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I got this idea from a critique I got on another forum.
That my images contain too little information.
How important is information in a concept piece?
By information I mean distinct detailing so that a modeller can make a perfect replica of said concept.
Isn't that for the blueprints? Regardless of whether it's an environment or character.
The concept is more for ideas and feel rather than blueprint.
Of course it has to contain enough info to be recognizable.
To make a few examples. Look at our lovely Andrew -Android. Jones.
His art is basically on the edge of Abstract, it contain very little detail but rather indicates detail.
Another example is the french/canadian guy "David Levy", author of the DVD "From speedpaint to concept art" Much of his gallery contain of very abstract shapes and would be very difficult to model without a detailed blueprint.
So my question is this. How much information is necessary, How important is it and what is most important? Feel, idea, info/detail.
I believe we should all strive for making our concepts distinct and informative so that anyone can recognize it but that is not the case in many top dog artists work.
My personal opinion on detail is that too much detail makes a painting boring.
Take nox's dvd for example. I loved the image half way through. When it was done It lost all depth and feeling. It was TOO well made. But that's just me.
"Sadly, most artists prefer to give the elite their attention."
I came to this forum from the advertising/design world, but I think a few of the same rules apply. Conceptualization works in stages, and at many levels. The initial idea is the most important--who/where/how/why/what. This is the all-encompassing concept that establishes the perimeter for the "battle" to come. Only when that is solidly established do we move on to the particulars--character types, mood, broad thematic approaches, etc.
Once we can see the overall picture, we go in and start to flesh it out in more detail, but in a broad sense--what do our protagonists, environments, tools and vehicles need to identify them as "something" the audience will be able to identify readily? It's only after this that we start to modify in great detail what EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY might look like.
All is conceptual--but it all has to be done in appropriate levels as a unit or whole one stage/step at a time, so the original central idea isn't lost. The story is king. The players/pieces/places are simply the apparatus to tell that story. The more detail built up through the ongoing process, the more texture the story acquires, and the more the audience has a reason to be involved.
Concepts, paintings, sculpture, movies, and literature that consist of only detail and superficial effects but have no central thematic concept of any consequence are just distractions, and can never reach the status of "epic." But, the epic comes into being only when somebody sweats the details at the appropriate time in the process...
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
I understand what you mean about detail. Sometimes concepts with less detail can express more in regards to tone and mood of the concept your trying to get across . . . just because a character is in the forest it doesn't mean that we need to see every leaf and twig, especially if staging is meant to focus on the character.
But at the same time I would say that the amount of detail required for a specific image correlates to which part of the pipeline your in . . . so its best to be able to run the gambit of doing highly illustrative pieces as well as more abstracted pieces . . . they each have their respective places. In a way chosing the amount of detail is like chosing a specific artistic style to work in.
There is an old Disney Book called The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston . . . it's all old school concept art but I think it would help you a bit. There is a section on Layout that talks about Staging and what all detail work would be involved in chosing style and the like.
Hope this helps!