What Skills Do You Need to Become a Game Artist? The Skills, Software, and Portfolio
Want to be a game artist and help make a video game’s world look good? You will need a certain set of skills that blend creativity with technical knowledge at a high level.
We talk about some of the most important hard and soft skills you’ll need to get a job as a game artist, as well as some career options in the video games business.
What Does an Artist for Games Do?
The job of a game artist is to visualize the game’s artistic vision and help bring its worlds to life based on a brief that describes the game’s mood, look, and feel.
This means everything, from the characters and settings to the menus and the way the user interacts with the game. A game artist may also be in charge of making artwork for selling a game and any other marketing materials.
What Are Some Soft Skills a Game Artist Needs to Have?
A game artist needs to love games, have a good eye for art, and be able to make pictures come to life.
An Eye for Art
You will need to know a lot about visual language. Shape, space, perspective, lighting, composition, symmetry, and balance are all important parts of being a game artist.
Basically, you will need a natural knack for the visual parts of the design to build your schooling and skills. Artists always draw, sketch, and use other visual mediums to describe themselves.
Even though almost all games are made in a 3D animation setting, it may be helpful to have experience with 2D design as well, as this is where animation came from in the past.
Being Able to Work Well With a Group
During the process of making a game, game artists will work with game programmers and game designers on game creation teams. To work with teammates from different fields, you need to be able to talk to them and understand the pressures that other parts of the production are under.
It’s important for these teams to figure out how to solve problems, and artistic departments need to work well with technical departments to reach the production’s goals.
A Good Understanding of How People Act and How They Are Made
In many ways, game artists need to be good observers of human behavior (and the world in general) to be able to recreate it in a virtual world. As a game artist, you might find it helpful to study acting and movement because you might end up leading the action in a game.
When making characters, it will be helpful to learn about how muscles and bones work in people and animals. These will have to be shown in the way the game figures move. The characters may also need to have their feelings and facial expressions drawn on.
User interaction and interest will be affected by how sensitive the game is to how characters act. Evoking feelings is an important part of gameplay. It’s what keeps people coming back to the game and helps them get into its world.
A Good Idea of What to Do
As a game artist, you and the rest of your team are like gods when you make a world or universe that players want to explore. Part of what makes games so fun to play is that they let you escape into places you’ve made up.
If you want to work in game development, you will know how important it is that video games feel like they are from another world. You have to enjoy putting pictures together to make them move and telling stories with pictures.
What Kinds of Technical Skills Do Game Artists Need to Have?
A game artist must be good at both 2D and 3D tools from a technical point of view. During the process of making a game, you may need to know about 3D modeling, color theory, illustration, font, interface design, level design, and be able to work in vector art style.
Understanding the Process of Making Something
It’s important to understand the video game pipeline and know the right steps for each job, like saving work in the right format, resolution, and size and using the right file naming conventions. Archiving and maintaining the picture library are the logical parts of being a game artist that requires analytical skills from the left side of the brain.
This is because making a game can be such a big job, especially for big projects, and because it shows the artist’s work habits, which are very important to the production process.
Software Skills in Both 2D and 3D
Game artists should be able to use 3D animation tools well and be able to turn 2D images and concept art into 3D models. All game artists will be familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash, as well as 3D tools like Maya and Blender. It would also be helpful to know how to use ActionScript and/or FLEX.
As a game artist, you don’t need a college degree, but it can help to have experience in fine arts, graphic design, and animation. You can teach yourself, but that can be a lonely and scary way to learn.
Foundations for Game Art & Animation from CG Spectrum will teach you everything you need to know about 3D models and game animation. You’ll learn the basics of game art using Maya, Substance Painter, and Unreal Engine.
As you get better at building assets and animating your characters, you’ll make portfolio pieces like walk cycles, battle actions, and stylized 3D models and weapons.
After you graduate, you can move on to the Advanced 3D Modeling Course, the Advanced 3D Animation Course, or the Real-time 3D & Virtual Production Course, based on where you want to specialize.
As a Game Artist, What Jobs Can I Get?
Depending on their hobbies and skills, game designers can focus on a number of different things. As a game artist, you can do a lot of different things. Artists are hired by game companies to do a variety of things, such as:
- Asset artist
- Character artist
- Concept artist
- Environmental artist
- Game animator
- Game illustrator
- Marketing Artist
- Real-time 3D artist
- User Interface artist
Maxime, a student in the Advanced Modeling Course, made a 3D model of a figure. Students who want to focus on character artists, asset artists, or environment artists would benefit from taking this course.
What’s in Store for Me if I Become a Game Artist?
Being a game artist can be a rich and rewarding job. So, to sum up, what skills do you need to be a game artist?
- Knowledge of the trade’s software tools
- A simple knowledge of how animation works
- The ability to plan in three dimensions
- A trained eye for how things move and look
- Having the power to create virtual worlds
- The ability to work well with other people during a complicated production process
It’s not for everyone, but if it’s your thing, it can give you a lot of freedom to be creative and express yourself in a game.