ILLU352 Creative Concepting for World Building

Illustrators create vivid worlds through depictions of immersive environments. Within the context of specific narratives, students deploy illustrative tools, such as color, composition and lighting, to develop landscapes, architecture and interior scenes and capture mood and tone to support a theme.

Course Introduction

This course is designed to help artists develop a better understanding of World Building with applications in narrative, visual development, gaming design, concept art and entertainment. Through various themed concepts, students will create worlds which include atmospheres, environments, architecture, assets, and character development. Lighting and perspective will be important as compositions will explore a wide variety of structure and atmospheric perspective. Both traditional and digital mediums will be utilized and all assignments will result in portfolio-quality digital final art.

The Story

Every effective piece of art depends on a story. The foundation of illustration, and visual storytelling, is predicated on a narrative. It is the foundation of the art form. Developing a story, with all of it’s environments, and structures, and characters, and personality, and purpose, will create a visual palette of imagery, which will then become your artwork! Creating art without a narrative in mind, will leave your art without emotion. It’s like asking the hero why he or she is riding into battle, against insurmountable odds, and they say ‘I don’t know!’

The story ‘must’ be considered ‘before’ you start to draw!!!!

Who? What? Why? When” Where? Must be solved first! Then you will be creating ‘smart’ worlds, with emotion, and purpose, and adventure, and fear - art that feels!

 

The Importance of Sketchbook

The Artist's Sketchbook is an integral part of developing unique creative ideas and a means to continue to grow artistic talents and skills, while exploring visual storytelling. Although this course does not require a sketchbook as part of the grading criteria, it is ‘strongly’ encouraged that each student maintain a sketchbook of visual exploration and experimentation. Prompts will be offered for those wishing to maintain sketchbook exercises.

Asset Development

The worlds in this course depend on the concept and development of assets in the creation of the assignments. Each world will have a unique theme and the inclusion and accuracy of the assets or structures/buildings/bridges etc....are essential to the believeability of the megacosms you will create. Sketchbook and In-Class Assignments will focus on these elements during the course.

Assignment One

Wizards of the Future

They are the time-travellers - the explorers of the future. Their worlds are filled with advancements in technology and space travel. Beings and cyborgs coexist in this world, both as allies and enemies. Good and evil exist and both are often unknown to each other due to the advancements in AI and Robotics. Futuristic cities and vehicles and characters make up vast planetary cities and complexes. Some examples of this project include:

  • Star Wars

  • Bioshock

  • Starcraft

  • Paprika

  • Star Trek

  • Wall-e

  • Robots - the movie

  • Halo


‘Shape shift everything you know’ to develop these world of advanced capabilities and wizards of the future!


Environments

This world is conceptual and exist in a futuristic realm. Reality is defined by your imagination. Structures and landscape are other-worldly; in a parallel universe of beautiful design and science. Ideas should be based on believable conceptual, imaginary landscapes and locations. Atmosphere should indicate a temperate climate and light sources.

Buildings and Structures

Creating a ‘believable’ world, with culture and civilization, involves structures, and buildings, and facilities which reflect the individuals and their stories - their vocation - their knowledge - their purpose. These structures should indicate an advanced society and imagination and innovation is key for this world.

Assets

These are the secondary elements to developing worlds. Everything from weapons to robots to small devices to icons, can be used as assets to further develop your story and world. Assets can be used as ‘stand alone’ objects (independent) of characters and the story line, and/or as an integral part of the narrative (R2D2).

Character Design

From warriors to cyborgs to mystics to anthropomorphic beings, they are the key to developing your worlds. They have evolved or adapted to their environment. they live in the world you create. The characters are both peaceful and threatening, and an effective world will have both. Consider their role in your story - Who are they? What do they do? What do they wear and why!

The best character design has personality and emotion!

Deliverables

Create a futuristic, conceptual World - either as complete compositions - or - smaller scenes, individual components and character and assets development.

