Art: Example Brief Format?
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    Question Example Brief Format?

    Currently involved with an assignment which needs me to create a 'mock concept art brief' from a fictitious production company.

    Now the questions...
    Is there any format to adhere to with regards to professional briefs, or can it greatly vary from job to job?

    If a company hired an artist (or group) to create the entire design portfolio for a project would they list the items needed (i.e. 3 vehicles/4 main characters/ 7 environments etc) or simply say 'Create a world in the style of 'X' ... ?

    I have a funny feeling that I may already know the answer to this however its best to ask those who have been there done that, just to check.

    Appreciate any information,
    All the best...

    -Cuervo

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    To be honest.... 5 years in and Ive not once had a written brief from a client/art director/director. its always this loose idea that needs several iterations and meetings.
    This is natural though. if its for art school, Id just think of what you most want to draw and build a brief around that, this is the time for you to do what you want so just go nuts.

    eg:

    Studio X requires character,set and prop design for their game "sexy teenage zombie showdown on mars"

    we require :
    3 sexy girls
    5 weapon concepts
    4 zombie variations
    3 martian landscape designs

    to be completed: before going to the pub

    just have fun with it!

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    Hmmm,

    I've always had a design doc to work from. Depending on where the art comes in after that write up and how well the design doc is written, it could be play around and see what you come up with, to we need these one hundred assets with turn arounds and camos/versions and ten environments. I've worked in the games industry for over 20 years as an artist and an art director.

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Eightsix: That made me laugh... and I may have to re-write my brief to fit around the lesser known 'sexy teenage zombie space epic' genre... I see what your saying though, that's something I was missing (the list of items needed etc).

    dpaint: so a template you mean? and the 'turnarounds'... you mean profile shots of .. say characters for Modeling (front, rear, side) ?

    thanks again for the responses

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    Yeah turn arounds for characters, plan views for vehicles. A design doc is written by the designer to pitch the game. Most of the companies I worked for had it as a requirement so we didn't waste time and money on things that weren't thought out. The designer would spend a month on it and maybe have one artist and one programmer. Usually for a pitch we would build a level to sell it to the venture capitol guys. In a big company like Lucas or EA it was a little different but not much, there were always plenty of ideas around so the design would compete with other designs for a slot in the schedule. Didn't have to worry about money at those places and there was a lot more slop in the system because of it.

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    There are definitely varying levels of formality when it comes to this stuff depending on the size of the project, what phase it is in, the relationship between studio and client, etc. In the commercial art world (graphic design, illustration, advertising, etc.) it gets pretty formal and a brief and scope of work are standard. When you are freelancing these usually accompany a contract and payment/milestone schedule.

    Anyway, a brief is usually one page and states the high concept, target market, risks, strategies to reduce risks, list of assets needed (what work needs to be done), any review/presentation dates and a final delivery date. That kind of thing...basically it is a document to clearly communicate between all involved and stay on the same page.

    You can find a few with a bit of google digging for things like "project brief" - a lot of times they come up in design blogs.

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    no one should have to tell you to do turnarounds or orthographics, part of my job is
    showing how buckles attach to clothing or how chainmail is linked with detailed design drawings. but thats what a good designer should do, you shouldn't need a document to state every pen stroke you have to make.
    ofcourse there are documents and piles of reference, style guides, mood boards etc
    but hardly ever is there a document saying:

    "draw one soldier, holding an m16 in one hand, casually. he should have a hole in his left boot and a tattoo that says 'rent-boy' on his right forearm" because that just makes you an illustrator. people hire you for ideas and for this reason you can not have a set brief.

    well ok yea, you could write the standard 40 page style guide. but if its your own project why bother going that deep? especially for a project that isnt real.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eightsix View Post
    ... you shouldn't need a document to state every pen stroke you have to make.
    ofcourse there are documents and piles of reference, style guides, mood boards etc
    but hardly ever is there a document saying:

    "draw one soldier, holding an m16 in one hand, casually. he should have a hole in his left boot and a tattoo that says 'rent-boy' on his right forearm" because that just makes you an illustrator. people hire you for ideas and for this reason you can not have a set brief.
    I completely agree (I hope that wasn't what it sounded like in my response). The concept artist is the one who often drives and contributes much of this kind of character - in a good situation under good direction anyway. The brief doesn't go into that kind of detail at all, as eightsix mentions, that level of description is found in the style guide for an existing property or one in an advanced stage of development.

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