Banner development

For our degree show we discussed the benefit of using banners to promote our work. We had a group meeting to decide what would be best for our designs, considering how we should brand ourselves and our work. One issue we came across during this development was that it would be unlikely that everybody’s work would be shown, due to the limited space on the banners. To make it fair we all decided to randomise the selection process of deciding whose work was shown on the banner, by drawing out names written on paper. This then helped alleviate some issues within the group allowing us to move on and to start designing the banner.

Next, we started to look at previous years degree show banners to determine what would be best. One banner in particular we like the look of, due to it being quite minimalist in design, with text at the top along with two diagonal images going across display students work. We thought it would be good if we kept a similar design like this, keeping the text at the top but then splitting the banner into three diagonal sections allowing us to maximise the space in which we can display our work. As a group we discussed putting more than three pieces of work onto the banner, but we determined that it would clutter it too much and detract the overall quality of the images.Banner progress.PNGI then started to mockup the banner design, getting an idea of how large to make the images.making banner 2.PNGAfter this, I then made sure to give each section equal spacing across.trying green text.PNGHere I tried different colours for the banners text, trying to match the logos colour. Eventually however, we decided that white looked best.banner 2.PNGAfter finalising the first banner, I then replaced the images for the second banner.banner with images.PNGFinalised second banner.

Here are both banners printed. They are located near the reception to maximise publicity from people within the HSAD building.





Floor plan

As a group we discussed the possible floor layouts we could have for our degree show. We considered the flow of the room and how people would move through the space, along with the issues that we could have. One consideration we had to make is what the first things they would see would be when they entered the room. We considered possibilities such as such as having showreels playing near the door, or putting business cards on the nearest desks to the door making sure people see them easily as they walk in. Another area that we considered which could have a large effect on the flow was the VR area. We discussed early on how last years degree show put the VR area near the entrance, which caused issues with people trying to move by causing congestion when it got busy. So, we decided to move the VR areas to the opposite side of the room which allows for guests to move through easier, along with being able to see the second half of the room without the VR area blocking it. By doing this we can showcase everyone’s work on the tables before the VR area, making sure that nobody must go past the VR area and disrupt people using the VR.Floor plan.PNGThis was an early floor plan I made to scale so we could quickly illustrate our ideas and gain a better understanding of the room. We found that it would be best to put a showreel on the tv in the corner, allowing us to the utilise the corner space with a T.V but also being in a place that will likely catch eyes as people walk by. Either as they walk into the room or as they are leaving from the VR end.

floor plan f.jpgAfter this we found that Gareth had a floor layout of the room on Sketchup.  We figured we may as well use this to be more efficient, subsequently allowing us to speed up our process in the layout designs. This plan was more detailed, giving us a better idea of how objects would look in certain places rather than just having a simplistic grey block. The floor plan was then rearranged to how we planned it, allowing us to finalise the layout. After this, Laura then annotated the plan to show were people are displaying their work, along with the equipment we will be using to showcase our work. One other idea we had was removing the whiteboard which blocked the glass looking out into the corridor. We discussed how removing this could allow the room to feel more spacious, along with allowing people to see in the room which may intrigue them by seeing work displayed on the mac screens. One other benefit is more light can enter the room through these windows, providing a better overall atmosphere to the space.






Learning new software

After researching into game industry roles, I have found a few pieces of software that I am inexperienced in. I decided to download some of these to help increase my skillset.

The first one I tried was Houdini. Much like 3ds max, Houdini specialises in 3d development from ranging from animating, fx effects and animating. On a few jobs I have seen Houdini mentioned and be valuable skillset to have. One of the biggest differences from Max to Houdini is the node-based structure, giving you control over complexes processes by stringing nodes together.using houdini.PNGStarting up I wanted to get used to the ui, trying to get some basics down like placing primitive objects in the scene, movement controls etc. The ui is somewhat familiar to max, though has some differences such as the large node area in the bottom right.getting used to ui.PNGNext, I started to do some basic modelling getting used to adding loops on to models.adding terrian.PNGI then started working on terrain which I used for my FMP project. Here I chose the terrain option and then changed some options in the nodes such as the height, to get the desired look I wanted.

