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Role Of a Concept Artist in Video Game Development. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Media & Entertainment.

In the gaming industry, artists are expected to do a range of diverse jobs. Each of the categories is associated with the different styles, techniques, and areas of the game development process.

Often the role of a concept artist is misunderstood. If you are willing to choose your career as a concept artist, you need to be aware of the roles and duties of a concept artist.

Concept Artist needs to create and design characters and worlds used within the game. In the initial stage, everything is created on paper as a rough concept. After its approval, it goes through a cleaning up period, which involves scanning the designs onto the computer and using art software such as Photoshop to fine line the work and add necessary details. Then, color is added into the images and passed on to the texture artist, so that he can create the correct textures for the character. If the character is animated, then it is passed on to the 3D Model Builder.

As a concept artist you are expected to:

  • Ensure that the design fits with the look and feel of the game.
  • Achieve maximum effect with minimum complexity. Remember complex designs eventually lead to more complex 3D models so try something that can be easily built with as few polygons as possible.
  • Consider color schemes used to maintain a balance of color throughout the design. The colors should highlight the design.

What you need to do to become a good concept artist?

Being a good concept artist is all about practicing drawing as much as you possibly can and whenever you can. Remember the saying that every artist has a million naff drawings inside them; it’s just a matter of working through them, so you get to the point where you start only to produce your best.

One of the vital parts of becoming a good character illustrator is good observation skills and life drawing. Learn as much as you can about proportion, anatomy, and skeletal structures. This ensures you to put the right muscle in the proper place. Life drawing may be a little scary at times, but if you get to know about its rules of construction and poses, then you can come across in your own imaginative work.

Same as the characters, great observation and drawing from real buildings and landscapes will show you how to create realistic environments that seem believable and real. Sharpen your skills and focus on the layout and try to find the hidden structure that makes for an impressive and captivating environment, this will all go towards helping you to come up with your own ideas and creations and you will come to know how to make the unreal seem real.

So make your mind and consider all these things before choosing your career as a concept artist.

Are you already a concept artist? Share your experiences with us in the comments section or tweet us @essjay_ent!



26 thoughts on “Role Of a Concept Artist in Video Game Development

  1. Thanks for the article Saljack Enterprises! You don’t often here too much about concept artists from behind the lines. It sure is eye opening to hear of all the aspects required within the professional art world.. There’s so much to learn!

  2. Shelley says:

    I know someone from college who is a concept artist now. He said he’s making good money now 🙂

  3. Sakura Kinomoto says:

    Yeah Marco is a spot on choice. HE conceptualize Project X models and brings them to life as characters.

  4. Ussop says:

    Image training comes in handy here Seriously speaking!!! In other words, the ability to bring what is on paper into reality. A challenging job indeed.

  5. Publio DeSantis says:

    I think this person must be very good in recreating what is on his mind. Because a concept remains a concept unless it is expressed in a tangible form. Would like to take this challenging job!

  6. Simoun says:

    Tough job. Bottom line: you should be as skilled as Marco of SJE in drawing! Both in traditional and gadget-based drawing. Thanks for sharing this article SJE!

  7. Charles says:

    Concept artists probably have the wildest imaginations ever! The part of their job that I envy the most is their ability to put their thoughts onto paper for everyone to see. I’ve seen some of the concept art from Square’s Final fantasy Series, and boy do I want to purchase them to hang on walls all over my house!

  8. Kristin Mosh says:

    Ive always admired concept artists. These are the people that bring characters to life. They make you believe in some way that the character is either your friend or your enemy. So many people become the character they are using while gaming. Bravo to those with the talent to become concept artists.

  9. 45678b says:

    I never even knew this was a job. Now that I know, it seems quite complex. Are there any online schools that can help train someone to be a concept artist?

  10. Killa says:

    3d is complicated. Guess there’s so much challenge in this than any other job.

  11. Mau says:

    This could be a great career for someone who loves video games and drawing. Creating a game is no joke– looks like a lot of people need to be involved in it.

  12. Mico Robin says:

    The site is doing a great job in disecting the inner workings on a game. I learned a lot and mad respect for creators.

  13. miaka Yuuki says:

    Concept artist is vital on games. Simply put those people bring games to life.

  14. Cool, I can see there’s a big third dimensional aspect to concept drawing. It’s probably good have your own distinct style to make your artwork standout when applying for jobs.

  15. Tarhata says:

    Now we slowly get to know the roles and responsibilities of the different jobs in a gaming company. Previously you discussed the different designers. Now it’s the concept artist. What’s next?

  16. Jeanette says:

    Small, indie companies may not have the luxury of having a concept artist so this task is given to the game designer. But it’s good to have one so the other guys can focus on their specific tasks.

  17. Antony says:

    Nice explanation on the role of concept artist. I can see why some developer such as Midway who develop mortal kombat is giving their concept artist a proper appreciation by showing their art concept in their games as unlock-able bonus,

  18. marissa says:

    and here i thought that the programmer does everything! i guess that happens when a single person creates one game unlike that when a game is made from a company. Sure there are more brains working and more ideas are poured in.

  19. ed says:

    now i appreciate the games that i play. there are a lot of people working behind it to make it the way it is.

  20. really challenging,appreciate your hard work

  21. Dark Vader says:

    Realized you can get anywhere if you have amazing drawing skills. You can even be part of a game development!

  22. Rebi says:

    Now I know what concept artists do. Hard job but really challenging.

  23. Larry says:

    I was curious about what concept artists do so I stumbled on this page. I realized that being a concept artist is hard work since you need to be very particular with details and stuff.

  24. Go Luong says:

    “Being a good concept artist is all about practicing drawing as much as you possibly can and whenever you can.” I thought so. What I think that, practice makes perfect. Draw on paper and pencil or computer everyday.

  25. Yusuf says:

    There are so many “artists” in game development that sometimes their works overlap. But for me, a concept artist brings to life the ideas of the team. Like, he/she will draw it.

  26. Smurf says:

    didn’t realize how complex the creation of game graphics is. and yet it all starts from basic skills like observation and even paper sketches and concepts

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