GDA Art Workshop: Concept Artist, Illustrators and Practice

November 17

Concept Art

What is required from a concept artist?

  • Able to explore a wide variety of ideas or styles
    • Create and explore new concepts
  • Able to produce final illustration quality work
  • Collaborate with people including those who are not versed in art
  • Environment designs that explore a wide range of styles and explore specific methods
  • Paintings that demonstrate a wide range of techniques from classical to stylized
  • Understanding of composition, color theory, and visual storytelling
  • Ability to create prop and building designs including development sketches

Mention book

What skills are important for a concept artist?

  • Creativity and design
    • The main thing for a concept artist is creating great ideas and concept.
  • Anatomy
    • Always a must. You will always need a strong background on anatomy.
  • Foundations/Basics
    • Make sure you always have a great understanding of color, value, form, etc.
  • Speed
    • It is always great to create many concepts, and create it pretty quickly to show and get critiques on
  • Execution
    • The ability to create concepts that have a clear theme and mood, as well as technical elegance will inspire the team and help in choosing a direction for the art

What should be in a concept artist’s portfolio?

  • **Remember to show your best work**
  • Good Design, show that you can design a character that shows some sort of story behind it
  • Be well rounded; Show that you can create concepts such as environment, characters, etc. Show that you can create art from high polish to the earlier stages
  • Be careful of abstract art being concept; it is hard for 3D artists to interpret and use
  • Pay close attention to style, subject matter, invention, and anatomy.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqD1K2KnULw
  • Extra: Income for artists article (will edite this later: http://work.chron.com/starting-salary-concept-artist-video-games-24949.html )

Add pictures and break it down

Good Design, show that you can design a character with personality and suggest a rich backstory

Be well rounded; Show that you can create concepts such as environment, characters, etc. Show that you can create art from high polish to the earlier stages

Find the character design charts here: https://ahmedaldoori.com/charts/

Be careful of abstract art being concept; it is hard for 3D artists to interpret and use. Be clear and concise.

Pay close attention to style, subject matter, invention, and anatomy.

Differences between Concept Artist vs Illustrators

Concept Artists:

  • Focuses more on the ideas and creativity
  • The character/environment have a story built in
  • Creates a solid idea that will be transferred over to 3D artists to create the piece

Illustrators

  • Focuses more on the execution of the piece to create a painting
  • Focuses on the overall composition to create a story
  • Does not have to be as thorough, and focuses more on visual appeal
  • Storytelling within a single image

Show a piece of concept art, vs image of an illustration

Concept Artist

  • Focuses more on the ideas and creativity
  • The character/environment have a story built in
  • Creates a solid idea that will be transferred over to 3D artists to create the piece
  • Responsible for creating the design. They are architects of the characters and environment to be built.

Illustrators

  • Focuses more on the execution of the piece to create a painting
  • Focuses on the overall composition to create a story
  • Does not have to be as thorough, and focuses more on visual appeal
  • Storytelling within a single image

Good additional skills/things to know:

  • 3d Modeling
    • Having a chance to execute a full 3D model to use for a game is great to understand certain limitations
    • Roughly block out a scene to paint over
    • Assist with values, rough lighting and perspectives
  • Animation
    • Basic understanding of how people will use your concepts through different softwares
    • Ability to make animated concepts
  • Sculpting
    • Zbrush or traditional sculpting, helps make another way to visualize a 3D design

Softwares to use (Industry grade)

  • Photoshop
  • Zbrush
  • Keyshot (rendering engine)
  • Sketchup (roughing out stuff to paint over)
  • Maya

Remember to keep in touch with your Traditional art side!

Practices

Sketch Practices

  • Try to dedicate 10-30min on drawing and shading a selective body part that you have trouble with
  • Afterwards you can reward yourself by just drawing whatever you like or whatever you want to personally study; such as armors, stylized characters, etc
  • What does this help you with?
    • Anatomy, value
  • You can also just change body parts to whatever you feel are weakest, and focus on that as your dedicated study time
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prteVqkD964
  • https://youtu.be/hzl3eaxAJpo

Anatomy Practice

  • Go to a figure drawing session (Preferred) or use photos suitable for figure drawing (nude)
  • Classes:
  • On campus sessions: Wednesdays 7-9pm @ E Baskin L 101
  • Draw and shade those figures. And continuously practice. Do a couple without looking up stuff on anatomy and keep those sketches.
  • Learn anatomy, learn the bony landmarks, muscles, and the measuring body by heads method and the approximate locations on where certain parts of the body lie.
  • Go back and draw what you know when you draw more figures. Compare your past works and your current works
  • What does this help you with?
    • Anatomy, values

Speedpaint/draw!

  • Referring back to anatomy, draw and shade the figures
  • Try to start with 20 or 10min, and then go down to 5min, 3min, 1min.
  • Practice your speed, and learn what is important to have first. Block in parts that shows the form the best
    • Later on it will be useful in creating more realistic work, since it help you not be too pulled into detail especially for painting
  • What does this help you with?
    • Speed, value, form, anatomy

Silhouette Thumbnail Sketches

Iterative Drawing

  • Build up your intuition: Referencing real life bodies, faces, environments, etc.
    • Use references and imitate that drawing
    • Afterwards take those images away and redraw it again multiple times
    • Use your intuition and memory to figure out where it goes and fix places where it looks weird
    • Keep your mistakes, those are helpful to refer back to and study on; rather than just simply keeping perfect products
    • Video Reference: https://youtu.be/k0ufz75UvHs
  • What does this help you with?
    • Anatomy study, form

Digital Photo Study

  • Here is what you do:
    • Take a scene from a movie or image that does have real people or environments and paint it. Make it black and white first, focus hard on values and getting certain values correctly.
    • Recreate it again, this time using color, don’t shortcut it with fancy photoshop stuff such as a color layer. Use the colors from the original image and paint it. Make sure that you always have a black and white layer on top to double check on values.
    • Afterwards, make a big gray box somewhere and take out all the colors you used on the painting and put it on that box. Study on how saturated the colors are and observe their use of color.
    • Make sure you also observe on their use of lighting, where is the main light source? Back light? Bounce light? What environment are they in that the colors might be added on?
  • What does this help you with?
    • Value, color, form
  • Here’s an artist that did these type of studies (try to do the long way though, but the color layer is helpful at times): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQCKevuy7gc&feature=youtu.be

Additional Help

You guys can follow me in learning from the Cubebrush Art school! I have the downloaded materials up on the google drive link shared. If you took notes then please share it in the folders as well!

Also please support them:
https://cubebrush.co/mb/products/mmfwyq/art-school

With a huge lack in digital art classes here, this is incredibly useful!
Cubebrush also have a ton of cool tutorials, so definitely get them and maybe share it with all of us in the google drive as well ;)

Let’s help each other out the best that we can!

Thanks for listening, any questions?

Nov 17 Art Workshop: Concept Art and Practice - Google Slides