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Geoffrey Kater Publishes “Design First For 3D Sketchbook”

In his first book, DESIGN FIRST FOR 3D ARTISTS, Geoffrey Kater taught emerging production designers and animators how to create and nurture their own personal design style. Now, in his second book in the series, DESIGN FIRST FOR 3D SKETCHBOOK, Kater provides hundreds of full-on designs and thumbnail sketches that serve to inspire designers, 3D artists and filmmakers alike. DESIGN FIRST FOR 3D SKETCHBOOK can be ordered through the Design First site, or at

Inspiration is probably the single most important thing in learning design, and nothing is better for that than pure sketching and illustration books, Kater said. Its the best way to provide both beginners and professionals with a variety of approaches to the same subject. For example, if you are designing a spacecraft, you have to address a variety of issues whos it for, what kind of environment does it fly through; what is it supposed to do? Once you settle on a certain style, then you can explore a myriad of different shapes and layouts that further refine its design and execution.

In 145 all original rough sketches and 120 thumbnail sketches, Kater surfs his own award-winning futurist style, breaking the DESIGN FIRST FOR 3D SKETCHBOOK into sections on vehicles, spacecraft, cars, boats, props and backgrounds.

Future DESIGN FIRST sketchbooks will delve more into character design through the contributions of several leading comic book artists, production designers and animation designers, whose work, Kater said, will be instantly recognizable. In addition, next month, Kater is due to begin shooting an instructional DVD series that will move DESIGN FIRST into the realm of actual production, explained in a step-by-step process.

Kater is a futurist designer, art director, producer and director who studied Transportation Design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He has worked with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on the design of a Pluto space vehicle, and his automotive design work has won awards from two National industrial design competitions. Katers work has been published in BUSINESS WEEK, CAR STYLING and POPULAR HOT RODDING magazines, and one of his spaceship designs hangs in the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. In TV, he has worked as a prop designer, production designer, 3D animator and illustrator for STREET SHARKS, THUMB WARS, THE AVENGERS, and WHERE ON EARTH IS CARMEN SANDIEGO? and held the key post of spaceship designer and 3D modeler/animator on Saban and Marvels SILVER SURFER series. He co-founded S4 Studios in 1999 for the production of animation for commercials, trailers, TV shows and feature film VFX.

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