Ara’s Tale – Struggling with design sketches

Environment Design

After finishing the storyboard I am now trying to get a hold on the design sketching – very educating.

As I have no formal education in drawing or painting I have to discover all the bits and pieces and techniques all by myself or through internet digging.

My first goal is to get the environment in a detailed way, but still without colors. See above for my first sketch. It depicts the view out of the canyon to the stairs leading up to the ledge above the abyss.

It was really interesting to see how I slowly let go of raw technique and started to listen to my inner vision of the environment. What evolved was a real dialogue between the emerging image and me – very fascinating.

I tried to do this again with a second drawing, but failed to get into the same state. This was, when I realized that things such as perspective are important. In the first sketch I had the perspective right from the beginning, but with my next sketch I started out wrongly. This had me to do several restarts and iterations. It also made it hard to establish a continous  dialogue as described above.

Here is the current version of the second sketch – a wider angle of the abyss and the ledge

Environment Design II

I will still do another sketch from the other side to cover the whole abyss.

The next area was to get an idea of the colors and mood I want to use in the short. This turned out to be quite as educative as the sketching.

The sketches were all done in mypaint and as this was really great I used mypaint for the color tests too. This gave me headaches, but thats not mypaint’s fault.

Again I had ( and still have ) to get a grasp at color painting and more precisely whats important for doing color tests.

I finally used the GIMP for the colors as I am faster using the brush modes (overlay, screen, multiply …) instead of just mixing colors in mypaint. If mypaint had these brush modes it would be a real blessing.

Anyway here is a first color test based on the second environment sketch. I will certainly do this again with a little more details and trying to get a hold of the emerging techniques.

Color Test I

Another thing I will apply to this project is to track the time of the different steps and substeps. This will give a nice overview where all the time has gone. This might be interesting for future projects or other interested in planning similar undertakings.

Current status ( in hours)

13:08 Concept Art
4:30 Script
21:33 Storyboard
0:08 Research
39:11 Total

Author: loramel


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