11 Books for Aspiring Game Artists

11 Books for Aspiring Game Artists

Lucas Staniec recommended some essential books for artists, who want to work in games and just want to create awesome content.

Lucas Staniec recommended some essential books for artists, who want to work in games and just want to create awesome content.

Start Small

If you want to start to work as a professional concept artist for a big studio, you have to have an outstanding portfolio! To achieve that, you have to know fundamentals like perspective, color, and light. Be serious with practicing drawing: practice every day, even if it’s one hour a day. Being consistent is the key to success. I will quote Will Smith here: “You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall”.

If you don’t have much response from studios, do not take it as the failure. It’s feedback that you should probably spend more time working on your skills. So you work your butt off! I guarantee you it will pay off.

Educate Yourself

If it comes to schools and education, I would recommend Art Center College of Design, if you live in California. Guys like Syd Mead attended this school, so if I could I would go there! If you live else I have no idea if there are any schools worth of recommending. I am a self-taught artist myself and proof that these days, you don’t necessarily need a formal education to become successful.

It’s also important to have a positive attitude when you decide to take this career path. Don’t be afraid – fear is a killer. Everything will turn out just fine, I promise you. Always be on the search for knowledge and stay humble, there will always be somebody better than you! Embrace your failures because they will pave the way to your successes.

My first portrait/people studies. I always considered painting people as one of my biggest weaknesses. A year ago I painted people like you can see below. I just could not get it. I dropped it and I focused on the environments. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have chickened out and just stuck to it.

Recently I sat down, studied, analyzed, pushed myself and practiced a lot. These are the latest studies I did.

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Art and CGI have been around for a while and there are hundreds of good books, that talk about the techniques. Here are some of the books I consider absolute MUST READS!

How to Draw is for artists, architects, and designers. It is useful to the novice, the student and the professional. You will learn how to draw any object or environment from your imagination, starting with the most basic perspective drawing skills.

Early chapters explain how to draw accurate perspective grids and ellipses that in later chapters provide the foundation for more complex forms. The research and design processes used to generate visual concepts are demonstrated, making it much easier for you to draw things never-before-seen!

Best of all, more than 25 pages can be scanned via a smartphone or tablet using the new Design Studio Press app, which link to video tutorials for that section of the book!

With a combined 26 years of teaching experience, Scott Robertson and Thomas Bertling bring you the lessons and techniques they have used to help thousands of their students become professional artists and designers.

This book is about the fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity; the focus is firmly on helping to improve visual understanding of the world around and on techniques for representing that world. Rendering is the next step after drawing to communicate ideas more clearly. Building on what Scott Robertson and Thomas

Bertling wrote about in How To Draw: Drawing and Sketching Objects and Environments from Your Imagination, this book shares everything the two experts know about how to render light, shadow and reflective surfaces.

This book is divided into two major sections: the first explains the physics of light and shadow. One will learn how to construct proper shadows in perspective and how to apply the correct values to those surfaces. The second section focuses on the physics of reflectivity and how to render a wide range of materials utilizing this knowledge.

Throughout the book, two icons appear that indicate either “observation” or “action.” This means the page or section is about observing reality or taking action by applying the knowledge and following the steps in creating your own work. Similar to our previous book, How To Draw, this book contains links to free online rendering tutorials that can be accessed via the URL list or through the H2Re app.

A researched study on two of art’s most fundamental themes, Color and Light bridges the gap between abstract theory and practical knowledge. Beginning with a survey of underappreciated masters who perfected the use of color and light, the book examines how light reveals form, the properties of color and pigments, and the wide variety of atmospheric effects. Gurney cuts though the confusing and contradictory dogma about color, testing it in the light of science and observation. A glossary, pigment index, and bibliography complete what will ultimately become an indispensible tool for any artist.
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Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist

Beginning with a survey of imaginative paintings from the Renaissance to the golden Age of American illustration, the book then goes on to explain not just techniques like sketching and composition, but also the fundamentals of believable world building including archaeology, architecture, anatomy for creatures and aliens, and fantastic engineering. It concludes with details and valuable advice on careers in fantasy illustration, including video game and film concept art and toy design.

