what supplies to bring as a starting ID student??

What tools/supplies of the trade should a newbie have/get to start in the program. I guess colored pencils, markers, and the likes. but are there certain types? i was thinking maybe I could get some supplies cheaper before I’m in the “you need this by class tomorrow” crunch. Any advice would be appreciated!

Don’t bring. Just get it as your class needs it. You will be wasting money getting the wrong type of pencils or markers. For foundation, it’s best to just go with the flow.

It’s true. Just roll with it. Otherwise you’ll walk into that art supply store and start saying “I could use this, and this, and this, and this…oh, and this!” Next thing you know you’ve got $300 worth of stuff. It’s much better to stagger your purchases and just get what you need as you go. To start with all you need is A pencil, A pen (Bic), and some 8x11 sketch paper.

Now if I could only take my own advice. I went in for a couple of AD markers and some black and white prisma pencils the other day. Ended up with $45 worth of stuff. :unamused:

oi skinny pete !

is that you jumping around with that big q-tip. looks trippy, mang.

Man you’ve never seen the star wars kid, priceless


what school are you going to? maybe someone from the same program can help out if you are interested in buying early. that is actually whati did last year. i ordered some things off line.

Definitely wait and see what the instructors want. Sometimes they are very specific about types of paper etc.

If you want to get started on your portfolio and sketching ability on your own time, I would suggest getting some semi-sheer paper (for overlays), nice pens, charcoal pencils and gum erasers, a scanner, exacto knife and a preferred method for 3D physical modeling.

Also make sure you have some sort of photoshop software like Illustrator, Photoshop, Alias, etc. There’s no need to buy these programs if you have internet access.

or after you know some good people in school.

…when i was at uni several of us pooled some shop tools and studio equipment and then sold them to the next class…but pick your partners wisely…

Things you’ll need at some point: You won’t need to get all these tommorow, but they WILL make your life 1000x easier as you progress through school. Don’t try to go without, if you can’t afford it go in with some people and share the cost. Its worth it and makes you life easier to have good equipment.

Modeling/shop tools:

Dremmel tool - priceless for making detailed models. Can get details that are basically impossible otherwise.

Respirator - Don’t risk your health breathing in carcinogenic modeling foam dust. Spend the money to get a good respirator and use it every time you work with the foam. Don’t waste time with the cheap paper masks.

Safety googles - I liked having my own pair on hand for working in the shop. The shop had their own sets, but they were always scratched and crappy. These are cheap so get a pair

Paint - I always used automotive spray paint (Plasti-Kote) Lots of colors, takes to sandpaper well and dries fast. DO NOT try to make a model using cheap paint like Krylon or Rustoleum - it will take forever and you won’t get good results. Some people also use an actual spray gun, which costs a more, but you’ll get an even more professional look to your finished models.

Sanding block - DONT sand just using your fingers - you won’t get an even surface, b/c your fingers are not a flat surface.

Sanding sponge - see above

Sandpaper - get various grits from stuff coarse enough to take barnacles off a boat to the super fine 2000 grade automotive stuff.

Tape measure/rulers, etc. - duh. Again the shop will have these things but I only trusted my own.

Wood filler - For sealing foam models. You’ll learn more about this later. Some people use spackle, I found wood filler works better, though.

Bondo - Great for correcting problems/mistakes in foam models. Wear a respirator…

Drawing tools:

Pens - I use three black pens - a super fine point, a medium point, and a wider point. Use the wide point sparingly. I also use a regular ballpoint pen sometimes. (Don’t use Prismacolor markers with ballpoint pen though…the marker will bleed the pen marks)

Markers - The sooner you get comfortable with markers the better. For starters get a 30% Cool Gray, 50% Cool Gray, 80% Cool Gray, and a couple of other colors of your choice. You don’t need to buy the 500 pack of markers to do a good marker sketch.

Pencils - I and a lot of designers LOVE non photo blue colored pencils. They are great for setting up a drawing before you start putting ink down. Try several different brands to see what you like the best. I like a slightly harder lead that won’t break too easy (Stay away from Prismacolor)
Also get a white and a black pencil for highlighting marker sketches.

