My ultimate aim is to illustrate children’s books with images like the ones on this site. To this end, I am trying to find ways to make good-looking 3D images quickly–images that have all the magic of the illustrations I loved as a child. —Nick Towers
—Children’s Book Illustration by Nick Towers
For a year I have been working on and off with Hammer, the Half-Life 2 world builder, with the idea of making an educational game mod. My idea involved creating a photorealistic downtown setting that journalism students could explore.
However, after picking up a copy of Scott McCloud’s Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels, I have begun to think about other options. This illustration was made with Blender3D, a design tool I’ve come to know very well. Since I’m not a good artist, the idea of being able to pose 3D shapes and generate a 2D graphic like this is appealing. I can imagine importing these graphics into Flash, and further animating them there.
I’m still dreaming about an immersive photorealistic world, full of enough detail that it could be used as a resource for practicing travel writing or investigative reporting. But that level of detail would be overkill for entry-level students who simply need practice using “on the record” and “off the record” to get sources to be more forthcoming, or figuring out what part of a source’s answer is most quoteworthy.
Disney cartoons from 50 years ago are still watchable today, but what counted as eye-poppingly realistic graphics 5 years ago is painful to look at now.
I’m thinking… thinking… thinking.