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|    Visual Arts

The Visual Arts Track strives to educate artists and technical artists about methods for producing game art and animations; from stellar concept art techniques to post production best practices.

Arrow Search for all Visual Arts Track sessions


8 Bit & '8 Bitish' Graphics-Outside the Box
Mark Ferrari (Terrible Toybox)
Andrew Hamilton (DICE)
Mark Ferrari will discuss and demonstrate some of his techniques for drawing 8 bit game graphics, including his celebrated methods for use of color cycling and pallet shifting to create complex and realistic background animation effects without frame-animation. He will also discuss his current work for Ron Gilbert's retro adventure Game, Thimbleweed Park, and demonstrate techniques for using Photoshop to create what he calls '8 bitish' graphics for retro games today.
Photogrammetry and Star Wars Battlefront
Kenneth Brown (DICE)
Andrew Hamilton (DICE)
Photogrammetry has started to gain steam within the Games Industry in recent years. At DICE, this technique was first used on Battlefield and fully embraced the technology and workflow for Star Wars: Battlefront. This talk will cover their research and development, planning and production, techniques, key takeaways and plans for the future. The speakers will cover photogrammetry as a technology, but more that than, show that it's not a magic bullet but instead a tool like any other that can be used to help achieve your artistic vision and craft.
Building Obduction: Cyan's Custom UE4 Art Tools
Eric Anderson (Cyan, Inc.)
Cyan Inc. (creators of the MYST franchise, and pioneers of the adventure/puzzle genre) are working on a new game called Obduction - intended to be the spiritual successor to MYST and Riven. Utilizing Unreal Engine 4, and tasked with a relatively large-scope project, our small team of developers faced a number of unique content-creation challenges. This lecture will outline the problems we ran across, as well as the solutions we employed - and how our toolset allows us to tackle complexities presented both by the intrinsic difficulties of realtime 3D world-building as well as inherent limitations of UE4 itself. This talk is NOT a programming lecture. It is meant FOR artists, presented BY an artist. Many of these tools were developed using only UE4's Blueprint and Material system, and are ALL focused on making content-creation as streamlined and painless as possible.
Art of Blues and Bullets: Dominating 256 Shades of Grey
Daniel Candil (A Crowd of Monsters)
What would happen if your game only had 3 colors? Daniel will offer his take on how a small art team can deal with the challenge of only using a very limited color palette (White, Black and Red) in the Blues and Bullets developement. He will also show the creative methods that they have used, such as the Attention Pyramid, to improve the visual rhythm and break the monotony and the presence of the color grey. In addition, Daniel will show practical examples of how the Pyramid has influenced the artistic direction and the designing of the scenes, colors and illumination.
Art Direction: Graphic Design is Key
Liam Wong (Ubisoft Montreal)
First impressions count. In a crowded marketplace it is becoming more important to have a strong visual identity as it is the first thing that consumers will see. This session will highlight the importance of graphic design as an art direction tool. Sharing processes for defining the visual signature ('look and feel') of a game, focusing on graphic design elements such as: typography, iconography, logo, colour, graphical elements and how they may be executed across different mediums: user interface & menus, print, key art and motion graphics; forming the visual identity.
An End-to-End Approach to Physically Based Rendering
Wes McDermott (Allegorithmic)
Sam Bugden (Geomerics)
Physically based rendering is gaining increasing traction in the gaming world and with its list of benefits, this growth is no surprise. When the guesswork around authoring surface attributes is removed and artists can set up a material once to be efficiently reused throughout a game, they can spend much more time focusing on the more creative (and fun!) aspects of texturing. Yet in order to take full advantage of a physically based approach and ensure that each material responds as desired to any lighting condition, it is necessary to author with an awareness of how light actually interacts with different surfaces. This talk provides an easily accessible introduction to the principles of lighting and energy conservation before exploring guidelines for authoring infallible surface attribute maps. We will demonstrate the principles discussed and highlight the effect decisions made at the material creation stage affect the final render.
Lighting the City of Glass - Rendering Mirror's Edge: Catalyst
Fabien Christin (EA DICE)
Designing a big city that players can explore by day and by night while improving on the unique visual from the first Mirror's Edge game isn't an easy task. In this talk, the tools and technology used to render Mirror's Edge: Catalyst will be discussed. From the physical sky to the reflection tech, the speakers will show how they tamed the new Frostbite 3 PBR engine to deliver realistic images with stylized visuals. They will talk about the artistic and technical challenges they faced and how they tried to overcome them, from the simple light settings and Enlighten workflow to character shading and color grading.