One subject that themedattraction.com has not addressed yet is the question of design tools: That is, what tools are used by designers to create theme park attractions?

Magic Markers

There are three brands of markers that seem to work the best for rendering, and each have their advantages. Prismacolors are nice because they are a dry marker. The dry marker allows you to get more detailed with your color. The triple tips allow you to work in detail or on larger surfaces. There are scores of colors in a variety of different sets. They work well for most applications. Pantone brand markers are very similar to Prismacolors in function and performance, very dry and usable for many applications.

The difficulty in using these markers is keeping a ‘wet edge’. When filling a surface, if you let a surface dry and then try to add more color you’ll get a bleed line within the space. Bleed lines can ruin a drawing and must be avoided. Of course, if you scan the drawing, the lines can always be photoshopped out. But there is something to be said about a perfectly rendered marker drawing.

Chartpak is another brand of markers that are used quite often in themed attraction development circles. The difference is that unlike Prismacolors, they are extremely wet. The wetness is an advantage because you can quickly cover an area on a piece of paper with a nice wash of color. Care must be taken to stay away from edges, because this marker bleeds a lot. However, an astute illustrator will use the black lines on a drawing as a buffer zone within which the bleed will stop. The Chartpak markers bring a wonderful, water color-like feel to a drawing and unlike Prismacolors, can be blended together to some extent. A disadvantage of these markers is the high level of toxicity. Use only for short periods of time.

Photoshop is quickly replacing the need for markers. A paint bucket tool in Photoshop eliminates a lot of mistakes and allows for editing later. Still, there is a rich quality that can be obtained with a properly rendered marker drawing. It is an art that we should not soon forget.