Release date:2020, December
We will teach you how to draw concepts of technology, characters, and props for games.
Course duration: 5 months (4 months of instruction + 1 month for additional homework review).
- Profession of a concept artist will be taught from scratch;
- Techniques for coming up with and drawing concepts for games and movies will be covered;
- Fundamentals of traditional drawing will be explored;
- Emphasis will be placed on conveying both the external form and essence of an object;
- Distinctions between an academic artist and a concept artist will be made clear;
- Creation of photobashes and 3D drafts will be introduced;
- Full cycle of a prop, technology, and character concept will be drawn.
WHO IS A CONCEPT ARTIST:
A concept artist is a specialist who comes up with and visualizes the appearance of all game content, including locations, characters, technology, and objects.
We will teach you how to come up with and draw concepts for technology, characters, and objects for computer games, from ideation to sketching and 3D drafts.
The work on any 3D model in a game always begins with a concept. The concept artist imagines how the future model will look, makes sketches in Photoshop, on paper, or using 3D drafts, and the modelers create the final model for the game based on the concept.
THE GOAL OF THE COURSE:
To teach you how to create concept art that solves specific problems for which game developers are willing to pay.
The basics of drawing techniques will take up approximately 30% of the course, while the rest will be devoted to the ability to solve real tasks of game projects.
To become a good concept artist, you need to not just draw, but solve a whole range of problems that the development team sets before you:
- Tell a “story” through geometry (visual language);
- Draw in a clear and accessible way so that an expressive 3D model can be made from your concept;
- Fit the style of the game universe;
- Draw several variations of one idea;
- Meet deadlines;
- Be able to perform the above points repeatedly, like a conveyor for the production of game content.
We will teach you all of this on the course.
The course was prepared by concept artist Ivan Rastrigin.
Ivan began his career in game development with 3D modeling and then switched to concept art. Over the past 7 years, he has created concepts for projects such as Skyforge, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Saints Row, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and War Robots.
WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?
First and foremost, for those who want to master the profession of a concept artist, come up with and draw concepts for video games.
And if you are already working as a 3D modeler, the course will give you an additional skill for your resume and teach you to create more expressive models. You will learn to work better with colors and composition. And the ability to draw by hand and quickly sketch several variations of the same model will help find an expressive silhouette already at the draft stage.
Moreover, the course program is not only about buttons and drawing but also about design in the broadest sense. And also about how our perception works.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:
1. Convey story and emotion in visual language.
A good concept tells a story. Not in words, but in shapes, symbols and colors. It’s a language that anyone on the planet can understand, because it’s not tied to specific words and is perceived by the subconscious.
Imagine the following situation: the lead character of a mobile game comes to you and gives you a task:
The character is a girl in a post-apocalyptic world. Nomad clan sniper, with light armor, fast, lightweight. Draw the concept of this character.
We need to make the character memorable and vivid, and convey in the appearance his story, character, purpose, and characteristics.
Step 1: Convey the essence of the character
There’s a so-called fundamental visual language – there’s so much that can be told through geometry alone.
We need the player to understand what gameplay awaits him. In our case, it is a character that will definitely not tank, but move quickly and attack from afar.
It is also necessary to take into account the peculiarities of the project itself:
High degree of stylization, low degree of realism.
2. distorted proportions – so the character will have a large head, thick facets and large elements.
3. The silhouette should be easy to read from a long distance, since we have a mobile game.
We make the first sketch, where we show the anatomy, silhouette and proportions:
If the hero is a “boogeyman,” the silhouette and proportions would be different. The emphasis would be on muscles and armor.
You need to know the basics of anatomy and be able to work with perspective for this stage. All of this, of course, will be covered in the course.
Step 2: Analyze TOR, choose attributes and look for forms
Now you need to analyze terms of reference, to think about the story and experiences, if all of this is not spelled out in the TOR. Understand the conditions under which the character lives. The more we know about him, the more expressive will be a “visual story.
The TOR is written in words, and the player perceives the character through his eyes. We need to convey the character’s story and the things that reveal the gameplay for him through clothes and attributes. Let’s select the appropriate attributes based on the ToR:
- Nomads = hoods and turbans.
- Constant movement (nomads are always on the move) = most important survival items (sleeping bag? flask?).
- Sniper clan = items reflecting clan membership, rank and position in society.
- Sniper = rifle (for long range)
A little more history. Add boots with spurs to show that the character is a horseman, as nomads often travel on horseback. Don’t forget, such moments need to be coordinated with the lead actor.
Now that we’ve decided on the character’s characteristics and attributes, it’s time to draw a Thumbnail (icon).
Create the first thumbnail
The Thumbnail is a mini version of your concept. It’s good because when you create it, you’re not concentrating on drawing, but trying to convey the essence of the future concept and looking for the right shapes. For this step, you need to be able to draw sketches of the clothes and attributes of the character; work with references, light and shadow.
