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Guest unhappymaiden04

Is Tracing Bad?

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Guest sem

Personally, I think tracing is only good to practice your physical and visual memory by tracing over real photos. Other than that, it can be used to have a good quality drawing if you're a little sloppy with lines and perspectives or if you have to present variations of a concept on the same frame. It is also time efficient. Just stay away from existing designs, and for practice, stay away from other people's sketches; stick with real shots.

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Guest twinger19

Copying design is the sin of all sins in product design, however the basis of product design is evolution of what is already out there. It's ok to look at something and take inspiration from it to create another thing, but you just cant copy something literally. Non designers see something they like, they don't know something even better can be made, so its up to you as a designer to show them what they can't see in your head.

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Guest unhappymaiden04

Copying design is the sin of all sins in product design, however the basis of product design is evolution of what is already out there. It's ok to look at something and take inspiration from it to create another thing, but you just cant copy something literally. Non designers see something they like, they don't know something even better can be made, so its up to you as a designer to show them what they can't see in your head.

[/quote

 

I agree.I am trying to improve what is already out there...thanks for the advice

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Guest scott_b

When a high work load is required, tracing (mainly your own drawings) is a means to an end. It can help define form, scale and distinct features. It isn't bad, it can be a very useful technique when using underlays to render and push your design further.

 

However, one must practice sketching, and i'm talking freehand here. As the benefits of learning to sketch outweigh those of tracing. Developing good sketching techniques improves your perception of perspective and form, increases eye to hand co-ordination and imrpoves your drawing accuracy and speed.

 

I don't see the point in tracing with a computer, I use the ever popular hybrid approach. Scanning in hand drawn images for render on computer.

 

Sketches are the building blocks of design, externalising thoughts and developing your concepts to new levels. At some stage in the design process, you will have a conversation that goes along the lines of, "Yeah but what if..." and you will be required to convey your intentions quickly...with a pen. It's imperative that you practice.

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Guest unhappymaiden04
When a high work load is required, tracing (mainly your own drawings) is a means to an end. It can help define form, scale and distinct features. It isn't bad, it can be a very useful technique when using underlays to render and push your design further.

 

However, one must practice sketching, and i'm talking freehand here. As the benefits of learning to sketch outweigh those of tracing. Developing good sketching techniques improves your perception of perspective and form, increases eye to hand co-ordination and imrpoves your drawing accuracy and speed.

 

I don't see the point in tracing with a computer, I use the ever popular hybrid approach. Scanning in hand drawn images for render on computer.

 

Sketches are the building blocks of design, externalising thoughts and developing your concepts to new levels. At some stage in the design process, you will have a conversation that goes along the lines of, "Yeah but what if..." and you will be required to convey your intentions quickly...with a pen. It's imperative that you practice.

 

 

I have never tried that before,ever since I started working here at this company- I am talking bout the hand drawn sketches for render.They (my bosses) pressure me with loads of workloads and so little time to complete them.It is pretty hard for me,since I want to focus on designing creative products.On the other hand,they want to focus on the competitors' designs.Like this morning,they gave me loads of sample products from the other brand and told me to copy them,just alter the fabrics and color combination.It is very frustrating,especially when I see that some of these products are just like the design concepts I proposed months or weeks ago.Designs that they rejected cuz they were either too weird looking or they don't fit in the category of this particular brand.I often times end up with a really bad feeling towards my work,the feeling that I am just too lousy of a designer,do you get my point here?Gosh,I am currently so disappointed at myself for being rejected too many times this week...;) I just feel so torn. I wanted to make designs AGAIN,a fresh start but then,when I see those rejected designs,it makes me shrink back to my seat and just let the day pass without any output. Plus,having co workers and bosses that underestimate your capabilities makes working a lot harder...Any professional advice there to make my boss realize that copying is NOT a easy way to steal customers? :(

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Guest newt @ MWE

Hey

 

All I can really say about this job of yours is you really, REALLY, do not sound happy there. It may sound rash but if you don't like it there, quit.

 

A couple reasonings:

 

1. If all you're doing there is knock-offs, you are not going to put that stuff in your portfolio. If you do, you run the very real risk of being branded a knock-off designer and you won't find a creative control job any where.

 

Many design industries are tightly knit and everyone knows everyone and thier work. I had interviewed people at my previous company (display and retail design) who tried to pass off work as thier own.... the only problem was that I knew who had actually done that job. Needless to say, it didn't take to long for the word to get around about this guy, and he won't be getting a job in canadian display design anytime soon.

 

2. I'm assuming if all you are doing is tracing, you're probably not learning much there to advance your career.

 

It may be your bosses pressuring you to trace out the competitors offering, however it is your choice to work there and take it. Again, my advice is, if you're not happy, quit.

 

newt

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Guest unhappymaiden04
Hey

 

All I can really say about this job of yours is you really, REALLY, do not sound happy there. It may sound rash but if you don't like it there, quit.

 

A couple reasonings:

 

1. If all you're doing there is knock-offs, you are not going to put that stuff in your portfolio. If you do, you run the very real risk of being branded a knock-off designer and you won't find a creative control job any where.

