Monday, November 17, 2014

Architects Designing With Models

Architecture Van Brandenburg is a firm of Architects based in Dunedin, New Zealand. And they design with physical models first then go to CAD. The results - really beautiful buildings.

There are a pile more images at

They had an exhibition in Venice, Italy and also in San Francisco, USA.

I think good design needs to be done by drawing, sculpting, painting and making models. CAD is really great once that initial design process is completed to make the construction drawings.

I really like their design philosophy and creative process.

From their website:

"...Architecture Van Brandenburg place great emphasis on the ‘build-ability’ of its designs. The design process is similar to a sculptors process: beginning with rough physical model mock-ups and ending with highly detailed 3D computerised models.

This is achieved by continually building prototypes until the team is satisfied with their function, fit for their intended purpose. The advantage of this process, is that the clients and technicians know exactly what the buildings will look like, and how they can be constructed."

Great to see. They haven't been blinded by the current obsession with everything must be done digitally rather than using digital processes where it is really useful.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sculpture Techniques - How To Sculpt Textures and Forms

I watched last night the superb and inspiring scuplture tutorial by Don Lanning. He is very passionate about his work and deeply honest. A great teacher.

Sculpture Techniques How To Sculpt Textures and Forms from the Stan Winston School of Character Arts (SWSCA)

Here is the official school trailer for this course.

Here is a much longer chat from Don as a preview in the lead up to the class.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Stan Winston School of Character Arts

I'm now a student learning monster making from the masters of FX.

The Stan Winston School of Character Arts (SWSCA) is based in California USA and teaches physical effects for use in film and is absolutely fantastic.

All of the teachers have worked on heaps of films, many have won Academy Awards and the teaching is all hands on. I'm a remote student watching prerecorded demonstrations over the internet and then going away and practicing like mad. I hate exams and academic essays so this is pure joy.

I need to learn new skills, get really good at them and very fast. I taught myself most stuff in the past from books I could find in public libraries in New Zealand. Mainly fine arts type methods because that was all there was available. SWSCA teaches film industry techniques which are a hell of a lot better, faster and more fun.

For example years ago, I learned how to sculpt people using potters clay. SWSCA teach the use of plasticine or oil clay as it is known is some countries.

Its worth enrolling as a student if you want to work on the art side of the film industry. I have just payed an annual fee so I get to watch everything.

From the school website
"For over 40 years, the name Stan Winston has been synonymous with iconic fantasy characters, including the killer cyborgs of The TERMINATOR series, the extraterrestrial monstrosities of ALIENS, the alien hunter from the PREDATOR series, the prehistoric giants from the JURASSIC PARK films, and the iconic suits from IRON MAN. By relentlessly pushing the limits of art, technology & imagination, Stan Winston Studio continually set new standards of excellence and innovation for character creators worldwide. After Stan's untimely passing in 2008, the Winston family founded Stan Winston School of Character Arts to preserve Stan's legacy by inspiring and fostering creativity in a new generation of character creators. Through connecting the world's finest artists and technicians with students worldwide, our mission is to empower aspiring artists and technical wizards to push the boundaries of character creation for years to come."