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Concept Art class takes on Star Trek


Following in the footsteps of Star Trek illustrator James Clyne, first year students studying concept art in Marseille had to create a set of three sci-fi drawings: a warship, a control room and a costume for some of the TV show’s characters.

This exercise intended to push both creative and technical skills to the limit, transporting the students´ imagination to ‘another galaxy’. The computer-aided drawings took a total of one month to complete. 

Marine Rossi, who participated in the project under the supervision of Miguel Da Silva clarifies some of the technical terms of digital painting techniques:

Digital painting is a technique which enables you to draw on the computer using software like Photoshop CS5, ZBrush and 3DSMax. Concept art is the visual creation of characters, surroundings and accessories”. 

Marine, aged 21 hopes to enter the world of video game design after her studies and took on the project with all her creative flair and her own ideas. She explains the process needed to carry out the Star Trek project:

 “It is important to do some research before starting the first draft. For example it is necessary to take a look at what previous drawings have been conceived about the same object. Then, once the initial sketches are determined and your new universe has been created (concept art), you then move onto the computer to perfect and add colour (digital painting)”. 

In her opinion, the most complicated part proved to be the control room design - especially when it came to adding the details on the computer to make it more life like. The Star Trek project, being her first science-fiction design, has provided Marine with a new area of interest. She even considers returning upon her drawings in the near future to develop them further. 


Personal satisfaction

When asked whether she was content with the outcome, she admits she is never truly satisfied - nothing but a positive sign considering her teacher, Miguel Da Silva, thinks the same way regarding his students´ work: 

 "I am never contented with the outcomes. I always want more but it is no doubt a positive first step".

On the other hand however, Cécile Imbert, from the same class highlights the fact that it is the first time she uses “digital drawing” and is therefore satisfied with the result, baring in mind her lack of expertise.  

Similarly to Marine Rossi, Cécile drafted out some sketches using a variety of shapes and lines. She adds however, that her inspiration came from her drawings on architect Zaha Hadid.

Aged 20, she hopes to become a freelance illustrator: 

In order to become a great designer, it is important to practice as much as possible outside of school - whether it’s drawing for fun or practicing certain techniques”.


A Passion for drawing

Finally, when asked why she wishes to dedicate herself to the visual arts, Cécile Imbert comments:

 “It allows me to get across messages and images that are in my head as well as to share feelings and emotions with others as they discover my drawings”. 

In response to the same question, Marine Rossi replies:

I believe it is a question of escaping. I have always loved admiring amazing images that take me to surreal universes. What I would really like is to create and pass on this feeling to other people”.


Article written by Michelle de la Rosa Lewis – (Student at Studio M Academy)