It takes a lot of art to create a video game. Artists with particular skills craft the various assets, settings and animations that bring a game to life. This video will explore the many categories of artists one would expect to find on a game development team and what each does to ensure the game has style and visual elements that make it stand out from the crowd.
- [Voiceover] It takes a lot of artists with particular skills to make a video game. The game wouldn't have a style or be engaging without the artwork to accompany the design. Let's take a look at the many categories of artists one would presume to find in the video game industry. Concept artists are the artists that create the initial drawings that all assets and settings in the game are based on. Concept artists literally start with nothing but an idea or a concept, then draw or paint the props, characters, and environments that need to be created.
A strong background in anatomy, structural and organic design, color theory, and fine art are required for this position. Environmental artists, or modelers, build the assets and settings that the concept artist created. Often, these environments are built one prop, tree, or rock at a time. And each asset can take anywhere from a few minutes to days to build. These individual parts need to fit into the whole cohesively. So a good sense of design and strong 3d modeling skills are required for this position.
Character artists build the characters of the game. These characters are first digitally sculpted. Lower resolution models are then created and used in the game. Knowledge of anatomy and drawing skills are necessary for this job. Animators bring the static meshes and polygonal models 3D artists built to life by adding character movement and personality to the 3D models. The field of game animation may be the most complex and technical of the art careers. Knowledge of acting, strong traditional animation skills, and a disciplined personality are required for this position.
Sprite artists build 2D raster-based sprites, or 2D-based artwork, that can be used for a variety of purposes. Sprite artists usually work at companies who focus on app or tablet-based games. Texture artists use digital painting software to create the skins and images that are applied to the 3D models. Sometimes, this job is combined with the 3D modelers responsibilities. User interface artists create art that helps the player easily control the game play.
This position is dependent of the type of game being made, as some games don't have much of an interface at all, where others have interfaces that take up half the screen. UI artists usually work closely with the UI engineer or programmer to create user-friendly interface art and designs. Lastly, you may see job titles such as 3D artist or 2D artist. These are variations or combinations of the above titles. Depending on the game, different types of art will need to be created.
Where one game company requires sprite artists, another may be reliant on digital sculptors. I hope this video made some sense of the convoluted titles and responsibilities game artists have. Just remember that creating game art requires someone that is creative, works hard, and can carry a concept through to reality with style.
- A brief history of video games
- The phases of game development
- Roles in game development
- Essential programming, art, design, and audio skills
- Choosing a game engine
- Funding options outside the game studio system