More than an instruction book, this is the ultimate reference for fans of science fiction and fantasy illustration.

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The ultimate guide to visual storytelling! How to make the audience “”feel”” the story while they are “”reading”” the story. Using his experiences from working in the comic book industry, movie studios and teaching, Marcos introduces the reader to a step-by-step system that will create the most successful storyboards and graphics for the best visual communication. After a brief discussion on narrative art, Marcos introduces us to drawing and composing a single image, to composing steady shots to drawing to compose for continuity between all the shots. These lessons are then applied to three diverse story lines – a train accident, a cowboy tale and bikers approaching a mysterious house. In addition to setting up the shots, he also explains and illustrates visual character development, emotive stances and expressions along with development of the environmental setting to fully develop the visual narrative.
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The Visual Story offers a clear view of the relationship between the story/script structure and the visual structure of a film, video, or multimedia work. An understanding of the visual components will serve as the guide to strengthening the overall story. 

The Visual Story divides what is seen on screen into tangible sections: contrast and affinity, space, line and shape, tone, color, movement, and rhythm. The vocabulary, as well as the insight, is provided to purposefully control the given components to create the ultimate visual story. For example: know that a saturated yellow will always attract a viewer’s eye first; decide to avoid abrupt editing by mastering continuum of movement, and benefit from the suggested list of films to study rhythmic control. The Visual Story shatters the wall between theory and practice, bringing these two aspects of the craft together in an essential connection for all those creating visual stories. 

Bruce Block has the production credentials to write this definitive guide. His expertise is in demand, and he gives seminars at the American Film Institute, PIXAR Studios, Walt Disney Feature and Television Animation, Dreamworks Animation, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic and a variety of film schools in Europe.
Whether you’re the owner of an original ALLA PRIMA or a first-time reader, you’ll love the new ALLA PRIMA II – Expanded Edition. Richard Schmid spent two years updating the original edition giving him the opportunity to fine-tune and greatly expand what is generally regarded as the art world’s foremost book for painters seeking serious instruction in representational painting. You can check out some of the images from the book on the official website.
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The illustrator Andrew Loomis (1892-1959) is revered amongst artists – including the great American painter Norman Rockwell and comics superstar Alex Ross – for his mastery of figure drawing and clean, Realist style. His hugely influential series of art instruction books have never been bettered. Drawing the Head and Hands is the second in Titan’s programme of facsimile editions, returning these classic titles to print for the first time in decades.
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Perspective is a discipline often set aside when it comes to general art study, though it is essential to master in order to produce any piece of art that is and feels realistic. Framed Perspective 1 equips artists with the technical knowledge needed to produce successful visual storytelling-related drawings: from understanding the basics of the space around us and how we perceive it, all the way to more sophisticated endeavors, like creating entire locations that will become the believable set ups our characters and stories will happen within. As intimidating as perspective may seem, best-selling author and artist Marcos Mateu-Mestre delivers each lesson in an accessible and informative way that takes the mystery out of achieving successful scenes. The book includes extensive step-by-step practical explanations of how to build objects and environments of all sorts, taking that first sketch to a fully rendered artwork with many of his finished illustrations as examples. Sure to be the most popular book in your art library, it will train you to see the world in a way that allows you to enjoy every curve and slope you see in it and, more importantly, translate that vision into art with accuracy and a great sense and understanding of depth and proportion. Your perspective will never be the same!
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Building on the foundation established with the first book in the series, Framed Perspective 2 guides artists through the challenging tasks of projecting shadows in proper perspective on a variety of environments and working with characters in perspective set in particular situation or setting. Author and artist Marcos Mateu-Mestre reveals the many techniques and mechanics he has used to become proficient in such endeavors, including using anatomy, shadows, and clothing folds to define the shape and volume of characters within an environment. He also shares how to effectively observe a model or object to extract the right amount of information to then translate it into an impactful graphic and visual image, the goal of every visual storyteller.

These are a good start but read and educate yourself constantly.

You can visit my official website.


Lucas Staniec, Concept Artist at Techland 

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev.

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Comments 1

  • Jeff

    The visit my official website link doesn't work.



    ·2 years ago·

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