This is the first in a series of quick tips that will help you create a competitive Visual Development portfolio.
Today I’ll share three essential steps that are so obvious they’re often ignored.
Three Essential Steps To Become A VisDev Artist:
- Pick a story.
- Get a pencil and a piece of paper.
- Develop the story visually.
Now you’re a Visual Development Artist.
Of course, becoming a professional VisDev Artist is much more difficult.
…but that’s exactly my point.
It seems like many aspiring Visual Development Artists practice drawing and/or painting but they don’t actually practice the specific process of Visual Development.
Act hired before you get hired: To become a professional Visual Development Artist, you must develop stories visually.
A Low Barrier To Entry:
Money, Technology and Collaboration are legitimate (and often significant) challenges for aspiring 3D animators, modelers, riggers and lighters.
…but to practice effectively, an aspiring VisDev artist doesn’t need anything more than a sketchbook and a pencil.
Some of the Pixar folks use crayons. (Yes, crayons. Yes, I know they’re for kids…) Character-Design-Genius Nico Marlet often draws on corrugated cardboard. (Yes, cardboard. Crappy, crappy cardboard…)
In skilled hands, fancy apps like Photoshop and ZBrush can add a whole ‘nother level of bedazzlement, but a true Visual Development Artist can make magic with a simple pencil.
Get your crayons and cardboard and take us somewhere we’ve never been before.
Act hired before you get hired: Yes, it’s hard to get good but it couldn’t be easier to start.
[ click to tweet this quote ]
Explore The Imagined World:
If you want to be a character designer, design characters. If you want to be an environment artist, draw and/or paint environments. If you want to be a color stylist, paint every environment you can think of in every lighting scenario imaginable under every weather condition possible.
Read all the concept art books, watch all of the DVD bonus features, listen to all of the creator commentaries and start developing imaginary worlds just as robust as those.
Characters, props, environments…
When you think you’ve exhausted every possible option, keep going.
Explore the entire imagined world.
Act hired before you get hired: This isn’t doodling. This is development.
Visual Development Portfolios, Re-Imagined:
I’ll wrap this post with a question.
For several years, aspiring Visual Development Artists have found inspiration in the re-imagining of classic fairy tales and classic literature.
Sci-fi Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan With Animals, Film Noir Red-Riding Hood, Alice In Wonderland: BUT DARK!
..and so on…
This is certainly an effective way to generate portfolio pages but I think it’s getting pretty repetitive.
How can we re-imagine our Visual Development Portfolios?
…and if you’re interested in developing original visual stories for your portfolio or as an independent venture, you’ll find help in The Magic Box.
Now, on to part two: The best Visual Development Advice I’ve ever heard!