If programming creates the skeleton and organs for the game, then art creates the flesh and tissue needed for you to recognize that beautiful being. Ok, maybe not so graphic. But graphics nonetheless play a major role in video games today. With hardware and software constantly updating to allow developers to create almost realistic mini-verses of our world, it is crucial to portray a game in a coherent and visual way. That’s where artists come in.
When making a superhero game based on old comic book ideas then you really need some talented folks to bring that world to life. We sat down with two of our artists and got their perspectives. Introducing DragonsBreath and Evil Rainbow Enchantress. No, they are not the dynamic duo of Batman and Robin. But they are pretty awesome in their own rights!
What software and hardware do you use to bring your ideas into reality?
I work mainly in Autodesk Maya and Photoshop, I also use Unity for testing assets and animations.
How important are concepts and references to creating sound artwork?
VERY IMPORTANT! REFERENCE!! Sorry, that one’s super important, It helps artists create accurate and quality artwork.
From a modeling perspective, the more reference the better. It can really bring a character or a set to life when we have more information to work with, but because you’re bringing the 2D world to 3D we do have to play with it a bit and be creative.
Favourite superhero or comic book art style?
My favourite superhero is Thor and I don’t really have a favorite comic book style.
One of my favorite series is Saga the art style is beautiful but as for favorite hero, I’d have to say Raven from DC.
Are there any major differences between creating art assets for VR versus for the traditional PC/console?
Yes, on the 3D end there are a few things that must be done and or considered differently such as an object’s scale becomes very important where you normally work in centimeters (cm), with VR you work in meters (m). As well as some rigging differences, for example, most VR developers stay away from whole 1st person arms and just go with floating hands. This is because it is difficult to calculate an accurate position of the player’s elbows and have its position reflect properly in-game therefore taking the immersion away from the players.
As a whole, there isn’t too much of a difference. We have to be a bit more careful with polygons.
What is the biggest art challenge that you have experienced thus far?
It would defiantly be rigging for VR or at least figuring out what does and doesn’t work. it’s been tricky and frustrating at times but rewarding once I figured the parameters to work in.
Making beautiful assets with a low poly count.
What is one of your favourite parts of the game that you have created thus far?
My favorite asset that I’ve created for the game would have to be “Burt” our 1st person hands, The reason for that is all of the problem-solving and planning that went into them.
Creating the female superhero and a character that unfortunately had to be cut.
Where do you find inspiration for designs and animations?
Oh gosh um… well… when and where ever I can. I’m always looking for inspiration or spotting something that catches my eye. My favorite way to get animation references is to people watch. For example, random people in public like at a bus stop or walking down the street. I also really like using Pinterest and Art-station, oh and of course Google!
The concept art and reference videos are a small part of my inspiration. A lot of it comes from my own imagination and shows I enjoy. I find small aspects of everyday life and use them to make new and exciting things.
Any advice to new artists who are hoping to get into VR?
Test that what you wanna do is possible before hand, so basically just do your research. Don’t try and re-invent the wheel, work smart not hard.
And there you have it, folks! A look at some of the challenges and interesting aspects of creating art for VR games. With every passing day, we are making more progress with First Impact: Rise of a Hero. We started with a small concept and some rough artwork but we’re finishing with a quality game and awesome visuals! Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post.
To be continued…