Homework Assignments

Here is where I will post homework assignments. They will always be here, and as long as you live in the present time period, there should be no excuse for not knowing what they homework assignment was. If you have a question about the homework assignment, e-mail me here: sean@seanandrewmurray.com.

Week 13 - Character SWITCHEROO!

Everything has been turned on its head and the teams have been switched due to shifting resource management issues within the studio, you will now be working on someone else's design and will be bringing it to finish for the remainder of the class.

For Monday, Dec. 1:

1. Switch characters with the person I told you to switch with in class.
2. Collaborate with the person you are switching with on getting the feedback notes from the crit and also talk about anything that may not be clear in the design, or maybe things that you were having trouble resolving in your design.
3. Create a finished, color rendering of your new character design and incorporate the following things:

       a. The character should be in a "personality pose". Something that clearly expresses what the character is all about, but is not so crazy that the design of the character is no longer evident.     
       b. A "set", or background for the character to be in. This does not and should not dominate the design, but enhance and provide some context for the character. don't go overboard but also do not phone it in either with a single puffy cloud or a field of solid green beneath a field of solid blue. Give it some depth and PURPOSE.
       c. The character must be hold or interacting with the PROP
       d. 4 callouts: 1 RENDERED/DRAWN call-out that describes a detail of the character that may not be clearly evident from the main rendering, and 3 PHOTO-SOURCED callouts (see reference below). These should enhance and REINFORCE the ideas behind specific textures in your image. These callouts should be on a separate layer so that they can be turned on and off.
       e. Make sure your concept is labeled with the following: NAME, DATE, PROJECT NAME, CHARACTER NAME, NAME OF THE ORIGINAL DESIGNER (the person you are switching with)

Email me if you have questions.

 (example of a concept with photo ref callouts)

Week 11 - Main Character Design - sketches

For Monday:

1. Please decide as a group on a number of main characters equal to the number of people in your group.

2. Each group member should do 3 to 5 sketches/ideas of each of these characters (FULL FIGURE - focus mainly on silhouette). So if you have 6 group members: 6 characters x 3 drawing minimum = at least 18 drawings.


Week 10 - Creature Design - Orthos and Animation thumbnails

For Monday:

1. Orthographic drawing of your creature that include AT LEAST 3 views (Front, side, back, top, etc)

2. 8 - 12 "animation" thumbnails. These should range from poses (that accentuate the character and weight of your creature) as well as "moves" which can be 2 or 3 or 4 drawings showing an entire sequence of action (like an attack move for a video game monster, or a walk/run cycle) I won't be too much of a stickler about how you interpret this, as long as I can get a good feel for how your creature moves.

Week 09 - Creature Design - Cont'd

For Monday:
1. I want every student to refine the ONE creature/monster design that we discussed in class into a finished color concept illustration.
    a. It MUSt be in color
    b. It MUST have scale reference
    c. It MAY include small bits of environment or props, but the FOCUS is the CREATURE
    d. It MUST be posted on the blog
    e. The pose must be one that maximizes the information - no crazy poses where large portions of the creature are hidden from view

2. Extra credit - Complete a second or third monster design
3. Extra credit - sketch your monster moving/walking/running

Here is an example of what I am looking for:

Week 08 - Creature Design

For Monday:
1. Choose AT LEAST 3 "creatures" based on the discussion we had in class - do AT LEAST 10 thumbnail sketches of each one on large paper. Please try  to do more than the minimum.

2. DO NOT FORGET TO LABEL your drawings, and NUMBER THEM!!!!

Things to think about:

- Is your "creature":
    a. an animal (biological)
    b. a fearsome beast (biology with a touch of psychology)
    c. a mythical creature (psychology/dreams/archetypes with a touch of real-world biology)
    d. a monster (all psychology)
or something in-between?

Follow the rules of your world and be faithful to them - if your world is full of mythological magic, then why would you design a robot that runs on electricity?

Bring the actual physical sketches with you to class, but also be sure to scan them and post them on the blog. You can do the sketches digitally and then print them out if you wish.

Here is a link to that online seminar lecture I showed a bit of in class. You can see the "diagram" at about 42 minutes in (my original file was lost when my last computer died and took a bunch of data with it. I will re-make the chart someday soon to be better and prettier, but for now you shoudl be able to get the gist from the video):

Feel free to watch the whole thing if you feel so inclined - I cover the topic of designing flora and fauna for fantasy worlds. Remember that everything on the video is the copyright of the individual artists.

