No matter how talented you are as an artist, there is always someone who does some things better. It implies that you may learn from them and develop your abilities. 2D game art lessons and guidelines will be useful to anybody who wants to devote their lives to art. Aside from manuals, there are several subtleties and tactics that may help you better your awareness and organize your mind and spirit. More on that in our most recent blog post.
HOW 2D GAME ART TUTORIALS AND DESIGN DOCUMENTS CAN IMPROVE YOUR WORK
Visual content creation for games, movies, and commercial demands will always be in great demand. Established artists are always improving their talents and learning new things about graphic design and specialized approaches. It enables individuals to broaden their professional abilities beyond their existing boundaries. Some people would rather sketch more and search for aspiring references. Some people pursue professional training. 2D game art tutorials are another great alternative. We suggest they fall midway between the two techniques outlined above, perhaps a tad closer to academic courses. There are several lessons and guidelines available online, both free and paid, and you should consult them as a 2D artist.
CORE ASPECTS OF 2D ART
Every ambitious 2D artist must have a talent for sketching and a passion for the trade. It is the fundamental norm and common sense. This is something that should not be overlooked while choosing a career in this field. A modern-day 2D game designer does not need to be an expert with pastels, watercolors, and ordinary pencils, although some physical sketching expertise would be beneficial. The majority of 2D artists in the game business often perform the following:
- Draw concept art;
- Create objects, characters, locations in accordance with the style of the game;
- Work on promotional materials.
The range of tasks is determined by the artist’s place of employment and the project in which he or she is working. 2D game art is immensely diverse and may be extremely sophisticated. Creating visual material for children’s games, for example, is not the same as designing elements for strategic titles with realistic visuals. Each project has its own style, message, and atmosphere. All of them must be addressed and authorized within the creative department before the actual sketching begins.
A usual route into the business for a 2D game artist is to graduate from a university or a good art institution where CG-art is valued. In this situation, suitable specialities include «Computer Graphics», «Web Design», and «Design». However, because young 2D artists must learn a wide range of specialized skills, numerous 2D game art tutorials will be useful as well.
GAME DESIGN DOCUMENT: PREPARATION BEFORE THE ART
Every game is a large and complicated undertaking, thus it naturally need a plan to ensure proper construction and avoid mistakes. That blueprint is a design document for a video game. It includes concepts for people, the world, locales, gameplay, visual style, and other aspects. First, GDDs used to be massive and highly detailed, but that is no longer the case. Modern publications are quite brief and incorporate a lot of visual information to help explain the concept (small gaming demos, photos, and occasionally even audio recordings). A GDD’s data is classified into the following categories:
- General information: genre/niche, platform(s), well-known related games, target audience, and so on.
- Project overview: information on the game’s mechanics, history, rules, modes, and so on.
- Goals, controls, game economy, win/loss criteria, levels, and so on are all part of the gameplay.
- Game materials include visual and musical styles, desired images, a soundtrack and audio, and so on.
When you have completed the basic draft of your 2D game design document, it is time to put your wits and hands to work. The following steps comprise the entire procedure.
So you have some broad concepts for the project. You must now turn them into something larger. Brainstorming with your team can help you come up with loads of exciting new ideas for your upcoming 2D video game. At this period, imagination is crucial, so don’t limit anyone’s ability to express themselves. Investigate visualization options, such as unique characters and settings. Quick tips:
- Write down all ideas you can and sort them out later.
- Draw quick sketches or add inspiring images for references.
- Organize the content into themes.
With moodboards, you can visualize your ideas and present them to others. We recommend creating multiple moodboards for various tasks: reference collection, refining raw sketches, etc. Finalized boards can be merged together later if needed.
The importance of the setting and gaming atmosphere cannot be overstated. In pre-production, world characteristics must be established. Will there be expansive fantasy vistas or largely basic corridor spaces? Or perhaps a combination of the two? Create rules for player-environment interactions and use them into level design to give the game greater structure. The surroundings, however, should always be the starting point. Answering the following questions can assist you:
- Where the action takes place?
- What climate/geography the in-game world has?
- Who inhabits the area, and what culture do they have?
A fantastic and detailed gaming world must be supported with a well-designed level. Otherwise, your worldbuilding efforts would be in vain. Level design increases immersion points and allows gamers to actively participate in the process. Plan your map layout plan, things to fill the area, and milestones along the route. Level design provides a great knowledge of the game’s breadth and scale.
Without residents and varied types of life, any world appears to be dead. While populating the terrain with flora and wildlife won’t be difficult, creating core characters for the plot will be a massive endeavor. Work on a character design begins with a slew of speculative ideas, potential attributes, and storyline recommendations. Some of them may be accepted, while others will be denied. It will take time and dozens of sketches, concept art pieces, and iterations to complete the process.
