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CREATIVITY: Story & Character Development

Traditional & Photoshop Techniques With Iain McCaig


What exactly is Creativity? Where do people get creative ideas from, and how do they develop them? What’s more: How do you manage tostay creative once you have an idea? On the other hand, what happens when you lose creative inspiration completely or it simply refuses to show up?

Iain McCaig believes that one of the best ways to talk about creativity is to actuallybe creative. His two-volume workshop series for The Gnomon Workshop documents the entire process of his journey from an initial story that he creates from scratch. Beginning the video tutorial with absolutely nothing prepared beforehand, you are sure to experience his complete process, from start to finish. The result of this workshop is an original last-man-on-Earth Frankenstein love story that Iain has named “PYG.”

This first volume focuses on the creation of his Story through a series of storybeat sketches and keyframes. Iain’s workshop then details the concept design process for his two lead characters in the story: Pyg himself, along with his long-lost wife.

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced traditional or digital artist, you’ll benefit from this insightful “peek behind the curtains” at one of the industry’s most beloved storytellers. So, sit back, grab your pencils — or your graphic tablet — and enjoy a thorough look into Iain McCaig’s creative process. By completing this workshop, you will have learned how to develop your own ideas into stories you can feel proud of.

In the second volume, you will learn about Iain’s approach to Creature and World Design.

Nudity Warning: This workshop includes artwork that contains nudity.

Duration: 3h 02m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Iain McCaig

Artist, Writer, Filmmaker

Iain McCaig has worked for over 40 years in the entertainment industry. Many of his creations have become pop-culture icons, like his cover for Jethro Tull’s “Broadsword and the Beast” and his Star Wars designs for Queen Amidala and Darth Maul. He has collaborated on many films, including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Jungle Book, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Avengers, as well as the ongoing Star Wars franchise of movies, graphic novels, and theme parks. 

In his spare time, Iain writes, produces and directs, and wanders the land encouraging people to draw and tell stories. In May 2008,
Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art honored Iain with the prestigious Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement — though he swears he’s only just getting started.

  • "Any time an artist or designer can portray story points through a design or an illustration, the work becomes much more engaging. Iain does a wonderful job of explaining the structure of visual storytelling and how to create strong character designs that support your story."

    - Scott Robertson
    Founder, Design Studio Press

  • For me, Iain McCaig is the best living draughtsman. He masters design issues by giving them emotion, reality, intelligence, and a sense of story, without sacrificing spontaneity and improvisation. He is a treasure in film concept design.

    - Paul Topolos
    Artist (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille)

  • Iain McCaig’s characters arrive on the page fully formed, their life stories expressed through every beautiful pencil stroke, from the lightest fairy tales to the darkest nightmares.

    - Doug Chiang
    Executive Creative Director, Lucasfilm