Art

Game visuals today span the artistic spectrum, from iconic mobile graphics to lush AAA productions and now of course the shift towards virtual reality and a return to photo-realism. Our Art Track will provide artists with inspiration, practical advice, best-practise guidance and real-life case studies from not just the games industry but other creative industries too.

Art sessions

Art Pipelines in Hold The World

Tuesday 9th July: 11.00 - 11.45 : Room 5

This session will take attendees through how the art of Hold The World was created and developed. The focus is on three core strands; volumetric video capture, photogrammetry environments and scanned objects. The session will cover several key findings that arose from working with and combining these different technologies in engine. This includes how various lighting techniques and colour grading methods were employed to ensure that assets with highly varying properties and produced from disparate sources were implemented in Unity to cohere into a believable scene. Another challenge was the variety of scan types including LIDAR and CT, and the levels of fidelity required by scientific record scans compared to game assets. The talk will be packed full of informative and entertaining visual aids including a video of Attenborough meeting himself in VR as well as behind the scenes images revealing how ‘Hope’ the 4.5 tonne blue whale skeleton and other amazing specimens were brought to life in VR. This session will also cover how we ensured assets were mobile friendly including using the raw materials for use in volumetric video capture to create stereoscopic videos. The session will be of interest to attendees who want to have an inside scoop into working with volumetric video capture which is still an emerging technology not easily accessible to all. Develop attendees will also benefit from our key learnings on how we created a visually high end product within strict performance guidelines for tethered and mobile VR.

  • An understanding of the pipelines employed to achieve a realistic, educational VR experience with high fidelity representations of real life people, environments and objects.  
  • Key learnings for any developer from any discipline in terms of what look out for and what to avoid when working on a VR project such as this. 
  • For those interested in more detail there will also be concrete tips and tricks that can be put into practice when working with volumetric video capture, photogrammetry and scanned objects.
     

Body Positivity in Character Design

Thursday 11th July: 11.15 - 12.00 : Room 4

With games reaching an increasingly wide and diverse audience, it is important to represent all groups of people in the characters that inhabit them. This talk will explore common themes found in character design and the reasons certain stereotypes continue to dominate the world of games. Using her own journey of recognising patterns in her work, Lucy will explain how we project our own ideals into the characters we create and offer ways to overcome this and expand our reference pool.

  • Recognising emerging patterns in character design
  • Why we need to change how we create characters
  • Breaking away from the "default"

Intro to UE4 Niagara

Wednesday 10th July: 15.00 - 15.45 : Room 5

Niagara is Unreals next gen vfx toolset and is amazing to use not just for particles but vfx in general. An incredibly customisable system, Niagara can seem daunting to learn, so this talk focuses on demystifying the new toolset by drawing parallels between Niagara and Cascade, giving an overview of key concepts and the practicalities of making effects.

  • Moving particles from cascade to niagara
  • Advantages of Niagara over cascade
  • What you can do in niagara that you couldn't do in cascade
     

Practical Cinematography for Narrative Based Games

Tuesday 9th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 5

Robert Craig, Art Director on The Dark Pictures Anthology at Supermassive Games, will talk about how the studio has dealt with the cinematography process for a massively branching narrative game. This will cover both how we set out the overall goals and artistic aims for Dark Pictures, and also the practical considerations of achieving high quality, film like cinematography for a game with a huge amount of content - looking at how our processes and workflows have developed during the making of Man of Medan and practical techniques for Lighting and Camera work in Unreal engine.    

Real-life People, Buildings and Objects in Game Artwork: Intellectual Property Issues

Wednesday 10th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Room 6

This session is intended to help artists better understand and avoid the legal risks involved in using real life sources in game art. Can you put a real-life car in a game without a licence? What about a gun? What if you change some of the parts or don't use the logos? Can you photobash some everyday objects together to make an in-game character? By the end of the session, artists should have a better idea of what is higher or lower risk. Nick opens by explaining briefly the different types of intellectual property rights and what they protect, including trade marks, patents, copyright and design rights. He then focuses on the common areas and issues with using real people, buildings and objects from an IP perspective. The session closes with some practical tips and a summary of the key takeaways. The session is aimed at game artists, but will also be of interest to anyone involved in taking commercial decisions on licensing or legal risk.

  • Self Learning Techniques whether that be reading, learning through doing or just good old grit!
  • Shifting Disciplines and the issues that can follow
  • Finding what you are passionate about and going for it

Secret Recipes for Great Art: Diversity, Familiarity and Trends

Tuesday 9th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Room 6

Jack will focus on the methods he uses to understand the audience in order to build the best possible art style for F2P product. Jack will cover what he believes are the three foundation areas that he found crucial during the production cycle of a game and those are;

-Team diversity, and why building a diverse art team is just as important as great design.

-Familiarity, how to build an art style that is appealing yet fresh using familiarity by understanding your target audience.

-Trends, trends are important to assist in crafting something popular and potentially helping grow a product organically.

Jack will explain why believes that been aligned on these core principals are perfect for a healthy and successful art style that can assist with a launch that can lead to a broader audience, cheaper user acquisition and can be turned into a brand.

The Art of Direction

Thursday 11th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Room 4

I will be taking the audience through the creative processes I used for games like Mortal Kombat X and the Marvel Movies Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers to develop a unique visual style. How to conceive an art style, refine it and the tools that can be used to describe the style to the rest of a team to get them all aligned with your vision.
I also cover the difference between different art style options and how each has their own benefits and pitfalls. I also cover different project types and how a different approach to the art can help manage delivery times and budgets.

  • How to plan properly for a motion capture shoot, what to consider depending on what sort of space or equipment you might have, and how much time and content you have for a shoot.
  • How to prepare yourself during the shoot.
     
  • Other things to consider during or before a shoot- How to structure a shoot (naming conventions to consider), and what to focus on when there is little time to prepare for the shoot. Benefits of using a virtual camera or streaming directly to Motionbuilder. Considering camera recalibration, and actor recalibration, and other best practices.
     
  • How to communicate with the team, Mocap Directors, or actors before, during, and after the shoot. Making your actors feel comfortable and open, and being aware of how your actor or yourself is feeling to get the best performance.

The Timelessness of Dreams: Giving Digital Art the Human Touch

Wednesday 10th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 4

How does a classically trained artist find self-expression with digital tools? How do you capture the subtleties that give art a human touch…in a game engine? Kareem Ettouney, Art Director for Media Molecule, explores how timeless mediums (paint, instruments, clay) inform the creation of Dreams' innovative toolset and how the team at Media Molecule creates a platform to support artists of every style.

Working on Instinct Against the Clock: The Art of Smoke and Sacrifice

Wednesday 10th July: 12.00 - 12.45 : Room 4

Tancred will talk about the creative approach, pipeline and production efficiencies that allowed him to generate the concept art, animation, UI, VFX, environments, characters and marketing artwork for this dark fantasy adventure game on an 18 month development schedule.

  • Concept-to-game method - lining up your concept art format with that of your game content for zero waste and fast, representative placeholder art
  • Pipeline Modularity - making a lot from a little using skins, variations and a modular approach
  • The loop between story and artwork - how unrelated sketches from imagination can feed into story themes (and back again) to eventually create a coherent, joined-up game world and narrative
  • Working straight from the Id - bypassing your conscious design process to express ideas directly and instinctively

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