Book Review: Impeccable Scene Design: For Game, Animation and Film

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Weiye Yin is a concept artist with over ten years of experience. He draws a variety of subjects but this book focuses on scene design, creating believable backgrounds that serve as a backdrop for stories in games and films.

The book is split into three parts. First is the introduction to scene design and how it differs from just painting background art. Second part looks at the principles and procedures. Third is a collection of demonstrations that look at how a few scenes are developed, namely Landscape, Environment, Urban Architecture, Atmosphere and Still Life.

It is a good introductory guide to scene design. You get tips on dealing with composition, lighting, colours, adding details, effects, doing drafts and even on dealing with clients.

The step-by-step demonstrations talks in depth about the conceptualization process, the considerations when handling different types of projects. Two of the case studies presents some tips on using 3DS Max for scene designs. Most, if not all, the examples are digital paintings, some with the use of 3D software.

It's more recommended to intermediate and advanced artist who already know the basics of painting and want to apply that knowledge to a different field.

Impeccable Scene Design: For Game, Animation and Film is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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10 Comments

HI, have read the book?

HI, have read the book? because I would like to know if it only touch the topic only on the surface or they/ he go deep, because from the look of title it makes me want to buy, as I now working in this industry so, maybe I can get difference view or thoughts by reading this book

Is there a big difference

Is there a big difference between Setting the Scene: The Art & Evolution of Animation Layout and this book, because right now I'm more into 3D stuff and love with 2D so which one is more appropriate or should I buy both 9if the difference between those is big)

Hey there, Parka, many thanks

Hey there, Parka, many thanks for helping Anonymous007 by providing such a clear description of the content and aims of "Setting The Scene", and thanks also for alerting me to Weiye Yin's beautiful and informative book - I look forward to reading it and (from the information you kindly provide) to recommending it to all the students I work with. As you point out, my own plan was not to attempt to provide a "how to" book; Ed Ghertner and Mark T. Byrne have both already provided excellent books that inform and instruct would-be Layout Artists. By contrast one of the main aims of "Setting The Scene" was (and is) to help contemporary students of animation understand more about the historical relationship between animators and cameras. Many students of CG animation may never see (or prepare artwork to be photographed on) a traditional rostrum camera, but I believe it is nevertheless really important for ALL animation artists and technicians to understand the way in which the techniques and procedures of designing, lighting and photographing scenic artwork for hand-drawn animation originally evolved. "Setting The Scene" looks at the way in which the early pioneers of animation borrowed from (and expanded on) the existing practices of set design for theatre - and how, in recent years, the "overlap" has been greater between set design for CG animated features and level design for the Games industry. Just as it is costly for Parka to get hold of copies of new books to review - it is expensive for students to build up their own libraries. So I hope very much, if you're a student yourself, that your college or university library will be able to get hold of a copy - if you guys reckon it seems worth adding to your reading and reference list. I was very fortunate to have such an enthusiastic publisher - and to have the help, support and encouragement of the 100+ different artists, technicians, camera operators and scene planners who were kind enough to agree to be interviewed. I owe all the most useful and inspiring parts of "Setting The Scene" to them - and to the generosity and expertise of countless archivists and animation historians. Many thanks in the meantime for your interest in the project - and I hope you may find something in it to enjoy. With very best wishes, Fraser MacLean, Scotland

By no means a bad book but I

By no means a bad book but I have this and in my opinion the book does try a little too hard to instill a very "procedure" based approach to concept design as though there was a "correct" way to do things, for example the author advocates working a grayscale and coloring it later on which is not without its problems and very often leads to anemic and unnatural colour, also note that the worlds best digital artists aka Craig Mullins don't do this. He also gives a star based ranking to ways of doing things, for example drawing an architectural scene freehand is given 1/5 stars i see freehand architecture all the time, indeed the best work is often freehand and the mediocre stuff is photobashed and propped up by block models, so no idea what the logic was there.

I was not blown away by the quality of the examples either, i would consider them serviceable at best. In my opinion the only way a book like this could work is to take many world renowned artists, have them explain their methods and let the reader decide what they want to take from it. The book was published by the "Chinese youth press" which i have no idea what means but sounds state sponsored to some degree, i disagreed with the dogmatic approach to ways of doing things with little explanation of the reasons why, in other words there was no logical argument for certain methods.

I would have given this 3/5 stars, but frankly the lack of logical argument and reasoning along with the title "impeccable scene design" i would have expected far more, if this was a book about "his" way of doing things that's fine but he implies his way is "the" way, quite frankly its not. So 2/5 for me. Which i feel is a generous score. You just cant go around calling your way of doing things "impeccable" especially when your pretty unknown and have not worked on AAA projects. There is no "correct" way, there is no such thing as a correct work of art or a correct design, massive logic fail in this book

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