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Lucas Staniec recommended some essential books for artists, who want to work in games and just want to create awesome content.
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.
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.
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.
Scott Robertson: How to Render: the fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity
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.
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.
Marcos Mateu-Mestre and Jeffrey Katzenberg: Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers
Edgar Payne: Composition of Outdoor Painting
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.
Richard Schmid: Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting
Andrew Loomis: Drawing the Head and Hands
These are a good start but read and educate yourself constantly.
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