Monday, October 10, 2011

Rerun: Art Without Starving

I've recently started reading Jon Acuff's blog, and he highly recommended an e-book called 31 Days to Find Your Blogging Mojo. That, along with your wonderful feedback, has convinced me to try and increase from my weekly Wednesday updates to biweekly updates on Monday and Thursday. Since I don't have that many pre-written posts queued up, I'm going to do a rerun of my guest post on The Domestic Scientist a couple of years back.

P.S. If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my giveaway contest, which ends this Wednesday!

So not sure how many of you know this, but before K became a designer, he spent over a decade as a video game artist first because, well, he was that kid at school who filled his math spirals with cartoon drawings. Now most parents don’t take kindly to an offspring who says “I’m getting a bachelor’s in art!”, so K set his goal on plugging his skills into a profitable entertainment industry to keep food on his table. Plus, of course, he’s a major gamer himself. ^_~

To give you a peek into what exactly video game artists do, let’s take a look specifically at the concept artist. From what K describes, they are the modern day Renaissance man. Obviously a good artist is someone who draws all the time and has formal training for honing skills. A good video game artist doesn’t just make characters and landscapes from an imagination run rampant, but knows what will be hard or easy for the animators and what the system resources are capable of. They wear many hats, such as:
  • Director of photography - where the digital light sources are, how to create certain moods and tones
  • Anatomist - how bones and muscles work in humans and animals, especially if creating new creatures
  • Fashion designer - clothing for everyone, including the background crowd
  • Archaeologist – a good grasp of different cultures and time periods, such as knowing how to mix Aztec armor with Japanese influences
And so on… I’ve even heard of artists who used to be mechanical engineers or industrial designers, which is great for creating giant robots and futuristic utensils. One such industry favorite is Adam Adamowicz, responsible for Oblivion’s Shivering Isles (fantasy realm of madness) and Fallout 3 (post-apocalyptic Washington D.C.). G4 got his point of view on the job for their Will Work for Games series:

Bonus round: another artist I like is Jason Chan. If you have some extra time, watch his take on creating different variations of the same “anti-hero warrior” character for a client. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Does K have any illustrations to show from his early days?

A Gamer's Wife said...

Haha, the ones from 7th grade are all comics of bad guys being blown up. The ones from his adulthood aren't much different. ^_~ I'll have to scan a few and show you guys!