Part of the MA process was to gain knowledge and skills through the realisation of a practical project. Because of this I thought that I’d take stock of what I’ve learnt so far and understand where I am heading in terms of the next 6 months particularly in regards to skills and software.
The practical work allowed me to transform some of my existing skills with the use of software, introducing me to a more digital design approach.
My original plan was to learn several programs that were industry standard but given the time scales and the vast amount of knowledge I had to catch up on I had to focus on one or two. The obvious choice was Photoshop and digital painting. Photoshop is an industry standard software; every design company uses it from graphic design through to game design. It is also used in conjunction with so many other 2D and 3D applications. Photoshop allowed me a stepping stone into digital design. It also worked well with my more traditional drawing skills. As I had spent years painting canvases and using a similar layering technique with paint and collage papers, switching the style to digital layers made a lot of sense, especially when I could create similar effects using photography textures and semi transparent digital washes like watercolour paints.
This is an example of a canvas that I did and a Photoshop collage banner to compare.
What makes Photoshop so good is that you can save it in various stages of completion, use them again or alter colours, do different versions of the same image etc. It allows you to erase mistakes easily compared with traditional painting, especially watercolour. It’s also much faster when having to work to deadlines. To fully utilise Photoshop’s abilities in film and TV design I need to combine it with other software such as Illustrator, Maya, Z brush etc.
Currently I feel there are 2 possible routes into the art department, Concept art and model making. At the moment I feel that concept art is probably my strength so I will now look in detail at the job specifics and types of software used at the pre-viz stage. I will also look at the gaming industry and character design and see where I need to improve in regards to skills.