Sketches/Sketchbooks vs. Presentation Sheets

[Please click on images to enlarge]

Finished Sheets collage

Okay, so its getting close to hand-in deadline time…

And I have a wealth of early development work, I tried taking photos of my sketchbook work but the light wasn’t great and I somehow cast shadows across some of the important elements, it didn’t look great as you can see below… The text/notes can’t be read, and the images are pixelated.


That, and the curve of the pages when the book lay open gave me problems with focus… it all made it look a bit rushed (poorly thought through) too.

So, first I went back and scanned the pages instead, and now I have a bunch of very clear images, no focal problems, no shadows, no fuzzy images.

Scans as taken from Sketchbooks

Though at times some of the important images appear on pages that are half empty (which makes for a waste of space), and some of the pages show work at all different angles, even upside down, and I’m wondering how to pull this stuff together so it looks presentable?

x Scan 11

Pages that have just one large sketch on them (above) aren’t so problematic. Nor are pages that have a number of sketches all facing the right way (below).

x Rabbits Vehicles

They can be used pretty much as created… perhaps just adding a clarifying note, enhancing a border to clean up any ragged page edges or to put a little distance/margin between a drawing and the edge of the image (as you can see here) … These then, can just be uploaded to my blog along with some accompanying reflective notes.

But how do I compile the others (see below)? The ones that appear with sketches from another project, or upside down on the same page as another sketch, or with pointless large spaces full of nothing?

Scan 6

Well, one of the contemporary studio practitioner’s real friends is Photoshop, it allows me to cut up and rotate, enlarge and enhance images that I originally did just for myself. Rearranging the images and preparing them, ultimately, to be seen by someone other than myself.

And this is the key point of all this…

As with any design image, there has to be some understanding of who the image/sheet has been made for.

Is it just to clarify something for yourself? Or is it to explain a key aspect of an idea to someone else? Are these concepts to be handed to a 3D modeller? Are they to sell and idea to a potential financier/producer/art director? Those latter possibilities increase as we consider that Games Design is a highly collaborative medium that has people with differing specialities working within it, and that ultimately this is why we are here; to prepare us for working with others.

As a creative student it is good for you to begin to prepare for these eventuality by:

A, making sure every design drawing or 3D design artefact has a clear purpose or idea to be communicated, i.e if showcasing a single concept… and in terms of clarity perhaps going from this…


…to this.

betty-the-pig-xxwip Des Sheet Example

Or if taking some early design thoughts and doodles, and going from this…

Three Little Pigs as a Survival Horror Game in Space

…to this.


or B, that you have developed the skills to allow you to collate and refine a number of images into one cohesive design/concept sheet to communicate your idea or even your design process… Achieving this…

How do I show off my sketches to best effect

By taking a little time to do this…

Presentation images collated

Which due to the clean up and collation process might well take an extra 10/30 minutes to pull together… but can really be worth it in terms of clarifying your concept or explanation.

For those of you with any graphic design sensibilities you could go as far as developing an overarching style for your design sheets, or a new brand style for families of design sheets for each new project…

It takes very little time to set up, and the benefits aren’t just aesthetic…

Anything that lends clarity and clear purpose to the work you hand in as part of your creative course (whatever it is) will allow your assessors to decipher your purpose (and intent) that much easier, no doubt in part satisfying some of the learning outcomes looked for during the marking process.


(SMEAT) - Process for Students x

Overexposed photographic images covered in shadows aren’t the only images that are difficult to read.

For example… Here I have a scan of a pencil drawing from my sketchbook…

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 16.42.08

The image is very faint (plus the file is turned 90 degrees to how it should be because of how I scanned it).

So I first use the Image Rotation tool in the Image tab above to rotate the file…

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 16.51.52

I then do a little bit of tidying… going as far as moving the figures into position in the environment using the Lasso tool and the Eraser…

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 16.45.31

Then, using the Curves tool for expedience I boost the levels… which adds depth to the pencil marks, but as in the example above (due to the off-white paper stock) also deepens the tone of the paper, often saturating the colour.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 16.45.51

But that’s easily managed and toned down using the Hue/Saturation tools.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 16.45.59

At that point you can Crop that image down…

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 16.46.41

…and if you think it’s needed, maybe sharpen the image a little more. Here I’m using the Contrast tools.

This once disjointed page of lightweight rough pencils can now be shown as a collated composition that is readable as an image in its own right or ready to be included in a design sheet.

(SMEAT) - Process for Students 2

NOTE: Photoshop has a number of ways to achieve a range of outcomes including those above.

With the above processes, these are just how I’m comfortable working. You might prefer to use the Levels tools rather than the Curves and Contrast tools; remember, the processes above are just ONE way of achieving your goals.

Lets just see some clear and purposeful development work.

~ by hesir on April 22, 2016.

2 Responses to “Sketches/Sketchbooks vs. Presentation Sheets”

  1. […] “Sketchbook to Presentation Sheet – a quick tutorial guide” – Delivered // […]

  2. […] How are your Presentation Sheets? […]

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