Games Concept Art Experiment – Teaching Session – Updated 17/10/12

This session relates to the session on Pareidolia and the generation of concept art from random gestural shapes here, as well as the single, or flattened layer Photoshop Colouring techniques covered in your recent sessions (which we will recap on in a future session looking at SketchUp based concept art generation).

The technique discussed below and further explanations of them, and all the underlying ideas can be found in many tutorials online and in magazines such as ImagineFX etc, and in Weiye Yin’s excellent “Impeccable Scene Design – for Game, Animation & Film”, and the great project “The Skillful Huntsman” by Scott Robinson and three of his then Entertainment Media students; variously called “Happy Accident” techniques, “Cloud Images” etc.

This is of course a higher skill level based practice – For those students who are still struggling to deal with some of the basic underpinning fundementals of Visual Development (i.e. Perspective Drawing; Light and Shade/Values; Colour Theory; Composition; Design Thinking & Narrative – even excluding Observational Drawing at this stage) you may struggle to make good on the promise of this technique straight away.

As sometimes the recognition of the shapes is reliant upon your ability to fathom perspective on the 2D plane visually prior to drawing/painting.

But, practice your fundamentals, and then you should, as others before you, be able to exploit this process, and those others that you have seen on your favourite speed paint videos.

The image below was just a test using the Dodge and Burn* tools and the Hugh/Saturation and Curve Adjustments in Photoshop, less than an hours work… a useful technique when thinking about Games Designs Concept Art. Even if just for very early atmosphere creation and the generation of quick world-building ideas.

*Remember, Dodge & Burn are okay when used sparingly or at least with some control, they can cause unsalvagable damage, especially when using this single layer technique, and you may find yourself having to start over. Test and Explore techniques and Tools prior to starting final peices.

I’ll do another of these and screen record it in real time to show how quickly something like this can be done from scratch… no sketches.

UPDATE! – Okay so this time I did it I screen recorded it… this one took a little longer coming in at around 55mins…

The video is split into two, with a 5min speed paint to give you a flavour of the process, then the full 55mins allowing you to see more clearly the tools used, and the points were I’m thinking about design or other choices.

Remember this is simply a “Happy Accident”/”Cloud Image”/Pareidolia (the scientific name for this phenomenon based exercise, in reality you may have a starting brief for an image like this which may force some aethetic choices early on, this example below was free from that, which you can see as I flip the image over 90 degrees looking for interesting shapes etc.

The image at the top of the post created using this method that introduced the session actually came in handy at a later stage as the basis for an animated logo/sting/ident:

I simply split the image into pieces and animated them in After Effects.

You can see another possible ident’ animation created in a similar way HERE:

A similar technique can be used to create character based concept art too, for example this post apocalyptic scene:

These examples where both generated very rapidly, and can be used as the basis for much more finished artwork.

Here is a slightly more advanced version of this technique.

For those of you looking for reference regarding architecture, the notes to my Architecture fort Games Designers 101 is HERE:

…and some thoughts on Colour can be found HERE:

~ by hesir on March 11, 2011.

3 Responses to “Games Concept Art Experiment – Teaching Session – Updated 17/10/12”

  1. […] background using the methods described in my previous games design photoshop concept sketching post and create a whole new concept image for your game… like the Work In Progress […]

  2. […] The model was then thrown into Photoshop and coloured on one layer suing my quick colour method (another future tutorial*) and then dropped into a background created in the same way as the visuals in this post: […]

  3. Reblogged this on apophenia inc..

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