Week 06 - Landmark Design

Please watch this in class - you can skip ahead to 18 minutes and 30 seconds:


For next Monday:

WITH your team, choose 1 "landmark" PER STUDENT from your world/story to design. Focus on a UNIQUE LOCATION, not just a general landscape.


1. EACH student must give me 3 DIFFERENT approaches to the design of ONE landmark in the form of color OR black and white sketches. Post all 3 on the blog and LABEL them and NUMBER them.

Week 05 - Minor Players/Costume Design

This week we focus on COSTUME DESIGN based on the sketches we did of Minor Players

1. Confer with your group - decide on what class/group of minor players YOU will focus on for the week.

2. do AT LEAST 15 sketches in your sketchbooks broken down as such:
         a. 5 sketches of people from life (strangers)
         b. 5 sketches of a friend wearing a makeshift "costume"
         c. 5 sketches of Alexander McQueen fashion designs (from a PHOTO)

3. Do a full-color illustration of 3 minor players within a single UNIT, but each being different in their own unique way. Look at Angus McBride's Osprey illustrations of various soldiers from different time-periods as an example of what I am looking for)

Here are links to the various references:

Angus McBride  (Osprey Historical Books)

Alexander McQueen   (Fashion Designer)

Dermot Power    (Film and video game concept artist)

Moebius    (All-around amazing artist who you should be very familiar with and should worship as one of the truest geniuses of our time)

Week 04 - Minor Players Sketches

1. Choose THREE of the types of minor players that are appropriate for your world and do AT LEAST 10 sketches of each (30 sketches total), with the help of your group members, choose the 3 best from EACH category to present to me via the blog by Monday (so - post 9 sketches total, 3 sketches PER category). Make sure to have all 30 of your sketches with you in class so that I can see that you actually did 30. Here are the types of Minor players you could do:

1. Soldiers/guards
2. Merchants
3. Workers
4. Beggars and/or lower class citizens
5. Middle Class/average citizens
6. Upper Class, Wealthy types
7. Priests/Shamen

Good luck!

Week 03 - Finalized Key Scene Illustration

1. Your only task for next Monday is to complete 1 key scene illustration based on the feedback I gave to your team leader. It does not have to have the type of finish that a marketing illustration would need, but it does need to be good enough that  you would be proud to put in in front of James Cameron or J.J. Abrams or someone like that. It should convey all of the information about the scene as clearly as possible and should convey the proper mood and themes and design sense that your team has agreed upon.

Post the image on the blog before class on Monday for full credit.

Week 01/02 - Visual Research - Key Scene Sketches for First Pitch

1. Please familiarize yourself with your group and the people in it. Start an e-mail thread between the 5 of you.

2. Do some visual research on your subject matter/project. Put together AT LEAST 2 reference boards PER PERSON of photos, inspirational images, etc. There should be 6 - 10 images per board. Edit the total number of reference boards down to 4 or 5 per group for the presentation in the next class.

(For "Wizard of Oz" - not only should you research previous versions/illustrations of Oz, but also things that could/can inspire creative and interesting solutions for the film. For instance there is an amazing Mormon Church in Maryland I used to drive by all the time that looks like the Great City of Oz. For the other projects - not only should you research the culture and time period of the subject, but also other things that might be an interesting twist or inspiration for a unique solution to a design problem)

3. Do AT LEAST 5 thumbnail sketches of "Key Scenes" from your project, BASED ON A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR GROUP on what would make for interesting scenes/levels, etc. Tese sketches can be black and white or color, but they need to be readable and large enough for me to understand what is going on when I look at them! Give yourself the best possible chance to have your key scene solution chosen!!!!!

What to post on the blog: ALL of YOUR reference boards, ALL of your Key Scene sketches.

What to have PRINTED OUT for the next class: the 4 or 5 edited reference boards per group. All of your sketches for the key scenes.

Choose one or two people in the group to be the spokesperson for your pitch. I will still expect everyone in the group to know what their project is all about.

Good luck! If you have ANY questions, email me at sean@seanandrewmurray.com


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