Unit 16: Digital Art for a Media Product

Starting Tuesday 15th March 2016 running to 28th April 2016 (tbc) in room 155 in the Media building.
For further information, contact Jed Gibbs MA by email: jgibbs@totton.ac.uk

link to Pearson PDF (page 233/245)

Unit introduction

How many instances of digital artwork have you seen today? Screensavers on phones, thumbnail images when buying apps or downloading music, logos on websites, avatars in a digital game?

Digital art, in the form of logos, branding, symbols, avatars, characters, CD e-covers and more, plays an important role in the way that digital media communicates quickly and effectively with its audience. Through well-designed and eye-catching artwork the audience can be drawn to the product and may use it to identify the genre or the brand. Digital art plays an ever-increasing role in corporate identity, advertising, video games, on-screen television idents and social network branding; and there are many roles within these sectors for aspiring artists looking to work with digital media.

In this unit you will investigate the techniques underlying the creation of digital art for a media product. You will gain an understanding of how ideas for digital art are successfully produced by looking at existing products and how traditional drawing skills and digital techniques have been used to create them. You will analyse the mood, genre and style of art within existing digital media p roducts and how these artistic elements are used to convey specific values or messages. You will also explore primary and secondary sources to develop and inspire the shape, form and textures in media art ideas for particular products and audiences, and you will work to a brief to create your own digital artwork.

You will develop both digital and traditional drawing skills to produce your design ideas initially, and then use appropriate digital software tools to develop, refine and complete your digital art for a media product.

Learning aims

In this unit you will:
A understand the production of digital art for media products
B create digital art for a media product.


Learning aims and unit content

What needs to be learnt

Learning aim A: Understand the production of digital art for media products

Topic A.1 Types of digital art in existing products

How digital art for media products is used in the following sectors:
● moving image, e.g. TV idents (branding), logos, title card images
● e-publishing, e.g. logos, cartoons, CD cover artwork (digital thumbnails)
● web art, e.g. logos, icons, symbols, user profiles
● digital games, e.g. characters, avatars, scenes, props.

Topic A.2 The genre and style of the product

Learners will develop an understanding of genres and the styles of digital art and how they link in a range of existing media products.

● Genres within media sectors:

o moving image products, e.g. factual, action, adventure, sports, fantasy, science fiction

o e-publishing products, e.g. lifestyle, fashion, broadsheet newspapers, music magazines (e.g. rock, pop, classical)

o websites, e.g. factual, lifestyle, sports, music (e.g. rock, pop, classical)

o digital games, e.g. simulation, fantasy, realism, science fiction, sport.

● Digital art styles e.g.:

o modernism
o international style o postmodernism
o pop art
o art nouveau
o urban
o anime
o photo-realist
o futuristic
o cartoon
o cel-shaded.

What needs to be learnt

Learning aim B: Create digital art for a media product

Learners will produce either 2D or 3D digital art for a media product for a specific sector, e.g: moving image, e.g. TV idents (branding), logos, title card images:

● e-publishing, e.g. logos (monograms), cartoons

● web art, e.g. logos, icons, symbols, user profiles

● digital games, e.g. characters, avatars, scenes, props.

Topic B.1 Produce initial artwork for a media product

Learners will need to research sources to inform the shape and form of their design ideas e.g.:

● primary sources, e.g. observation drawings, textures, patterns, photography
● secondary sources, e.g. books, magazines, internet imagery.

Learners will be able to develop their ideas using traditional drawing and recording skills to produce e.g.:

● rough visuals
● thumbnails
● scamps.

Topic B.2 Drawing techniques

Learners will explore drawing techniques (traditional and digital) and types of software used to produce the digital artwork in existing media products, e.g.:

● traditional drawing techniques

● mark making skills (exploring the properties of line)

● shape

● form

● digital drawing software, e.g. vector drawing, 3D software

● digital image manipulation software

● rendering

● line

● shape

● form

● colour

● scale

● proportion

● basic semiotics

● point of focus.

Where logos or branding are used, in addition to the above, learners should also consider:

● hierarchy
● composition.

