Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yoshihiro Inomoto: Putting Emotion into Tech Illustration

What's going on here?

I really wanted to feature a couple automotive cutaway illustrations by the great Yoshihiro Inomoto (b. 1932), but most of the best are under extremely heavy copyright protection for reasons I find hard to understand. Seems to me, providing plenty of web publicity for Inomoto's work would increase sales of printed images and therefore benefit the copyright holders, but whadda I know. At any rate, I think I'm safe from prison by displaying publicity materials for an Inomoto exhibition I found on a Russian web site (see above).

Unfortunately, those materials really don't provide the full impact of an Inimoto illustration. So you need to link here for some fine (and copyright protected) images.

The site also includes biographical information on Inomoto as well as some fascinating details regarding how he works. It seems that he begins by making freehand drawings and then refines these using traditional mechanical drawing tools such ellipse templates. An alternative he apparently rejected was to begin by constructing detailed three-view drawings and then projecting to a 3-D image using architectural perspective techniques, something aviation artists often do. Another interesting twist is that Inomoto actually distorts some of the objects in an image such as brakes or the motor to suit his emotional reaction to the vehicle he's illustrating. This sort of thing must be pretty subtle, because I never noticed it before.

So this is about all I can do for now. Please visit the link. If what you see interests you, you can find images via a Google search.

1 comment:

wick humble said...

I requested the rights to use an Inomoto illustration for my book HOW TO RESTORE YOUR DATSUN Z-CAR (Fisher Books, now CA Bill's Automotive handbooks, Tucson AZ)back in 1984, and Nissan referred him to me. He was kind enough to grant permission for on 'phantom' veiw of the early Z.
He sent me two books he had written and illustrated, AS TIME GOES BY, & AUTOMOTIVE ILLUSTRATION, published in Japan (Japanese text) and asked as an auto historian, if I would be his American editor; after he translated the text, he requested that I put it in American vernacular. But first we had to find a publisher, and that proved fruitless in the late '80s! I cannot determine if they were ever published in English. I would still love to do it, if a publisher were agreeable; they'd make great coffee table books, and one shows his step-by-step process in creating a technical cutaway.
Wick Humble