 

Many design industries are tightly knit and everyone knows everyone and thier work. I had interviewed people at my previous company (display and retail design) who tried to pass off work as thier own.... the only problem was that I knew who had actually done that job. Needless to say, it didn't take to long for the word to get around about this guy, and he won't be getting a job in canadian display design anytime soon.

 

2. I'm assuming if all you are doing is tracing, you're probably not learning much there to advance your career.

 

It may be your bosses pressuring you to trace out the competitors offering, however it is your choice to work there and take it. Again, my advice is, if you're not happy, quit.

 

newt

 

I have thought about that honestly.It's just that maybe,this stubborn attitude of mine just won't let the challenge bring me down- I still have high hopes of changing the direction of this brands' style of handbags ^__^ I just hope I won't end up mentally and physically drained along that process...:( But yeah,you're right,I am not happy with the way things are going...

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Guest unhappymaiden04
its not bad.

but dont rely on it for your sketching.

 

ITs fine to use it to see perspective lines, and form studies.

Use it as a learning tool, not a copy tool.

 

 

yeah you're right,I sometimes trace the perspective of some drawings just to get the porportions right. :D

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Guest scott_b

I've known a few people to use photocopies of products at 1:1, just to get an idea of proportion and scale. When someone uses an underlay, they don't REALLY trace, they just use the image underneath as a guide.

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Guest unhappymaiden04
I've known a few people to use photocopies of products at 1:1, just to get an idea of proportion and scale. When someone uses an underlay, they don't REALLY trace, they just use the image underneath as a guide.

 

 

That's exactly what I do with the sketches of the previous artist,and now,uhm I can say that I have improved my perspective drawing skills because of that.:D I really hope that this will continue and that I could find ways to improve my skills and conceptualization as well,cuz lately I was in a bit of struggle with producing new and interesting concepts.

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Guest MacPhail

There are a lot more companies that think that copying something that is already out there is the only way to design things. This tends to be motivated by sales/marketing not design. The problem is that they don't realize that it's wrong. They tend to be just looking at sales data and saying "Hey...So and So is making product X...it's selling like hotcakes....why aren't we doing that?" :shocking: It defies logic and frustrates designers very, very rapidly. Nobody wants to be a copy cat. I worked for one company that did that, and I think I lasted about a year (wanted to make sure it didn't reflect poorly on my resume). They would reject anything new and innovative and push the design team to copy. We would just send the work over to China and let the salesmen oversee it. No point in wasting design resources on copying. The funniest thing is that one of our competitor's got a hold of our proposals for a new line of products we had developed (products that were rejected by our sales and marketing team) and is now producing probably about 70% of the items we designed with about 10% changes. Ironic, I think:) :whistle:

 

As for "guilt" for tracing, it all depends on the time you have and, as others have suggested, what you are using them for. If you trace over a picture to get the scale and proportions correct then it's fine. If you are copying what you are tracing verbatum, it's an issue. If it fills you up with too much guilt, leave the underlay lightly showing so that people who look at it know that it's what you did.

 

On a sidebar, nothing frustrates me more than spending 10k on a concepting phase with a "top of the line" design firm and getting sketches that look like dog doo. Learning to communicate ideas is fundamental for a designer. A large part of our skills hinges on this, especially if you are spending money on it. The only way to gain this skill is to practice, over and over again.

 

Just my thoughts on the matter. Hope it helps and good luck with the job. Keep your chin up as it is not you, it's just the way of some companies. :cheers:

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Guest CheckMate

sure well i can see your heart is in the right place. i suggest that you just collect as many images of design, fashion, art etc. that you really admire and seek to understand what it is that makes these pieces so great and therefore discover the ingredients that make such pieces and then try to create designs of your own that use the same ingredients. i guess the sort of thing i mean by ingredient might be: simplicity, verve, vividness, soft, supple, strong. that sort of thing. then when you know what you want your designs to be just keep drawing and experimenting until you hit the mark, then get some new ideas and start again! i always think the more and better you can critique other designs out in the world the more equiped you will become for developing your own designs.

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Guest Denise Diaz

Tracing is not good especially if this is going into production, especially if you ever want to show your work to get another job. What I recommend is that if this is the type of work the company wants but you really want to design then maybe you can do work on the side of stuff that really interest you, and maybe eventually you can get out of working there. Unfortunately the work your doing would not be considered design, but copying which is obviously what you don't want. Like I said do side projects of your own and get out of there

 

Best of luck

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Mindless tracing is bad.

Like if you are only focusing on the image underneath and just trying to draw it as close to the original as possible by following every single line, then thats bad. Because you arent thinking when tracing and once your done you havent really learned anything from the trace.

 

But tracing can be good and extremely useful. The more you do it, and especially if it is the same perspective, product, or image you learn "muscle memory." Like learning the perfect pose and movement to make a swish every single time from the free throw line is muscle memory. I think it is possible to get the same result by tracing. But when you trace you need to really pay attention to what it is that you are tracing. When you trace an ellipse, ask yourself why the ellipse looks like it does, how and why is it so wide or thin. Really pay attention and try to learn from the tracing experience, dont just mindless trace.

 

Once you understand what you traced and how it works, you can now do it yourself without tracing.

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