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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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JayDaniels

Curious About Creating Fantasy Art

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We've all seen those really cool, fully rendered scenes of a paladin-like hero standing on a mountainside, or a sorceress with a fireball in her hands. I've always admired them, all feats of artistic excellence actually, but having very little artistic talent makes it seem like nothing more than a dream. Where's a good place to start to learn to draw these incredible scenes? How much of it is done in photoshop? And finally, about drawing and rendering character concepts, how do you go about outfitting characters (having some difficulty getting past the base figure)? Any and all help is appreciated, and recommended books I could pick up will put a smile on my face :)

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Link an example picture you really like so we can point out what techniques were probably used to make it.

 

Outfitting, you really have to look at a lot of pictures of clothing, preferably real clothing, while you have some sketch paper at hand to capture any bits you particularly like.  Google image search and library books are both possibilities.

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This scene I really like, quite a bit going on in this image: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Dark-warrior-325240797

This one is more for character concepts http://me-illuminated.deviantart.com/art/Alcina-fantasy-character-concept-345307480

 

So for clothing then I should study clothes a bit more, sketch out whatever looks good and keep it. What about mixing and matching, taking out things I don't like and adding on things I do like, how viable is that? My sense in fashion is a little bit worse than my artistic talent :P

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Those examples are a way more realistic style than my own, but let's see, what can I say that would be helpful... Do you know how to draw a mannequin yet?  Simplified human shape used to establish proportion and pose?  That's where you would start for both of those pictures.

 

For the clothes, yes and yes.  Usually you want to pick a theme - an outfit usually has all triangles or all circles or all squares, and one main fabric (plate mail can count as a fabric type for this purpose, as well as more normal things like silk,denim, linen...) plus one accent fabric (might have a different weight or texture).  You don't need a bunch of different decoration types - embroidery is nice, a printed pattern is nice, pleats are nice, bows are nice, lace is nice, but you don't need to put more than two in the same outfit.

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Do you know how to draw a mannequin yet?  Simplified human shape used to establish proportion and pose?  That's where you would start for both of those pictures.

 

I've done some very rough sketches (proportions always a bit off, pose always a bit odd), hoping I'll be able to improve that with practice. For the clothing then I'll need to start looking at some patterns as well. Thanks for the tips, really appreciate it :)

 


You need to learn the foundations. Once you have those, you can put them towards anything you want to do.

 

Oh no, I was afraid that would come up tongue.png For some reason I was hoping I would be able to skip past all the foundations and go straight to digital painting (crazy I know, but worth a shot biggrin.png). Thanks for the links, I've already started watching some of the videos on Ctrl+Paint, I'm going to dedicate an hour a day to the foundations studies and see how much I can improve by 2014.

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You need to learn the foundations. Once you have those, you can put them towards anything you want to do.


Oh no, I was afraid that would come up tongue.png For some reason I was hoping I would be able to skip past all the foundations and go straight to digital painting (crazy I know, but worth a shot biggrin.png).

 


Haha. Well, I mean, you could. It'd just be frustrating, and chances are you might give up before you got anywhere.
Foundations are a tad tedious too of course, but also mean you skip 3-5 years worth of stagnating and wondering why! ;) I reckon you could get pretty far with an hour a day for a bit, so good luck indeed!

Edited by BagelHero
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Bleh foundations.  Personally I think it's easiest to learn if you focus on one foundation at a time through a project that eliminates some of the foundations to narrow the problem space.  Like working with line only to temporarily remove color and light as things you need to worry about.  Or drawing a person only to temporarily eliminate composition.  It can also be educational to practice coloring someone else's linework (make sure you find an artist who is okay with letting their lineart be used like this).  Or copying old paintings is a traditional way to practice brush techniques (or the digital equivalent) without worrying about composition or proportion or any of that.

Edited by sunandshadow
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I think the method of learning that best helped me to get to where I am was the following:

- Have my game design that requires some artwork (illustrated backgrounds, characters and animations, environments, props, vehicles etc.).

- Pick one of these artwork pieces that I need for the game.

- Search for tutorials on making that subject, be them for traditional media or digital. Collect reference photos of the subject, or at least parts of it (if I'm creating something original that is a blend of several elements).

- Learn with the tutorials the techniques they teach while employing them to create your asset (even if the asset itself isn't what the tutorial is about).

- You will finish the tutorial with more artistic experience and also with a finished (or mostly finished) artwork asset for your game. The quality is not that relevant, as you did your best and you need to start from somewhere. The important part is the focus: you're using the tutorials to make something for your game, not only learn new artistic skills. This helps you stay motivated.

 

- - - - - -

Regarding learning resources, here are a few.
 
 Incessant DeviantArt tutorials:

http://tanathe.deviantart.com/journal/Tutorials-and-techniques-217225496

http://jane-beata.deviantart.com/journal/PE-Learning-to-paint-with-deviantArt-350633158

http://divine-tutorials.deviantart.com/gallery/25014976

http://walkthrough-rookie.deviantart.com/gallery/30225887
 
Artists forums with tips and guides (GameArtisans, Polycount, ConceptArt.org).

 

Something you should definitely read are the Andrew Loomis' books. More particularly, "Fun With a Pencil."
While I can't comment on the legality of downloading them (read about it here), a blog claims that since they are "out of print" the PDFs are legal to download: http://illustrationage.com/2013/04/02/free-andrew-loomis-art-instruction-downloads/

Edited by Kryzon
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