Nodes in Houdini seems to allow for complex customisation, especially with fx effects. In turn this makes Houdini especially capable in the Fx area and is something for me to keep in mind when I need effects for upcoming projects.

The next piece of software I started using was Modo. Much like 3ds max Modo is 3d modelling software that many game companies use, with it coming up just a little less than Max and Maya. I thought I would model something that I can use in one of my projects, so I decided to model a cup for my fmp. It was on my list to do and is a simple model, so I thought it would be ideal for learning.getting used to ui.PNGI went through the same process again, getting used to the ui and figuring out the essentials for basic modelling.getting correct scale.PNGI then made sure the scale was correct and put a box to a 180 cm like I do in Max.modelling cup.PNGNext, I figured out how to add edge loops allowing me to add detail.handle too big.PNGI then modelled a handle to finish the model. After this I went into 3ds max to retopologise it since I needed it ready for a render. The final result in Modo was not bad, however the biggest issue is the low poly handle which needed to be higher poly. Overall, I had a good start on learning the software and got some of the basics down quite fast, though I still need a bit more practice to be comfortable modelling proficiently in it however.

I saw CryEngine come up a lot during my game industry research, so I downloaded it to understand the basics.creating level.PNGSimilar to the ui of UE4, your file system is on the bottom, properties on the right-hand side and objects/items on the top left. I created a level to get started which gives you this checkered floor. After this I imported my chair to add to the scene. Allowing me to test lighting.adding light.PNGI then added a simple point light into the scene and then changed some of its properties in the bottom right corner.trying effects.PNGAfter getting used to the ui some more I added a rain effect from the object window, which comes into effect as soon as its placed.changing rain effects.PNGOnce in the scene you can quickly change the rains parameters in the settings. Rain effects in UE4 are not available as a pre-set and would require you to download the particle or make it in the particle settings. Having pre-sets like this readily available allows you to get some nice effects quickly to test the mood and atmosphere of your game, without spending a lot of time making rain effects. Having the parameters in the right corner also allow you to change the settings easier, when compared to UE4.

I need to continue my investigation into CryEngine to become better acquainted with the software. Perhaps I will make my next project in here to really get the hang of it.

Lastly, Vray is a render engine which comes up regularly as the render engine of choice for many places. Especially areas outside of games such as architecture or product marketing, as it can achieve photorealistic renders.  chair 1.jpgFor this I just used my chair to render and started to practice with lighting.  Here it was a little too dark.chaning lighting settings.PNGAfter this I added some Vray Lights to get better lighting. I also wanted to make sure to balance the shadows by making both the lights equal at both sides.practicing with vray materials.PNGOne difference between Vray and standard Max materials is the slightly different ui’s. After allocating the maps I then rendered again with the chair textured.chair 6.jpgUsing Vray is not too different than using a renderer such as Mental ray and did not take to long to get used to. I think now I just need to practice finding the ideal lighting using Hdri spheres and the best settings to use for different types of objects.



Setting up project for VR

For some time now, I have been considering my project for VR. I think the added immersion achieved by VR will provide greater interest over the normal video fly through. Furthermore, as VR becomes more popular among game/marketing and other companies, so does the importance of having a skill set knowledgeable in this area. Since it was the first time setting up VR for my project I did not know what to expect on how difficult it would be to set up. I installed the Vive drivers on my computer and synced the hardware to the software. Once this was completed, Unreal automatically picked up the Vive allowing for a seamless transition to the VR mode within the first person template my environment was made in.

