Finding the terms to use to find the right artist.

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by zoombapup, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    So I'm thinking of the art style for my game and I really want to find the right artist. But I think part of why I never really engage with the right artist is that I'm maybe putting them off with the terms I use.

    I'm considering an art style that draws heavily from the style that Team Fortress 2 uses. Basically, very strong colours, with an exaggerated character.

    What is the term used for this? Its not cartoon in the traditional sense and I want to veer away from the kiddie style cartoon sense of games. Its definitely not realistic. But what is it?

    And on a side note, does anyone know who does work in the TF2 style thats available as a freelancer?

    I'm going for some funds so I can get a fulltime in-house artist for this kind of thing, but either way I love the tone of those characters, they are really quite "disney" but in a non-childish way. Strikes a chord with me.
     
  2. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    I think artists tend to like the word "thousand" which comes just before the word "dollars" and then the largest number you can think of coming before those two.

    I'm just kidding I have nothing to contribute.
     
  3. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    These days I look for images online that suit the style I'm looking for - at least whenever I can and say, kinda sorta like that. I also request early images so I can course correct and save wasted effort when possible.

    Sometimes (OK, only this AM) I go in my backyard and have my wife take pictures to illustrate a point:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. rioka

    rioka New Member

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    ^^^
    The axe isn't rusty at all! I cry fake!

    @ zoombapup

    That actually says it all right there. If the artist can't get an idea from what you're looking for with that, then I suggest you walk away from him (or her).
     
  5. electronicStar

    Original Member

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    I know what you're thinking about, I call it "american cartoon" myself, you can refer to "cartoon network" as a way to call it too. There are a lot of example in flash games too.
    I hate this style BTW, way too caricatural.
     
  6. jpoag

    jpoag New Member

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  7. Jasmine

    Jasmine New Member

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    ^ It reminds me of the day my neighbour found a maggot in one of the fruits of his apple tree. :(
     
  8. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    I'm an artist, and I know what you mean from that, and wouldn't know how to put it better. You could say "more stylized than cartoony," I guess. But reference art and a budget that allows for some sketches, drafts and revisions before the finished piece is always better than language.

    One of my design profs recommended buying/subscribing to design mags and starting a tear file. When you see something you like, tear it out of the magazine and put it in a box... later, when you need inspiration, you go through all those scraps until you see something that turns on a lightbulb for what you're currently working on.

    As someone who employs artists, you could do something similar... but since we're talking about video games, instead of a physical tear file, just keep a screenshot directory on your HD. See something you like in a game? Take a screenshot. Later, when you need to communicate with an artist you can say, "See this one? I like the colors here. But for the character pose, I was thinking of something more like this one. And this one... I don't know what it is that they did, but there's something about the mood that I like. Do you think you could make those work together?"

    Maybe the artist won't 100% get what you're saying, or maybe he's going to say "well, I think the mood in the last one comes largely from the camera angle, which isn't really compatible with the pose you like from the second one, because blah blah blah..." But it's still a lot better than trying to explain what you want with words alone.
     
  9. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Superb idea, that one.
     
  10. meds

    meds New Member

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    Just tell them you want art like in TF2.
     
  11. blinkok

    blinkok New Member

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    you want to be careful that it is just the "visual style" or "palette" that is the engaging part of those character designs.
    while i agree that the visual treatment of the characters is appealing i believe the way the characters convey their function is far more important. the heavy is, well, heavy. The pyro looks like some twisted soul who could light you up at any minute. you could almost tell what each characters does from their silhouette. I believe this is the true appeal of TF2, and that sort of character development does not come cheap.
    some reading material;

    Read this one first: http://www.valvesoftware.com/publications/2008/GDC2008_StylizationWithAPurpose_TF2.pdf

    http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=4338

    http://www.valvesoftware.com/publications/2008/GameFest08_ArtInSource.pdf

    http://www.valvesoftware.com/publications/2007/NPAR07_IllustrativeRenderingInTeamFortress2.pdf
     
  12. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    I agree that the character development in there was definitely a big part of the style, you have to have had a style in mind before you went there.

    I just dont see people who could even contemplate something like that style very often, which is a bit of a shame.
     
  13. blinkok

    blinkok New Member

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    i would have to say that i am 100% confident that DayDream (chris) would be able to nail this style. He is a true professional and i've seen him take a style like this and make it a reality before. If you're serious about this i would give him a shout
     
  14. zoombapup

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    I dont think he does 3D stuff though does he? I agree he is likely to be able to nail the art style from a 2D viewpoint, but I'm after 3D.
     
  15. blinkok

    blinkok New Member

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    actually 3D is all he does these days
     

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