Visual development covers many aspects of film creation, including character design, environment design, prop design, and storyboarding. It also includes color keys, lighting, and scenery painting.
Environmental design is about creating an engaging experience for your audience. You want them to remember the scene, feel something about it, and think about its story. Environment design is also about deciding what makes that area unique and compelling.
For example, if you’re designing a location for a game in an ancient city, it’s important to pay attention to details like architecture and customs. Studying historical and cultural references for inspiration and new ideas is also essential. Similarly, environmental branding is about using physical space to tell your brand story and create emotional connections with your audience. It’s also about ensuring that all branding elements are consistent across all touchpoints.
Layout design is the arrangement of predetermined elements (like images, text, and font) on a page. The layout determines how the information is presented for a website, magazine, or advertisement. Often, it’s crucial to balance the different elements to create an engaging and entertaining experience for the viewer.
According to the Academy of Art University, one of the most basic techniques in layout design is to adhere to the rule of thirds. This means dividing your work area into a three-by-three grid and placing any linear element on one of the points where the lines intersect. This creates a natural focal point for your composition and makes it easier to develop a unified layout.
Other techniques in layout design include using visual hierarchy to emphasize certain elements. This can be achieved through various methods like size, color, and contrast. It’s also essential to use proximity grouping related items. This allows the viewer to interpret and understand your design easily. Finally, don’t forget about the power of white space. Using this space to reduce noise, increase readability, or create illusions is an effective way to make your layout design stand out.
Character design involves creating a unique and appealing personality that is captivating to the viewer. It’s a process that requires a lot of inspiration, trial and error, and various tools. This includes reference materials and the like to add realism to details. It also includes a variety of style choices that can make the difference between a character that looks soft and cuddly or menacing and dangerous.
It is a good idea to practice different drawing techniques and styles to become more comfortable with them. This can help you develop your skills and find your voice as a character artist.
You can also use shape language’s power to convey your characters’ personalities and emotions. For example, you can exaggerate a feature to give it prominence and make it look comical or beautiful. You can also use colors to evoke specific emotions. For example, red can evoke anger and passion, while green can symbolize nature and serenity. You can also use shapes to communicate your character’s movement and posture.
Props and sets are what bring a production to life. They must be believable and match the piece’s style, design, or era. Props and set designers, like other visual development artists, work very closely with the director, costume designer, and scene designer to make sure everything is as realistic as possible.
Props can be as simple as a piece of luggage used in the background to support the action or as complex as an entire cityscape. Whatever the case, they are essential to the story and must be designed with as much care as any other production element.
One of the most important aspects of being a prop designer is having excellent research skills and magnificent communication abilities to take in information and relay it. Also crucial is finding the right materials for the job and having the proper tools to create them.
Whether you are creating a traditional animation video or a quick and dirty sketch on a piece of paper, storyboarding is an essential tool for every visual designer. It helps you translate your script’s flow and new ideas into a visual narrative that translates to an engaging experience for your viewer. The layout and design of each frame are essential in aiding the flow of the story and directing attention to key storytelling beats or focal points. Storyboards are a sequenced graphic representation of shots (video clips) that form the desired visual presentation for a project, like a film, television, or online video. They can include images, drawings, sketches, photos, or any other medium to express the desired visual narrative. They may also contain captions or descriptions to indicate action, camera angles and compositions, and other relevant details. A storyboard can help you visualize your concept, communicate it with team members or clients, and avoid surprises during production.