When playing the scene in VR, I noticed an issue where the player was higher than the camera height in the level. I believe this was to do with the Vive calibration settings I used at the start, and so I found a temporary work around to alleviate this issue. As you calibrate the Vive it asks you to set the height from the ground to the table, however in ue4 is seems to add the difference so that it is higher than it should be. Within the calibration I set it to -25cm which worked but is not ideal as a solution. Tomorrow I will continue to look into it to determine whether it was an error on my part within the settings. Regardless of this however, the VR fully functions within the scene and allows the player to walk through the scene. This should help diversify our degree show and give people some options in how to experience my environment.

Professional practice developments


A few developments have been made since my last blog. The website has been improved with some minor refinements, such as some more links added. I have also started to work on the user interface which will be on all of our computers. This will act as the interface the public will use to select what work they will want to see. So, as a group we brainstormed and planned some layouts to determine which would be best. We decided to split it up into three buttons starting with our main project – the fmp. Then the middle would be our client project whereas the right could be extra portfolio.

After talking to Paul about what would look best, I created a mockup on Photoshop to get a better idea of the UI. This then allowed me to give a clearer illustration of how it would look to the group.UI Mockup.jpgI decided to make the top the same colour as our website banner, keeping up with the consistency in our designs. I out our logo in the top left so it is clearly visible, reinforcing our branding. This design should also allow us to have consistency for everyone’s UI, since everybody will have something for each of these sections. Everybody could use different UI’s for the work, however, this could get confusing for the public as they would have to readjust each time. The portfolio section should alleviate any issues, since this will allow people to diversify the UI a little to their own separate projects in a way they prefer. For example, one may want to add a marmoset viewer for the assets, along some turntable videos and some static renders/extra videos. Whereas another may just want to add there Artstation account and blog. So, this section should give us a little more freedom to add a little more. When the portfolio button is clicked, it would then load up an overlay screen which may look something like these mock up screens.portfolio page 2 larger text seperation.pngI was think of having a simple overlay screen with an opacity, so you can still see the start page. This would look good also with a blur but may be harder to background portfolio page 2.pngI also tried a black version with smaller line separation to get an idea of what the ideal separation amount is. At this moment I think an in-between of the two would be a good separation amount.Portfolio page 2 categorised  sections.pngI then tried another idea. This time I categorised the different formats available. This may help sort the various different formats available for everyone, rather than just putting them in a large list. The issue with this is that it may be too inconstant as people may not want to use any different formats other than videos. So, it might not be worth implanting this if only a few are going to use it. Furthermore, it may look more cluttered than just a simple list.Using visual studio.PNGTo get some basic functionality tested I tried using Visual studio which can be used to make UI’s. Here I started to create the interface which I created on the mockups, getting everything into place whilst getting used to the program.when clicked launches video.PNGAfter this, I then started to link the images to the file location so when clicked it would launch the desired file. This could be a video, image, marmoset file etc. The next step with this would be to get the groups images for the buttons, along with the files they want to launch to complete this section of the ui. The steps after this would be launching the portfolio screen along with refining the looks.

Website link –

Photobashing copyright issues

As the gaming industry continues to grow, so does the techniques needed to help conceptualise, build and define games. Concept art is one prime example of this, as artists use software such as 3ds max or Modo to help aid the skills they have, and speed up their processes. Using Modo could help an artist build a complex scene quickly, by using pre-built assets by other artists which can populate the space. From here, an artist can then get the composition, render it and then move it into Photoshop to create and photobash the concept art. Since the scene was created in 3d software, you can then go back and change aspects that did not look quite right, such as the field of view or the lighting settings at a moment’s notice. Allowing for the artist to gain a more efficient and realistic start.

Shaddy Saffadi talks in depth about concept art techniques in the video – Concept art is dead, and mentions about some of the examples I brought up. He talks about how himself and his team uses these techniques and kit bash assets to build models quickly, which can then be used for the photo bashing stage. When in Photoshop they can then paint, edit and use kitbashed models to blend in with the overall piece. Or use the model as the main piece and texture it, by blending in details and changing some of the looks of the model such as adding panels, colour, text etc. The same process applies to photos to. This all may be somewhat of a grey area however, as some of the work used may not be referenced and credited. Furthermore, permission is sometimes not asked for the work to be used.

