The design phase is the most critical step to a successful character creation or working effect.
Why the Design Phase is necessary.
The reality is designs are not always necessary but they certainly can help work out potential ideas and issues that may arise later. For more elaborate characters, creatures and aliens it is important to finalize a direction prior to fabrication this way everyone knows what to expect in advance.
2D renderings (Photoshop) is the most common and can sometimes be the quickest way to create and present a design. However, 3D modeling, design and printing can work in favor of 2D design because it can be a great way to visualize in three-dimensions and can be an asset for the production and VFX team. Traditional sculpture is also a valuable tool for realizing an idea in three dimensions. Sometimes working in tangible materials can help promote ideas in real light and shadows that the production and Dp's can understand.
How we quote for design work.
Design is almost 100% labor costs and requires very little use of raw materials in most cases. Therefore design is almost exclusively charged by the estimated amount of hours required to achieve the potential concept and does not usually have additional material costs attached.
The process takes time.
Often character design can take time going through many changes and evolutions before successfully landing on a finished concept that is approved by all parties involved. Everyone has an opinion on what something should look like. Connecting all ideas from every creative involved from the words on a page to finish concept can require a long process that will no doubt have its failures. From failures we find success.
The design is key to successful fabrications.
A successful design will bring a character to life and inform the production and departments of the visual intention. The approved design is also the foundation to which the artists uses to build the finished makeup or effect. It gives all parties involved an agreed upon and equal point of reference for the finished makeup or working effect. This removes confusion and costly time.
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