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Wordware Publishes Design First For 3D Artists by Geoffrey Kater

New book takes 3D artists back to the drawing board (March 01, 2006)

Design First For 3D Artists by Geoffrey Kater

Design First For 3D Artists by Geoffrey Kater

The competition for jobs in the 3D animation industry has never been greater. Schools are turning loose 3D animators and production designers by the hundreds into an industry that is already saturated with the best and the brightest. In his new book, Design First for 3D Artists (350 pages, $49.95, Wordware Publishing, available online and from major retailers), Geoffrey Kater merges the often disparate disciplines of design and computer animation to teach emerging animators how to create their own personal design style and in the process, lay down exactly what it takes today to do good work and thrive in the animation market.

Kater, an award-winning director/designer and a partner in the successful Hollywood 3D animation boutique S4 Studios, hopes that this will be the first in a series that will launch Design First as a prominent educational brand. With his reverence for basic design technique, Kater returns to the basics to help young talents learn how to reach for their pencils before they reach for the keyboard. "I decided to write this book because I wanted to share with beginning and experienced animators my own experience in using traditional drawing techniques to create characters, props, environments, color, lighting, composition and storyboards, As a studio owner, I am constantly meeting talented people who know how to animate, but who don't know how to design with individuality. In today's marketplace, that's just not enough."

Teaching by example, Kater takes readers through a complete mock production, creating a robot character, "Bleep," with a design style inspired by ancient Chinese architecture and armor, one of his favorite motifs. "I demonstrate how to create the story, draw a character, break it down, model it, and use every drawing you create along to way to keep the design accurate and consistent form 2D start to 3D finish." Kater also creates, from storyboard to completion, a fictional TV ad campaign for Nokia phones.

Design First for 3D Artists is far from just a how-to guide. "One of the things I have found is that animators just don't learn how to properly service a client," he says. "This book will teach people how to confidently present their own concepts, how to be open to serendipity and inspiration to create a personal vision, and how to gather reference material. There are a lot of harsh realities that job seekers will have to overcome, but in the end, they will greatly improve their chances of being hired."

Design First for 3D Artists also includes a CD-ROM that provides additional illustrations, a test animation, and is linked to a support website,, with sample chapters, a merchandise store, and a gallery. The book can also be purchased directly through the site.

More than anything, Design First for 3D Artists demystifies and breaks down the complex nature of 3D design and creates an accessibility to the art that few other writers have managed "I wanted to create a cross-platform book that was not married to any one kind of technology or style," Kater says. "This is all about being the kind of problem solver that will make you a more complete animator and stand out from the crowd."

About The Author
Geoffrey Kater is a futurist designer, Art Director, Producer and Director who studied Transportation Design at the Art Center of Design in Pasadena. He has worked with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on the design of a Pluto space vehicle, and his automotive design work has won awards from two National industrial design competitions. Kater's work has been published in Business Week, Car Styling and Popular Hot Rodding magazines, and one of his spaceship designs currently hangs in the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. In TV, he has worked as a prop designer, production designer, 3D animator and illustrator for Street Sharks, Thumb Wars, The Avengers, and Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?, and held the key post of spaceship designer and 3D modeler/animator on Saban and Marvel's Silver Surfer series, faithfully adapting the legendary style of Jack Kirby into the 3D world. He co-founded S4 Studios in 1999 with partners Dale Hendrickson and Larry Le Francis for the production of animation for commercials, trailers, TV shows and feature film VFX.

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Related Keywords:Wordware, Design First For 3D Artists, Geoffrey Kater, 3D artists, 3D animation, animators,

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