What Does A Game Artist Do?

Games like Guild Wars, Warcraft, Counter Strike and Grand Theft Auto are just some of the popular video games that would not have been formed without the help of game artists. An essential member of any gaming company, game artists are tasked with making a game’s visual elements like the characters, weapons, objects, vehicles and the environment where the actors will be playing their game. It is their job to model and texture the visual elements of a video game.

Game artists are already involved in the process even before the actual game is created. In the pre-production stage, artists work together with their lead artist, game designer and other members of the team to brainstorm ideas for the game. Video game designers usually have an idea about the game, what its storyline is and what players can accomplish as they go through its various levels.

It is the task of game artists to create concept art for the game. Using pen, paper and other traditional art materials, concept artists are responsible for sketching the environment, characters, weapons vehicles, furniture and other objects that will be used as basis by other artists when these visual elements will finally be modeled. It is at this stage where they will make suggestions for the look each level as well as the feel for the entire game. Game artists who specialize in concept art aren’t really responsible for creating the art that will comprise the game’s final product but what they will produce will be influential in shaping it.

After the game has been conceptualized, another type of game artists known as 3D modelers get to work. With their knowledge of computer software programs and artistic skill combined, they craft the people, animals, landscapes and other art assets based on the concept art using computer programs. They need to have programming knowledge as well because they need to be able to create vivid models within the confines of the gaming technology that is used.

3D modelers collaborate with 2D artists or texture artists who are responsible for providing textures to the models. Texture artists use their computer know-how and proficiency in matters involving perspective, lighting and special effects to create coherent worlds that greatly enhance the gaming experience.

Another role that game artists play in the game development process is animating the action sequences for each scene. For example, they make the figures walk, run, jump, hop and fly or turn lights on and off. In other levels, they may add bombs exploding or cars crashing depending on the game’s storyline.

It should be understood that the distinction between concept artists, 3D modelers and texture artists isn’t exactly strict and clear-cut. Some of them may work as generalists who have the skills in all three areas while others are more specialized. In many cases, it is the gaming studio that determines where the artist is able to contribute most in the entire game development process. There is some degree of flexibility involved especially in smaller gaming studios that need to maximize the talents of everyone in the team due to budgetary constraints. In larger gaming firms, game artists can expect their roles to be confined to a certain aspect of game development, whether it is in coming up with the game concept, making lifelike models or giving texture to the game assets.

No matter what they are asked to do in any project, game artists have to be able to work well with other people since they won’t be able to finish the game without their colleagues. For example, sound engineers and other professionals are responsible for creating the music and other audio requirements for the game. They will also have to be mindful of the gaming program’s technical requirements. They need to coordinate closely with other members of the team to be able to tweak the movements of their characters or alter the scenery if necessary to ensure that the finished product will give a strong impression on the minds of those who will play it. After the game has been released, game artists together with the others working on the project, will review client feedback and make the necessary edits if it is warranted to further improve the entire game.

Career Spotlight: Game Artist

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