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I'm curious as to how concept art is generally displayed in your workplace.
From what I've gathered (and please correct me if I'm wrong), the initial purpose of concept art is often to generate ideas and develop the aesthetics and ideas surrounding environments, objects and characters. Later the purpose of concept art is to support further developments and also to provide ongoing inspiration and targets for the production teams.
If this is the case, how is the concept art displayed? Is it hung on the wall in a communal place (a foyer, lunchroom, hallway, etc)? Is it put on monitors or tacked up? Do you ever add subtle animated pieces (moving clouds, etc) and present it on a screen or is it always in print?
There are different levels of "concept art", with different purposes, audiences and presentation methods. Most often it is displayed on a screen, printed out and put on boards or tacked up on a dedicated wall in what is often called a "war room". Concept work can also be presented via PowerPoint or some other projection during a review meeting.
Concept art runs the gamut from simple sketches between AD and artist all the way up to what are called "production paintings" which help set the mood and tone for a project. There's a lot of variation between and whatever makes most sense is how it is displayed.
So basically the answer is concept art is displayed in a variety of ways. And yes, "animatics" are a good way to show some things.
Edit: You should always work at print resolutions because most of the time it will be printed at some point, either to put on a wall, a board or to be included in a design doc.
I've also noticed that putting up concept art work motivates people into making their placeholder cubes and spheres even more fun when they realize what it's going to look like at or around the alpha gate. So make your concepts cool not just for sales but also to motivate your code-stricken programmers and designers who for some reason need art to do their jobs properly.
I don't want to bother you all too much, but is there a definitive summary of the job(s) a concept artist would face, how the concept artist operates in the workplace, etc? I'm trying to find out as much as I can about the job through searching the forums and running it through Google but everybody seems to have slightly different ideas
There are different ideas because it is always very different. Studios are different, teams are different, individual projects are different, genres are different, entertainment forms are different...so roles, responsibilities and the workplace are different across companies, projects and artists.
In addition you often get hired on to do one thing...and that morphs into 6 others. Syd Mead was brought in on Bladerunner simply to do like four vehicles...but since he's such a holistic designer he placed them in environments. Those environments rocked of course and he ended up basically designing everything.
So yeah, part of the fun is how much variation there is. The one constant is to have a good imagination, have loads of initiative, don't be afraid to take chances, be good at visualizing bitchin stuff...and be fast at it. You also have to care very little about your work...zero ego...'cause it's going to get hammered.
Thanks! I'm starting to build up a good idea of how it works.
I'm thinking about looking for an internship for part of our mid-year Winter break or the longer Summer break, which should be good.
Do you agree with what Xensoldier said yesterday;
"As he said, you haven't done your "homework" on research and understanding the entertainment industry. Do make sure that part of your time working on art also including learning the ins and outs of this career path.
See, getting your foot in the door of this industry is incredibly competitive and difficult to get in. Every single concept artist in the industry is first and foremost a "generalist" at the minimum(in that they are decent at character+creature design/ environments/ industrial (vehicles,guns, structures etc etc) design). You will be required to be able to do any of those (it would be very unprofessional to be ordered to do say a vehicle, and you tell them that "no I only do environments"). So yes in the industry will need to be able to do all 3 categories, in the aspect of "specializing", it would be environments that you would be not decent, but great at.
With enough experience working professionally you could just about fully specialize as an environment concept artist like Noah Bradley, but as a freelancer, not really in-house.
So don't focus on one specific area, practice all your foundational skills. Because in the end as Feng Zhu said "There is no difference between any of them." for professional level artist."
in terms of the nature of specialisation in the industry?
Yeah - I would agree with those comments...sounds like someone with experience. At the higher levels you find more specialization...but people at that level can still handle any of it...just that they are better or have a certain look for environments, or characters or creatures.
It is still true though that Alan Lee wouldn't be the guy to design a futuristic orbital space weapons system. But yeah, keep doing your research...all kinds of info out there on this career path.