Setting the scene

3_6 1314Q2 bannerClass 3/6 – Nov 15th 2013 –

During the feedback on your work today we talked about the style of the sketches. Some of your sketches look more like illustrations, meaning that they look like you spend quite some time on them making them nice and ‘perfect’. One of the main goals in this assignment is to make you more efficient in sketching not to make you artists or illustrators. You should be able to use sketching as a powerful tool within creative processes. That means: quick and effective. When communicating the results the sketches should also communicate that they are sketches, part of an exploration. Developing a more loose way of handling your (felt-tip) pen will help you to make more sketch-like sketches.

In the new flying-camera-scenes we noticed major improvements in terms of the communicative values. At the same time we noticed a distant feeling in the sketches, as if we where flying above the scenes and the photo was taken with a zoom lens. This does not invite the viewer to become part of the scene.

Today’s class was about sketching a scene as a starting point for an exploration of the potential in that scene. To make the potential visible it is important to view the scene from multiple angles and choose the right perspective. One way of doing that is by acting out the scene with a group of people and taking pictures from different angles. Pay attention to the framing of the scene: what should be inside and what can be left out of the frame?

Review the images and select three that serve best for the next step. Print the images on A3 paper and trace (only) the important characters and objects using tracing paper and a thin black felt-tip pen. Add a new environment to the scene. Then make multiple copies of your sketches.

Now you are all set for a creative session to come up with lots of ideas for that scene. For example to enrich the overall experience with technological features or to provide the characters with detailed and personal feedback about their behavior.

All participants can sketch directly onto the same scene using the techniques of the exploratory mindset. When needed switch to another perspective of the same scene or use the next copy if you run out of space.

Once you feel you have enough ideas to proceed with you make some copies of all the results. Now you switch to the communicative mindset and highlight the most interesting ideas on each page. These are the conclusions of your creative session. Turn the whole page into a story by adding layout elements and text.

To do for next class:

Complete the above exercise and try out different techniques for highlighting the conclusions on multiple copies of the original group sketch. Bring the results to the next class.

In addition, make a series of exploratory sketches for your project. Switch to the communicative mindset, lift some conclusions to the foreground and turn the pages into a compelling story. Bring everything to the next class so we can reflect on the results together. If you would like personal feedback during the next two weeks, you can also create a (WordPress) blog and upload your sketches there. Send me the url so I can take a look. I will make an effort to give everyone personal feedback!

Optional (in case you don’t have a suitable project): choose one idea from the exploration that you can turn into a physical product. Develop the form of that product by exploring the possibilities in a series of sketches (multiple pages). Remember to first work in the exploration mode before switching to the communication mode! Add some detail like buttons and screens and highlight the most interesting results.

One small addition to the requirements for the next class:

I would like all of you to bring a couple of printed images (at least 3) of simple ‘boxy’ products such as routers, portable hard disks, scanners, remotes and printers. Make sure they are photographed on an angle so three sides of the products are visible in perspective and print them big enough to see the details.

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