Thursday, 3 January 2013

Opus Artz

After undergoing research into the industry, I came across this video which takes a look inside one of the leading conceptual art companies 'Opus Artz' based in London. As an aspiring conceptual artist for games, I found some of the discussions within the clip very informative. Firstly the interviewee, Dr. Wong, speaks of a boom in the demand for pre-visualisation in the form of concept art. This is a result of the trend for immersive tripple-A titles. With games taking a more cinematic atmospheric approach, conceptual artists are repeatedly utilised throughout the entire process of a game's development. You can see this with the apparent large scale of the studio and its employee artists. Obviously this gives a sense of optimism to any budding artist after realising the increase in demand from concept art studios.

Perhaps more importantly, I acquired knowledge of what an employer might look for within this particular industry. Firstly, it seems diversity is key. Admittedly, I have a fascination with Sci-fi art, and I usually sway towards that particular style with university projects and independent work. Perhaps it would be beneficial for me to explore say the fantasy or horror genre. Also, I am assured that although my key interests lie in conceptual art, my exploration in different platforms such as 3D modelling and animation, will be beneficial towards my art. Dr. Wong explains that when recruiting new artists, he likes to see an understanding in the whole pipeline of gave development. An understanding of how assets and characters are modelled as well as rigged and animated, would likely inform a piece of game art with the intention of functionality within a virtual environment.

I was also inspired by lead artist 'Bjorn Hurri's' private 'doodle book.' It was seeing this that inspired me to revisit my sketchbooks and work in the traditional media of pencil and paper. I feel this is an effective way in practising fundamental skills such perspective and anatomy, without the intention of producing high quality images for print or the web. No booting up of a computer or setting up of a document is required, you can simply grab a pencil and let your creativity flow. I feel by working in this media more I will be able to improve my drawing abilities much faster. Hurris also talks about his interests in creating worlds and delving into the genre by reading books and watching movies, as well as collecting tons of reference images to inform his ideas. With this I get a sense of the excitement involved with visualising virtual worlds. Hurris also discusses working with briefs and 'troubleshooting' ideas visually. This is an area I hope to gain experience in, by working for clients and entering brief driven competitions.

In conclusion, based on the advise given by Bioware art director Neil Thompson, I have viewed Hurris's work as a bench mark to asses the stage I am at with my skills and how much I need to improve. I must 'doodle' as much as possible, broaden and adapt my abilities to cover different genres and continue to study and understand the pipeline involved in game development.

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