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  • Concept Art: Are We Doing This Right?

    [08.06.19]
    - Jitske Habekotte

  • The Outcomes

    The answer to which development step would deliver the earliest usable result is that it differs per subject, meaning that, although most people would assume a sketch is always, obviously, the first usable step, this is actually more complicated.

    One of the interviewees, who worked at the significantly larger company compared to the others, differed greatly in their opinions on the usefulness of certain steps in comparison to the other interviewees. Three of the interviewees agreed that sketches are always the first step and are essential. They argued that this is due to the speed of creating a sketch and the possibility for many iterations.

    However, the other interviewee, from the larger company, gave preference to using photobashing, arguing that, in general, there is hardly ever a need for something to be created in minutes instead of an hour so time would be better spent putting together a comprehensive photobash that helps solve problems as soon as possible. This same interviewee also mentioned that sketches and value sketches could be useful but only if they are being done for the gain and development of the artist themselves, not for the team or a client, and that you would generally not show anything to a client or your art director of the stages before a photobash or even an edited photobash.

    Among all the participants there was a consensus on a value sketch also being useful, specifically for the development of an environment.

    Conclusion

    Though a lot of variation has been found when it comes to preferred methods and/or development steps, out of the four interviewees, three agree that a sketch can already be useful. This has been defined as the first usable step, although a ‘value sketch' is also deemed very usable for the development of environment concepts. The one interviewee that did not propose a sketch as the first usable step instead focused on photobashing. This person is from a considerably larger studio than the others suggesting a difference in usability when it comes to company size. 

    In conclusion the assumption that a sketch is always useful turned out to be a lot less ‘cut and dried' than perhaps previously assumed and the interview outcomes clearly illustrate the need for research into established workflows so we can keep on improving them.

    Habekotté, J (2019) Framing the value of Concept Art, An insight into the applicability and development of concept art in the game industry

    This thesis was written as part of the Master Game Technology at the Breda University of Applied Sciences.

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