GDC 2018 | March 19 — 23, 2018 | Moscone Convention Center | San Francisco, California


|    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


'League of Legends' Client Update: Art Directing a Consistent and Scalable Interactive Brand Identity
Laura DeYoung (Riot Games)
Sometimes there is only one way to fix a client that is so far gone: nuke it from orbit.In 2008, the 'League of Legends' team cranked out a client, so they could ship the game to players. They didn't have time to think about the client's creative direction or infrastructure. For years the client was a sub-optimal experience for players and developers. In this talk, 'League of Legends' art director, Laura DeYoung, will discuss how the team rebuilt the client to be functional and resonant with players while providing a flexible space for developers to build content. Topics include redefining an established brand's artistic direction, designing for future feature expansion, drawing inspiration from outside the game industry, and crafting style guides to fit your team's unique needs.
Realtime Rendering for Feature Film: Rogue One a Case Study
John Knoll (Industrial Light & Magic)
Naty Hoffman (Lucasfilm ADG)
Roger Cordes (ILMxLAB)
With all of the challenges posed by the groundbreaking visual effects work on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you wouldn't think visual effects supervisor John Knoll would look for yet another area to push the boundaries of visual fidelity with production underway, but that's exactly what happened. Knoll challenged the Lucasfilm Advanced Development Group to take a handful of shots for the film and render the lead character in them at cinematic fidelity utilizing RT rendering. Join speakers from Lucasfilm and ILM as they discuss the proprietary rendering technology that the team created, and the challenges and lessons learned by creating a real time hero character for Rogue One.
Motion Warping in 'Gears of War 4': Doing More with Less
Steven Dickinson (The Coalition)
The sheer magnitude of animation assets needed to build smooth and realistic movement systems while keeping a character grounded in an uneven and dynamic environment has changed how animation behaviors are built and authored. Blending multiple animations has traditionally been a way of dealing with distance, direction and environmental variance. However, the amount of assets needed for adequate coverage in today's large AAA titles can be crushing. Multiple animation blending also reduces visual freedom as blended animations must be of similar style and timing. Some games have tackled this content explosion by dynamically warping motion to meet the spatial constraints. These are often ad hoc/specific to particular actions and not exposed to the animator. For 'Gears of War 4', The Coalition developed a generalized solution by introducing the concept of warp points.
Huddle up!: Making the [SPOILER] of 'INSIDE'
Mikkel Bgeskov Svendsen (Playdead)
Andreas Normand Grntved (Playdead)
Sren Trautner Madsen (Playdead)
Lasse Jon Fuglsang Pedersen (Playdead)
In Playdead's 'INSIDE', "The Huddle", aka the blob as dubbed by players, is the form you take in the conclusive chapter of the game. It was a big task in the production, and one with much uncertainty. It took several years and several people to get it standing on its feet, but it was no calculated effort. In the years it was being made, a third of the company worked on, or rather jammed on it. Everyone involved added their own expertise, without order, as a sort of hive mind making hive mind. The team at Playdead will peel apart the layers they've woven together, exposing dynamic arms imposed on a sack of physics bodies, moved by physics and animation as one, and glued together by shading. Through all the details, they'll show how an unstable, decentralized collaboration can lead to an unexpectedly whole and alive creature, albeit chaotic.
Fast, Cheap and Flashy: An Indie Art Direction Adventure
Adam DeGrandis (Chickadee Games LLC)
'Tooth & Tail', Pocketwatch Games' follow-up to 'Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine', had been in development for nearly two years, but the art was in trouble. It was inconsistent, hard to read, and a little dull. The style needed to be redesigned and ushered through production but there was a catch: it needed to ship in ten months and it couldn't cost a lot. Lateral thinking, semi-unconventional pipelines, educated-risk taking, and old-fashioned art fundamentals came to the rescue, and helped reshape the game's style into something that won awards before the game was even released. But what's the cost of succeeding early, and what happens when a team that worked so long with a big, stressful long term goal suddenly doesn't have one? The examples are pixelated, but the lessons are universal.
Shoot for the Sky: The Ambitious HDR Time-Lapse Skies of 'Forza Horizon 3'
Jamie Wood (Playground Games)
With 'Forza Horizon 3', Playground Games undertook an ambitious and novel approach to representing the sky over time. The team developed a technique for shooting high resolution 24 hour HDR time-lapse photography using a custom camera rig, on location, and then projected these evolving sky captures onto the in-game sky. The improvements this brought to the lighting system as a whole and the unexpected benefits of capturing the true changing nature of the sky offer a unique option for any videogame/real-time application that features moving time of day.