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My first concept art

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I'm producing concept art for my game idea to be palmed off to a 3d artist, and I would like critique from you guys. Here it is, located on my dA: http://comradeda.deviantart.com/art/Turtle-HAT2-145475058 Also, first post.

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What's the setting of your game -- modern day, future? I ask because the setting could say something about how you want the tank to 'feel'.

So without that, I'd just come at it from a plausibility standpoint. There's a whole story to the development of the design of modern tanks that I think is useful to know if one is going to be designing tanks. What can I say but say start here and read everything ;)

But, specifically: From a plausibility standpoint the turret looks too large compared to the hull, and it seems to be mounted pretty far back, implying that the engine is in the front (if there was room for it) -- this is done in the Merkava tank to maximize crew survival, which stems from the strategic situation of the IDF trying to run a large army with relatively limited manpower. -- point being, the design of a tank can imply a lot about its setting.

It may be useful to the 3d modeler to draw some detailed views of certain 'tricky' parts to show how the bottom of the tank looks, the design of the treads, how the wheels meet the treads (and how the whole arrangement of wheels works on a tank), how the wheels attach to the hull, how the turret attaches to the hull, etc, depending on how detailed you want to get. I took a drafting class once and it taught some great skills for expressing 3d objects in various views; like this, kinda.

It helps to have done a little 3d modeling, too, so you know what a modeler is going to be concerned with.

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It's a future setting, slightly dystopian, although not in an orwellian way. The game is a real-time strategy

It mainly exists to justify a bunch of gameplay mechanics (the gameplay was written from the top down), so what I have is:
The vast majority of people live in prefabricated homes (kinda like mobile homes).
Most of the large cities of today are derelict.
Pretty much everything is mass-produced (although if someone is rich, they can afford to have a house built)
The players play as part of a large corporation's military arm
There's teleportation technology, although in almost all cases you need a teleporter at both ends (to justify why troops can be 'built' fairly quickly, they're just hopping into a teleporter which has a recharge time).

The setting isn't entirely serious, but it should have the vague vestiges of believability, so I'm avoiding things like walkers and anti-tank lasers.

Looking at it again, the turret does look a bit big. However, I have done a bit of 3d modelling, and know that that sort of thing can fairly easily be arbitrarily changed.

The team that the tank is for is for the most defencive team. The tank itself is the slowest and most heavily armed tank. It needs to be relatively sparse in terms of window dressing, to make room for player upgrades.

I did use the Merkava as a sort of base, mostly because I thought it looked cool.

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Quote:
Original post by comradeda
I would like critique from you guys.


()Watch your lineweights, right now they're all the same, which means your drawing is really flat and hard to read.

()A perspective shot would help give the modeler a sense of form, all you have provided are the orthogonals (which are always useful) but you haven't given a sense of the 3d structure. Concept art should sell a particular feel as well as specific details of shape, it's not just about providing a blueprint.

()There's a LOT of writing for a concept piece, your artwork should really do most of the explaining for you. If necessary, provide a detail shot of particular elements or a quick sequential to show how something moves/opens/operates.

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Thanks. :)

What do you mean by lineweights? Like, having thicker lines for the silhouette, and where things are obvious separate, and thinner lines for details on the same object?

Most of the writing is additional notes about the unit it is for, and is only there to help the modeller with getting a general idea about what it is for, and how it should feel.

I will try a perspective view, but I'm not all that confident in my drawing abilities. Will also have to pull out some new paper. :P

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Quote:
Original post by comradeda
What do you mean by lineweights? Like, having thicker lines for the silhouette, and where things are obvious separate, and thinner lines for details on the same object?

Yes, pretty much. All your lines are lightly sketched, and provide no sense of depth. The silhouette could use a thicker line, as well as the major forms, details or shallow effects work better with thin lines. Also, "thicker" or softer materials sometimes use thicker line weight, and thin objects the opposite. Objects closer to the "camera" have darker and thicker lines than objects far away...and so on. A quick test is to squint or somehow blur your vision and see if the major structure still comes across. That also has to do with contrast, but one thing at a time.

Quote:

Most of the writing is additional notes about the unit it is for, and is only there to help the modeller with getting a general idea about what it is for, and how it should feel.

That's all well and good, the point I meant to make is that the art is usually separate from the documentation (there is a design doc somewhere describing these units, yes? :) ) and so should stand on its own as a communication tool. This was more of a nitpick than a solid crit though.

Quote:

I will try a perspective view, but I'm not all that confident in my drawing abilities. Will also have to pull out some new paper. :P

So push yourself! :p But seriously, if you only draw what you're confident in, you'll never progress. Perspective is an incredibly useful tool to have in your repertoire, and will be used all the time in concept work, especially if you're designing hard-body objects like buildings and vehicles. If you can find a copy I suggest Perspective for Comic Book Artists, I've found it invaluable for perspective learning.

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Quote:
Original post by BCullis
That's all well and good, the point I meant to make is that the art is usually separate from the documentation (there is a design doc somewhere describing these units, yes? :) ) and so should stand on its own as a communication tool. This was more of a nitpick than a solid crit though.


Yes, there is a DD, but only a few people are clued in atm.

Quote:
Original post by BCullis
So push yourself! :p But seriously, if you only draw what you're confident in, you'll never progress. Perspective is an incredibly useful tool to have in your repertoire, and will be used all the time in concept work, especially if you're designing hard-body objects like buildings and vehicles. If you can find a copy I suggest Perspective for Comic Book Artists, I've found it invaluable for perspective learning.


Haha. That was more of a joke excuse. I'm going to do that.

Thanks for the tips. :)

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Your design lacks character. The tank doesn't look especially slow, durable or heavily armed, which you wrote are its defining characteristics. The world surrounding these tanks is important, as is the tanks emotional significance to the player.

I'm not saying your drawing is technically bad, just that it's immemorable. Realism shouldn't be at the heart of your design.

[Edited by - abstractionline on December 10, 2009 3:43:07 AM]

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Ok.

Here is the updated concept art. Is this better?

http://comradeda.deviantart.com/art/Turtle-HAT3-146301637

Haven't done a perspective view yet.

What is an appropriate look for a heavy, durable tank? Could you provide some examples?

As far as I can tell, it's pretty wide, and has fairly thick tracks, given that the player sees the mostly from the top. The gun is huge compared to the rest of the tank.

However, correct me if I'm wrong. Be more specific! :)

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First off, I would suggest using a ruler if you're free-handing hard-surface objects.

Secondly, thumbnails help. Quick, messy, just trying to get a bunch of ideas on paper because, more often than not, your first idea isn't your best. Additionally, thumbnails let you experiment without a lot of time investment, and silhouettes are an easy way to get the projected feel of an object without getting lost in its details. Here's a visual aid:

(And no, I didn't use a ruler, though sketchbook pro DOES have a ruler feature, I intended comment 1 to be for your final, cleaned up render ^^)

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