Toy Tech: The Digital Pencil (Part 2)



Digital tonal study for toy ideation: Paramount Pictures © 2010, Nickelodeon © 2010

Gaming companies led the pack in going direct to digital for
most of their ideation and concept work because they were mainly rooted in the
digital world in the first place. The key leaders were experts in the programs
so they were able to oversee the digital development of their team members from
3d character and environment design to concept art and ideation. This trend eventually
filtered into feature film and other industries including the wonderful world
of toys.

The results for many of these companies were hard to miss—the
supply costs were dramatically cut as the process evolved to streamline the
workflow while increasing design innovations. I have to say my friends in
gaming have kept me on my toes because they not only have a great deal of
passion for design but also stay current with the latest tools and trends to remain
cutting edge.


My messy desk at Creata—Wacom Cintiq in action

Through the years I’ve noticed that companies sputter when
their employees fail to embrace innovation­—especially in regard to design teams. If the senior members don’t take the time to stay current with computer skills how will their teams ever keep up with the competitive demands of this ever changing marketplace? The honest answer is—they don’t.

At this point, it’s safe to say that many toy designers have already
proved that a digital sketch no longer has to look digital and the human touch,
which is very important for emotional impact, can remain an integral part of
the finished concept art.

How you ask? Well, all of this can easily be done with a little help from your new best friend—the
custom brush controls in Photoshop. This tool is often overlooked, but once
mastered will empower you to create brushes with effects ranging from charcoal to markers and even
ink splatters.

Tomorrow, the features of this tool will be introduced so
your design process will run smoother, faster, and ultimately give your toy
ideation more visual depth than ever before.


Continued In Part 3 . . .  

Leave a Reply