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v0dKA

How Exactly is Game Art Created?

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How does someone make art for games? I've used only MS Paint for my projects, but that's only because I didn't need anything too visually impressive. I looked on the game screenshots thread (in the lounge) and saw some really impressive artwork. Is art done exclusively on the computer? Is it drawn by hand then scanned? Does someone take a picture with a camera and then edits it to make it look like a game?

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I have a book on the subject...According to it, some textyures are scanned in from real pictures, and then touched up with Photoshop; and others are created from scratch with Photoshop. Not sure about doing anything by hand, though...

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For 2D art/textures:

I'd imagine sometimes it is drawn by hand, scanned in and coloured and patched up, or just totally done in a powerful graphics package (leading the herd is Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro I think).

I've known some to do 2D art in 3D Studio Max, which is a bit like using a sledgehammer to hammer a nail into the wall, but it gives the 2D art a more 3D look I suppose.

[Edited by - red_sodium on October 23, 2004 10:28:38 AM]

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Yeah, it really depends what kind of game art you want to make. At the moment I am making all the graphics for a flash Hangman game - I drew some things by hand (alphabet, hangman's body), scanned them in, cleaned them up and adjusted their proportions in photoshop (blocked out the screen, the scaffolding, etc.), printed them out, drew some more onto the drawings (hangman's cothes, details of scaffolding), scanned and cleaned again; I also did a lot in photoshop itself using copy, paste and different kinds of transform to create a border from pieces of my alphabet, and also used this to do the pattern on the hangman's cowboy boots; that's all the basic lineart for the game, now I have to do the animation lineart and color everything.

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The program used is pretty irrelivant in most cases, it's normally the person behind the metaphorical wheel that's important, and their knowledge of how to use their selected graphics program.

Photoshop is the norm, however, mainly due to its ease of use and overall workflow (I've always found its interface to be far less cluttered for what it provides compared to most other programs).

The actual art itself is generated in a variety of ways, depending on how the artist prefers to work. I normally do rough sketches on paper then move into photoshop with aid of a graphics tablet. I've seen some people who prefer to do a rough model in 3DS-MAX then bring that into photoshop and add detail, and some of the best artists I've seen can even just start out directly in Photoshop, tablet in hand.

Which is one thing; A graphics tablet is a MUST if you're serious about moving into modern-game graphics in most circumstances. About the only field that is somewhat exempt from that is doing pixel-art for 2D platforms, but even then a graphics tablet to get out concepts is a great asset.

Quite a lot of games these days use photo-texturing extensively as well, but unless your game is only an environment, you'll still find a graphics tablet will really help, as photo-textures still require a lot of touch ups. Hell, sometimes photo-textures are nothing more than a base to paint on top of.

But the most important thing, naturally, is know how to draw. There's no use plugging away on the computer if you cant get out a decent looking sketch with a pencil and paper. It doesn't matter what your workflow is, if you have no concept of proportion, lines of flow or even how to make something look good on a simple medium, jumping into a graphics program is not going to help. There is no filter in the world that will make bad art good, so keep that in mind.

'Scuse the rant. I had a whole other paragraph I chopped out about tips to improve art, but then I re-read your question and realised I was getting off base. :P

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v0dka

There's loads of excellent software to be found 'out there' (much of it is Freeware) but No single application will do everything you want. It is really a case of experimenting with various software and finding out how it can help you. Along with resources such as 'Backgrounds, Textures, Sprites and so on...

There does'nt appear to be that much software specialising in solely producing Gaming Artwork.

The World Creator
www.inet2inet.com

Tile Studio
tilestudio.sourceforge.net/

There's probably more. Check the Software List at the Top of this Forum!

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