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 Tips on showreel for concept artists 
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
Posts: 1113
Location: Singapore
Post Tips on showreel for concept artists
Recently a friend was asking me on this. Thought of sharing with everyone here as well.

This is written for local context only. It is based on my observation of what some employers look for when they review reels.

Very often we received designs that is very dark and more towards industrial design kind of stuff. That is nothing wrong if you are targeting a game company only.

However if you are applying to an animation company. Research on what they are doing. As a concept artist, you need to explore a variety of style. Not just mature and serious / sci fi genre.

Also don't get stuck with just anime style.

There are a lot work in TV series, animated feature that focus more towards children market. E.g PIXAR and Disney style etc. Designs have to be children friendly. Not too dark. Merchandise friendly. So that it can be made into toys.

Basic stuff we would like to see in reel.

Model Sheets
Ability to do good turn arounds. Very often when some designers do turn around. The form starts to change. Such skill is crucial to guide the modellers properly.

Preparing design sheet.
Work sheet that indicates what kind of material is used for different parts of the models.

Design Notes
Every design on the character has a reason. It cannot be done just anyhow.

Silhouette
Try sketching 2 characters together. Try different style. Focus on silhouette. This is to demonstrate your ability to be able to design characters that compliments each other.

Props and Sets.
Try creating props / sets for the character you have designed. From here, we can tell whether you can create something that compliment or goes with the character.

Background painting.
Ability to paint is important. As this is required to prepare colour script for lighters. Painting mood charts are important. Matte painting skill is also a bonus.


With the ability above. You are better prepared yourself for local market. Of course, there are companies who just want you to do character or background etc. But such opportunities are rare. Don't neglect keeping a sketch book. As this demonstrate your thought process when you design something.

Hope it helps.


Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:35 am
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Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:18 pm
Posts: 11
Post Re: Tips on showreel for concept artists
David Kwok wrote:

Model Sheets
Ability to do good turn arounds. Very often when some designers do turn around. The form starts to change. Such skill is crucial to guide the modellers properly.



I totally agree with David here, esp the point above. It is very, very important for concept artist to be able to draw concepts where the front and sides match. It is reasonable to expect the modelers to "fill in the gap" for slight differences between the front and sides, but if the character has a head that is 1/8 the body length but appears to be 1/4 of the body length on the side, yeah, you need magic to bridge the difference there.

This often ends up with a lot of frustrating to and fros to get the look the concept artist wants in the first place, and if the concept artist is actually not on site, it is alot of wasted time waiting for the feedbacks.

Dont make us modelers hate you. :lol:


Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:52 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:01 am
Posts: 37
Post Re: Tips on showreel for concept artists
To add another point, if you are aspiring to be a concept artist then you should already be doing life drawing sessions at least once to twice a week. Be it the zoo or nude life drawing or just drawing from the streets. Almost every single concept artist I know does this without fail.

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Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:05 am
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
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Location: Singapore
Post Re: Tips on showreel for concept artists
One more thing. Make sure you have a sketch book with you at all times. Especially at the interview. Employers don't just want to see beautifully rendered images. They want to see sketch book for sure to understand your design thought process.


Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:34 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:47 am
Posts: 15
Location: Singapore
Post Re: Tips on showreel for concept artists
Agree with all these points. Ability to design buildable assets is always something that's nice to see in a folio. It wouldn't hurt to take up 3D, just for the ability to block out proportions with an actual model, and fill it in with paintovers.

NYU Tisch near Redhill runs weekly free life drawing sessions by the way. The school pays for the model and lends out one of its enormous sound stages.


Mon May 02, 2011 1:46 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
Posts: 1113
Location: Singapore
Post Re: Tips on showreel for concept artists
Agree with you snowfly. I have a designer who does that. And his design is more inline with what we do for 3d.


Mon May 02, 2011 4:01 pm
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