Сoncept Artist and Character Designer: What Do They Do and Why?

When people hear about the creation of cartoons or games, they most often see this process: the screenwriter writes the script, according to which the artist eventually draws.

A whole team of draftsmen is working on the creation of graphic content: animators, concept artists, illustrators, graphic designers, and many, many others, and each of them has their tasks.

There is no winner in the battle of concept artist vs character designer, and laurels and honor go to everyone equally. By the way, what do they do? Do they just draw? Let’s figure it out together.

What do artists and designers do?

Some video games or modern movies like Avengers try to look as realistic as possible, while others emphasize stylization. Modeling and textures of characters and objects are all the work of concept artists and character designers.

These people are the ones who create familiar, unique, and important elements of character design. They imagine what the items will look like, sketch out preliminary designs, develop sketches that match the intended concept of the game, and turn these sketches into 2D and 3D computer graphics.

Fun fact, it’s harder for a studio to find a concept artist than a designer. Why? Creating a concept is a deeper and more responsible task, so sometimes, such a process is given to a character design services or freelance artists. As a rule, this speeds up the work and always helps to save time and money.

Creating Concept Art: From Idea to Concept Design

If you had asked yourself decades ago, we would have said that all artists needed to create concept art was a pencil, paper, and a lot of imagination.

But now, with the advent of new technologies, the truth is that image editing programs are necessary to perform this type of artistic representation.

Also, you should take into account that there are two key elements in concept art (actually, there are more, but two of them are the most famous):

  • Scenario development. These will be places where important work situations will take place. Therefore, it is necessary to detail down to the smallest detail so you can see how the whole place fits together and what emotions it conveys.

    For this reason, techniques such as perspective, colors, light, and shadows are so important because the elements or part of this “decoration” stand out with them.
  • Character design. To create characters, an artist needs to understand them. It is important not only to the physique of the characters but also to their interior decoration to represent those traits that define the characters externally. Target?

    That they evoke sympathy. To create them correctly, it is very important to know the anatomy of these characters and their facial expressions. And we don’t just mean people, animals, or even plants.

Concept artists themselves have certain storytelling skills. You can be a person who draws very well, but if they don’t give drawings a story, a way to understand the illustrations you’re presenting or a context in itself, they will lose their life and remain just illustrations. Instead, concept art provides the foundation and concept design for the story to be developed by others.

Character Development and Design

The next step is taken by designers, who have prepared all the necessary information to create a character. They play an important role in character development as they create the final result with the help of a palette, shadows, silhouettes, and other artistic techniques.

Character design is an integral part of the creation of the picture, along with the scenery, soundtrack, and story itself. Rain, dusk, and sad music in the background can tell us a sad story when a bright sunny street of some city with bustling residents will most likely let us dance to the lively folk singing a bizarre story.

But what will happen if a bright and cheerful jester is in the picture with rain going to sad music? Will a gloomy man in a robe appear on the street?

True, this will cause dissonance in the picture because the hero will not fit into the given atmosphere. It is in the creation of understandable and logical work that character designers work.

It is important to work out the character’s personality, for which sometimes it is necessary to use knowledge of psychology, behavior or even philosophy.

There is a myth that a character artist does not need to be able to draw; the program will do everything itself. But no, artistic skills are a necessary base.

To portray a character believably, designers need an understanding of perspective, knowledge of the basics of anatomy, and the ability to make sketches.

The ability to quickly sketch on paper helps a lot in work because if you choose between concept artist vs character designer, everyone has to draw.

We’re not talking about drawing an entire character on a piece of paper, but quickly coming up with some attribute or feature always defines a good character designer.

Final Thoughts

To correctly design characters, first of all, teamwork and well-coordinated work is needed. Behind each character in the game is the work of a whole team: art directors, artists, game designers, animators, and riggers.

The struggle between the character designer vs concept artist is like raffles and jokes within the team. Of course, even in such a creative direction, there can be conflicts, we are all people, af

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