After the thumbnails for a specific scene or object has been created, we verify it with our graphics lead, Lukas. If necessary, we discuss the various pictures in the thumbnail with Tim, our game designer, to decide which concept would work in the game, which parts we should continue working on etc. When we’ve decided which concepts seems the most interesting and suitable, we finish the verification step and continue by making the actual concept art.
The biggest issue for me was to minimize the time spent on actually drawing the concept art, as I am not an artist in my own right. Finding a work process that would work for me was quite a challenge and each of the concept images made so far has ranged between 2-4 hours in the making.
I’ve been working mainly with the environments and architecture of the city that is the game world. The city, which is typically cyberpunkish, is divided into three vertically built layers: the top plane for the upper class citizens, the middle plane for trade, markets and middle class citizens, and the bottom plane for the working class and poor people, filled with slums, industries, smoke and dirt. The bottom layer is the part of the city we’re focusing on at this moment of the development.
The slum environments will look kind of like the industrialism of the early 1800’s: brick buildings, high chimneys spewing thick smoke, tall windows and dirty streets. I photomanipulated the picture below by adding in some buildings and factories to visualize how the people would have had to build their homes in chunks right next to the industries polluting their environment, because of lack of space and to portray the desperation of the people living there.
For my other artwork, I created 3D scenes in Maya and used them as references for keeping the perspective correct, as can be seen in the concept picture below displaying a market street in the slums. I have used various other references from image-googling keywords like “slums”, “markets” and “stand” just to get a sense of the details needed to portray the scene and the looks of a cyberpunk market.
One obstacle in working with cyberpunk is the amount of detail that needs to be put into the environment. The image I have of a cyberpunk slum is that everything has been built on top of eachother – vertically – due to the lack of space to build new structures. It’s a challenge to portray this in any authentic way.
The next step in the graphics department will be to create more general concept art for the specific objects in the game levels. We will probably write another post about that in the future.
– Kim Jonsson (technical artist)
Like Kim said, when the lead technical artist and the game designer have agreed upon a thumbnail, the process of making the concept art begins. I bet you have a certain opinion of what concept art means but for us it could mean a bigger, more worked on image. It could involve colorisation or adding more details. Also, it could just be to clean up the previous sketch. A concept art image is not as restricted in time as the thumbnail sketches, however, the time given is not infinite.
When drawing the concept art for the police and the weapons, I had been given feedback from the leads on what they liked. The final results were a combination between three or two different thumbnails made into one. It felt a bit strange trying to meld several very different sketches into one. As if I each time ended up with a strange mixed breed, escpecially with the guns.
Compared to the buildings and surroundings, I had things that did not really need to express much mood, and thus they became simpler images with only basic colors.
Can you see the mixes made by looking at these and the thumbnails in the thumbnail post?
-Matilda Karlsson (technical artist)