Article by Martin Gibson – @embody3d @martingibson – 28.03.2011
I was really excited to open up Drive, published by Design Studio Press. A book filled with beautiful hand sketches and renderings by Scott Robinson and his formers students Daniel Gardner and Annis Naeem from Art Center College of Design. Each double page spread is dedicated to one particular vehicle concept, some concepts just have one large image whereas others have multiple angles and development sketches. The vehicles are split up into 4 stylistic genres being aerospace, military, contemporary and futurism and within these categories the type of road vehicles include fast sports cars, rugged off-roaders, innovative motorcycles and wacky sci-fi vehicles making Drive a well-rounded and exciting collection piece.
The understanding of 3d form and the accuracy of these obscure shapes in perspective is jaw-dropping. In regards to quality of finish one would find it difficult to find anything comparable. The designs and craftsmanship are beautiful to say the least. The use of technology by Scott and his colleagues to assist the sketching process is fresh and inspiring. For some of the designs Scott Robertson used Modo to generate a 3D Chassis and then using Photoshop brushes over the top gave the concepts are real sketchy and rough look.
“I taught myself how to use several 3D modelling and rendering software programs, then challenged myself to integrate them into my design process, to augment the traditional drawing and rendering skills that I have relied upon for years.”
The designs are highly creative and transcend modernism and time with influences flowing back to 30’s when trains looked like bullets. The concepts would feel right at home in a sci-fi movie or a new blockbuster video game. Something I particular enjoyed was observing varying levels of finesse in the concepts. Some designs were captured at an early ambiguous and interpretive stage, whilst others fused full CAD renders with sketch effects to give a very refined result.
Each sketch/render has a real honest first person account to its formation, processes and end result. Giving broad but at least some guidelines as to how the designs were formed. This could be of good educational value to those who aspire to become a skilled graphic artist or simply want to enhance their presentations skills no matter what industry they are in.
“What we gained most from the introduction of a 3D program to the production pipeline was the speed and accuracy to assign very real looking materials to my so-so models and set them into very nicely lit environments, giving us great base renderings to paint over, adding the cut lines, design details, graphics and weathering in Photoshop.”
Although this book doesn’t specifically teach you how these drawings have been constructed, one with a foundational knowledge on drawing techniques and mixed media would have the ability to deconstruct the many elements that went into each drawing. The book serves this purpose as well as an entertainment value to those who appreciate hand renders or love futuristic cars (don’t we all). But most of all this book is a tribute to some of the most talented concept drawers in industry and the patience and painstaking level of detail and thought gone into each one of these beautiful creations. If you treat this book as a fast paced picture book you are going to totally miss the beauty and intricacy of each sketch.
We look forward to reviewing Scott Robertson’s next book where he will go over some of these design processes and techniques in a little bit more detail.