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Creating Cinematic Compositions for Production

Visual Development Workflow Using Blender & Photoshop With Francesco Guarini


Art Director and Visual Development Artist, Francesco Guarini, details the art of visual storytelling for production and shares how to create successful cinematic compositions. He walks through the theory behind great shots in cinema and discusses the importance of lighting, including its effect on an audience. Francesco also teaches how to develop your ideas, transforming them into production-ready black-and-white visual development paintings.

Throughout this workshop, you’ll learn about the fundamental compositional influencers, including how to recognize them and how to use them to tell your stories most effectively. You will also gain an understanding of the importance of balance and tonal values in composition, as well as how they all come together in a successful image.

Following Francesco's workflow and thought processes, you will discover how to use the power of Photoshop and Blender combined to produce highly detailed paintings in a short amount of time. Starting from a blank canvas, you’ll follow Francesco through the production of a variety of ideas before moving into Blender, where he shares how to create basic blockings of those ideas. In Blender, he continues experimenting with lights and cameras, before jumping back into Photoshop where he discusses his rendering process, step by step.

This workshop is suitable for any artist level working, or aiming to work, in the entertainment industry, from beginners looking to understand what composition is all about to professionals looking to strengthen their knowledge.

Project files provided with this workshop include JPG sheets of all his steps, from rough sketches to the final paintings.

Duration: 1h 56m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Francesco Guarini

Director, Art Director & Visual Development Artist

Francesco Guarini is an Art Director and Visual Development Artist currently based in Madrid, Spain. Since 2015, he has been working in the animation industry both as a freelancer and an in-house artist. He has experience in both 2D and 3D TV productions as well as IP development and visual development for feature films. He also occasionally works as an art director and concept artist in the advertisement industry.

Some of the companies he has worked for include Blue Zoo Animation, Able & Baker, Red Star 3D, Method n Madness, and many more. You can follow Francesco on Instagram at @frankguarini_art.

  • In my career, I've never met a designer with the same passion and drive as Francesco's; his enthusiasm for art and storytelling is highly contagious! His excellent skills in both character and environment design, and his deep understanding of shape, color and light, allow him not only to successfully execute every aspect of pre-production but also to comfortably lead a team of proficient artists. His students will be able to learn and have a deep understanding of how to create successful images in an easy-to-digest and fun way thanks to Francesco’s great communication skills and attention to detail.

    - Simone Giampaolo
    Animation Director

  • Francesco is a talented art director with a keen eye for style and mood, on a constant quest to improve himself as an artist. He brought wonderful ideas to the project we collaborated on and delivered excellent results, thanks in part to his rare communication skills. Like his clients, students will benefit from Francesco’s ability to walk them through the process clearly, helping to manage expectations and achieve the best results possible.

    - Alex Orelle
    Animation Director/Creator/Co-founder at Virtue Animation

  • Working with Francesco has been amazing. His passion for his craft is clearly visible and, even with loads of constraints, he is still able to find creative solutions that bring a smile to viewers. He also has a very strong understanding of 3D, which really helped in the projects he worked on with us as the concepts he created translated very well and allowed us to move to the production stages smoothly. I am glad that he is sharing his approach and knowledge at The Gnomon Workshoo and I’m sure his students will be, too.

    - Tan Wen Hao
    Film and CG Director at Method n Madness

  • I have the pleasure of having Francesco working as Art Director in my studio. He's not only talented and passionate, with great ideas and wonderful taste, but he also keeps an eye on the production needs and has invaluable knowledge in the CG area, which helps a lot to translate his art into 3D. His understanding of shape and composition is fantastic. For me, it's essential to have a global view of the project and good communication skills to keep everything in style and get the best out of every artist, aiming for the best possible final result — and definitely, Francesco has those.

    - Ramón Giráldez
    Head of Studio at Able & Baker