The Process: Tool Design

I worked for a couple of years with mechanics and engineers were I familiarizing myself with tools used on cars of the 1950s. Then, looked at reference of vintage tools used on cars, trains and planes. However, I did not want the inspiration to come solely from tools themselves, but other objects. One day, I was using an elevator and noted that its buttons looked interesting.


Elevator Buttons

Automobile Engineering

First, I sketched traditionally different types of tools. The ones with elevator looking buttons and strange silhouettes stood out. Then, I digitally continued to further develop the tools by embracing contrast. Unlike typical silhouettes, the buttons were also portrayed at this stage.

The hardest part of their design was to keep them looking strange but making sure that they showed functionality. Although partly achieved, I realized that thinking about them as part of an entire world was needed to fully capture their purpose.

As the world is a wasteland, I wanted to give the impression of rundown and used tools. Hence, I created a custom brush in Photoshop that simulated ink running out as you paint. I achieved this by combining two brushes where one acted as a randomized mask. This masked effect created the running out of paint look. With the brush, I blocked out colors and highlights.

The Tools, Digital Painting, 2018Hard Surface Concept Art

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