Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting-Edge Art Techniques for Winning Video Game Design

Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting-Edge Art Techniques for Winning Video Game Design

by Chris Solarski


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"This book supports my own 30-year crusade to demonstrate that games are an art form that undeniably rivals traditional arts. It gives detailed explanations of game art techniques and their importance, while also highlighting their dependence on artistic aspects of game design and programming.”
— John Romero, co-founder of id Software and CEO of Loot Drop, Inc.

"Solarski’s methodology here is to show us the artistic techniques that every artist should know, and then he transposes them to the realm of video games to show how they should be used to create a far more artful gaming experience ... if I were an artist planning to do video game work, I’d have a copy of this on my shelf."

— Marc Mason, Comics Waiting Room

Video games are not a revolution in art history, but an evolution. Whether the medium is paper or canvas—or a computer screen—the artist’s challenge is to make something without depth seem like a window into a living, breathing world. Video game art is no different.
Drawing Basics and Video Game Art is first to examine the connections between classical art and video games, enabling developers to create more expressive and varied emotional experiences in games. Artist game designer Chris Solarski gives readers a comprehensive introduction to basic and advanced drawing and design skills—light, value, color, anatomy, concept development—as well as detailed instruction for using these methods to design complex characters, worlds, and gameplay experiences. Artwork by the likes of Michelangelo, Titian, and Rubens are studied alongside AAA games like BioShock, Journey, the Mario series, and Portal 2, to demonstrate perpetual theories of depth, composition, movement, artistic anatomy, and expression.
Although Drawing Basics and Video Game Art is primarily a practical reference for artists and designers working in the video games industry, it’s equally accessible for those interested to learn about gaming’s future, and potential as an artistic medium.

Also available as an eBook

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823098477
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 09/18/2012
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 338,278
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

CHRIS SOLARSKI received a BA in computer animation and began working as a 3D character and environment artist for Sony Computer Entertainment in London. Eventually, Solarski enrolled in art classes at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. During that time, he discovered the exciting connection between classical art techniques and video game design. He currently develops his own video games under Solarski Studio. He also works as creative director of the Swiss-based social gaming startup Gbanga, and lectures at SAE Institute in Zurich.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Tristan Donovan  
Level 01/ Fundamentals  
Basic Pencil Techniques  
Basic Perspective  
Basic Volumes        
Basic Lighting and Values          
Visual Measuring Tools    
Drawing Process   
Level 02/ Advanced Drawing Concepts       
Advanced Perspectives and Volumes           
Advanced Lighting and Values           
Atmospheric Perspective           
Landscape Drawing        
Level 03/ The Human Figure      
Gravity and Movement  
Skeletal Landmarks           
Level 04/ Anatomy           
Six Stages for Rendering Anatomy      
The Foot       
The Leg        
The Pelvis     
The Spine and Ribcage  
The Shoulder Girdle          
The Arm       
The Hand     
The Head and Neck         
Facial Expressions 
Level 05/ Elements of Design     
Camera Angle      
Subverting Conventions 
Level 06/ Character Design       
Good Studio Practice     
Brainstorming and Character Concept         
Visual Metaphors              
Mind-Map, Research, and Mood Board       
Thumbnail Development            
Final Character Drawing and Model Sheet              
Level 07/ Environment Design   
Character/Environment Shapes          
Building Construction      
Character-Centric Environment Design         
Top-Down Environment Design            
Gameplay Map    
Level 08/ Color and Digital Tools          
Adding Color with Digital Tools            
Professional Portfolio and Getting Work        

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Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting-Edge Art Techniques for Winning Video Game Design 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Extremely helpful. Teaches the basics, and allows you to excel at your own pace. Teaches you everything you need to know about video game art, as well as drawing in general.