This post acts as my 500 word reflective post on my creative decision making, as required in the project brief.
As a concept artist, it’s essential to be self-critical. I am constantly evaluating the work that I put out and thinking about how I can tweak it to improve it, or how I would produce a better result if tasked to do it all over again.
Throughout the past 3 months I have spent a huge amount of hours working on my craft and meeting the milestone goal deadlines that I’d set for myself for this project. As I was right at the start of the pipeline, a lot of the decisions made by me had a large impact on the creative aesthetic of the project as a whole. Of course, with my designs there is room for interpretation, and Lee and Joe both take liberties where and when is needed to ensure that the final result looks good in engine.
I’ve made a series of creative decisions and judgement calls about the best way to present the various designs that I’ve done for the project. At times, such as with the Demon Crypt, a very fast concept sketch is done based on a rough 3D model and paintover.
This serves it’s purpose as it is an informative drawing about the structure of an interior, and is not meant to be a piece of key art, or to set a mood. Joe had already got the materials for everything in engine, so it was a matter of showing those existing assets in a new arrangement.
At other times I have developed a more cinematic style, such as with early concepts for the island which utilised more dramatic lighting
I’ve also done detailed schematics and breakdowns, as well as material indications for something like the Ballista piece, which was a complex mechanical structure with moving parts. This gives Joe a very clear overview of what to model, and eliminates any questions about the design.
Lastly, the most detailed overview that I can give is actually a full 3D sculpt of the concept, complete with a paintover to showcase the materials, like I used with the Plague Wraith.
My original goal with this project was to utilise the skills and software knowledge that I had developed over the course to produce concepts to the best of my ability. Despite this, I did actually end up utilising some new software – Marvelous Designer as I knew that I wanted a fabric simulation for the robes of the Plague Wraith creature for realistic looking folds in 3D. I made took an objective decision that it would be a worthwhile investment and luckily I found it very intuitive to use and did not waste much time figuring out how it would be incorporated into my workflow.
The method of execution and presentation is dependent on the needs of the artist it is being handed off to, and so a critical decision is made as to the best and most time efficient way to do that. Within a real game studio setting it would be highly unlikely that each concept was given the opportunity to be developed to a very high standard as there simply isn’t the time or the money available to do that in active production.