These should include:

  • Environment - Landscape - Atmosphere  (minimum 2)

  • Buildings or Structures (minimum 3)

  • Assets - secondary objects - weapons - vehicles - robots  (minimum 5)

  • Character Design (minimum 5 - turnarounds optional but recommended)




Assignment Two

Prophets of the Past

The civilization, though set in a past time, could be advanced – castles and structures could be much further developed and innovative – consider the ideals of the great inventors and scientists like Leonardo daVinci – based on historical reference and real or fantasy…ie. Lords of the Rings - Age of Empires - Warhammer etc.... Oracles and visionaries are their leaders. They are the Prophets of the past!

Based on historical fact, they are the inhabitants in a world of the past – historically based, existing in the time of:

  • Egyptians

  • Alexander the Great

  • Romans

  • Vikings

  • Arabian Knights

  • Explorers

  • Genghis Kahn

  • Mayans

  • Native Americans

  • Steampunk

Environments

This world is historically based on civilizations of the past, environments, climate, location and relevance to the culture. Research and accurate depiction of the location and terrain is essential in the believability of these visuals. Though some interpretation and advancement could be part of these worlds, reference based accuracy is required. Time period and cultural influences will also impact the worlds you develop.

Buildings and Structures

Creating a ‘believable’ world, with culture and civilization, involves structures, and buildings, and facilities which reflect the individuals and their stories - their vocation - their knowledge - their purpose. These structures should be historically based and consistent with the world theme. Reference should be used to create an accurate depiction of the narrative with attention to historical relevance and story line.

Assets

These are the secondary elements to developing worlds. Everything from weapons to robots to small devices to icons, can be used as assets to further develop your story and world. Assets can be used as ‘stand alone’ objects (independent) of characters and the story line, and/or as an integral part of the narrative (R2D2).

Character Design

From kings and queens, to warriors and heroes, to pirates and vikings, to anthropomorphic beings, they are historically based characters and the key to developing your worlds. They have lived in history., and some created science and technology far beyond their point in history. The characters are both peaceful and threatening, and an effective world will have both. They give purpose to your stork. Consider their role - Who are they? What do they do? What do they wear and why!

The best character design has personality and emotion!

Deliverables

Create a historically based World - either as complete compositions, or smaller scenes, individual components and character and assets development.

These should include:

  • Environment - Landscape - Atmosphere  (minimum 2)

  • Buildings or Structures (minimum 3)

  • Assets - secondary objects - weapons - vehicles - robots  (minimum 5)

  • Character Design (minimum 5 - turnarounds optional but recommended)


Due Dates

Jan 22 - Milestone One - DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class

Feb 5 - Milestone Two - DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class

Feb 26 - Milestone Three - DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class

Mar 12 - Milestone Four - DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class

Mar 12 - Swatches - DUE - Must be placed in Dropbox before start of class

 

Recommended Textbooks

Gurney, J. (2009). Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist. Kansas City, Mo. Andrews McMeel. ISBN:
13-978-0740785504.

Gurney, J. (2010). Color and Light Kansas City, Mo. Andrews McMeel. ISBN: 13-978-0740797712

Mateu-Mestre, Marcos. (2010), Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Artists. Design Studio Press. ISBN:
978-193349295-7

 

 

Archiving Your Work

Preparing each Final Illustration File.

Digital files (PDFs, animation stills, storyboards, comic panels, sequential art, etc.):

  • All native files, fonts and supporting links contained in a single folder

  • All final submission folders compressed as a zip file

  • All zipped folders named in a manner that includes the campus, year, quarter, program abbreviation, the student's first and last names, and the title of the artwork. This information also needs to be embedded in the metadata so Full file naming guidelines are attached.

    • CAMPUS_Quartercode_DEPT_FirstnameLastname_title

    • Sample: SAV_201910_ACCE_AidanBarrow_snapbelt

  •  All images submitted as JPEGS at 300dpi, JPEG quality 12, Adobe RGB1998.

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