Game art serves many functions. It must be clear and satisfying for users, while blending with its surrounding style. Furthermore, it must work within the confines of its programming to ensure responsiveness without breaking someone’s computer.
Kieran Goodson takes you step-by-step through the fundamental skills of video game art in this three part series by Kieran Goodson. An essential read for those attempting to break into video game art.
Finding the appropriate color scheme can significantly benefit game design. From characters and backgrounds to lighting effects, color can convey different emotions to players – dark hues tending towards moodier tones while lighter ones produce an upbeat and more cheerful environment. High contrast images create plenty of drama while lower-contrast ones are quieter but still impactful upon feelings.
2D art, or two-dimensional game art, employs two dimensions (height and width) to produce characters, objects and landscapes within games. This style has become one of the most acclaimed techniques, appearing in titles like Flappy Bird or Candy Crush.
Artists looking for inspiration when selecting colors may refer to various color theories. One such tool, such as the color wheel, illustrates how colors relate and helps designers understand colors not just technically but also colloquially when speaking verbally about them.
As new game designers often struggle to select an art style that meets their vision, this can often be due to a mismatch between desired style and available resources. To overcome this hurdle, it’s vital that they address their desires with financial and resource limitations in mind.
Shapes are one of the fundamental elements of art. These two-dimensional figures occupy space and can either be geometric or biomorphic (bio = life, morph = form). Shapes also serve as patterns within an outline – for instance a circle is not defined by how much room it occupies or its location but by its round form itself.
Shapes communicate emotions to viewers almost subliminally. Together with other design elements, this allows artists to craft an atmosphere which is inviting and enjoyable for players to engage with.
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Game art requires both preparation and skill. Regular drawing practices will help develop your abilities while learning new techniques, so enroll in classes and activities designed to spur new inspirations while expanding your creativity.
Take photography classes or join a painting club; visit museums; explore nature; take tours – these activities will help unlock hidden creative juices that could benefit your career as a game artist.
Research the available game art tools and consider which files will be exported on export. Consider what game engine you will use these tools with; sometimes creating a guide describing pipeline and task sequence can ensure an efficient process with quality results.
Game artists can breathe life and emotion into their digital creations by manipulating lighting effects to add dimension, depth and mood to an image. Lighting is one of the key components in creating an immersive game environment and it must all work together cohesively for maximum effect.
Color schemes, lighting effects and atmospherics all play an integral part in helping players engage with characters and environments. Artists should ensure their designs can be scaled across platforms and environments for maximum effectiveness.
Free game making tools provide developers with everything they need to achieve their creative goals without breaking the bank. Compatible with the majority of popular game engines and offering numerous tutorials for beginners, these tools can be used on PCs, Macs, Linux machines as well as Windows mobile devices – an added benefit!