Concept art is a form of visual art used to convey an idea for use in films, video games, animation, comic books, or other media before it is put into the final product. Concept art usually refers to world-building artwork used to inspire the development of media products, and is not the same as visual development art, though they are often confused.
Concept art is developed through several iterations. Multiple solutions are explored before settling on the final design. Concept art is not only used to develop the work, but also to show the project's progress to directors, clients and investors. Once the development of the work is complete, concept art may be reworked and used for advertising materials.
The term "concept art" was used by the Walt Disney Animation Studios as early as the 1930s.A concept artist is an individual who generates a visual design for an item, character, or area that does not yet exist. This includes, but is not limited to, film, animation, and more recently, video game production. Being a concept artist takes commitment, vision and a clear understanding of the role.
A concept artist may be required for nothing more than preliminary artwork, or be part of a creative team until a project reaches fruition. While it is necessary to have the skills of a fine artist, a concept artist must also be able to work under strict deadlines in the capacity of a graphic designer. Some concept artists may start as fine artists, industrial designers, animators, or even special effects artists. Interpretation of ideas and how they are realized is where the concept artist's individual creativity is most evident, but subject matter is often beyond their control. Many concept artists work in a studio or from home remotely as freelancers. Working for a studio has the advantaged of an established salary. The average salary for a concept artist in video games is $60,000-$70,000 a year, although many make much less or more than that.
Concept art has embraced the use of digital technology. Raster graphics editors for digital painting have become more easily available, as well as hardware such as graphics tablets, enabling more efficient working methods. Prior to this, any number of traditional mediums such as oil paints, acrylic paints, markers and pencils were used. Many modern paint packages are programmed to simulate the blending of color in the same way paint would blend on a canvas; proficiency with traditional media is often paramount to a concept artist's ability to use painting software. Popular programs for concept artists include Photoshop and Corel Painter. Others include Manga Studio, Procreate and ArtRage. Most concept artists have switched to digital media because of ease of editing and speed. A lot of concept work has tight deadlines where a highly polished piece is needed in a short amount of time.
Concept art has always had to cover many subjects, being the primary medium in film poster design since the early days of Hollywood, but the two most widely covered areas are science fiction and fantasy.[ citation needed ]. Since the recent rise of its use in video game production, concept art has expanded to cover genres from fantasy to realistic depending on the final deliverable [ citation needed ]
Concept art ranges from stylized to photorealistic depending on the needs of the IP. Artists working on a project often produce a large turnover in the early 'blue sky' stage of production. This provides a broad range of interpretations, most being in the form of sketches, speed paints, and 3D overpaints. Later pieces, such as matte paintings(technique similar to photobashing), are produced as realistically as required. Concept artists will often have to adapt to the style of the studio they are hired for. The ability to produce multiple styles is valued in a concept artist.
There are many concept art generalists, but there are also many specialized concept artists. The various specializations include, but are not limited to, drafting of characters, as well as creatures, as well as environments, or even industry-related designs. Specialization is regarded as better for freelancers than concept artists who want to work in-house, where flexibility is key. Knowing the foundations of art, such as anatomy, perspective, color theory, design, and lighting are essential to all specializations.
Special effects are illusions or visual tricks used in the theatre, film, television, video game, and simulator industries to simulate the imagined events in a story or virtual world.
Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as part of the creative or presentation process. Since the 1960s, various names have been used to describe the process, including computer art and multimedia art. Digital art is itself placed under the larger umbrella term new media art.
An animator is an artist who creates multiple images, known as frames, which give an illusion of movement called animation when displayed in rapid sequence. Animators can work in a variety of fields including film, television, and video games. Animation is closely related to filmmaking and like filmmaking is extremely labor-intensive, which means that most significant works require the collaboration of several animators. The methods of creating the images or frames for an animation piece depend on the animators' artistic styles and their field.
A game programmer is a software engineer, programmer, or computer scientist who primarily develops codebases for video games or related software, such as game development tools. Game programming has many specialized disciplines, all of which fall under the umbrella term of "game programmer". A game programmer should not be confused with a game designer, who works on game design.
