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Visual Design

Here Sonia Tiwari explains the importance of Visual Design in Children’s Education and how every successful learning tool has been created using strong visual design aesthetics.

“Let’s make learning fun for children!” has almost become a cliche for our generation of educators, children’s book authors, toy and game designers, children’s TV producers and anyone remotely related to children’s education. We cannot ignore the role of a strong visual design in creating any of the modern day learning tools, whether they are early learning apps like abcmouse.com, khanacademy.org/kids or educational toy robots like Cubetto, Dash & Dot, Botley or BeeBot.

From baby years, children are exposed to educational toys and games that heavily rely on cute characters, stimulating colours, patterns and textures for tactile learning. As children grow older, their learning expands to more mediums besides toys and into educational board games, puzzles, video games, television, online streaming services and many more. At school, they come across interactive learning games, or good old charts and posters on the walls of the classrooms.

They’re surrounded by beautifully illustrated educational children’s books at home and school. They belong to a generation where several startups and established companies are trying to design new and more effective educational products for children and several Learning Scientists are attempting to understand how learning occurs in different settings.

Guidelines for Visual Designers in the Children’s Education Space:

• Understand Curriculum and Context

Are your designs representing a topic in isolation or in a broader context of a curriculum? You might want to maintain a common design language for the entire curriculum around a topic, to support continuity/correlation visually.


• Understand Visual Memory

In an educational environment, Visual Memory consists of pictures, symbols, numbers, letters, and words. As designers, the more we rely on design elements that can be “memorable” for the target audience, the better it can support the subsequent educational content to be recalled later.

• Consider what counts as Developmentally Appropriate

The Age-range of the audience, their developmental milestones, complexity of visual information they can easily comprehend.


• Consider Situativity

Where will your educational designs be situated? What are the surrounding cultures, trends, locations, demographics etc. Are there certain design styles that may appeal to this audience?


• Consider the Gestalt Principles

Make sure the visuals are clear and denote the meanings you wish to communicate as an educator. Gestalt principles are a nice, quick way to review instructional art/educational illustrations for any “applied” meanings.

Creative Gaga - Issue 46 - Cover

Published in Issue 46

Designing for Kids! We all design for different audiences and always keep trying to figure out what they would need and how will they react to our designs? But, one audience who is the youngest of all and most difficult to predict is ‘Kids’. So, to get more clarity, we focused on animation design, an extensively used medium to influence these young ones. We interviewed and feature experts opinion from the industry leaders such as Suresh Eriyat, Dhimant Vyas and Vaibhav Kumaresh to ponder on the use of animation for early education. Our cover designer, Sonia Tiwari, an animator, and visual designer, shared her thoughts on ‘How to make learning fun again’. While Suresh Eriyat emphasises on using animation as an effective medium for education, on the other hand, Dhimant Vyas and Vaibhav gave advice on how to make content for the young ones. This issue is full of veterans advice and a lot of inspirations throughout for every creative soul.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48
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A master piece is not just created by drawing a few lines and colouring the different areas formed. It indeed is a full package of detailing the model, the textures, the lights and the angles involved, just in the right amount, as Dushyant Bhardwaj explains us.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Lighting Doodles. A quick lighting doodle using basic shapes like boxes and spheres.

With a keen liking and special place for drawing and sketching in his heart as a kid, Dushyant Bhardwaj was inspired by the amazing sketches and art pieces that his cousin created on Lightbox. This got him learning in detail and depth what he really loved, sketching and expand his learning horizons to three-dimensional art. It even escalated his interest levels for the subject

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Wiring the Needles. A fun render experimenting with miniatures using 3DS Max, Photoshop and V-Ray.

An Artwork Without a Story is Like a Ship Without a Rudder!

This thought made Dushyant ponder about everything he saw around him. A picture with interesting lighting and gripping elements engrossed him and he in turn attached a story to it as this made it easier for him to put his thoughts on canvas while recreating the same scene.

 

Old, abandoned buildings and structures always caught his attention as they definitely had a story attached to them, which Dushyant tries narrating through his work.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Detective’s Desk. An apartment of 40-something detective while solving a crime committed in the city.

Detailing: The Key to Create Realistic Art!

Detailing depends on the kind of outcome that is wanted and also camera angles one works with. Adding details to a piece of art will definitely make it look real and believable, but if overdone can completely ruin it.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Little Radish. Based on the concept of Goro Fujita, a test scene to learn more about Arnold renderer engine.

While detailing a realistic image, it is important to keep in mind the overall view of the artwork while designing model and the intricacies of its textures. A stylised artwork would not require so much detailing as a realistic one would.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Abandoned Storeroom. The idea was to convey that libraries, books, newspapers, cycles and other old things are dying in the modern world.

An artwork with a closeup view would require one to focus first on the primary details like microelements, that will be in limelight, and then move on to the secondary details to be developed for the overall view.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
ISO Game Renders, Elvenar. Environments created for Innogames – Elvenar.

For instance, working on a texture which is rusty and has paint chipped off would require to concentrate on the area having the chipped paint, the formation of the cracks and the spreading of the rusted texture. Also, adding too much chipped off paint and rust may destroy it and take the life out of that asset.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Lighting Doodle. A quick lighting doodle using Maya and Arnold.

Lighting: A Creator or a Destroyer!

Lighting plays a crucial role in any scene. It can either can make a scene or break it. Deciding the lighting for the scene has to be a smart choice as it should be in tandem with the storyline and the subject of the scene as well as be successful in conveying the emotions attached, for the scene to be comprehensible for the viewer.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
ISO Baby Room. An experiment with the new render Fstorm to achieve a very soft mood with modelling, texturing and lighting.

Taking inspirations for lighting from Pinterest and other imagery for reference is always helpful. Dushyant Bhardwaj uses a mix of different digital softwares like 3DS Max, Maya, V-Ray, Photoshop, Arnold, to name a few, for the creation of his artwork pieces.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Junkbot. An experiment with substance painter to texture a junkbot modelled using 3DS Max.

Sailing in the Sea of Professionals!

Stepping into a market full of talented professionals has never been easy. For him to be successful, Dushyant Bhardwaj believed in the fact to create quality work rather than quantity. To be noticed and commissioned, he started putting out his portfolio on the digital and social media like YouTube, CGSociety forum and Artstation.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Room. Artwork inspired from the short film Alarm.

He suggests the same to budding and upcoming artists to thrive in the field they love. Also, as the saying goes, perseverance is the key to success.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Silent Witness. A scene to study about cinematic lighting and storytelling in a still picture.

Published in Issue 43

With the changing weather comes the season of Interns, with fresh new energy everywhere and your talented creatives wanting to test their skills and knowledge in the real world of live creative briefs and super creative professional environment. This issue is a must-read for internees and fresh talents. Go ahead and order your copy here!

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48
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