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Brainstorm: An easier way to come up with ideas

Brainstorm generates infinite number of thumbnails (tiny ideas-sketches), which you can turn into various sci-fi images. Here’s how it works.

An international team of artists has created an tool, which will help any concept artist, who works in games, TV or movies. Brainstorm generates infinite number of thumbnails (tiny ideas-sketches), which you can turn into various sci-fi images (including full blown 3d models). We’ve talked with the artists behind this tool and tried to figure out how does it work.



Our team is just four people: Oleg Vdovenko who worked with rendering sprites, Alexey Mikhailov and Vadim Vdovenko both did programming and UI, Max Verehin helped with ideas and testing. We live in different places, from Canada to Russia. We are all 2d and 3d artists working in the gaming industry for many years and know well how important it is to quickly generate new ideas.


This is how we came up with Brainstorm. The name of the program speaks for itself. It’s an idea generator for concept artists, who work in Sci-fi style. By using it you really need just a few seconds to find interesting shapes, silhouettes, which will become the basis for future concept. When a concept artist working on an assignment, he need to provide some ideas to the art director or for himself to determine what’s best and ready for development. These few ideas usually called “thumbnails” (3-6 sketches on one sheet). Starting with a blank canvas sometimes may be frustrating, so we had the idea to develop a tool that allows you to playfully overcome the first steps of concepting.

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Brainstorm allows you, by using only one button, generate infinite number of ideas. Everyone will find their own way to use the program. Someone can click on the “Brainstorm” button for as long as the result does not suit him/her. Someone can generate several thumbnails and try to use then to create something even more complicated and unimaginable. This is a “sand box” for concept artists.


The number of variations is infinite, since they are generated from a large number of elements. Each time thumbnails generate by using a new combinations and transformations of elements. Each generated thumbnail can be moved, rotated and scaled relative to the other. You can delete parts of thumbnails you dont like. Lock thumbnail makes it frozen to new generation – it’s important when you want to continue searching for interesting shapes, saving those that you liked.


The results you get with the Brainstorm can be used in any graphics editor. At the end you get final result in different modes, which can be used in many ways: overpaint in Photoshop or to generate 3d model in Zbrush by using a shadow box.

Who will use it?

First of all Brainstorm is useful for ourselves, because we often have to deal with concept art at work. Using this program, we greatly accelerate the process of finding good solutions. That’s why, we can recommend it to anyone who is involved in the concept art. For those who just started using Brainstorm we would advise to keep it a secret from his boss, because time you save you can spend on self-development. Experiment.

This seems like an awesome tool for all artists. You can purchase it for $10 at Gumroad for PC & Mac.

Special thanks to Oleg Vdovenko for agreeing to do this interview.

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