Visual effects is the process by which imagery is created or manipulated outside the context of a live action shot in filmmaking and video production. The integration of live action footage and other live action footage or CG elements to create realistic imagery is called VFX.
An illustrator is an artist who specializes in enhancing writing or elucidating concepts by providing a visual representation that corresponds to the content of the associated text or idea. The illustration may be intended to clarify complicated concepts or objects that are difficult to describe textually, which is the reason illustrations are often found in children's books.
Graphics are visual images or designs on some surface, such as a wall, canvas, screen, paper, or stone to inform, illustrate, or entertain. In contemporary usage, it includes a pictorial representation of data, as in c manufacture, in typesetting and the graphic arts, and in educational and recreational software. Images that are generated by a computer are called computer graphics.
Traditional animation is an animation technique in which each frame is drawn by hand. The technique was the dominant form of animation in cinema until the advent of computer animation.
A matte painting is a painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that is not present at the filming location. Historically, matte painters and film technicians have used various techniques to combine a matte-painted image with live-action footage (compositing). At its best, depending on the skill levels of the artists and technicians, the effect is "seamless" and creates environments that would otherwise be impossible or expensive to film. In the scenes the painting part is static and movements are integrated on it.
Non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) is an area of computer graphics that focuses on enabling a wide variety of expressive styles for digital art, in contrast to traditional computer graphics, which focuses on photorealism. NPR is inspired by other artistic modes such as painting, drawing, technical illustration, and animated cartoons. NPR has appeared in movies and video games in the form of cel-shaded animation as well as in scientific visualization, architectural illustration and experimental animation.
A digital matte artist, or digital matte painter (DMP), is today's modern form of a traditional matte painter in the entertainment industry. He or she digitally paints photo-realistic interior and exterior environments that could not have been otherwise created or visited.
Motion graphic design, also known as motion design, is a subset of graphic design in that it uses graphic design principles in a filmmaking or video production context through the use of animation or filmic techniques. Examples include the kinetic typography and graphics used in film and television opening sequences, and the spinning, three-dimensional station identification logos of some television channels. This art form has been around for decades, and has advanced in technical sophistication over time.
Mattes are used in photography and special effects filmmaking to combine two or more image elements into a single, final image. Usually, mattes are used to combine a foreground image with a background image. In this case, the matte is the background painting. In film and stage, mattes can be physically huge sections of painted canvas, portraying large scenic expanses of landscapes.
Graphic design careers include creative director, art director, art production manager, brand identity developer, illustrator and layout artist.
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used.
A pixel artist is a graphic designer who specializes in computer art and can refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines which focus on visual communication and presentation. Similar to chromoluminarism used in the pointillism style of painting, in which small distinct points of primary colors create the impression of a wide selection of secondary and intermediate colors, a pixel artist works with pixels, the smallest piece of information in an image. The technique relies on the perceptive ability of the eye and mind of the viewer to mix the color spots into a fuller range of tones. Pixel art is often utilitarian and anonymous. Pixel design can refer to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.
Game art design is a subset of game development. It is the process of creating the artistic aspects for video games. Video game art design begins in the pre-production phase of creating a video game. The video game artists are visual artists involved from the conception of the game and they make rough sketches of the characters, setting, objects, etc. These starting concept designs can also be created by the game designers before the game is moved into actualization. Sometimes these are concept designs are called “programmer art”. After the rough sketches are completed and the game is ready to be moved forward those artists or more artists are brought in to bring these sketches to life through graphic design.
The VFX creative director is a position common in films, television programs, and computer games using a large amount of visual effects (VFX).
Mathieu Raynault is a Canadian digital matte painter, concept artist, and VFX art director. He has been producing matte paintings and illustrations for over 15 years. He is well known for his contributions on film productions like The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix series, Terminator Salvation, The Golden Compass, King Kong, Gangs of New York, and Star Wars saga; as well as many video games and print advertising projects.
CG Artists create 2D and 3D assets used in developing video games and digitally animated films. A CG artist's work usually revolves around finding balance between artistic sensibilities and technical limitations while working within a development team.
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