Tag Archives: 3D graphics

More than a graphic novel

Let’s face it, I came to Ohio State to make a graphic novel. For me, it was the epitome of holistic design and a realization of “epic integration.” In the professional world, I was forever battling to make clients and decision-makers embrace the idea as it applies to brands and their stories — experiences. Over the years though, so much of your design sensibility becomes second nature, intuitive. What seems obvious to you is not obvious to everyone else. Thankfully the faculty prodded this out of me and as a result there was the discovery of design fiction.

Through design fiction, idea-objects gain knowledge mass and a sense of credibility. But design fiction is more than just constructing a set of plausible constraints through which a design might exist. Bleecker states that drama is of great importance. “We can put the designed thing in a story and move it to the background as if it were mundane and quite ordinary — because it is, or would be. The attention is on the people and their dramatic tension, as it should be.” (Bleecker, 2009:37) Thus, design becomes that invisible collaborator with culture in making life seem as real in the future as it is real for us now.

In fact, science fiction has a long history of introducing new technologies and artifacts that go on to become real world devices. The gesture-based interface of Minority Report or the multi-storey videos of Blade Runner are only two examples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evolutionary geneticist and science lecturer David Kirby calls these props “diegetic prototypes” (Kirby, 2010:1) “Film-makers and science consultants craft diegetic prototypes and enhance their realism by creating a full elaboration of the technological diegesis which includes any part of the fictional world concerning the technology. Through their actions they construct a filmic realism that implies self-consistency in both the real world and the story world.” (Kirby, 2010:46).

While design fiction can be used in filmmaking to create acceptance of a concept or idea as some kind of future product placement, that is not its greatest potential. “A particularly rich context, a good story that involves people and their social practices rather than fetishizing the object and its imagined possibilities — this is what design fiction aspires to.” (Bleecker, 2009:27).

Playing around with these concepts makes for a very rich exploration into a future design. Stay tuned for the story synopsis, characters and more – coming August 2011.

References:

Bleecker, Julian. 2009. Design Fiction: A short essay on design, science, fact and fiction. Online. http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com

Kirby, David. 2010. The Future is Now: Diegetic Prototypes and the Role of Popular Films in Generating Real-world Technological Development. Social Studies of Science, 40/1; 41–70, February 2010. http://www.sagepub.co.uk/journals

 


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Graphic novel checklist. Part 1.

After tidying up a few lose ends, like posting my student’s grades and submitting my up-to-date thesis documentation this week, I will have the first, full-length summer vacation since I was 15 (considering that I worked during my summers from that age forward). Hmm. This should be interesting. But before you get visions of piña coladas poolside you should know that I’ve established an aggressive 18 month schedule to complete my graphic novel and another 6 months (if needed) to complete my research paper. In addition, my thesis committee recommended that I prepare an essay/paper that posits some of the assumptions surrounding my thesis and submit these to conferences and symposiums in the graphic novel, science fiction, or design realm. Therefore my summer is going to be packed with — work. Fortunately, I have a calendar and a long list of to-dos.

Tomorrow I will discuss the ins and outs of CGI software as stare down this task ahead. For those of you dying for pictures, there’s a couple of new ones at scottdenison.com. and

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Journey to the graphic novel

What a circuitous route we travel. Here I am, middle aged, back in school and kind of doing what my brother and I did in 2nd grade… reading and drawing comics. When I think back now to the days when we used to pour over the latest Sgt. Rock comics with art by Joe Kubert, Mad Magazine, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos, I really am getting back to some kind of primal calling that’s been with me for some time. In fact, I can track this whole visual narrative idea to several spots in my life where it has just surfaced, it would seem, on its own. Remembering back, comics, and the whole comic style played a pretty interesting role in my life. For example, just recently I remembered trading comics frames back and forth with Larry Mound in elementary school. Larry, usually the more creative one, would pen a frame from a comic and secretly pass it to me. I would pen the next frame and back and forth we’d go. I think we were 8 or 9.  Then all the Army comics my brother and I collected and, of course, we would create our own. Over the years, come to notice, I’ve always had this affection for the frame to frame design style that had a filmic look to it. Graphic Design was my field of study but I quickly broadened out to designing everything including advertising and television. That led to copious storyboards for television commercials that I directed. Then back in the 80’s I developed this single-panel cartoon called the Bacon Strip which I did for the Domino’s Pizza restaurant chain. Later, I moved into the 3D realm, fascinated by the whole CG thing including Siggraph in the early 90’s. Then I taught myself 3D. First, Strata 3D then Power Animator (the precursor to Maya), then a host of others. Following that there were the numerous attempts at writing a novel and one that actually went to 27 chapters. Most others didn’t even get past the first few pages or an outline.

Anyway, rendering in 3D became my passion and then I unknowingly made my pilgrimage back to visual narrative through my admiration and fandom of great concept art. Finally we are at the convergence of it all in the form of a graphic novel. Pretty interesting to look back and see how it all ties together.

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