High Priority – Game Art
High Priority – Game Art
Embarking on the path of a 3D artist is no easy feat, and achieving mastery is an even greater challenge. Nevertheless, by dissecting the craft into its four main pillars, you can gain a better understanding of what defines a proficient 3D artist and focus your efforts accordingly.
The first and possibly the most crucial pillar of becoming a skilled 3D artist is to master the fundamentals of art. Countless art masters throughout history have provided us with a wealth of knowledge on how to create aesthetically pleasing and efficient art, covering topics such as color theory, composition, line work, value, anatomy, spacing, etc.
Despite the misconception among starting 3D artists that these principles are obsolete, they still remain highly relevant to this day. For instance, consider the line work in your 3D character, the shape composition of your spacecraft, or the value balance of your scene.
By practicing these fundamentals, you can develop various methods and techniques for approaching your art, and build a robust foundation for your work. Furthermore, they help train your eyes and intuition, allowing you to better evaluate your artwork and progress towards creating exceptional pieces.
An art director may pose a challenge like: “We require a small scene depicting a charming French cafe with stylized colors and interesting shapes, while maintaining a realistic appearance. The scene should exude a fresh, friendly, and joyful mood, with sharp-edge design. We need a professional quality product, ready to present to the client in one week.”
Can you confidently undertake such a task and deliver a professional-grade outcome? The ability to do so, and create something that is fitting, fresh, and unique, is one of the most valuable skills a 3D artist can possess.
By mastering this ability, you can become an invaluable artist, one who can contribute to the art team without requiring extensive supervision. You will be able to tackle more significant assignments requiring design work, and potentially even take on an art direction role.
To develop your inner creativity and hone your skills, explore and experiment with new art styles, engage in daily creativity practice, and create finished and presentable projects. Challenge yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone and learning new techniques and methods. Consider developing the visuals of an entire game, including characters, the world, UI, VFX, logos, banners, and print materials.
By continuously working to improve your craft and pushing your boundaries, you can develop into a skilled 3D artist who can confidently undertake any challenge thrown your way.
There is a lot to learn before you can effectively create a good model, including poly modeling, sculpting, topology, textures, UVs, rigging, and more. However, are you also able to implement your model into a game engine, create shaders, or understand what edge decals are?
Having a broad technical skill-set allows you to approach assets with efficiency, and enabling you to complete your work in-engine instead of sending your files to others that have to QA check and implement them.
To name just a few skills:
You don’t have to master all of these skills, but understanding them will make you a valuable member of a team. There is plenty of information available on the internet, so pick a subject and start learning.
When working in teams and on larger projects, organized work and communication become of utmost importance for a smooth experience that results in something to be proud of. To ensure smoother project management and the ability to work in larger teams, you should start practicing the following points. Some may come with experience, while others can already be applied to personal projects:
To add, don’t underestimate how much extra time is needed to bring things to a good finished state. A common rule is to double your estimated hours so you have enough time for feedback and polish.
Being a well-rounded artist that studios and teams seek requires mastery in all four pillars: technical ability, creativity, communication, and professionalism. However, it’s essential to recognize that the journey towards mastery is a gradual process that involves consistent improvement in each area. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, focus on developing your skills in all four pillars and enjoy the learning journey.
See you next time!
The High Priority Team