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Great overview of the different new ways to approach concept art from Albert Ramon Puig.
My name is Albert Ramon, I’m from Barcelona, Spain and I work as a 2D artist in the UI/UX field of the video game industry. In my free time, I teach Environment Design classes at an art school in Barcelona.
I’ve worked on several projects related to mobile and console games, such as Asphalt 8, Asphalt Extreme, Payday 2 and Overkill’s The Walking Dead.
But, the one project that continues to occupy most of my time is a personal project. Over the last nine years, I’ve worked every day on creating a futuristic, sci-fi universe with all of my artwork linked to it.
The first step in developing an idea is to write a history or description of the environment. The next step is to search for photos of real landscapes related to the idea (references), such as forests with rivers, tropical islands or desert mountains.
I put all of my photos into a gallery and started to combine them. Then, I sketched over them to develop the first concept for a small thumbnail.
It’s important for me to create mini thumbnails because it forces my mind to remain focused on the main things I want to convey with my work rather than getting bogged down in small details.
Well, when I start painting, I try to put all the main elements in the scene to define the depth of field of the environment. After that, I define the main lighting of the scene, which is very important because it helps me paint all of the objects within the scene and also affects the scene’s color palette.
I use several photos of machinery and hard surface objects to make a visual collage that helps me extract the patterns of the surface—when I have this, I then paint over it.
When I finish this part, I paint important details onto the main elements. Afterwards, I apply the FX layer with flares, particles, smokes and so on.
I often change the position of the elements within a scene. However, I try to maintain the position of the main elements from the original thumbnail.
I spend a lot of time making one illustration. Normally, I start two or three concepts at the same time and end up leaving plenty of time between painting steps.
When I get tired of working on the same concept, I begin working on another concept. When the feeling reemerges, I know it’s time to switch back to the first concept! This helps to refresh my mind while I go through the process of changing and adjusting elements.
Implementing 3D details
With my most recent projects, I worked only in 2D digital painting and photobashing. But, I do appreciate the importance of mixing 2D and 3D art techniques to obtain a good result. The combination of several techniques is essential to exploring new concepts. At the end of the day, the concept and result of a project are the most important aspects of the creative process—methods or techniques simply bridge the gap between the two!
Well, I chose the colors for the scene when I made the first thumbnail. When I finished the final version, I adjusted the color palette using Gradients Maps and hue filters. For inspiration, I used a combination of my reference photos and picked colors during first step of the painting process.
I like small details, like drawing people, lights, houses, smoke or the neon banners of a street, because they contribute to the credibility of my illustrations.
Normally, I apply smaller details in the final step of the production process and only add them to important places of the image, which is crucial because I don’t want to oversaturate any element of my scene.
Thanks for reading about my work, 80.lv! I hope it was a fun read and wish you the best of luck with your own art projects!