A lot of people ask me about the role and process of being a concept artist. Here is an example of what is often times expected: the 'paintover.' Basically you are given a screenshot of a 3d scene and are tasked with enhancing it by digitally painting over it. There are many reasons for this. For one, it allows the art director/producers to see a scene as it might end up on the players screen. They can then make the decision to change things further, or give it to the environment artist to implement the 'new look.' Another reason is time. It's much quicker for a concept artist to paint over one still shot than have the environment artist build it all in 3d in a timely manner. But the most important reason is: MONEY! By doing this you are saving the client money! As I mentioned, it's much cheaper and faster for a concept artist to paint a scene than to have a 3d artist build a 'finished' scene. This is why the role of a concept artist is so important. You have to impress a lot of people up front with your vision, as that is what the client has to envision the final product. Good concept art carries through the entire project( whether it's a game, film, tv show etc) and needs to communicate a solid and clear idea. Feel free to ask more questions below and I'll do my best to anser them!
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