I've studied a lot of "meta-learning." Tim Ferris (super learner) says that you gotta deconstruct and break thing downs in order to learn it quickly and effectively.
Contrary to popular belief - theme parks are not all about RIDES! It is only one category of illustrations. In my current portfolio - my illustrations and sketches currently consist of rides. This is a research exercise to discover the gaps and develop work that I'm missing...
Here are categories of Theme Park Illustrations...
(Most of these images I've taken during the D23 Expo - they are property of Disney. This blogpost is for academic purpose only. Please don't sue me.)
Food & Beverage / Retail / Hospitality (Hotel)
|Store Concept By Chris Turner|
|Restaurant Concept by Chris Turner|
|Retail and Entertainment Space by Unknown|
|Restaurant Concept by Unknown|
|Cafe Concept by Jim Shull|
|Restaurant Concept by Unknown|
|Hotel Concepts for Disney Shanghai|
Next there are Shows
|There are 4d shows (Artist Unknown)|
|Terminator 4D show by Gary Goddard Entertainment (Artist Unknown)|
|There are Parades... (artist unknown)|
|Parade Concept (Artist Unknown)|
|Even firework shows!|
|Some rides are part show as well! Artist: Greg Pro|
And THEN there are rides... Notice there some are drawn very cartoony, while others look very photorealistic. Some have a very light-hearted mood - while others are very serious. There is no right "style" - it just depends on what artistic style is best suited for the ride.
Most of the concept art for rides don't show an "accurate" portrayal of the ride - it is kind of impossible to show that and still make it look cool. Instead they show the feeling of the ride and the best moments all collaged together in one image. It is usually not "realistic" - but idealistic.
|This show a top down view of the entire ride track.|
|This concept art by Greg Pro is a more painterly approach.|
|This concept art by Busch Garden aims for a more realistic approach.|
|This art by Scot Drake is very video game like - fitting for a interactive shooting ride.|
|Seaworld typically uses a more "realistic" (less stylized) approach to its concept art.|
|This is a photorealistic - but highly stylized.|
Next we have Aerial or Birds-eye view
This is probably the most lucrative and important view because it is used in marketing - and companies will only hire the best illustrators to do this job. Disney usually hires illustrators with a painterly style - like Greg Pro or Eric Heschong. However, some projects will use an architectural rendering style created in either 3D or 2D sketch style.
In terms of view - the view an just be a couple buildings, an entire "land," or an entire theme park!
Of course - subject matter isn't just limited to theme parks.. it can also be a casino, resort, shopping aerial etc...!
|Greg Pro's New Fantasyland Illustration|
|Greg Pro's Paramount Illustration|
|Eric Heschong's tomorrowland illustration |
(this painterly style is the benchmark of this aerial view illustrations)
|Fox's theme park illustration (artist unknown)|
|Architectural Rendering - 3D|
|Architectural Rendering style - 2D|
|Architectural Rendering - 2D by Artist Kirk Fromm|
|Madagascar ride by Thinkwell (Artist unknown)|
|Jurassic Park Storyboard by Greg Pro (gouache study by Chris Chien)|
|Storyboard by Kevin Farrell|
There is also production artwork - which is done in the "schematic design" phase of the project. These drawings are supplied to the 3D modelers to be created in real life!
|Toon Town Buildings by Don Carson|
|Schematic design for hotel pool from D23 (Artist Larry Nikolai)|
|Schematic Design for props from D23 (Artist Larry Nikolai)|
So as you can see.. there are many categories of artwork with their respective functions! It's not just about rides! :)
In terms of styles - you can see it ranges from very cartoony, to very painterly, to very photo realistic! The mood can range from being very lighthearted - to very dark and scary! :)
Well - that's a wrap! Hopefully - I'll keep updating this as I learn more and more about the industry.