CHARACTER DESIGN VS. ENVIRONMENT DESIGN
Artists must have unique attitudes that allow them to flourish in several categories, in addition to sketching talents. That is why most designers specialize in one of three areas: character design, environment visualization, or prop manufacturing. The last category includes all game elements such as weaponry, furniture, machinery, cars, and other small 2D art for games. Let’s get into more detail about character and environment design.
It is nearly hard to build a decent plot for a game without some form of character. Each character in the script must have a backstory, certain qualities, and perform a defined function. While the latter component is totally up to the authors, the first two are entirely up to the artists, who determine how the character will appear, move, and respond with facial expressions. It takes a great deal of ability and expertise to communicate the personality of a 2D figure. There are also dedicated 2D game art tutorials that demonstrate important approaches for animating two-dimensional heroes.
For example, our 2D artists execute a whole cycle on each unique character, beginning with reference gathering, sketching concepts and drawings, adding details, texturing, and painting. Using this method, we can create distinctive 2D characters with personalities and spirits. We truly feel that engaging characters bring attention to the game and boost immersion. Furthermore, well-drawn and unique characters may captivate the audience from the start.
Environmental 2D artists work on virtual environments and its components, such as landscapes and architectural elements. Points of interest, illumination, silhouettes, and arrangement are the primary aspects of environment design. The goal of arranging compositions in only two dimensions is to create generic views of buildings and natural scenery. Lighting and color enhance the realism of settings.
When discussing 2D game art, it is important to remember that environments must also have an internal design. All of those structures and areas of attraction must look attractive both inside and out. To accomplish this, various forms, lights, colors, and visual hierarchy principles should be applied. The proper use of grids and components allows 2D designers to create magnificent scenes that captivate the viewer and inspire them to explore the universe.
THE ART STYLE FACTOR
Walt Disney once brought four of his painters to a park and instructed them to design a tree. When the painters asked him what style they should do it in, he just said, «Yours.» As a result, each of these experts sketched the tree in their own unique way. To clarify, it was the same tree, but none of the painters perceived it in the same manner.
As you can expect, the outcomes were far from comparable. One of the contestants concentrated on the massive branches and created an overall silhouette in the shape of the main body. Colors were irrelevant because the picture was black-and-white. On the job, the next man went full abstract. He didn’t care about realistic forms; all he wanted was a tree that was gorgeous, vibrant, and almost otherworldly.
The third painter went down the photorealistic route. He simply sketched the tree’s trunk since he thought it held the most of the plant’s features. His purpose was to show visitors how detailed and lovely the smallest features of the wood are. It is old, rich in history, smart, and powerful. The final painter merged the tree into the surroundings, connecting it to the world around it.
When you look at each artwork, you can tell who views the world in black and white, who prefers to see the large picture and who prefers to focus on the details. Which one goes above and beyond standard painting?
This simple yet great experiment demonstrates that each creative has their own unique art style. If you are a professional, your art style will organically adapt to help you accomplish your vision for every project you are working on. What component of the reference image gets your attention? Which parts of recreation would you prioritize? What significance do colors have for you? What about the environment? Answering all of these questions allows you to identify the characteristics of your art style. You will understand how you view things, create 2D game art, and, most importantly, communicate your vision with others.
When people look at your art, they may quickly determine if you like concentrate on one little detail at a time or want to be aware of everything at once. People can tell if an artist prefers to keep things simple in general or like to organize drawings in black-and-white. Such tiny variables establish an artist’s visual style, which is especially obvious when creating 2D images for games.
MOST POPULAR DIGITAL ART TECHNIQUES
CG-art includes a range of additional approaches in addition to real drawing with software tools. Some are more popular than others, and selecting one to employ is totally dependent on the artist and the work at hand. The following are the most often used approaches for creating 2D game art:
Photography — original digital camera photos sometimes undergo various alterations such as color changes, lighting adjustments, saturation, and so on.
Photo painting — by painting above the original image while retaining its main arrangement, certain images may be converted into new unique art pieces.
Digital collaging is the method of merging many photos in one frame to create creative art.
Digital painting refers to any artwork done using digital painting tools and popular editing software such as Photoshop.
Vector drawing entails the use of vector graphics, which are based on mathematical formulae to create lines, forms, points, and curves.
Algorithmic — this style creates artwork by using mathematical computations. The algorithm acts as a precise strategy for the machine to follow in order to draw the necessary forms. Complex functions and expressions may be included.
Mixed media is just any mix of many digital art approaches, such as those listed above.
Finally, consider if it is more cost effective to pay someone to develop 2D game art for your project or to do it yourself. It is determined by your objectives, aspirations, and resources (including human resources). If you lack particular abilities (specialists) in some sections or your creative staff is overburdened with obligations, hiring an outside art producer is a wise decision.
Furthermore, experienced design studios such as My Infinity Games may take on entire projects under your supervision. Consulting, calculating, and project management are all addressed. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about finding new employees.
If you want us to work on your game, please review our wide portfolio, which demonstrates that we are the team for any art task! My Infinity Games worked with a number of game studios and independent developers that commissioned us to provide 2D graphics, game components, and concepts.