Ron Mendell

Ron Mendell is one of the most talented concept artists serving the Hollywood motion picture industry. For the past 20 years he has designed cars and gadgets to fill just about any film studio need. Ron has recently contributed his creative talents to productions including all three Iron Man movies, Oz the Great and Powerful, The Hunger Games and The Amazing Spider-Man. Previous projects include all three Jurassic Park movies and, War of the Worlds. The nature of his profession requires Ron to work at different studios as he completes one job and moves on to the next. This way, his design environment and his peers are constantly changing, introducing him to new experiences and influences.

Design for the Art Department

Transporting the audience into the characters’ world is a key element of effective storytelling in any motion picture. Achieving this task is the role of the Art Department. A huge amount of effort and creativity are required to be successful. Ron provides concepts, illustrations and digital models to Art Departments taking moviegoers on extraordinary journeys.

“Design is 100 percent of what I do,” said Ron.

“Typically after sketching out initial designs, I jump right into Evolve where I can quickly and effortlessly turn my initial pencil sketches into a real 3D model that can be developed on the fly. The construction history feature of Evolve is huge! An amazing tool that keeps this process moving quickly. After final approvals of the given project, I have a file ready to be output as a grown part.”

Prior to using Evolve, Ron Mendell’s process was manual, where he would start with pencil and paper and continue to develop his ideas until a final design was approved. This process involved sketching, color markers, paint, etc. The final steps included drafting, dimensioning and sectioning until enough 2D drawings were generated to hand off to a craftsman.

The biggest problem was translation. If enough drawings and views were not generated, then that left room for error on the craftsman end,” Ron said. “If the person building my design interpreted a line as a relief rather than a scribe, then things could go wrong very quickly. With Evolve, I can provide a 3D file that explains everything.”
“A fully rendered model is much more impressive than a wireframe or grayscale render. My clients (actors, directors, producers) want to see what a final product will look like.”
“Speed is another important benefit. After initially building a model in 3D, I can very quickly rotate it to see it from any angle as opposed to taking the time to accurately draw another view. I can then apply textures and materials to see what it will look like. Equally important is having the ability to email a file to a vendor that can build the part on a 3D machine,” Ron added.

“After a session of modeling, I spend more time applying materials and rendering to generate concepts for approval,” explained Ron. “A fully rendered model is much more impressive than a wireframe or grayscale render. My clients (actors, directors, producers) want to see what a final product will look like.”

Having the ability to design as well as build, Ron Mendell knows how to create solid design. This is clearly evident in his stylistic sketches and renderings that start based on real world materials, dimensions and constraints. If it can’t be built, he won’t draw it.

Tank design from Evolve

Tank render from Evolve

Actual build of tank from Iron Man

Iron Man 2, the Movie: © 2010 MVL Film Finance LLC. Marvel, Iron Man, all character names and their distinctive likenesses: TM & © 2010 Marvel Entertainment, LLC and its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.

About Ron Mendell

Ron Mendell has worked in the Hollywood movie business for 20 years designing vehicles, sets and props for many major motion pictures.

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