What art technique should I use?
Montreal-based Gilles Beloeil has worked at Ubisoft since 2007 and is currently senior concept artist and digital matte painter. Here, Gilles shares with us some of the techniques to consider when planning a digital painting.
There is no single, magical process for digital painting that works all the time, but there are many different techniques you can use to achieve the look you want. First you'll want to consider the following when deciding on your particular process:
- What are your personal tastes, personality and design style?
- What is it you want to achieve in your art?
- What must you deliver to the client?
- What is your deadline?
- Is there a lot of complex architecture to design?
- What is the level of detail expected?
- Are the characters important? Do you need someone to pose for you to get good visual references?
- What software should you use? Should you use 3D software? If there is a lot of architecture in the painting or a vehicle that takes half of the painting, it might be a clever idea to use 3D. On the contrary, if you are working on a color key sketch, you could be looser about your shapes but very precise about your colors and values.
For every project I get, I ask myself the above questions and two more, very important ones:
- What does the client want (what results are expected)?
- How long will I have the work in front of me before delivering it?
For example, if the client wants a quick sketch to get composition ideas but you give him a very detailed painting that took you several days, he might not be satisfied and will ask you to revise your work. On the other hand, if you deliver a quick sketch when he expects a very detailed image, he might be disappointed with your work or your artistic vision.
Gilles is French and has lived in Canada since 2000. For the past six years he has worked in the visual effects industry as a digital matte painter and lighting technical director and has been a concept artist at Ubisoft Montreal since 2007, working on the Assassin’s Creed games between 2008 and 2016. Gilles is now working on the For Honor series.
He has published works in books including Digital Art Masters (volumes 7, 8 and 9) and is co-author of Art fundamentals (3D Total) and The Ultimate Concept Art Career Guide (3D Total). Since 2014 Gilles has taught environmental painting and design at CG Master Academy.
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