I recently graduated from ACAD studying Illustration / Character Design and am currently coloring comics such as Image Comics' Drumhellar and helping out on Batman 66 as well.
for commissions, art inquiries etc: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just got back from attending the Schoolism Live workshop in Montreal, so i thought I'd give a little insight as to what it was like.
The weekend consisted of four seperate workshops: Designing Worlds with Robert Kondo, Designing with Color & Light with Nathan Fowkes, Colorscripting with Dice Tsutsumi, and Environment Design with Nathan Fowkes again. If you haven't heard of these guys, they've worked on alot of animated films such as Toy Story 3, Monsters University, How to Train Your Dragon, and a whole lot of others. It was a bit awe-inspiring to be taught by these guys coming straight out of studios like Pixar and Dreamworks.
All four classes were generally broken up into lectures, followed by quick demos / recordings with explanations of their process. They talked alot about the importance of story, and how it serves as the backbone for everything, from characters to environments. Everything is designed with the emphasis of how to make the audience "feel" the story. They talked about researching and referencing, the thought process behind the designs of the sets we see in the films, as well as technical stuff for environment painting, such as breaking down complex paintings into simple value and color statements, and even some photoshop stuff.
They also went into great detail about the production pipeline at an animation studio, from scene layout and script, to character and location design, color and lighting keys, all the way to rendering, compositing, and lighting for the final film. It really made me understand better how these movies are made from the moment they are conceived, through all the changes and revisions they make, up until what we see on the big screen.
For me the best part of the workshop was the demos. Even though they were usually pre-recorded paintings, it's nice to see the actual application of everything they've been talking about. These guys are pretty amazing painters and watching them actually go at it while explaining everything they're doing and breaking it down into simple steps that feel like something you can accomplish too was pretty awesome.
The only criticism I can think of is that we didn't get to do any actual painting ourselves. It would've been nice to be able to take advantage of these artists being in our presence helping with us with our own work right over our shoulders, but I understand there's alot of ground to cover as well as alot of students, so it wasn't really practical. Guess you'll have to take the online courses for that.
This is only a tiny fraction of the stuff they talked about, the amount of information they fit into a two-day workshop is staggering. I feel like I learned an entire curriculum's worth of material over the weekend, and I can definitely say that I learned more in two days at Schoolism then I did in two years of environment design at my regular art school.