Sunday, June 8, 2008

Do a Lesson on Concept Design

Concept designers are the people who dream up not only all the objects but the look, the mood and texture of the worlds we see in movies like Iron Man and Indiana Jones. In industrial design (the world of planes, trains and automobiles) or entertainment design (film, television and video games), concept designers literally draw the images that make up the visual worlds we see.

Concept designer Scott Robertson launched Design Studio Press to showcase pen-and-ink renderings, private sketch books, intricate character design, cartoons and paintings -- in both computer and traditional forms -- done by concept designers. He has published Concept Design 1 and 2 as well as many other books showing examples of professional concept designers' work. (Click on the heading above to go to Design Studio Press' web site.)

In film, concept designers may be called in before there's even a script to visually articulating the desired characters, environments, vehicles and props. Have your students play the role of concept designers by giving them a basic idea for a scene and have them draw the way they think it should look.

I had an 11 year old tell me that when he saw the trailer for the upcoming Narnia movie it wasn't how he had envisioned it in his own mind. He then proceeded to describe an equally brilliant concept for the characters and settings that had come to him when he read the book. Even young people can (and do) create concept designs from ideas and stories they read.

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