Some thoughts I've recently had and bits of wisdom I've picked here and there.
'Games industry is exploding and although it is a very volatile and fast paced industry, as a whole it is doing amazing'. Talking to some concept artists however the root of the problem some of us might be experiencing became clear: Most of the explosive growth of the industry has been in the casual games sector. And not so much in the 'cool realistic triple AAA title' sector. However that's the jobs everyone is competing for, and catering their portfolio towards.
Additionally the demands in terms of technical skill for these casual games are incredibly low. As a result jobs are given on the basis of recommendations and 'he is friends with so-and-so'.
Another thing that worries me is the sort of 'talk from above' where people 5 years ago were saying 'If you aren't using photos you will stop getting any work very soon'. Now they are saying 'If you are not using 3d you will stop getting any work very soon'. Is this true? Maciej said on artcafe something something that only very few people still get work for pure painting. By very few he meant he can count them on one hand. How true is this? And if it's true... what is next? What will come after 3d? Is the concept artist of 2025 someone who can create an entirely animated inhabited world from scratch in 3d wearing an oculus rift, or something like that?
Getting a job in the video game industry is ALWAYS through recommendation first. Doesn't matter if it's AAA or indie. Recruiters ask employees if they know anyone first before even looking at any random resumes. It's very hard to just submit a resume and get a job.
Technical skill demand isn't low. People aren't dumb. They know if the art in their game is bad it's going to look like a shitty cheap game. You have to be good no matter what.
3d is extremely important. It drastically improves the speed and workflow of a concept artist. Even a basic program like sketchup makes a huge difference.
That being said, it isn't necessary to know 3d to be a concept artist. Whoever said that is a fucking idiot.
>concept artists 5 years for both indie and AAA projects. Console and Mobile.
>>2289890 >Most of the explosive growth of the industry has been in the casual games sector. And not so much in the 'cool realistic triple AAA title' sector. Keep in mind that handheld devices are getting incredibly powerful compared to consoles and PC. In 5 years time we will have medium tier phones able to render 720p visuals of a PS3, which has been the point where going "realistic" is aesthetically pleasing.
Games will remain casual, yes, but many of them will look like your generic AAA console tripe because the tech will get there. Which is what matters to you, the artist.
>>2289890 >Is the concept artist of 2025 someone who can create an entirely animated inhabited world from scratch in 3d wearing an oculus rift, or something like that? Pretty much. Take a look at that minecraft virtual reality map rendering. Holograms will be the next 3d. People will open virtual pages from their google glasses and holograms will pop out. They will rotate in real time so 3d knowledge will trample 2d rendering at that point. Sad times.
At that time, digital 2d art will die. Oil painting will survive as a niche, as they always will.
However it's not gonna happen in 2025. The world's progress has slowed down in the last 5 years due to the recess. Moore's law is already crumbling.
>>2289908 >That being said, it isn't necessary to know 3d to be a concept artist. Whoever said that is a fucking idiot. They're probably taking a quote from some pro out of context. But the fact of the matter is that 3d is becoming more and more important and if you look at job postings these days almost all the positions mention it as either a requirement or a highly desired skill, even if it is a 2d position.
>>2289890 I hate video games >>2289939 How much of a market is there for illustrators now? Oh, that's right, absolutely zero. There was a time when illustration was a critical component of advertising, that time is long gone...sorry. Comics is really the only large market for illustrators now and comics are dumb.
>>2289960 Covers, books, designing stuff for animations, games, movies, magazine illustration, posters, you already said about comics (although for slower artists that are not comfortable with doing sequential it might be hard) - I'm not saying it's big but it's not a zero (Jock said recently he is making more money on comics, than on movie designs>, sir.
>>2289958 No it's not true, illustration is very much alive and thriving.
>>2289960 Off the top of my head: editorial illustration for numerous magazines, covers for book and magazine and e-book and comics, promotional illustration and splash art for video games and movies and mobile games, children's books, technical/scientific illustration for articles and textbooks, board games and trading card games, advertising.
>>2289968 Nah, I didn't implied it. Jock is one of the most famous comic book guys I think - lots of designs to movies (Dredd, Ex Machina, Star Wars 8 lately), he did Batman, Wytches, Losers, Covers for Scalped. He has very inky, gritty, sketchy style. I know that he is one of the top stars, he's working with other guys that are making books sell (Scott Snyder) and it's not saying about industry as a whole, but it's not a zero.
>>2289980 I see point in using charcoal as a illustration method. If someone feels comfortable with it then it's fine. Depends on a person. I would probably see less sense in doing oils (I don't know how to use them, plus I'm impatient), but I can respect that someone likes it and does it.
>>2289980 >What is the point of professional graphite/charcoal today? Digital is a better shortcut. It's not all about shortcuts. Many illustrators still use traditional media like graphite, pens, ink etc. Maybe you just aren't looking at what is out there at the moment and making assumptions.
>>2289911 >Games will remain casual, yes, but many of them will look like your generic AAA console tripe because the tech will get there. Which is what matters to you, the artist.
I actually hate working in the mobile industry because I like my games (both those I play and those I make) with a hefty size of storytelling, and unless this fucking candy crush look and nickel-and-diming trend ends I'll still be gunning for AAA. It's sad to see such potential for doing great shit like AAA but everyone's busy copying each other's microtransaction models and diabetes-inducing visuals and concepts.
>>2289890 >Most of the explosive growth of the industry has been in the casual games sector. And not so much in the 'cool realistic triple AAA title' sector. However that's the jobs everyone is competing for, and catering their portfolio towards.
Most concept artist are hardcore gamers and grew up playing AAA games. The interest in getting in a big studio is partially due to the chance of working on some of your favorite franchises, those that directly influenced you and put on on this career path.
You don't really see that kind of fandom in mobile games. I have never heard anyone say that Angry Birds got them interested in working in the games industry as a concept artist.
>>2289924 This. I spoke to a working concept artist in person. He said that even if you don't know 3d, you will be competing with artists who do and who are willing to use whatever tricks in the book to finish work fast. How can you compete speedwise, when art director says, I like this concept but lets try a different perspective or angle...do you redo the entire painting? Or you could have fast turnaround because you built it in 3d, so changes like that aren't as painful.
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