Toy Tech: Digital Demo—Thor (Part 1 of 3)



Demo Stage 1: Building forms, pose and movement in the line work and tonal shading. Sketch based on studio reference material, Copyright © Marvel Studios 2014, Copyright © Paramount Pictures 2014.

The key to any concept sketch is depicting emotional impact and dynamic energy throughout every stage of development whether you are ideating for retail or premium toy design. The sketches included in this article represent three major phases of image construction—line art, the color block-in and then the final over the top gloriously beautiful color final presentation art.

All of these three images can serve to be a final representation of your toy concept, it all depends on how far you want to take the visual elements and for what purpose your art is being used. This article, continued next week, will show the mechanics behind the final image with the addition of color gradually replacing the digital tonal marker featured in this post.

The concept sketch should have life in the line work clearly visualizing a well-articulated force of action specific to the character and internal toy mech. A flat pose with no understanding of muscle placement will inhibit the believability of the figure and do more to hurt your presentation than help it.

Simplifying the image is always the best strategy. Anything that you don’t need to make your point should be removed. I personally like throwing in bravado brush strokes all over the place so you may want to temper your own personal style but I do try to limit my line to what matters most. Every stroke of the pen should have personality and character—avoid static lines or the dark curse of bordom will soon cover the land.

I can’t stress how important it is to edit your visuals throughout the design process. This works to make your key points stand out—any element in your design sketch must earn it’s right to remain or it’s command z—that's computer nerd jargon for delete.

Also, don't be afraid of deleting a static stroke of the brush tool—that's the beauty of digital sketching. Drawing with energy and confidence is essential to fresh concept art so delete and repeat by simply deleting or fading your latest stroke with a quick click of a keystroke or shortcut button on your Cintiq.

Always remember your ideation drawings must clearly communicate key ideas in an orderly fashion. The viewer, especially during a client presentation, must get your intended point within seconds without you having to explain what the concept was suppose to explain but didn’t explain making you re-explain what was already poorly explained causing your boss to then explain what you clearly failed to explain—that would be a lot of explaining.





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