what the story is by making those decisions. Telling your story through stop-motion imagery handpainted in blood on charred metal plates is much different than telling it through cel-shaded 3d renderings of bubble-shaped characters in candy colors, and that difference changes your story hugely. 

In Topic: Educational Video - Arc Flash Boundaries

11 May 2016 - 12:44 AM

@Binky - Your tutorial on 'storyboarding' - this is your process for developing a visual strategy yes? Also, do you think the bear would have been a stronger design had it been more geometric, or is that just a way I could have gone with it? Both?


Well, it's *a* process, for sure. It's not like a factory assembly line where you can count on the same series of techniques to produce a great result every time. But yeah, I think it gets at thinking visually. In the episode I'm working on now, I'm getting more into breaking down a brief to discover the real goals and the process of building up imagery to meet those goals. Which sounds incredibly dry, but it's lookin pretty cool.


With regard to your bear, I'm advocating for asking yourself why you did it that way to begin with. Maybe you were on to something, maybe not, but I can't see what your reasons were for it. When you start figuring out real reasons to do one thing over another, then you end up making design decisions that are very intentional and very specific, and you imbue your imagery with purpose, and that imagery becomes more meaningful to your audience. That purpose also makes your decision-making process a lot easier moving forward. So to answer your question, I have no idea whether "more geometric" is a "stronger design" because I don't know what sort of story you're really trying to tell. There's a simple straightforward plot, clearly, but you can take your story elements to an infinite number of places. It's up to you to decide what's compelling in that regard, and to let your imagery be driven forward by that decision.


I do think, though, that your characters should probably live in the same world, by the same visual logic. And it's definitely a visual design challenge to make that happen.

In Topic: Educational Video - Arc Flash Boundaries

10 May 2016 - 02:38 AM

Yeah, there are lots of ways to move forward on this. Design-wise, there's just no coherent illustrative strategy here, for starters. And I get it, you're not an illustrator, and this is a first attempt, which is why the imagery is amateurish. But take the first scene, for example, where you have the trees, which are highly reductive, to the point of geometric abstraction with some shading. Then you have the bear, which is reductive, but less so, and somewhat geometric, but not really, plus shading. Then you have the human character, with thin bendy arms, round features everywhere, and flat detail drawn into the vest and hat, and no shading. They're all meant to live in the same world, but they seem to all come from different worlds. They're drawn by different illustrative strategies. I'm not saying that can't work, but it probably has to be for a pretty good reason, and here it's apparent that it's more a result of lack of consideration.


When you develop a visual strategy, maybe it includes textures, and shading, and detail or a lack thereof. Maybe it involves hand-drawn elements, or 3d elements, or flat generated colors, or randomly generated inkblots, or collaged bits, or found materials, or code-driven shapes, or... y'know, whatever. But right now you're sitting down in front of adobe illustrator, presumably, and using the square tool, and the pen tool and the whatever tool and calling it good because you're not asking yourself what kind of imagery would actually be appropriate or compelling for the content of the piece. That's pretty common (non)-thinking, but the more you can develop that aspect of the work going forward, the more character your work will have, the faster your voice will develop, and the more people will respond to what you've made. 

In Topic: Educational Video - Arc Flash Boundaries

07 May 2016 - 09:34 PM

I watched on a laptop with tiny, tinny speakers, and it sounded ok, if that's informative at all. Not that you shouldn't balance it out for other setups. But admittedly, I thought it was funny. The character animation in the first scene is simple, and telling. And the visual jokes in the second are cute. The quality of the imagery itself is a little unpolished and lackluster, and the animation is sometimes oversimplistic, tending toward amateur, but again I think you have a sense for character/behvaior and that helps a ton. Nice job!

In Topic: C4D subscription licensing coming

29 February 2016 - 10:05 AM

I wasn't thinking it would take THAT long!

Like a whole generation would be weaned on rental software with their work happily held for ransom before we collectively got our shit together? :D 

It's gonna take some serious face-slapping to get people to realize what a bind we're all getting ourselves into here. 


Cheers to Maxon, btw!