According to DACS, your artistic work is copyrighted from when it was created and last a lifetime plus 70 years. This does vary depending on who it was made for, for example your employer. This means then that your employer depending on the contract could have first copyright ownership. Exceptions are also made for your work to be used by others under specific circumstances, some of these include parodies, research, archival preservation and educational uses.  This can muddle the water a little more with photo bashing since it doesn’t fit under any exceptions. It also gets more complicated with different copyright laws for other countries, meaning that the exceptions I said above could be very different somewhere else. As for this an artist should at least be generally aware of the copyright in their own country. If you bought or use a royalty free license of an image or 3d object, then this should be okay to use and edit. Kitbashing kits for example, can be bought from TurboSquid and comes under a royalty free license. This means that you can then use the copyrighted material without having to pay extra royalties every time you use it. This can then allow the artist to use the artwork for concepts which could then be commercialised.

An article by Creative Bloq delves into this topic a little more. They have a quote from Craig Mullins about one of his photo bashed pieces, as it received criticism when people discovered similarities between the waves in his piece, and the one in Southwesterly Gale

By Frederick Judd Waugh. He says he uses whatever techniques he needs to complete the process, which means using images and 3d models which are sometimes not his own. What is the important defining line it seems for Craig is being transparent, as he says “I would say every technique is totally okay – as long as what was done is clear. Roy Lichtenstein was pretty clear about his process. This was not the case here.” Going by this, you can use images to help aid your concepts, just make sure that the process is clear and transparent, as it is the moral and right thing to do. As you are making clear that you are not taking a 100% ownership over the work. The question is then, at one point does it become your work if it can at all? And then what’s the tipping point between your work and the other artists?  An art director at Ubisoft says that if the other artists work is up to 50% or over, then it needs referencing. He makes it clear that if it is not referenced, then it is stealing. The issue however, is that it all is a little bit subjective, since there is no clear defined line in the matter. One might say one has done more than 50% whilst another person may disagree. What is comes down to is the artist being respectful to other artists, understanding that the effort and hardships that go into their own work, apply to other artists work they are using.

Ultimately, a consensus of artist in the industry agree that it’s okay to use others work for inspiration and concepts, so long as you be respectful about it and make sure you contribute back to the community. Whether this be through kitbash models you have made, or concepts that others can use and be inspired by. Furthermore, self-regulation plays an important role in the industry, making sure that the process of using others work remains fair and moral, within studios and the overall community.

Reference –


Showreel research

To gain a better understanding of how set up our degree show, I decided to research into other degree shows from previous years. In turn this should allow us to get an idea of how others brand, theme and display their work for the show.

Naturally, I wanted to look at the previous years from the HSAD course to gain a better insight.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 10.07.32.pngGame design Show reel 2016 –

For the 2016 showreel, the creators name is displayed along with their role. To keep it more dynamic the text also moves with the top moving right and the bottom moving left.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 10.07.48.pngTransitions also use a blue lens flare like effect making it more interesting than just a fade. Furthermore, a dynamic hud is also displayed on the side which could be a reference to the games hud. Or perhaps it is just there superficially for looking good.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 10.20.32.pngThis section was interesting as it displayed the videos in a grid layout with them all playing, showing different sections of the environment at once. This allows for more of the environment to be showed within the time given, and makes a good work around for the limited time slots they presumably had.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 10.25.35.pngOther sections that were not videos used zooms on the images to not break the pace.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 10.27.04.pngThe grid layout appears again making it consistent in the showreel. This time however, these are images rather than videos and the camera moves up to show more of the grid.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 10.29.15.pngThis layout also appears a few times and is a good way of showing more information in a clear, three grid set up.

To conclude this showreel, some of the ideas could be useful to us. The grid layout shows a dense amount of information in a clear and clean way. This could be good to use if we are limited on time. Using our names with our work may be a good way to clearly show who made it, rather than showing credits at the end. The active HUD that was used throughout was a good way to keep shots looking interesting and dynamic, especially with image shots. Interestingly however, sound was omitted. Overall, the design throughout the video was consistent which allowed for the work to show rather than the focus being on inconstant design language.

