Children’s Book Illustration Short Course at NTU
For several weeks now, I have been attending the short course proposed here at NTU on children’s book illustration. It has been a pleasure attending the classes taught by Sarah McConnell. Having no previous experience in book illustration, this has enabled me to explore a different artistic vocation which is a lot of fun. It’s a lot of hard work and the course isn’t only about drawing but also coming up with a story and characters and developing them to make the book a viable project.
Developing the characters and giving them a very particular personality is quite challenging; for the finished artwork I have a preference for using colouring pencils however this course has given me the opportunity to have a go at using charcoal, which I had never really done before.
Continuation of the Maya workshops taking place at NTU. This week, I have managed to finish up modeling an animation character:
The lessons have been very useful; at least now, I know the basics of the software. There are many ways to deepen my understanding of it. Youtube is a great resource for various tutorials on many different softwares. There are also magazines, however, I find they are for more advanced users and sometimes, these tutorials can be very hard to follow when you aren’t that confident with a new software. The next step will be texturing in Maya, something I look forward to on friday.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been attending workshops on the 3D software Maya. Learning how to use a new software, as a complete beginner, although exciting, can be quite off-putting. However with well explained tutorials it has become something enjoyable. We have started modeling a character, drawn by our tutor Andrew Love.
Now, I still need to do the head and legs; slowly but surely, it should be finished soon!
Although these skills may be slightly more animation or video game orientated, I think they can be of great use for film special effects. The use of these softwares is something I really want to explore further in my MA, not just for character modeling but also for model making. They are a set of new skills I want to achieve that I believe may open more doors in the future.
Several days ago, storyboard artist Jim Cornish came to NTU as a guest speaker. His talk was very interesting as he answered many questions thoroughly. I found it pleasant and entertaining to hear someone talk about their job with such enthusiasm. He explained how he started out in the industry and progressively started working on bigger budget films through contacts and hard work; he also showed storyboards he made with different techniques (traditional drawings or photoshop). Personally, what I found the most interesting was the fact he concentrates more on the actual drawings than the written notes; when talking about his storyboards and the way he made them, it was clear that he really understood that images can be more effective than words. And I believe his storyboards do not need notes in order for the viewer to understand what’s occurring: the action is depicted so well that the images alone clearly show what would be on camera.
His work include storyboards for several Harry Potter films, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and the Dark Knight, and many more such as Prince of Persia, the Phantom of the Opera and Tomb Raider.
His website can be seen here: http://www.testing2.blazon.co.uk