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From Sketches to Screens: The Role of Illustration in Animation and Video Games

From the design of characters and environments to the creation of concept art and storyboards, illustrators play an essential role in bringing animated movies and video game projects to life. In this blog post, we'll talk about the role of illustrators also called concept artists in the animation and video game industries.

According to Wikipedia, the term “concept art” was first used by the Walt Disney Animation studios in the early 1930s. Concept art is widely used in the early stage of film and video game production to provide a visual representation of the desired artistic direction and storyline.

Image by <a href="">Freepik</a>
Image by Freepik

Concept artists create characters and environment designs either based on source materials such as a fiction book or entirely from scratch. Once approved by the art director, those designs are then used as reference points for 3D modeling, designing costumes, make-ups, or building movie settings.

<a href="">Image by upklyak</a> on Freepik
Image by upklyak on Freepik

While traditional illustrations are still being used in both industries, most concept artists – especially in large companies - will use software such as Photoshop or Zbrush to create their concept art as those tools allow for faster iterations and adjustments.

Whether you're interested in working for a major animation studio or contributing to the development of the latest video game, there are many opportunities available for illustrators looking to break into these exciting and dynamic industries.

To close this post, I want to share two of my favorite artists: Bobby Chiu whose work has been used for the character design of the Alice in Wonderland movie, and Takeshi Oga a freelance artist who worked on some of the highest-profile games ever released on consoles.


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