Setting the scene

Class 3/6 – May 2nd 2014 –

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.

Some of you experimented a little with storyboard elements like frames and sketching a sequence of events. I encourage all of you to do the same. The figures drawing techniques are intended for use in visualizing scenario’s during your design projects.

Today’s class was also about scenario’s, but instead of finding reference material that fits your story we now created our own. By acting out the scene with a group of people and taking pictures from different angles. This exercise serves a double purpose. First you will learn to sketch a scene with the approach of a photographer. You will experience how changing the point of view will effect the focus of the story. How a different angle can draw your audience into the scene from the perspective of any of the characters in that scene. Secondly you will learn how these pictures can serve as a starting point for an exploration of the potential in that scene. By simply tracing the photo on a sketch roll and making a copy you have a perfect canvas for plotting your ideas directly into the context.

After the photo shoot you review the images and select two 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. Upload the results to your blog and bring them 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. For more personal feedback during the next two weeks upload your sketches to your blog. I will make an effort to give everyone personal feedback!

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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