I have been super busy the past month. I had a short animation gig on Brian Newlin’s web series Disrupted and then I once again signed up for a class at Oatley Academy called First Flight. This one is an overview class for the stages of visual development. I really like the class and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about the different jobs available in animation when it comes to development.

My project is set in an urban/city environment and I was feeling mighty intimidated about trying to capture city blocks with buildings and all the details that includes. I decided that I really need to think more in shapes first, so before I start designing my own, I should do some studies first.

This is pretty much my first step in any design project. I never assume I know what something actually looks like so before I start a project I tend to do straightforward drawings just trying to understand what things look like. This mindset is something I learned when I first started my path in animation, and it has served me well throughout my career. How can you animate something if you don’t know how it should move? How can you draw something, if you don’t understand what it actually looks like and should function?

value studies of city scenes

I started just taking art from artists I really respect and trying to reproduce them with simple shapes and value. Then I started moving into photos. I am still working on the last image as I am really liking how it’s turning out.

I feel less intimidated about tacking my own sketches for buildings now, and I really recommend this method to others. Especially when you are feeling blocked by the idea of the blank canvas. If designing your own is too scary of a place to start, try just reproducing what you see, whether that be through life drawing or plein air.