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Koobazaur

How to come up with an Art Style?

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Hello,

I am not an artist, but I wish to improve my process when making "programmer art" for prototypes/first alphas. I figured I should go back to the start and ask what the overall process for coming up with a visual style is, from earliest concepts to final assets? Mind sharing your steps/checklist/methods?

Any good article / book / resource that outlines the process?

--------------------------------------------

On my end I usually do this:
* Consider the themes, main ideas and what the overall style should be
* Create a visual reference list (Games, movies, books, photos, painintings, web sites, etc.)
* Make a few mock ups for some of game scenes or elements (key locations, characters, key items, ui, etc.)
* Get feedback and iterate mockups
* Produce / find final assets

Do I have the process right? What do You do?


I did a bit research and read about graphic designers / artists also preparing Mood Boards or Design Bibles. Would those be worth adding in? Anyone use that and can pitch in?

Thanks!

(Reason I'm asking: my process has not been very successful, with gamers often criticizing my early art. One issue I discovered is lack of consistency or "sloppy" work. I'm not sure if it's the process itself or if I'm just not spending enough time on it). Edited by Koobazaur

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That process is very much like what I do, aside from adding a color palette.  I tend to come up with some terrible color combinations if I don't plan ahead to make them all harmonize.  This is kind of like a mood board I guess?

 

Also, are you making sure to sketch your cast of characters and some monsters as a group, so you can see them next to each other and check the proportions?

Edited by sunandshadow

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I'll start with the disclaimer that my programmer art is still pretty terrible...

 

...but for me, I found that my art got a lot less terrible with a bit more attention to basic art concepts, as having no proper or formal training in art I didn't really have these nailed down, and hadn't learned them instinctively through practice either.

 

 

A colour palette like sunandshadow suggests can be very helpful as well, and I do normally try to come up with a collection of reference images and then try to keep what I'm producing consistent with that style. 

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Thanks for the link, that's exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for. I was also at Barnes and Nobles today and saw "Drawing Basics and Video Game Art" by Solarski, which looked like a good primer.

Yea establishing (and more importantly - sticking to!) a color pallete would probably be added to the list. It's one of those things I know I should do but haven't really done. Need to take a more structured approach I guess.

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