Next, I looked at the HSAD games design 2017 showreel –

As this showreeel uses some work from previous years, including the 2017 it uses some of the effects and transitions from these. For example, the grid layout and HUD.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 10.48.37.pngOne part used a video to demonstrate an augmented reality app, making it a good change of pace from the video renders shown throughout.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 10.51.25.pngTo finish the video, they also show the HSAD Logo along with the course name.

The video also features music which can help with the pacing due to the beat. One consideration when making ours is music and the effect it will have on the video, since one version will have music (YouTube version) and another will most likely not. So, we will have to make sure not to overly rely on the music if we have one without.

Next, I looked at SHU Games Design Showreel 2017. Shot 2018-05-12 at 11.04.22.pngThe start of this showreel has a quick introductory screen, making it clear what the course is.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 11.05.41.pngAs the video starts, it makes no introduction on who made the environment and just lets the viewer focus fully on the work. They also used a white to fade transition to start the vid. Also, the music goes very well with a medium tempo electronic drum beat. The shots in this section use slow pans to show the work.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 11.09.05.pngIn the next section, it then shows the creators name at the top along with their Artstation link, and the engine it was made in.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 11.11.35.pngThis section uses a turntable video and shows their name at the bottom, over a highlighted area to stand out.

It’s worth noting that at the end of the video there is no credits, so they show the information they want to be displayed on the start introduction screen. Overall this showreel uses a mix of panning shots to show environments, along with turntable vids of assets, along with some concept images. Some but not all the work is labelled with names, possibly because of group work. I also like the idea of adding an artstation link underneath your name, as it allows for a quick way to check their work without having to wonder whether they have an ArtStation account or not. The showreel is also nearly 5 mins fit a lot of work in with a good pace.

Lastly, I came across this showreel from UCA computer game arts 2017.

The showreel is just over 12 minutes long and features a few minutes of gameplay to show each game. To start there is a fade in to the course name which then transitions to the first game.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 11.35.01.pngEach person has their name displayed in the top left, along with the name of the game.Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 11.37.02.pngBetween each person there is also a screen that displays the name of their game. at the end, they also have a credit screen to credit for the music.

This showreel is focused heavily on showing the mechanics for each game and gives the viewer enough time to get an idea of the type of game it is. For us however, most of us have focused on environment art which means that this layout would not be suitable for us. Overall by looking at these show reels, I have a greater understanding of the formats and ideas others use to display their work. Layouts, timings and music varied throughout and is all dependant on the context of the work. Moving on it would be worth putting this research forward, so we can all decide which ideas we like and whether our showreel matches up to the quality of ones that have come before.

All images are from their respective showreels.




Group website development

For our website, Sally recommended we should use im Creator since we did not have much experience with web development. The site is a website builder like Wix or Squarespace and allows us to choose themes for our site, giving us many different custimisation options to use.  As a group we all looked through the various themes to decide which was best. We wanted to have a simple layout with all our work on one page, making it easy to navigate and glance through our work. However, we did not want the main focus of the site to be a showcase of our work, rather a place to give the viewer an idea of what to expect when they come. They can also see the dates of the show, along with the location and social media links making it useful for people to quickly gather information.Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 15.07.40.pngAs we were looking through themes, this one caught our eye. It had a minimalistic look which we thought would let our work stand out more, whilst being simple and easy to navigate. I then started to edit the website and start adding some basic information to it, such as adding names to the stock images.Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 15.41.13.pngAfter this I started to replace the stock images with our own, giving me a better idea on how the colours of the image and the website would balance out.Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 15.42.12.pngI then added our building location at the bottom through a widget that im creator provides. Along with this, I added our group email if anybody needs to contact us, along with social media links.Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 16.32.43.png

