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Defining the rough sketch

From: Developing Ideas and Design Concepts

Video: Defining the rough sketch

Up until now, our concepts have essentially defined by a collection of bits and pieces, some of this in text form, some of it's little scetched images. Other pieces are doodles which may illustrate part of a background or maybe even a segment of the story. When we produce rough thumbnail sketches, it provides a stage for all of these pieces to come together. Essentially it will be the first time our entire concept comes to life in one concise image. Rough sketches function as the first full visual prototype.

Defining the rough sketch

Up until now, our concepts have essentially defined by a collection of bits and pieces, some of this in text form, some of it's little scetched images. Other pieces are doodles which may illustrate part of a background or maybe even a segment of the story. When we produce rough thumbnail sketches, it provides a stage for all of these pieces to come together. Essentially it will be the first time our entire concept comes to life in one concise image. Rough sketches function as the first full visual prototype.

They're produced quickly and without much concern for composition or even aesthetics. It's far easier in this early stage to move stuff around and switch things out, than it is later on down the line when composition and details have begun to tighten out. When we produce a rough sketch we really need to abandon any concerns we might have about our drawing ability. Now if you can't draw, that's perfectly fine. Don't let it ever stop you from producing a rough sketch.

Remember, we call it rough for good reason. It's at this stage that we'll want to explore different vantage points to our concept. And to consider those things that we absolutely need in the picture, to make it communicate well. Again, investment of time is minimal when your drawings are done quickly. For example, let's say we're working on a rough sketch image of a taxi driver who's picking somebody up curve side in an airport. Now the traveller happens to have a huge pile of luggage.

The driver, he's not sure where to put all of this stuff. So, before we start sketching out the idea, we'll want to quickly fly through the story. We'll visualize different perspectives in which to view the scene. We can jump in and start scribbling, again, not worrying about composition or accuracy. Stick figures are great. A quick image of a car here, here's some tires. We've got the curbside.

Now we've got this huge pile of luggage here. We've got some folks gathering behind. We've got our taxi driver. He's scratching his head, and get a couple of plain stick and off to the background and of course, the control tower. Now viewed to the eyes of someone across the drive, this rough sketch does exactly the job it's designed to do, communicate an idea. Sometimes it's valuable to work up a little pieces off to the side.

Experimenting with various gestures for the taxi driver. He's giving signals with different stick figure body language. That way we don't have to complete the whole scene over again. Flying through the scene to another vantage point, we can see a different view of this rendering. Taxi from the back with the trunk open. Here, we've got the same pile of luggage. Now we got the plane sticking off from the background again. And there's the crowd from before.

It's the same scenario. It's just a different way of viewing it. Both rough sketches stem from the same concept. But the varying perspectives can give a different take on the story. Viewing the story from the wind shield of a car pulling up from behind adds a little more anxiety to this moment. At a busy airport, traffic waiting to get through and we've put the viewer behind the wheel. Now that perspective creates a little more tension.

We need to keep in mind that we're not creating a masterpiece to hang on the wall. It's simply a rough image that's going to tell a story. In fact, some of the best art directors I've worked with couldn't draw their way out of a paper bag. But they could concept extremely well. And ultimately, we're able to sketch out an idea in rough form that communicated their concept clearly. Executing rough sketches like this, gives us a quick and valuable view of the different ways our concepts could best be depicted.

Now even if we're only drawing stick figures, these quick iterations are valuable, because they give us a chance to look at the options before we commit to a more refine version of our concept.

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Developing Ideas and Design Concepts

34 video lessons · 8955 viewers

Craig Smallish
Author

 
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  1. 8m 45s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. The importance of the original idea
      2m 50s
    3. What is concepting?
      2m 4s
    4. Demystifying "the process" in the creative process
      2m 39s
  2. 8m 48s
    1. Working with clients
      4m 14s
    2. Defining the project
      3m 0s
    3. Defining the project obstacles
      1m 34s
  3. 7m 44s
    1. Doing your research
      2m 22s
    2. Avoiding the pitfalls of mediocrity
      3m 28s
    3. What is a concept plan overview?
      1m 54s
  4. 11m 2s
    1. Using storytelling to determine core values
      3m 33s
    2. Using questions to distill the core values
      3m 46s
    3. Determining core values
      3m 43s
  5. 8m 59s
    1. Using the free-association process
      3m 39s
    2. Starting with seed phrases
      2m 55s
    3. Using the power of collaboration to increase ideas
      2m 25s
  6. 9m 48s
    1. Honing your ideas
      4m 20s
    2. Reviewing your descriptive words and sketches to find the best ideas
      2m 29s
    3. Experimenting with your ideas
      2m 59s
  7. 8m 2s
    1. Maintaining a diversity of ideas
      1m 0s
    2. Using search engines to fuel ideas
      4m 50s
    3. The rough concept retrospect
      2m 12s
  8. 9m 48s
    1. Defining the rough sketch
      4m 34s
    2. Visually defining your ideas
      2m 57s
    3. The strength of iteration
      2m 17s
  9. 5m 16s
    1. What is 180-degree thinking?
      2m 46s
    2. Demonstrating the approach
      2m 30s
  10. 9m 29s
    1. Defining the revised sketch
      3m 25s
    2. Demonstrating the approach
      3m 46s
    3. The importance of exploring variation (perspective, media selection, and stylistic approaches)
      2m 18s
  11. 6m 36s
    1. Defining the refined sketch
      2m 23s
    2. Demonstrating the concern for detail
      4m 13s
  12. 5m 3s
    1. Revealing the final concept "comp" solution
      3m 19s
    2. Reflecting on the process path
      1m 44s

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