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Art for game programmer or beginner.

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Hello,
        I am a game programmer who has not done any game art before. I want to create a 2d/3d infinite runner based on whichever art style is much more intuitive or easier to learn. So my question as a beginner in game art which art style would suit a programmer?

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If you want quick and easy 3d graphics you can use Toon shaders, also known as cell shading.

 

This way you can easily match models you download or make to your own style.

It's also easy to use, if you wan't the hero's shirt to be blue you just color it blue.

 

If you learn normal maps and diffuse maps you can make the game even look better, but it isn't needed.

Search about cell shading and you will see some nice examples.

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I would say:

- No photorealism

- Comic style

- Maybe avoid animations at all, or just do simple ones - Pick your art style and objects to fit this animation-less style (technical objects like space ships instead of organical creatures) 

 

Then some random advices:

- Look up some tutorials on the web. You are not the first programmer fighting with this problem. Some wrote good tutorials on how to get good results with missing Time and Skill.

- Skip 3D if you don't plan to invest a lot of time into it. You can create simple 3D shaped in a short time, and again, stuff like space ships can look pretty convincing even if done in a simple way. But you WILL spend more time on it than when working on a 2D Drawing.

-  Never compare your work to the work of a professional artist. You are comparing yourself to someone who has years of expierience doing art (be 2D or 3D) 24/7 (almost smile.png)... if you are not a genious with lots of talent, it would take you years of similar practice to catch up (and if you are an art genious, you would know by now smile.png )

 

I have a interest in doing art like this.

 

for example:
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQdh6DZrS7nfSiGPSNqRKC56sau3Nr4FHPTblsXJQVTgUqZ9TIZsQ

Edited by GreenTitan

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If you want quick and easy 3d graphics you can use Toon shaders, also known as cell shading.

 

This way you can easily match models you download or make to your own style.

It's also easy to use, if you wan't the hero's shirt to be blue you just color it blue.

 

Good point. A toon shader can really help making simpler 3D Objects look more appropriate. Let me put it this way: A simple 3D Object with a normal shader will look off (photorealistic lighting on a comical simplified object? Ugh!). A simple 3D Object with a toon shader can look very good though, as the lighting is just as simplified as the object itself.

 

 

 

For 3D, you will need the Toon shader mentioned above to achieve this look. What the toon shader does is basically using a ramp (a small texture defining the amount shading steps and where they kick in) to break up the continous lighting done by the lighting system of 3D Engines into one or multiple shadowing steps as you can see in most comics or traditional animation films.

 

Its used quite often now for traditional hand drawn animation films. Some scenes seen in modern handdrawn animation films are almost impossible to pull off with handdrawn graphics, or would take a long time to produce the old fashioned way, so 3D Rendering is used instead.

To make these 3D Renderings blend in with the rest of the animation film, a good Toon shader is needed to match the cell shading of the handrawn frames.

 

 

For 2D Games its much simpler: Pick an Image Editor and go. Of course, given limited expierience your first tries will look not so good, so simplify as much as you can. Also, as said before, if you can get rid of organical creatures, you will have a much easier time with animations.

 

For Comic graphics there are Image Editors created especially for that task: Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint (the japanese original) is perfect for creating Comics, and alos for all Art to be done in similar fashion.

Its not free, but the standart edition is quite cheap (About 50$ cheapest). It features some helper functions that can help the less skilled to achieve good results on good machines, or the more skilled achieve good results on crappy machines. The most important feature is the Pen stabilizer. Basically you can pick how much the lines you draw should be smoothed out to make the "shaky lines" problem disappear (I use it on my old Tablet with wacom digitizer. The digitizer is quite crappy compared to the expensive Citniq line, but thanks to stabilizations, I can still get good results from it) 

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