Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Nuare Studio is a well-known “artistic factory”, that builds characters for Blur Studio, Microsoft, Bethesda, DeNa and other big game companies. In this interview the artists from the Canadian company talk about developing great characters, using color to build better visuals and the best tools for game artists.
Nuare Studio Introduction
Nuare Studio was founded in 2006 but It became a serious business only in 2011. We are a Canadian company located near Toronto. We work with the best and most skillful people in the industry – we have really experienced people working more than 15 years in a movie and a game industry and talented young professionals as well.
We work with big Western companies such as Blur Studio, Microsoft, Bethesda, etc. and Asian ones like DeNa, ATeam. We have really good relationships with them.
We love working with Blur Studio, it’s our good old partner and we help them sometimes with different things. If you watch cinematics made by Blur Studio for The Elder Scrolls Online / Bethesda, you will see a lot of characters we helped to develop. It’s always interesting to compare a final product and an initial idea! You can take a look at some of the videos on our website.
Building the Vision
We’re always focused on quality. Composition is one of the basic and most important parts of any artwork. And we work a lot on finding the best way to show it. We always provide more detailed sketches to our clients than other artists usually do in the early stages of development. So if you’re an artist, working with us might be a challenge sometimes. But it is rewarding and usually gives a great experience as long as you’re interested in creating real commercial art.
Telling Stories through Characters
We’re always about story telling when we think about characters we create. You can tell a good design when you give a character a short glance and your brain can answer many questions like: where this guy came from, what his agenda is, what his motives are, what his personality is, who, what and where and he belongs to, what was the last day of his life before you saw him.
We try to tell a story even without putting our personage into any environment.
It’s a very complex process connected to a composition, contrast and design itself. You have to make your viewer’s eye follow the elements you need to show, to create a comfortable path through your design. First, you show the elements that create the base of the character, then minor elements, then supporting elements that can reveal his habits, for example and so on.
Movement & Character Design
One of the most important things in a good design is: design should be fully functional, otherwise it’s hard to believe in the character, believe that it exists and could be a part of the world. Another thing is technical requirements which we need to respect when we develop design content for movies and video games.
Color grading helps to show the right mood and vibe, it helps support the story line sometimes. However, it’s just a tool, a last step. You should have a really good base to make it work.
Useful Tools for Artists
Photoshop is a really powerful tool itself and in the most cases it’s enough for creating concept art or illustrations. Sometimes it’s handy to use a 3d base, but it is not necessary. Every artist has his own workflow and the tool he uses can really affect his speed and quality, so we give a lot freedom to artists to make art instead of controlling their every step. We provide guidance for our artists to meet the deadlines and design requirements.