What I tell myself everyday.

To all the people watching, I can never ever thank you enough for the kindness to me, I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask is one thing, and this is.. I'm asking this particularily of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism - for the record it's my least favorite quality, it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen." - Conan 'O'Brien

March 22, 2011

Visual discipline and training the critical eye. AKA I hate drawing! Why do I need to do it if I am doing 3D? Part 2

Continuing from this post

  The distinctive disadvantage that the average student in the local primary and secondary schools is that art is placed very low in priority in the curriculum compared to mathematic, science etc... And even drawing is also a repeated process of copying their favorite cartoon or comic characters. It is not a gripe but more of a reality check. The really driven ones will push themselves to educate themselves.

  The good and positive news is that I have seen that once they understand why and how they are drawing, most student's skills will dramatically improve over a few months. But it will take a few years of building up their visual instinct.

Visual Discipline

  No one is born to draw, even the most talented artists. They may pick things up faster then others, or their defination of form and structure is stronger then others. But it still takes time and dedication. You can only get better by doing it again and again.
 
  The word discipline is used is because you have shown discipline in committing to that line. The drawing u produced is the final result of a series of conscious decisions made by you the artiste. By creating that image, that picture, you have shown your ability and more importantly, your perseverance and willingness to dedicate yourself to accomplish it. And to the art director, to the potential employee, it says so much about you as an developed artiste. Rather then just a software user.
 By drawing, you are not just looking at shapes and curves, you are also looking and understanding lighting, shading. Things that are crucial in defining volume and form.
By learning how to visualise and conceive complex graphical shapes in your head, it is much easier to implement them in 3D. Again it is making an informed and educated decision.

  And by constantly drawing, you are developing muscle memory of different shapes and volume. You are eliminating errors, inconsistency in your shapes and become more acutely aware of the space between the lines rather then the lines themselves.

And eventually you will be able to visualise how they are intermixed to create completely new form even before putting pen to paper or vertex on edge.

  Its like drawing hands, the 1st drawing is going to be very hard but then by the 500th, its not even about if you can draw the hand but what do you want to tell with the pose of the hand or even the design of the hand. Is it the hand of a old person or of a baby.

  And this is at the level you have to be. Be it as a modeller or in texture painting. The discussions should not be if the model is proportionate but more how to convey the characteristic.
 My boss/lecturer said "Once drawing becomes 2nd nature like walking and riding a bike and all you need to worry about is just using drawing to solve a problem like does this design fit the character and no longer if I can draw a hand or an eye."

The best thing with discipline is that it breeds confidence in your own work. You are confident in your decisions and choices, since they are informed and educated choices. And once you get good at something, you will enjoy it more.

 An obvious beneficial product of repetitively drawing and drawing, is that you are also building an mental library of references. These are of styles of different artists, different anatomy, designs of characters and environments and more importantly, developing a broader understanding of what is appealing and what is not. Hence it is directly related to training the critical eye.

critical eye needs visual discipline + muscle memory  

On top of that, if you want to excel in this field, observation and attention to detail is crucial. And having the critical eye through visual discipline helps you notice details that previously you have never noticed before. 

And this is a learning process through your studying and working life. The more you absorb and apply, the better you get.

And this is the foundation that the actual act of design/creative process is built on. Something that learning a software cannot teach.

In later posts, I will attempt to create a few concept designs and explain the thought process.

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