I’m curious about the workflow with clients, how finished do concepts need to be so they can get a feel for what is in the artists head? I imagine a lot of thumbs and color comps are created (something I should do more often!).
These black and white sketches are about as simple as I think you can get away with… anything with vagueness, anything painterley…runs the risk of them not getting it, not understanding what they’re looking at or just thinking that you’re not very good!
Some concept guys I know wouldn’t dream of showing a client anything as unfinished as the above… One of them has just left Weta after Avatar and he’ll insist on making a pretty detailed model in modo, doing a GI render and painting full colour and textures over ANYTHING before he shows it… (usually a single picture a day or two…) beautiful stuff, but not much “exploration” of ideas that way… just shows that film isn’t games!
I imagine a lot of thumbs and color comps are created (something I should do more often!).
yes, but usually to an audience of one: yourself!
Usually only when storyboarding would you sit down with someone and thumbnail " live"… (in my experience)
Sadly all too often you’re given a verbal brief that is woefully in complete… communication is bad because all you have are a couple of paragraphs in e-mail a day or a 5 minute chat on the 'phone… You send stuff off daily and only get “consolidated and sanitised feedback” days later…
I tend to do lots and lots of pictures like teh ones above that show fairly specific stuff and higlight potential problems… then each round of feedback i get it gets closer to the target… On a full big budget title you might get to work into some of these and fully explore in colour, light and texture… all to often it gets handed on to someone else or outsourced as a marketing asset, or worse badly edited and scrawled over by the art director and shoved into someone’s lap to get building!
on a small budget (like this one) what you see above is often “finished”
On this project at least I’m getting to spend time with the guys making stuff and ensure the visuals don’t get lost in translation!
I’m slightly “down” today as the new direction is drawing a blank… ideas are NOT flowing (which is when you usually sit down and just keep repeating what you’ve already done and kidding yourself that you’re moving forward…) it’s teh art equivalent of writers block, but I’m sending off daileys! it’s going to be pretty thin!
Thanks for the thoughtful response Mike. I’ve solved more problems by actually getting away from things for a bit- going for a bike ride, lying in bed brooding over a problem, working at a mindless task, whatever. YMMV as they say.