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       Is 'it' green?: Incorporating character stereotypes            Stereotypes in the Design Process    
  
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
         

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Always reference from real life. I restricted myself to certain nationality groups. My aim was to capture a typical Slovenian/Italian etc   face type; taking into consideration features such as eye shape, skin tone, hair colour, etc. Often determining these traits are big generalisations and not factual. But it is a good exercise to have recognisable traits in your characters. It helps people easily associate your character with the nationality, age group, occupation etc your character belongs too.   A great example of this in practice is Wallace and Gromit. Many of the characters are ‘stereotypical’ British people. They have bad teeth, a fanatical love of tea, an insatiable appetite for biscuits and a dubious taste in clothing!      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Stereotyping traits can refer to personality, such as a love for tea and biscuits, or physical traits like bad teeth. When considering the latter it is always best to get a wide sample for inspiration, then pick out the most commonly occurring similarities. Take care to be   aware socially when creating characters. My teeth are lovely and straight, by the way, but I can’t resist a cup of tea!     
  
         

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     This is an example of my influene. I took inspiration from specific people in the limelight so the audience can easily connect with them. It’s always good to base characters on celebrities or actors, loosely. It is a great starting point. You may also find your characters become influenced by family members or work colleagues.        

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IS 'IT' GREEN?: INCORPORATING CHARACTER STEREOTYPES

Always reference from real life: I restricted myself to certain nationality groups. I was aiming to capture a typical Slovenian/Italian etc face type; taking into consideration features such as eye shape, skin tone, hair colour, etc. Often determining these traits are big generalisations and not factual but it is good to have recognisable traits in your characters so people more easily associate with the nationality, age group, occupation etc your character belongs too. 

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       Is 'it' green?: decision making with design            

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Nicky Rhodes  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Step Two - Narrowing it down  So now you have your initial research done. It’s time to break it down into categories. This will help build a clear picture of what to focus on.  With Green IT, I took the styles I thought best appropriate for the brief and split them into similar looking sections. Doing this helps to work out what style I want to achieve. At this stage it’s still ok to not know exactly what you want and you're allowed to get it wrong. This is a good process to narrow down your options to design styles which suit the brief and you are happy to pursue.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Decision making time!  I find this stage super tricky. I loathe making decisions. I’d rather merge all the styles and ideas together but this is an ill-advised method. It can become time consuming, messy and often doesn’t work out in the long run.  If you find things are getting tricky- you can't find the style you want and nothing is working out- go back to the previous step and do some more research. You might just stumble on something better.   Looking back, the images I have chosen all seem similar. I had drifted back to my comfort zone without realising, doing exactly what I wanted to avoid.  Back to the initial research stage; this time you know what you're not looking for. You have come a bit closer to the style you want through eliminating those you don’t.        

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Even after the decision making process you can still add or take away pictures that are more in fitting with what kind of style you want to achieve. Styles can be merged together or influence each other too. There is never a right or wrong way as long as you keep all your research in this way you will be ready to work in a clear and focused direction.  Three mega things to take into consideration:  -     What stands out most?  -     What styles connect with each other?  -     Which path is most efficient? (Depending on your project length and budget, you may need to be limit how far you stretch yourself)     Back and forth  There are still a fair few styles on those pages. But narrowing it down, we are starting to see some strong themes emerging. For example: a cut out style with flat defined lines. The only images that are swaying focus are the Monkey Island and Rayman imagery. These indiscretions become easy to spot using a layout like this. It saves time and lessens headaches, allowing your brain to focus on creativity.  Refinement- Last-ish step before we start the design process.  Now you will be able to see that I have taken out loads of images and added Scooby doo character stylings into the equation. I have done this because it’s all part of the refinement process. You can take away images… it doesn't matter how many. As long as you're left with a range of images that help you work towards your desired style, you’re making progress.  As you can see I’m very indecisive and want to pinch bits from different images. This isn’t wrong, if anything, at this stage in the process, it makes your work unique and hopefully best tailored to your brief.   

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IS 'IT' GREEN?: DECISION MAKING WITH DESIGN

So now you have your initial research done. It’s time to break it down into categories. This will help build a clear picture of what to focus on.

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       Is 'it' green?: Research process    Step One - The Research Process    
  
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
         

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Nicky Rhodes  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Gather a selection of images from a range of artists, depict an assortment of styles in keeping with your art direction. Eventually, you’ll want to start narrowing them down and categorising.  From these inspirations build your moodboard, keep in mind the purpose of your brief. Be sure to add detailed annotations to your moodboard, this will help keep your work focused and streamlined. The ‘Narrowing’ down process will be discussed in greater detail in tomorrow's section so be sure to check back in then.   Case study:    Research outline for  Green IT .   My brief:         Create 6 characters both male and female in a ‘cartoony’ style.   Remember:  your final result will depend on the research you focused on in the beginning. Important direction decisions are made in these early stages.

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IS 'IT' GREEN?: RESEARCH PROCESS

Gather a selection of images from a range of artists, depict an assortment of styles in keeping with your art direction. Eventually, you’ll want to start narrowing them down and categorising.

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