Saturday, 1 January 2011

Planning and Concepting

Through the christmas holidays I have spend alot of time reading articles and blogs of proffesional artist. I have also watched alot of videos and talked to some people like Kevin Johnestone, which did some awesome environment stuff for Unreal and Gears of War 2 and some other graduated and proffesional artists. Some time ago I have also contacted Daarken and asked him some questions about the importance of painting and drawing. Anyway my point is that becouse of this kind of activity I have widen my range and understanding on how things work in the art world. I have been given some very usefull advices from those people. Becouse of this now I know how important planning and concepting is when it comes to creating art. As they said to me "Pen and paper ... it is the most powerfull tool".

This year I know that rushing into projects without proper planning is bad becouse I might get stuck at some point and waste time. Not only that but planning beforehand gives me better solutions and artistic judgement. My latest research I did on environment art thanks to the polycount wiki proved to me how very important it is when it comes to environments. There is so much things to worry about when creating an environment that I haven't known about before. Those are mainly small details and rules that apply both into 3D and 2D work that make an environment perfect. That is why planning them before hand and having a checklist on what to do and what to plan helps alot. I am gonna sound like captain obvious here but planing brings only pluses. Instead of pointing all the advantages of it I will talk a littlebit about the disadvantages. First of all as I mentioned before it can lead to wasteing time. Without knowing what to do exactly people get stuck at some point. For example they reach a point where they have to go back to research and they add theirself some additional work time which may be needed at the finishing stage. Next one is poor judgement. Without proper research of the subject people don't see the possible ways they can lead their project into something unusual and extrodinary. I think that books and libraries are the best sourse of unique informations that people won't be able to find on the internet. Nowdays people too much rely on the web. Google images and wikipedia or simmilar websites to this. Its all available to the public so anyone can access it. I don't say that internet is a bad way to find stuff but If you want very unique stuff go to the library.

So how would a perfect planning look ? I will list some things here on what I would do for a project for at least a week before I start modeling.
- Research the subject, gather and brainstorm alot of ideas and keywords to research further.
- Visit the library, get some books and photoalbums on the subject.
- Get a pen and paper. Brainstorm and draw a possible scenery. Do some thumbnails and doodles. Basicly spend some times concepting and brainstorming the possible solutions carefully judgeing what will fit in and what not. It is always worth spending more time then expexted on this stage becouse this is where your idea pops out. Usually people spend too little time and they go with the initial idea which is bad.
- After doodling there is the stage of proper concepting when you put all your stuff into nice polished concept.

Well this is ofcourse a rough describtion of how planning and concepting should look like. At the end of this blog entry I would like to sum it up that the rule of 5p's is the best way to describe how important planning and concepting is important becouse Proper Preperation Prevents Poor Performance !

Links and References :

Polycount wiki : Environment Concepting

Polycount wiki : Environment Modularity

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