The time of Pac-Man, and with it a simple, uncomplicated design, is irrevocably gone. The modern computer games industry offers not only an exciting, captivating storyline, but also breathtakingly spectacular visual effects and a juicy picture. What you need to enter the world of game development and a successful start in it, we will talk in this article.
Where are video game artists needed?
The field of computer game development (game development) is vast and multifaceted. A huge number of specialists work on the creation of games and applications: scriptwriters, code and mechanics programmers, engine and animation developers, world and interface designers. All of them have one thing in common: one way or another, all these professions are related to graphics and visualization.
Graphic design, app and game development are promising and quite lucrative fields of activity, in which there are enough niches for young and ambitious artists, but the innate taste and talent alone is clearly not enough. You need to be ready for routine work: locations and characters will have to be redrawn more than once and not in one projection, and then many layers will need to be additionally worked through.
It is important not only to invent the heroes of the games yourself, but also to be able to adapt to the corporate style of the game. The development cost is quite high, so the company is unlikely to take the risk and allow the artist to be creative with might and main. Courage may not pay off, so the work of an artist is not as creative and fun as it seems from the outside. Only a professional with extensive experience who knows what will be in demand can be allowed to float freely.
However, this is not a job for introverts. The artist works in a team with programmers, animators and other professionals. First, the team works out the style of play, and as a result, an art guide is developed. Next comes the work on ideas and sketches. They are sent to modeling and texturing. Then comes the final stage – animation.
Every year processors and video cards are becoming more powerful, and the drawing of the game is becoming more and more detailed. The artist’s task is to make the game as believable as possible, which takes a lot of time and effort. To draw a realistic human figure, you need to know the anatomy, understand how a person moves, and be able to convey this with the help of tools. In landscapes and interiors, knowledge of perspective, shapes and chiaroscuro is important.
If you know how to draw, but do it only in a fit of inspiration and do not like “mass production” – you might be better off looking for other uses for your talent.
However, the profession also has advantages: you can create your own world, which will then take on a life of its own, and, quite possibly, will be sold in millions of copies. A pleasant bonus will be a high demand in the labor market and a decent income, but for this you need to gain sufficient experience.
For newcomers to the profession, it is recommended to start with casual games and indie projects: make some sketches in the style of the games of the studio you would like to get into. In this case, your work will at least be considered, and not put aside without looking.
The fundamental truths that a professional in his field needs to constantly learn a lot, track trends, master new horizons, in the end, sign up for refresher courses – we will leave it outside the scope of this material. Each artist chooses his own path, which he must go through on his own. We will talk about a certain minimum of tools (both hardware and software) required for the successful development of a graphic designer.
What tools do a novice artist need
Paradoxically, the choice of equipment should be started not from the system unit, but from the periphery. In the work of a content developer, the system block is an important, but not the main component. The first fiddle is played by the monitor. He needs to be given maximum attention!
The priorities are somewhat different than when choosing a monitor for gaming. At the forefront, you need to put the diagonal size, resolution and color rendering of the matrix, and, of course, viewing angles, color depth and the ability to “fine” calibration of the monitor for correct display of colors.
The best indicators of these parameters are given by monitors with IPS-matrices or their more affordable counterparts with VA-screens. The industry standard for professional design is a matte finish that eliminates parasitic reflections on its surface.
Parameters such as response speed and refresh rate are considered secondary, let gamers pay due attention to them.
The presence of protective shields is encouraged, since this part will protect the screen area from unwanted glare, will keep the color rendition unchanged when the lighting level of the working area changes.
The second important tool of a modern artist is an ordinary mouse. This is what most novice designers use. It’s not worth chasing a gaming mouse, but having a model with a good sensor resolution (high DPI) in your arsenal will be completely superfluous. But the main thing lies in a slightly different area, namely, in ergonomics. The manipulator should not be pretentious, heavy, or have a bunch of extra buttons. It should be just convenient, because you have to work with it for a long time.Wireless mouse Logitech G305 LIGHTSPEED black [910-005282]
An interesting alternative to a mouse is a graphics tablet. The expediency of its use gives rise to a lot of heated debate and raises a lot of doubts in the beginners’ camp. Yes, the purchase of this device requires additional investments, and its possession requires some getting used to, but there are still more advantages:
natural ergonomics. The wrist joint is less tense, which ultimately has a positive effect on health and performance;
the possibility of individual customization “for yourself”;
“Recognition” of pressing force for drawing lines of different thickness. This eliminates the need for constant selection and switching of line thickness parameters;
fast rendering of curved objects and structures.
A simple test question, it is also a weighty argument in favor of a graphics tablet: will it be easy to draw a circle or write your own name using the mouse?
One of the main drawbacks of a graphics tablet, many call the inconvenience of the process, when the stylus needs to be driven on one surface, and look at a completely different one. But by and large – this is a matter of habit, after a while the discomfort is no longer felt.