After this the group saw some of the updates and recommended changing the image layout to this grid view. This allowed us to eliminate some of the empty space on the sides whilst also showing more of our work at once, making it more convenient for viewers since they don’t have to keep scrolling down. It also allows them to potentially see something that catches their eye, by seeing more at once.Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 16.45.05.pngWe also went through some different colour options to see whether they would look better than the black and white. We found that the background colours did not go with images. Due to there being some empty space too, it resulted in the website being too dominant with the chosen colour. However, we found that making the top section coloured with the bottom white worked really well.  Website.PNGWe ended up settling with this look with the top being blue and the bottom white. As for the images, I made them 3 by 3 so that everybody’s work could be displayed clearly and evenly. Each image also has a link which sends you to either an ArtStation page or their blog, allowing for viewers to get a better idea of a specific person’s portfolio.

Sam McNeil also helped develop the website, suggesting ideas, changes and troubleshooting any issues we had.

Website link –


RocketShip Project

The purpose of this project was to create a promotional poster for a company that can illustrate a belief, motivation, or information about a company. I started by researching some posters that had a similar purpose to the one outlined in this brief.

Many I came across looked like these –depositphotos_95564860-stock-illustration-rocket-ship-start-up-concept.jpgBusiness-people-12.jpgThey both have a style with a cartoony colourful look, which is much more likely to draw attention from the viewer. The colourful looks also look make them more inviting, friendly and positive which is the attitudes they want to convey to there demographic. Having this in mind, I wanted to create mine in a similar vein, though I planned to make mine in 3d which could provide me with a few benefits. One was once the scene and rocket was created, I could have more freedom with composition thanks to multiple camera angles. I also wanted to get more experience with the Vray renderer and get used to some of the more complex settings in there.

I also looked at some rocket designs for inspiration. I primarily looked at the space shuttle and the Falcon Heavy rockets and decided to base my model of these.


Source: space x

getting rocket size.PNGFirst, I got the rocket size for the Falcon so I could get the scale of the rocket right.part iterations.PNGI then made some smaller details, making a few iterations and improving on them. I did not want the rocket overly detailed, so this process was not too long.trying different lighting settings.PNGI then started to go through some vray settings. At first it was overexposed so I spent some time getting a few test renders to get the lighting right.changing vray settings.PNGI then carried on going through more settings, so I could achieve a higher quality render.using phoenix for smoke.PNGI then decided I wanted to create smoke below the thrusters. After considering what the best way to do this was in max, I decided to look online for possible software solutions. One solution was Phoenix fx which is a plug in for max, allowing for realistic fluid dynamics. This can range from water, smoke fire, sparks etc. It is also software used in the game and film industry, so I thought it would be useful to get some experience with it.  So, I downloaded the trail and started practicing on how to create smoke.testing settings.PNGAt first, I was just getting used to the basics. Using shapes to emit smoke from. As you can see here, this was a basic shape and not the look I wanted to come from the thrusters.normal z.PNGI then got more of a take-off launch, but since I wanted my rocket to have already launched, this was not the look I wanted.trying sphere.PNGI then tried using a sphere to improve the shape of the smoke emission.colour changed.PNGI also did not want the smoke to look fully realistic, so I found a way to change the colour settings by activating the rgb setting.changing scater settings.PNGI then turned up external scatter in order to remove some of the darker shadows that appeared in the smoke.improving smoke look.PNGI started to improve this by using three spheres for each thruster. I also turned up the gravity which allowed for the smoke to fall more.  I then scaled the smoke to stretch it a little, defining the edges a bit more. I was pretty happy with this look, so I started to get some more renders.render 5.jpgI thought it looked a little basic, so I decided to try use the same process for clouds.rendering higher res clouds.PNGPhoenix has a cloud emitter setting so I used this for the process. I also decreased the cloud resolution which sped up renders dramatically.render 7.jpgI got a few renders with the clouds but did not particularly like the outcome. The resolution may have needed to be increased to possibly make them more definable.

