Environment Design Process Overview

I am about 70% done with the Environment Design class and I finally have a good understanding of what the process is.  Thus, now is a good time for me to review the design process and capture  my progress.  Had I clearly known these steps at the beginning of the class, I probably would have drawing things differently…

Step 1: Create interesting/good abstract compositions based on graphic elements.

Key Points:

- stay in gray tone.

- minimum use of  complete white and/or blake

- you don’t have to use grey values to represent  light and dark.  Instead, try to use them to create value contrast to strengthen the composition and call out the focal point.

At this stage, it’s important that objects are drawn loosely and left in an abstract format.  That way, if the composition is not strong, objects can be easily moved around, rescaled, manipulated and altered. With that in mind, I think my sketches were bit too tight and not abstract enough.

EnvDesign_week1_hw2 EnvDesign_week1_hw1



Step 2 , Step 3: Create rough sketches, and do value study.

Once you have selected good abstract graphical compositions, develop them further by doing quick sketches and value studies.  At this stage, abstract shapes should be turned into recognizable and relevant objects according to the topic you have chosen.  For example, a blotch of black circle may turn into a moon for a landscape drawing, or a car for a cityscape, or a whale for the underwater scene.  Again, leave all the line drawing loose for fast iterations and adjustments.

This can be divided into two steps, but not absolutely necessary.  Again, had I known the exact purpose of this step, I probably would not have done sketches this tight.  Just like the step 1, it is better to be loose and fast in this stage.  Some of the problems with my sketches were that:

A. They were too tight.  At this stage, things still need to be moved around and altered so having a tight sketch makes the manipulation process much harder and painful since I had spent so much time drawing them.

B. They were not drawn in perspective.  Had I left the sketches very loose, this would not have been a problem, but since I drew them  so tightly without setting the proper perspective, a lot of elements looked off and I ended up wasting a lot of time and had to redraw them later.

As for topics, I have chosen following 5 scenes: Space station, underwater, rolling hills with a barn and a statue, snowcapped mountain village, and a temple of a goddess:

EnvDegn_week2_homeworkRedo5 EnvDegn_week2_homeworkRedo4 EnvDegn_week2_homeworkRedo3 EnvDegn_week2_homeworkRedo2 EnvDegn_week2_homeworkRedo1

Step 3: Color Study

Once the grey, sketch thumbnails are done, throw colors on them an decide on a color palette.  Again, things should be much loose (we should be still at malleable stage).

I picked 9 thumbs I liked and placed some colors.

Key points:

Color contract

- Complementary contract (if beneficial for your drawing)

- Warm/cool contract (warm light/cool shadow, cool light/warm shadow)

- Accent color




Step 4: Tight sketch in proper size.

Once you are happy with how everything turned out, this is where you would let things settle and start the tight sketches:  correct the perspectives if necessary, and draw them in correct size, make the overal drawings more tight,etc.

As for me, I had to make some major adjustments.  For some, I had to redraw them in correct perspective.  For others, I had to redo them from the composition stance.



Step 5/6:  Complete the drawing add details, etc.

So I picked my final two.  my final one’s gonna be the bridge scene…

EnvDegn_week5_hwForm1-b EnvDegn_week5_hwForm1-a


almost getting there…. but I need to make some more adjustments and change things around…