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 Post subject: Am I qualified?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Ewok
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Location: NZ Snells Beach
Hey guys! :smile:

I have always wanted to be a character concept illustrator for game companies, I've worked really hard to improve my skills both in lineart and colour.

Am I qualified? :fingerscrossed:


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 Post subject: Re: Am I qualified?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:45 am 
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Hey there Cuddlemonkey

I took a look at your portfolio and you definitely have talent. From my experience only the very best of artists actually walk into a concept artist job (Someone once had this conversation with me also when all I wanted to be was a concept artist:)

Heres a snippet of a post I wrote awhile back on a 2d artist forum where they were asking about the best way of becoming a concept artist for games
_______________________________________________________________________________

There are alot of small games companies out there (well, not in NZ - but this was for a international forum)

They probably wont hire someone purely as a concept artist. They couldnt justify the salary. and if they do it would be prob for a limited time contract.(i.e the upfront work on developing the game)

They will hire 3D modellers (Character and environment modellers) who could contribute to concept art as well

There are alot of environment artists getting hired that arent as talented artistically as you guys. (This was directed at the artists on the international forum)

Environment modelling - texturing the environments in games - requires an artistic eye - and in the smaller games companies you will probably have to set up the lighting mood and composition of areas as well. The more talented will also end up doing alot of the concept art. They want to hire artists more than techno wiz's (though they keep a couple of those around as well.

You probably wont be hired to be a concept artist but once you are in (as an environment artist) you will be asked to do the concept art.

Who knows from there - maybe bigger companies to work for as a pure concept artist once your experience and portfolio have expanded.



I guess Im saying - do a 3d course - not even a 3 year one (mine was an intense 9 months where I learnt animation as well) - but the actual part of learning to model and texture environments is very easy - its the artistic eye that requires the development (3D maya software is really just another tool like photoshop)

Then get a job as a junior artist - your actual artistic ability will seperate you from others with just technical knowhow. Then plan you next step of helping with the concept art. You may not be ready to contribute to the top notch stuff but if you can communicate an idea, design, mood with art then you can find a niche.

__________________________________________________________________

This was based on my own personal experience where the company I was modelling for (based in the UK) had a contract with Ubisoft and almost lost it because the initial concept art wasn't cutting it - it wasnt the kind of concept art that would go in a book or anything it was just needed to get across ideas for environments to pass on to the modellers. Our company did an email around asking for everyone to submit some artwork, they liked mine and then for a few months I stopped modelling and was given a free reign in creating environments and drawing them up, great fun. and from then I was the concept artist guy / modeller (Until they went bust - hopefully nothing to do with the artwork)

I dont think you can rely on just concepting characters - you need to be able to do environmnets, equipment, lighting setups etc as well. Think about it from the business owners side of things, why hire a concept artist with a limited range who will be twiddling his thumbs once they have designed the 3 or 4 key characters of a game, when you could hire some one who can concept out all the aspects of the game and then model/ texture them as well.

I think you need to really diversify your style..you seem to have just one style at the mo but because games have so many different feels to them (Serious, cartoony, dark, fantasy, sci fi, kids, etc) the prospective concept artist needs to show a broad range to what the can do. The concept artists biggest skill is being able to communicate an idea to the person the concept is being passed on to...so rather than just drawing cool characters you have to be able to draw what can't be shown in words - i.e a complex bit of equipment like a sci fi helmet, a point of interest in an environment setting (Unique rock structure etc), the light set up in a otherwise standard room (So the modeller understands how to make it look cool).

I see you are on a 3D course so I think you are moving in the right direction

If you can show this kind of range in your portfolio and have a kick ass 3D demo reel then maybe you can get hired as a modeller/texture artist and help them out with concept art on the side.

Keep expanding your skills!

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 Post subject: Re: Am I qualified?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Ewok
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Heya ^^

Wow! Thanks for all this advice, I'm bummed about how long a journey it takes before I can get to where I wanna be. I'm probably a quarter of the way there, I'm studying a 3D animation course (2nd year level 7). I've learnt modeling, texturing, animation etc, I'm pretty good at each of them but I don't specialize in either.

Like you said, I'll keep expanding my selection of skills, hopefully I'll be wanted one day. Also I was wondering, if I started off in a small company (making games for iPad, iphone etc) would that lead me onto bigger things like PS3, xBox, Wii etc?

I'm always disappointed that I wasn't ready around the time they were developing games like Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro etc. The classics :-)

:thankyou:

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Also my Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/CloudFlowers?feature=mhum

Thanks! ^^


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 Post subject: Re: Am I qualified?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:45 pm 
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Don't be bummed out about how long the journey takes, just enjoy it - the learning and exploring are some of the fun parts.

Is a good point about the ipad, i phone actually. I forgot to mention another option is to find a programmer and team up and make your own games (for the Ipad and Iphone). I'm in the process of doing this on the side myself but have no idea how profitable it is - though I have read some pretty cool success stories. There are some independent 2 person teams doing some amazing stuff - and it means you get to be fully in control of your own project, including artwork etc. In my opinion this is the way to go when making games - I still cant see how some games companies make a profit after overheads and salaries are paid out (and continued to be paid out after each game is made)

The unity game engine is quite artist friendly and worth a look at if you ever decide to look into making your own stuff. Of course you need to find a competent programmer who you can work well with - they tend to be a weird bunch. Its also a good way of practicing concepting everything out.

Proving you can create your own games and work a pipeline and work with a programmer will also be of benefit if you do go for those jobs with an actual games company.

Being a Jack of all trades with 3D can be ok when trying to get a job with a smaller company as they will be looking for people to take on a range of roles. (Though they will still look for specialist animators, as that is an art form unto itself) Specialising is better if you want to work for a bigger company.

Anyway - good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Am I qualified?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Ewok
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:11 pm

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Location: Dub Dub City
I was actually snapped up to do concept art straight out of school. However this was because the studio was doing a movie and they just needed me to do grunt work. But it was a great experience. While working as a concept artist I gained a lot of new knowledge. They decided to make me the lead matte painter at the studio. This lead to me being a texture lead at another studio and now they have me doing concept stuff again. A bit of a wild ride but it's awesome! The guy that posted previously is right. You would have to have other skills as well. (like modeling or texturing) Otherwise they would run out of stuff for you to do in "down time". A little critique for your work: I really like your style...but, it looks a little too simple and in my personal experience, the japanese manga style of drawing limits what work you can do. You have to be open to a lot of different styles/workflows. From realistic to super toony. But keep working at it, you are talented!


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