Modern Character Design: Concept Art in Video Game Development

Concepts are closely connected with the development of technology in our time with the development of computer technology. Twenty years ago, it was hard to imagine that science would make such a breakthrough that would exponentially lead to the development of any technology. Now we often do not have time to keep up with the times: smartphones, laptops, game consoles, special effects in advertising and cinema, and much more are improving. But all these new products have one regularity – not a single project, be it a film, a computer game, advertising, or even opening your own business, is impossible without visualization using concept art.

What is Concept Art: Features and Applications

Wikipedia says: “Concept art is a form of illustration where the main goal is to convey a visual representation of a design, idea, or mood for use in a movie, video game, animation, or comic book before it is placed into the final product.” Not bad, but what is concept art?

Wikipedia’s definition is technically incorrect. It ignores the bulk of the concept work, which is only a small fraction of what the concept artists draw and later serves as reference material for production.

For each final model, there are tons and tons of experiments, mockups, collections of references, thumbnails, quick sketches, variations, iterations, and rejected designs. Unfortunately, no matter how professional the game concept artist is, there is usually more waste paper in the bin than the designs that will form the basis of the final product.

As a rule, concept art is created at the initial stage of project development. The main purpose of concept art is to make a sketch or layout of an object in the shortest possible time, which can then be used in the game. For example, modern male character art already has a base in stature, height, and body features for a human character and other fantasy or fantastic creatures.

Mark Brunet once said: “The first step for any concept is to create rough sketches. It’s almost like brainstorming when you’re trying to come up with many interesting silhouettes while still keeping the original idea of the character” – this is the philosophy used by the professional concept art agency.

Additional Feature of Using Concept Art

Publishers and studios want to promote the release, and magazines and blogs want to create opinions about the hype around the game. To fulfill these goals, the art must accurately reflect the final key visual elements of the game, meaning that the art is either selected or created after the game design has already been fully developed and approved.

Video game concept artists release concept art only when the design is done and polished enough to represent the final product. After that, what is released as concept art is promo art. Nowadays, all promo art – including even that created after the completion of the production of the game – gets the name of concept art from the light hand of the producers who release it, the editors who write about it, and fans who share it.

Modern Character Design

The heart of almost any game is its characters, and it is for them that we go through stories to the end credits or return to familiar plots repeatedly. Unfortunately, in recent years, the authors of many AAA titles have adhered to a single formula, trying to make the characters both unique in appearance and on the outside. As a result, modern game character concept art contains the foundations for implementing all crazy, philosophical, and visually complete images.

Remember any modern female character art – in the era of multiculturalism, we can have a completely new and unique character in front of us. Even anime style has reached a whole new level and has become one of the categories that concept art outsourcing studio can focus on.

Modern character design is the creation of a micro-world in which an artist or designer must be able to calculate the economy of the game, arrange emotional techniques, tell a story, and involve the player in the flow. And also to ensure the profitability of the game to its creator.

Final Thoughts

Time is money. At certain stages of game development, the artists or concept art agency must be quick and meticulous in their work. They must communicate ideas and sentiments effectively with as little time as possible. Many ideas they bring to life will end up on the table anyway, so executing them speedily is key. This means using speed paints, outlining 3D models and photographs, editing photo elements, pencil sketches, line art instead of painting, using stock photos, references from other games, thumbnails, illustrations, symmetrical painting, and reusing old work.Due to the distorted public perception of concept art, all these current methods to speed up the process are often called cheating, not real art, laziness, shortcut, and unoriginal, especially if the company uses the services of a concept art outsourcing studio. But despite this state of affairs, using the example of the studio, you can see a different perception through cooperation with many large projects on the market. Concept art in modern realities is a tool for implementing the ideas and philosophy of the game and an indispensable component of the marketing strategy, so the quality must always be at the highest level.

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