Paper - You’ll want to experiment with various papers. Marker paper, vellum, newsprint, colored papers all give different results and have various good and bad points. This one is a matter of taste and will be developed through experience.

Computer stuff:

If you plan to just use the department computers, get a few CD R/CDRWs, and a flash memory stick. ALWAYS make frequent backups of all your work and archive EVERYTHING!

That’s all I can think of right now. I know this is a lot of stuff but like I said you don’t have to get it all tommorow. Have fun and good luck.

a little advice…

i really cant stress this point enough, everyone in my class started with laptops, it was mandatory for the program and we didnt knowm any better. almost everyone by now (final year) has a workstation. i have seen multiple harddrives fail and bad shit go wrong that takes them out for the quarter. for around $1500 you can purchase a blazing fast desktop that can run multiple applications and run any 3d modeler with speed.
there are a few cats in my class that live and die with their g4 powerbook they are just unaware that its not normal to wait 20 seconds to import a clipboard from photoshop

buy all supplies online you will save 30% to 50% over the campus art store

you should take that hundered dollars you saved and purchase a legit student copy of alias. there is no reason to use a shatty old crack when you can have the full newest software and support for around $100.

good luck with your first year!

One of the big mistakes that I did was to buy software and a computer right off the bat. Even with the student discounts it was still a little heavy. Take advantage of the facilities of the school and do all your work in studio. You’ll also see what others are doing and get motivated. DO NOT take any work home with you. Don’t get in the habit of doing work when you’re supposed to be on your off time. Treat your school work as a job and discipline yourself to actually enjoy the school culture. You’ll never experience it again. Make sure, however, to buy some software and hardware right before you graduate to take advantage of those discounts.

Yeah, try not to work from home much. My last year in school I had my own drafting/drawing table and computer at home, but everything else I did at school. It helps to have other people around to inspire and assist you. You never can tell when you might need to borrow some Super 77 from someone at 3 in the morning…

Thanks so much! all of the info really helped! As DWH went over, I was/am trying to cut costs by not buying on the fly from the school store…

Pearl Paint has always been the cheapest place that I’ve walked into. (Unless you have a coupon for Michael’s). What about online, any suggestions? sometimes these places have their own generic labels, it’s just a question of what which have the quality!

anyone tried http://www.jerrysartarama.com/ ???

sort of going of topic here but i thought i would ask now as a few of you are discussing materials.

What materials do you use for modelling designs? foam, clay, rp, fabricate from wood or plastic? i was just wondering as i have been trying to use foam but am finding the stuff really hard to work with. i use both a blue and pink foam i get from my uni workshop but it seems really crappy.

Any suggestions of specific types of foam to use?


Well as you have already stated blue and yellow foams are pretty crappy and it takes alot of skill to actually use them and have great looking models. What I can tell you is thata if you are willing to spend a little extra money you can get a little higher grade materials such as balsa foam and renshape.

Balsa foam is alot like yellow foam except its darker yellow and is made of more compact cells. When sanded it makes alot of dust so make sure you have good lung and eye protection. It can easily be painted with spray paint or regular paint. The paint soaks in a bit so a few coats should do it.

Renshape is red in color and quite heavy. It feels like a brick in your hand but is very smooth. This is the easiest material to sand, mill and lathe. It’s on the expensive side so it’s good for final models.

I hope this helped have fun designing!

allin one to stash in desk, 13x19 printer, digital camera, graphix 360, electric pencil sharpener, powerstrip, prismas, ball points, sharpies, wacom, cheap bond paper, non-flourescent light, mech. pencil, dremel, bondo, harbor freight spray gun, sandpaper, ren stash, keychain drive, push pins, HEADPHONES, coffemaker, professional auto masking tape, straight edge,sweeps and guides foamcore boards, calendar, double-sided matte paper and 5 years to spare

we have a jerry’s artarama store near where i live. They are very helpful and the prices are ok, but not the best. I would say you can feel safe ordering from them.

also dick blick or dick blic, not sure how it is spelled, usually has stuff cheap online