What needs to be learnt

When developing their digital art learners will also consider:

● contour lines/guides
● tone, contrast, value, direction of light
● foreshortening
perspective (one point, two point, three point, eye level)
● rendering.

Topic B.3 Using digital tools and techniques to produce artwork for a media product

Learners will be able to utilise one of the following in their 2D or 3D digital artwork:
● bitmapped images
● vector images
● 3D images.

Learners will be able to:

● scan and import drawings
● import photographs
● output images, e.g. for print, screen or worldwide web.

Learners using manipulation software for bitmapped images (Totton College has Adobe Photoshop CS5 and GIMP2) will consider the following when producing their digital artwork for a media product:

● bitmapped image manipulation, e.g.
o image size
o resolution
o colour

o paint brushes, bucket, opacity
o image adjustments
o layers
o transforming

o layer modes
o filters
o cropping
o selecting, e.g. marquee, lasso, magic wand, save selections
o copy, paste, drag and drop
o history
o flattening and merging layers
o file extensions, e.g. bmp, png, gif, tiff, jpg, psd.


What needs to be learnt

For learners using digital software for vector images (Totton College has Adobe Illustrator CS5 and Flash CS5) they will consider the following when producing their digital artwork for a media product:

● vector image manipulation, e.g.
o tools, e.g. pen, text
o vector shapes
o paths
o outlines
o colour
o transformation
o layers
o effects
o file extensions, e.g. wmf, fla, ai, pdf, swf
o resolution
o colour
o paint brushes, bucket, opacity.

Learners using digital 3D modelling software (Totton College has games industry standard 3D Studio Max and the free opensource Blender 3D) will consider the following when producing digital artwork for a media product:

● 3D modelling software, e.g.
o tools
o modelling tools
o polygons
o primitives
o mesh, ploy patch
o orthographic views, perspective
o plane

o freeform
o transform, scale
o axis
o parameters
o rotate
o brush, paint, colour
o texture, skin
o rendering
o file extensions, e.g. 3ds, ma, png, jpeg, tiff.

BRIEF (draft)

You are to create a logo for a video game company called TC games. TC games are a new video gaming company specialising in Indie games. The logo will eventually be used in all marketing material, including box art, published and web based promotional material and within the games. This will also be used in your TV commercial.

To start the project you are to research and analyse the digital art of created logos across existing video games companies and television and film companies, as well as exploring successful logos generally (McDonald’s, Nike, adidas etc).

  1. Compare how two different types of digital art have been produced in examples of media products from two different sectors.(Film, Television, Music, Print, Computer Games, Advertising & Marketing, Interactive, Press and Radio)
  1. Analyse the connection between Genre and Style in digital art used in two different media products.

Create a written report with annotated visual examples.

You are to plan and produce a logo for TC games. You must include primary research of your own as well as secondary sources. You will produce initial drawings using traditional and digital techniques.

The final logo can be 3D or 2D but must work effectively at a small size as well as a large size.

  1. Research- Use primary and secondary research sources creatively to inform ideas for digital art for your logo.
  1. Idea generation - Demonstrate creative drawing techniques using both traditional and digital drawing skills for initial artwork for the digital artwork for the TC Games logo.
  1. Final product  - Produce creative digital art for the ‘TC Games’ logo using digital techniques imaginatively.

You should produce:

  1. a Digital mood board with primary/secondary research/resources.
  2. thumbnails sketches - both traditional and digital.
  3. idea generation - evidence of tests/mock-ups.
  4. a completed digital artwork for logo.

Suggested resources:

Illustrator vs Photoshop


Designcrowd - the new home for Worth1000.com Photoshop competitions and logo design

www.famouslogos.us   |  famouslogos.net   |  Logopedia

Games Companies' logotypes Old and New

Awwwards - 99 inspiring logos   |  festisite.com/logo/maker

Animated games company logos example 1 | example 2 |

Animated films company logos example 1

Beautifullly illustrated games by Amanita


Mood Boards

mood-boarding-methods-for-web-designers   |  gain-efficiency-mood-boards   |   creativebloq.com

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