Archive for the ‘Concept Art’ Category

Michael Mattesi Offering FORCE Drawing Workshop

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Cogswell College will host artist, author and animation industry resource in one of his FORCE Drawing Workshops. The event is only open to Cogswell students and limited to 50 participants. Sign up in The Pulse now because spaces are filling up fast.

Date:  Saturday, November 9

Time:  2:00 – 6:00PM

Place: Dragon’s Den

The workshop centers on Mattesi’s new approach to drawing based on the FORCES found in the figure and how they coincide with gravity. Any artist could use this concept of drawing but the animation industry has most used the technique due to its many parallel concepts in animating.

Mattesi has contributed his skills as a professional production artist on many award-winning projects. A brief client list includes Pixar, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Walt Disney Consumer Products, Marvel Comics, Hasbro Toys, ABC, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, DreamWorks/PDI, The School of Visual Arts, Peking University, Art Center, Nickelodeon and LeapFrog.

A Short History of Animation Techniques with Demo Clips

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Paper Cut Out Animation

If you’ve ever wondered how animated films are made, the National Film Board of Canada took a neat look at a few of the many techniques that animators use to create their special brand of art. While some of the techniques are more widely utilized than others, the variety definitely gives artists the chance to share their message in a way that expresses their individuality.

Some of the techniques covered in the article include:

  • Animated drawing
  • Paper cut outs
  • Drawing & etching on film
  • Pinscreen
  • Computer

Do you have a favorite technique?

Pinscreen Animation Technique

Animated Drawing Technique

What’s your color IQ?

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Can you pick out the perfect hue or saturation for the sample colors? How good are you at identifying complimentary or triadic colors?

Take this simple test at color.method to find out.

Share it if you had fun!

Puzzle Game Project Class Gets Underway

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

In a recent Skype call on a large monitor at the front of the classroom, George Gagnon, Founder of Prairie Rainbow Company, met with students and faculty for an introductory session to clarify parameters for the project and to present the concepts the two student teams developed in a 48 hour turnaround.

The eleven students enrolled in the class were divided into two teams and tasked with creating a video game version of the Rainbow Squares table top game. Rainbow Squares is a puzzle game designed for elementary, secondary or adult learners to use as an individual or group learning tool. The game consists of six squares, each made up of three different rainbow-colored pieces. Each of these pieces can be used to form other squares using two, four, five or six pieces or can be used to learn addition and fractions.

“Rainbow Math Models are designed to engage students and let them learn through the method that is best for them,” said George. “Feelings learners get to build a physical model, image learners can create a visual model, while language learners have the chance to hear, read, or write a number model,” added George.  “I think by offering Rainbow Squares as a virtual learning tool, more students will have access to the learning method that works for them.”

After students introduced themselves, a representative from each team outlined the concepts they were considering for the game design.

The Red Team started with general ideas and then branched out. They thought it was important for the video game to represent the physical game since the product has been so successful. The team’s goal is to make students want to play the game over and over. They also discussed implementing different levels for different shapes such as one level to focus on manipulating squares, another for pentagons and another for triangles. Other ideas involved creating a limited moves mode or an addition mode with each block being assigned a numerical value. The team would also like to explore a multiplayer option.

The Blue Team first wanted to know if George would prefer a more structural approach to presenting the concepts of addition and fractions or would he consider a more spatial representation of the math concepts through graphs or perhaps as weights on a scale. Would he like the final game to be more session-based play or individual play? If he would like a more structural approach to teaching the concepts, then they are thinking about a more traditional approach with something like Tetris.

“I love the creativity the teams have put into the process. I’m excited about what I’ve heard today and can’t wait to see the finished products,” said George.

Creating Interactive Books: An Interview with Author, Roxie Munro

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Since one of Cogswell College’s newest project-based class involves creating interactive books, we thought it would be fun to hear from someone in the industry. In this interview in Digital Book World, Beth Bacon talks to children’s author and illustrator, Roxie Munro.

During the interview, Roxie shares her thoughts and lessons learned when converting from traditional children’s book author to interactive children’s stories. Roxie talks about making the transition from children’s books to apps, the most difficult thing about this new form of storytelling, the future of children’s books and what advice she has for other creative people in this industry.

Can’t wait to see what our Interactive Studio class creates!

Special Effects Are More Then Blowing Things Up

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Much of the time special effects teams spend working on a film is on the task of creating the environment the viewer expects to see – but that environment either wasn’t available where the filming took place or for some other reason was just not practical to capture with a camera. Enter the deft hand of the special effects artists.

This fascinating article by Ian Failes in fxguide.com offers a tantalizing peek behind the scenes of several films from 2011. The first behind the scenes look is from the film, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” Fredrik Nord, Visual Effects Supervisor at The Chimney Pot in Stockholm, and his team created the MI:6 ‘Circus’ archive set in Softimage, complete with textured bookshelves, stairs, beams and pipes. Check out the videos and before and after photos of some of the scenes the artists created.

The article also covers the work of special effects in: “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1,” “Machine Gun Preacher,” “Jack and Jill,” “Young Adult,” and “Dolphin Tale.”

Envisioning Disney Characters in Real Life

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

If Ariel from the “Little Mermaid” was a real person, what would she look like? Or Jasmine from “Aladdin?”

Here’s is one artist’s concept of what the model of the animation might have looked like.

Do you think the artist, Jirka Väätäinen, whose images are posted on Behance, has captured the essence of the characters?

Ideas that Form the Core of Arts Education

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Cogswell students learning the fundamental techniques needed to create realistic characters for games and animations.

In a recent article for the Digital Art Guild, Edward P. Clapp, discusses the 1960’s era guiding principles of the art world and whether or not these ideas are still relevant today. At the end of the article he suggests that the future of the arts lies in what’s possible, not in what has been the status quo.

Mr. Clapp in his recently published anthology, “20 Under 40: Reinventing the Arts and Arts Education in the 21st Century,” challenges the core assumptions of the field by publishing twenty essays about the future of the arts and arts education from the perspective of young arts professionals under the age of forty. His goal: to find the most radical ideas about the future of the arts from the perspectives of the most innovative emerging arts professionals.

Do you agree with his assumptions?

Interview with Creature Sculptor for Pacific Rim

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Concept art for Leatherback for the Pacific Rim movie.

David Meng, sculptor behind the awesome Leatherback-Kaiju in the film Pacific Rim, was recently interviewed by Sculpt Club about his work on the movie. In this wide-ranging interview, Meng covered his childhood fascination with developing creatures – one of his early influences was Jim Henson of the Muppets – how he got started in the business and the creative process on the film.

If you are interested in concept design or sculpting, you will enjoy learning about David Meng’s experiences.

Common Mistakes Made in Concept Art Portfolios

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Concept Artwork by Cassandra Matteis, titled Pixies.

Chris Oatley, a Character Designer with Disney, shares his tips for creating a great concept art portfolio by suggesting what not to do. In this short article – with accompanying illustrations – Oatley boils it down to 5 common mistakes that artists make when putting together their portfolio.

His advice includes thinking about the message your portfolio gives, does it fit the company you are showing it to and is it professional looking?

At Cogswell, students take several portfolio classes so they can revise their material over time. What are your favorite portfolio tips?