After this I went into photoshop to edit the image. By doing this I could change the colour and look without re-rendering speeding up development time. I experimented with different styles and colours to see which one looks the best.export 1.jpgFor this one I removed all depth and just had two pastel colours.export 7.pngNext, I kept the same colours but added depth to the rocket to give its details definition. This allows the rocket to pop from the image a little more, adding a bit more interest to the overall image.export 4.pngHere I thought I would stylize it some more by blending some duplicated layers together. This created an interesting effect which gives it a slightly retro stylization.  I also left space on each side for promotional information.render 16.pngOverall, this has been a good project to work on as I improved my understanding of the Vray render settings, whilst allowing me to gain understanding of Phoenix fx software. Now I can use what I learnt with Phoenix for other projects that require similar effects, allowing me to build upon my understanding as I go along. It also serves as a good starting point into Fx software as this and similar software is used in both the gaming and film industry, making it worthwhile to get more proficient with it.



References –

Image 1

Image 2

Falcon heavy image –

Game industry roles


After researching into environment artist roles, I decided to investigate into other 3d roles to gain a better understanding of the options available. There are a wide range of roles for 3d artists, with some broke down into specialist roles for specific purposes. The ones I found are as follows –


  • 3d generalist – Broad in abilities and able to model a wide range of items. Often used in TV/Film sector for VFX and CGI related tasks. Software such as Nuke and Houdini come up frequently for this role.
  • 3d CGi artist – More for marketing, architecture and film. This role focuses on creating photo/hyper realistic imagery. Vray for renders often used.
  • 3d artist – Similar to generalist though more games focused. Engine and 3d knowledge are necessary. Maya/Max, Mudbox/Zbrush, UE4/CryEngine are common.
  • Prop artist – Primary games focused and includes modelling organic and hard surface models. Engine and sculpting knowledge necessary, along with Allegorithmic experience. (Substance Painter, Designer)
  • Weapons artists – solely focused on weapons design for games. Sculpting and 3d software knowledge necessary. Needs great understanding of weapons, types and ergonomics. Along with animation understanding and rigging.
  • Vehicle artist – Specializing just in vehicles. Great understanding of cars, form and size. Ability to work with animators to rig the model. 3d and sculpting software necessary.
  • Character artist – Thourough knowledge of sculpting software: Zbrush/Mudbox along with Mari and Bodypaint.
  • Hard surface artist – Great understanding working in 3d, along with being able to work with animators for models you create. Works on making props, environment art along with research if needed.

Outside of the 3d pipeline there are other areas which come before, with or after the 3d development process. These include –

  • Concept artist – Create concept to gain a fundamental understanding of the games visuals, style and atmospheres. This can then be moved up the pipeline to other artists. Software – photoshop, illustrator, after effects. Traditional drawing skills is also a must too.
  • Art directors – understand visuals and graphics in order to direct the team towards your vison. Needs good knowledge of the production pipeline and the techniques and methods involved.
  • Animators –Using software such as Maya to rig and skin in order to animate. This can directly link with 3d artist jobs
  • Technical artist – Strong knowledge of code required. Language varies from c++, python and more. Job may require you to create and maintain in house software, create shaders and help art team.
  • Lighting artist – Create consistent and accurate lighting to go with the games style. Very good understanding of colour theory along with using direct and indirect lighting needed for this role.
  • 2d artist – This consists of creating 2d assets for games. Engine knowledge, colour theory and texture creation are normal for this role.

It’s worth noting that each of these roles are sometimes split into experience levels, like the environment artist positions I wrote about previously. Going from junior, normal role, then senior.  By investigating into the different roles, it has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the industry pipeline that companies use. Of course, this varies from the size of the studio. Smaller studios will have to condense these roles onto fewer artist, meaning a 3d artist may have to be an animator or a vehicle artist. Larger studios have the luxury of being able to have all these roles, allowing for more specific specialisms such as vehicle artist or weapon designers. This in turn allows for a higher quality output since it is not restricted to jack of all trades role that smaller indie studios may face.

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