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  1. #1
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    future of concept art

    So what seems to be the path for concept artists at this time? Recently at my studio (its a major game studio) we laid off every single in house concept artist mostly for the reason that the studio didn't think they were a crucial enough part of project to keep on salary. Does this mean that the life of a concept artist is destined to be that of a nomadic freelancer? Do they think that since there is zbrush or something that we don't need concept artists to make games or movies? It seems pretty foolish to me, and I'm hoping what happened at my studio doesn't turn into a global trend.

    Just out of curiousity, are we optimistic that there will be stable work for talented, able, concept designers in the future?

    -J


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    heya...this is jason on yumikos puter.

    actually there is more concept art being done now than ever before in games. companies are spending a lot more time on concept development nowadays.

    your company is the first I have heard that cut the concept team. I am sorry to hear that. If your companies concept guys need work, have them send their portfolios to us. Maybe we can help at MB.

    the prob is that concept design is usually wrapping up by mid way through the project. that means most concept guys need to do 3d or textures while they wait to get the project to gold. then its back to concept art again.

    because of the current production methods being perfected for next gen development, concept design is actually held to a higher regard than before. concept art is the only thing that can insure that the vision of the game stays in tact as assets are outsourced overseas and projects are handled by multiple developers.


    good luck,


    Jason

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    Thanks J, the little goblin in the back of my head saying "there wont be enough jobs when you try to get in the industry", can get lost.
    MacJ's post was something that was really worrying me too. I did think though, that with the technology being developed nowadays, where almost anything is posssible on a screen, I'm quite certain peeps are gonna want to see the beyond, which would make us CA's a precious commidity. Right?

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    Ilaekae is offline P.O.W.! Leader, Complete Idiot, Super Moderator
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    This is me on my computer.

    I watched the entire advertising industry torn apart by the same thing about 20 or so years ago. First the agencies insisted on doing everything inside. Then they decided that wasn't cost effective...after they pretty near destroyed the independent industry and put conceptual designers in the flusher. The boutiques and design studios came back, and the agencies went back to the old feeder system...except that many of the original designers realized they didn't need the suited assholes and went on their own permanently...and went into direct competition with the mother industry.

    The result is what we have today. Big media buyers pretending to be agencies. Design studios pretending to be agencies. And clients who think their secretary can execute pre-press with the front office Win special of the month and some mini-production software and powerpoint. This came about because the ability to think was denigrated in favor of style.

    The same will happen to your industry, but you have an advantage over the ad hacks--you have a talent/skill deemed highly necessary for production--the abilty to produce "realistic" art on demand, without mechanical/electronic limitations. The drawback will be the ascendency of the engineers who can model without art skills...machine art. To survive, you adapt. I did. It's not all that hard when you stick your head up above the cubicle wall, take a good look around, and ignore your friends with all-knowing opinions. Think like a reactive machine and you'll go down in techy flames. Use your brain and you'll survive.
    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

    Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary

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    concept art....

    Jason and Kian,

    thanks for the responses. Jason's comments were quite encouraging to hear, since I work as a modeler, but my main love is for doing concept art, and at some point in my career I want to make a full switch if possible. I just want to become more educated on what the typical life of a concept artist is, and what is the most intelligent way to make a living. Perhaps it is not terribly worth while to insist on being a full time employee anywhere, perhaps freelance is the better path.

    As a modeler I know that when you have deadlines, 3d really isn't the medium to attempt to dream, and define a cohesive vision, its a relatively slow process that requires a map to some degree that tells you where to go. This doesn't mean you can't be creative in cg, and that you are copy machine with no opportunities to improvise, but execution and construction is the bottom line, to be done as fast as possible. In 2d we have a chance to rapidly iterate ideas and establish a style and vision divorced of technical hurdles (which 3d is still very heavily burdened with). Just stepping back and looking at the situation, I can't see how concept art isn't increasing in demand as opposed to being retro and phased out. Its just funny, in at least the games industry there are some people that hold the latter opinion, and I just don't get it.

    -J

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    I agree with Jason. I've been doing concept art for only 4 years, and although in the past concept work would slow down once the production got to a certain level, more an more companies are realizing the importance of concept art mainly due to the next-gen technology. I know a number of companies that have fairly large in-house concept art teams. And as long as there are multiple projects going on, you don't really need to model or texture much.

    I also noticed how the movie industry is buying up all the successfull game developers.

    I see the movie and game industries merging into one big entertainment industry. The movie industry values their production designers, and more developers are understanding why now. We have surpased 64 bit graphics, and next -gen games are requiring a higher levels of pre-production design.

    I see the proffession really taking off in the future. The only problem is that there the arts are getting killed in our education system. Very few graduating students have the skills to break into the industry.

    So it will be harder and harder to find qualified designers. On the other hand means more $$$$ for the exhisting designers!
    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
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