Feng Zhu is a great inspiration and prime example of talent in the in the digital art scene, I’ve had the chance to explore and examine his way of design from a Gnomon Workshop DVD showcasing various fundamentals from designing digital environments. Some of the topics that are covered: Perspective reviews, Camera angles, Thumbnails, Shot Planning, Use of scale, Use of value and Composition. After watching the DVD I had noticed some of the fundamentals that are touched up on which are practical in concept design. Feng first covers the basics of perspective, and then follows with demos explaining the use of scale and composition. Next he shows the fundamentals of lighting and values. To enhance my drawing capabilities I set out to try the techniques Feng was demonstrating.
Feng Zhu states that there are 3 main perspective points in which to follow, below shows sets of cubes as the sample these images are depiction of a 1 point perspective, 2 point perspective and 3 point perspective at work. In order to capture a more dynamic shot you would use a 2/3 point perspective this allow a variety of ways to portray your scene.
I was intrigued when watching the DVD Feng Zhu had shown a simple technique in which you can multiple generic objects to the right proportions, repeating these shapes is sometimes useful to give a sense of volume for instance.
Often when reading an image human silhouette can add to the composition, adding real life objects whether it be a human or a vehicle (something recognisable) into a concept creates awareness of the scale. Environments begin to make sense in terms of there dimensions. You can see how from the samples above repeating patterns and repetition of the buildings in the next two thumbnails below brings the composition closer.
Placing the vanishing point onto a page this can determine your perspective camera angle. The eye is drawn to the horizon line of the image, the lower the perspective point/points the more height(background element) will show, the higher the point a birds eye view comes into frame and lastly a tip to a dynamics shot is to position one vanishing point on the concept and another off the thumbnail this will allow the viewer to acknowledge the angle of the shot and improves the selling point of the piece which is generally the middle ground.
Vanishing point placement