Step 3: Multiple variations of a single concept
One thumbnail is bad practice. You almost always draw several of them, and then choose the best one.
Now you need to draw several different versions, not similar to each other, but revealing the same theme.
Thumbnails, several variations of the same character
There will be a series of lessons on time management to teach you how to meet deadlines and draw a lot and fast, as well as lessons that will help you easily “make up” new storylines.
Step 4: Redrawing.
We liked these two thumbnails. Let’s take the best elements from them and start redrawing a full version of our character.
Step 5: Refining the Concept in Several Iterations
Concept art is sequential work. No one starts with details at once. First we look for the right silhouette. Then we sketch large and medium forms, and at the end we add details, highlights and shadows.
The detailing of the concept is a series of iterations:
And at the end we have to try some color variations:
Three color variations.
The first variation is the most successful. Now we need to “spruce up” and add gear elements. This step is also called polish.
The final concept of the character looks like this:
Final character concept, drawn specifically for this article
Now you know what “visual language” is and understand what one of the tasks of a concept artist is.
In our course, you’ll learn to think like a concept artist who works in a team and solves game development problems, not just a draftsman who endlessly sketches.
2. Draw so that modellers understand how to work with it.
The finished model in the game goes quite a long way to get into production. It’s a mistake to think that a modeler simply redraws a concept one-to-one. The essence of the concept is to convey the essence and set the general vector.
The conceptor relies on the style guide of the entire project. And the modeler completes the reference to better understand the anatomy of all the details in the model.
Sometimes it’s better to make a simple but succinct sketch than to make a bunch of details that don’t make any sense. Here is an example of a very common mistake made by novice concept artists:
My old and failed concept. The modellers can’t work, so I had to redo it.
Our goal is to teach you how to convey the maximum amount of information with the minimum amount of lines, colors, and objects.
On the course, we’ll have an optional but very important assignment: you make a concept 3D model, and students from the Draft Punk set model from it. You’ll get feedback from the modeler and see how difficult it can be to convey your idea to a 3D artist.
3. Draw a lot and quickly, and come up with new ideas easily
The job of concept artists is to draw all game content in plane or draft 3D. While a modeler makes at best a few dozen complex models during a large project, we need to come up with several hundred different concepts. So you need to be able to draw not only cool, but also fast.
An important skill for a concept artist is to come up with new things in large quantities without concentrating on rendering. To the average person it may look like unfinished mush, but it is what conveys the very essence of what should be in the final.
Such sketches allow you to find the right basic shape for the future concept.
Our goal is to teach you how to quickly create a lot of different, dissimilar options so that you can then eliminate the directions and options that don’t work in order to develop and pump up the best ones.
1. basic block.
- Introduction to concept art. What is it and what is it for.
- Contrast in composition. Rhythm.
- Introduction, basic shapes, light. Tone.
- Composition, statics-dynamics. Balance in composition.
- Construction of shadows.
- Softness and rigidity of silhouette. Strong silhouette.
- Art direction, planning, time management.
- Plastic key.
- Check list.
- Collection and analysis of references.
- Ambient acclusion.
- Joints, articulations, structures, transitions in design.
- Saturation and color tone distribution.
- Softness and rigidity of the silhouette. Tension.
- Types of color harmonies. Color. Characteristics of color.
- Ambient light. Overcast lighting. Solar lighting.
- Realistic rendering. What are the layers it’s made of?
- Aerial perspective.
- Shape design. Props. Construction tectonics.
- Material rendering.
- Finalization. Generalization, underlining.
- Drawing techniques. Draft tumbniles sketch.
- Analysis and analysis of drawing techniques. Comparison of techniques with an example on the development tree.
- Realistic rendera. What are the layers?
- Plasticity, functionality, self-similarity, ergonomics.
2. Character block.
- Basic anatomy, dummy.
- Character design.
- Dummy outline.
- Stylization, exaggeration.
- Costume design.
- Facial design. Emotions: aggressiveness, kindness.
- 3. Basics of traditional drawing and painting
- How to use a pencil. Primitives.
- Materials for drawing, tools.
- Composition in still life: mistakes and rules.
- The general and the particular: a generalized view.
- Drawing, construction, sketching.
WHAT YOU’LL GET AS A RESULT
In 5 months you’ll master the entire foundation of knowledge necessary to work as a concept artist, and you’ll be able to start working on real projects.
During your training, you’ll make:
- Three large concepts and two preparatory ones – while being sure to get feedback from your mentor.
- In the course, you will draw on your own:
- A still life of modified primitives;
- An icon (thumbnail);
- Concept of a props;
- Concept of a maunt (technique or animal);
- A stylized character concept.
SUCCEED WITH PERSONALIZED LEARNING
We believe in personalized learning: on the course, you’ll have a personal tutor who will check your homework, give feedback, and answer any questions you have. All of our tutors are specialists at least at the middle level.
- Personalized feedback.
- Unlimited number of feedback loops.
- Feedback within 24 hours of submission.