Initial design iterations. I keep my designs broad at this stage, trying to find multiple design directions to take forward.
Second design iterations. At this stage I focus down the design. I tend to pick an interesting design that is close to the brief but adds something unique, a safe design i.e one likely to be picked and closely resembling the brief, and a wild card choice.
interior design iterations. This stage is necessary when using silhouettes, essentially you are repeating the process of design but focus on the interior. I try not to add anything that is not reflected in the chosen silhouette when doing this.
Turnaround and cut out design. The goal of this is to flesh out the design from all angles. The design my look cool from one angle but look terrible from the top for instance. I tend to do a 3/4 view as well for a quick solution.
Call out sheet with a focus on materials in this case. The goal of a call out sheet is to communicate your design intentions clearly to all stages of production. The focus of the sheet depends on what its for. ex. a material one for texture artists.
Final design. My focus at this stage is to clearly indicate what I want the final outcome to be, or to give a strong starting point for further design which usually focuses on smaller changes, like a different scope or grip, etc
I am currently putting together a workshop on weapon/prop design that was requested by a local college, I decided to focus the workshop on lightsabers so hopefully it'll be fun for the students. The workshop is only 2 hours long so i cover the process in broad terms. My process is similar for most of my concept art work. I start off with research which I will continue to do throughout the development in order to inform my designs, I constantly refer back to the initial brief or my initial goals to make sure I am not going off on tangents. Ill start with initial designs trying to keep the ideas broad at the start and narrowing down as I continue the process; and only moving on to the next stage when I have a few design directions I am happy with. If I get to a later stage and the designs aren't working I simply go back and repeat the process until they are. I do a final when I feel my initial design goals and intentions have been met and are clearly communicated to the audience.