Darren says you will have to do a lot of freelance work before you are able to get into the industry. It is very competitive and social networking sites are important way to get known. You will need a dedicated focused website specifically for concept art. This is a hard road ahead, but if you are dedicated and your work is more excellent then what is professional and work late hours and all your family think you are a little crazy you may make it.
Darren's Sketches are what got his first AAA game. They are gestures in action poses. The characters had a lot of costume design, they were doing something instead of straight up studies. They move through the action that the character will perform in the game.
Studios like Valve look for that type of drawing
• Understanding of Anatomy.
• Line that moves through the form and is not just an outline
• Create a Move Set - Characters in the poses of one move (4-5 poses)
• Need drawings, they will look at traditional drawings and Figure Drawings (This drawing counts)
• Multiple styles are what the studios want Show that in your portfolio
Valve is Darren's dream job. He works at getting there with Videos like this:
FREELANCING AND STARTING OUT OF SCHOOL:
Deviant Art not progressing towards employment - there are a lot of hits but they are from your peers and not employment opportunities.
Working as a Freelancer:
Your Staring point will most probably be freelance
Write up a contract for Freelance Jobs.
There are a Large variety of client types
Freelancer.com is where he got the contract job for Loreoan.com which is a Browser based massive player game Micro transactions is the business mode They make money through character customs
Make a Game yourself and Self fund it
THE GAME INDUSTRY:
Working indie vs working at a big studio
Studios have very different ways of working
Pros: Intellectual property is yours - you have full creative control
Marketing through a publisher like Xbox live arcade, Steam Greenlight, mobile apps
You get decide when the game is finished
Stick to a schedule if you are releasing the game
Cons: No money in indie games, Very Competitive Market, Highly critical peers
Have to do a side job, High risk, long hours, Self Funded, Stressful working
Braid, Super Meatboy, Fez, Minecraft
Watch Indiegame the movie
Gaia online flash based game online
Notch was the lead programmer for Mine Craft
Look up the history of minecraft
What sells this game: Control that the player has is, You build a story line and give a sense of discovery
Building it for every age level made it more accessible
Larger Studios: Zynga, EA, Ubisoft, Valve, Blizzard, Behesda, etc
pros: - Money! Stability and security (most of the time) Notoriety, working with large creative teams with similar goals and interests, location and job perks (paintball, movies, food) AAA game titles (AAA = highest quality i.e. quality, broad market, high sales, tema, big budget, polished production quality, bug free, first place in marktets with great marketing and hype. ) Access to the latest and greatest.
cons - Corporate, You're a number in the larger scheme of things, very little creative control of the game itself. Long work hours, location (Coasts).
Valve Studio Tour:
Behesda Game Studios Tour:
EA Redwood Studio Tour:
HOW DARREN GOT HIS START:
Darren got started in the industry as a digital illustrator doing book covers, character commissions then got into browser based MMO's (Brunelleschi, Furzies, Loraon) creating Indie Game art assets.
Darren interned with a company Brunelleschi
Facebook architect game failed due to lack of player base
They communicated over Weekly Skype meting updates from email. He did very little finished work - and submitted quick sketches.
Darren is currently working on:
Science fiction Intellectual Property for Studiovania.
Dave helverson his boss at Studiovania, he started Game fan magazine in 1992
Darren sketches in photoshop with tablet - Line work only
Character orthoscopic views in 2d
Character Movements are determined in 2d
He is also freelancing on a project that Noah Bradley is doing the Environments for Ferus, a John P. Thomas Game in Development
MAKING IT IN CONCEPT ART:
In Concept art there are 1000s of people to compete against
Most of them fail.
How can you succeed?
Go to conventions promote your work
Super meat boy - has a great dialogue about starting in the industry
Courses in Digital Media that can do Concept Art:
Digital Imaging I
Digital Imaging II
Imaging for Game, Animation and Film - now Concept Art
Concept and Production Design
3D Character Modeling
The Future of the Concept Art Industry:
Casual games are making all the money now
Competitive games have a big learning curve because it takes so long to master for the audience.
Xenga grew to its size by either buying direct competition or copying the competitions games.
Character artist needs to be able to 3d model Draw and do 2d art
Character Art is moving towards 3d
Another Kendall Alum- Jason Heuser works at Kicksi, In San Francisco
Doing promotional work for the mobile game industry
It's not just about networking any more , you have got to be really good too.
A Concept artist can make 50-70k$ per year in house
You can do a lot of online communication with clients - Darren did Meetings via Skype With Pezus games
Being a Concept Artist is 60-70 hour work week
You can find work in these sites:
Kickstarter or indi go go are places to find funding for self published jobs
Book covers is a growing industry with all of the self publishers
Get the Royalties only of it will be printing, otherwise you will not get enough money - Get the money up front
Deviant art jobs forum You have to set the rules for them
Esign is an adobe site
Echo sign signed contract site
Use Paypal for payment options
SOFTWARE USED IN THE INDUSTRY AND ASKED FOR IN PORTFOLIOS:
3DSmax - industry standard for film
Weebly site is free as a portfolio site
Darren Geers did a demo in our Imaging for Game, Animation and Film Class on creating a Character sketch, here are his techniques:
Size 4 brush
Flip the drawing - Command f set to flip image
Use arrows to move through the brushes