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Why do games have concept art, anyway?

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  • EzhaeEzhae LondonPosts: 737Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
     

    So basically, some artists find it easier, quicker, better quality, or whatever to draw something on a piece of paper before making textures and vertex data that the computer can handle?  And that's what concept art is?

    If it's only "sometimes" on paper, wouldn't that mean skipping the concept art stage the other times?

    As for game mechanics and skills, yeah, you probably need some scratch work for that sometimes.  But that's not really concept art.  I've never seen a game web site post pages of handwritten computations.

    Not exactly. Concept artists sometimes do not work on actual in game assets at all. They just provide the vision of the charactes/world and then the guys who are responsible for 3d art do the work transfer the concept into 3d mesh. Just like with normal drawing it always helps to have some reference for what you are drawing it helps to have a 2d images (preferably both front and profile)  for 3d modelling. 

    Ever since drawing tablets became more populara lot of concept artists uses them to create the art. It's much easier to draw digitally because you have greater control of colours, effects and can change things much eaier without having to redraw the basic form. 

  • MadnessRealmMadnessRealm Montreal, QCPosts: 2,716Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    So basically, concept art is an internal step in making game artwork, and game development teams make however much concept art makes sense as internal steps to produce the best artwork they can on a given budget?  And then what they show on a web site is kind of like a "how the game was made" type of thing, that only shows some token stuff and leaves out the overwhelming majority of what they actually did?  That would explain why I didn't get it:  I never saw the point of "the making of..." for movies or whatever.

    "Making of" can be interesting from an artistic and technical point of view (at least for those interested). Trying to understand how they do it, seeing the whole process, etc. A rather interesting example I came across recently is from one of the "The Hobbit - Production Diaries" on Peter Jackson's youtube channel. Since the movie was filmed in 3D, you have 2 concept artist drawing the same picture next to each other, but one is drawing the picture in blue whereas the other is drawing it in red (here). There's also this part where they have artists making miniature model of a set/scene before they build the real thing where actors will be playing (here).

    It also helps those concept artists in landing more jobs by getting their work "out there" and it makes great wallpaper for computers as well :)

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  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,854Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    The concept art never gets included into the game itself unless it's at loading screens.  And the game itself pretty much never looks anything like the concept art.

    Is concept art mainly a marketing thing, as it does sometimes show up in ads for the game?  Is it mainly done so that games can have nice looking loading screens that nearly everyone will want to skip as quickly as possible?

     

    If artsyle ideas are being brainstormed it makes more sense to have them first "on paper".  It takes one artist to draw or paint a picture but multiple people, typically, to place that same entity into a gameworld first for review.  Plus, at the phase that concept art is created the engine may not even be up to put "demo" ideas in.

     

    If you mean the same texture resolution you're probably right since drawings are stills and can be done in various detail depending on the tools used.  Most of the concept art I've seen have looked just like the in game entities with these differences in mind.  One game is GW2.  The artsyle of the concept art itself was cause for discussion but still matched the in game entities.

  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,478Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    So basically, concept art is an internal step in making game artwork, and game development teams make however much concept art makes sense as internal steps to produce the best artwork they can on a given budget?  And then what they show on a web site is kind of like a "how the game was made" type of thing, that only shows some token stuff and leaves out the overwhelming majority of what they actually did?  That would explain why I didn't get it:  I never saw the point of "the making of..." for movies or whatever.

    Game concept art is one of the most important parts of game development. It establishes mood, setting, textures and overall storyline for the game, and provides 3D artists with a reference as to what the game itself should look like. Videogame concept art is a dedicated profession by itself, although artists often branch into book cover art, movie concept art and other forms of digital painting. http://creativefan.com/epic-game-concept-art/

    Sometimes pure concept art can seen as amazing paintings, for example look at the concept art for the movie Django: http://conceptartworld.com/?p=19067

    Every video game character you’ve ever loved (or hated) started as a rough sketch during early development stages. Some artists nail the appearance of the hero, villain, monster, or scenery on the first few tries, but designers usually go through dozens of doodles before reaching the final, definite look. Check the 15 concept vs how it turned out picturers http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/01/concept-art-vs-character-models-a-visual-comparison-gallery/#vb-gallery:1:581007


     

     

  • IsawaIsawa Middle 0 Nowhere, ORPosts: 1,051Member
    Originally posted by greenreen

    Someone working in photoshop isn't using less talent than on paper. In fact, I draw doodles great on paper with liquid ink and hash shading with .5 mm pens. I find the mouse so much less able to do what my hand can that I would say someone skilled in photoshop deserves a little more than a hand drawing in pay to get that right. My best designs in photoshop were back when I used a marble mouse, good luck finding one with a scroll wheel and the marble not on the thumb. I think that mouse resembles how a pen is used and makes a difference because you push with your first and middle finger with the marble in the center as if you were controlling that smaller tool. They do have products that cater to hand drawers, tablets. I'd like one of those to see if it's like hand drawing but haven't looked at them for years.

    I've got a Wacom tablet and pen and it is much more like hand drawing than a mouse. Sometimes I even use it for non-drawing uses. Other than that, I feel like the question from the OP has been answered well enough.

  • FromHellFromHell NY, NYPosts: 1,311Member

    [mod edit]

     

    you know, a game needs a CONCEPT before 100 graphics artists are locked in a room for 5 years to create the graphics for a game.

    Concept art and game design documents are planning tools during production, not a marketing gag.

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  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,559Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ignore_me

    There are two things here:

    Why do they have concept art?

    -To build the game

     

    Why do they show it to you?

    -So that your imagination fills in the blanks with visions of adventure, exploration, and pleasure center of the brain Fun.

     

    The first question is getting repeatedly answered.  Kind of shows no one is bothering to read anyone's posts but just wants to blab themselves.

     

    It is the second question that really cannot be answered.  I find looking at concept game art interesting in that it reminds me people worked hard to make this game; even if I will end up declaring the game play crappy.  I DO appreciate the effort to create a virtual world.

     

    [mod edit]


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