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教授视觉设计能够带来什么好处

作者:Martijn Jacobs

在Pixologic ZBrush峰会期间,世界上最优秀的数字角色创造者展示了自己的作品并分享了自己的经历。对于许多充满抱负的角色设计师来说,这些展示能够让他们更清楚地看到如何才能成为一名真正的角色创造者。但是在这些展示期间我们看到了一个引起所有想要学习更多有关视觉设计内容的美术师的注意:何时会出现不可避免的问题,即关于该使用怎样的设计感和设计原则,而甚至是最资深的数字角色创造者也很难给出一个明确的答案。

为了帮助你们理解为什么角色美术师需要学习更多有关视觉设计的内容,我将解释视觉设计的基本元素。我将讨论为什么教授视觉设计如此困难并且我也将与你们分享如何通过教学媒体去克服这一障碍。

课程1:对于角色来说什么是视觉设计?

任何将成为角色一部分的形状或物体都是设计的一部分,你的目标便是清楚地将一种感受传达给用户。这种感受可以是《疯狂麦克斯》中公路战士的绝望或《怪兽电力公司》中的Sully的即时吸引力和可信赖性。将这些细节和选择整合到一个角色的眼睛中的方式便是最终的视觉设计,而美术师的决策制定便是他们所使用的过程。

美术师所做出的每个选择都很重要:你可以通过任何内容去创造一个角色。例如选择一个易拉罐,在上面画张脸,这样你便创造了一个角色。将一个空白人体模型转变成一个蒸汽朋克宇航员或中世纪农民只需要一点点配件便可。

而为电子游戏创造角色与这一过程很像,只是你需要了解一些先决条件从而才能确保角色能够运行于游戏引擎中,但从整体看来这都是美术师需要做出的一系列较小的决定,即将通过角色的外观去定义一个角色。基于不同角色模型这些决定也会有所不同,并且这些决定将包含一个角色可能拥有的最大外观或最小的细节。

所以什么是视觉设计呢?构成一个角色实体形状的真正选择是什么?

课程2:如何在行动中发挥思考。

大多数美术师都是基于直觉去做出有关角色美术的选择。对于角色建模新手来说去理解大师如何做出推动作品发展的决定是很困难的事。很多大师也承认很多时候角色模型并不会像他们想象中的那样诞生,他们的直觉性过程有时候也不能发挥作用。如果未能明确地列出过程,他们便不能通过外部评论方式去找出建模过程中的失败之处。

让我们着眼于Furio Tedeschi的作品。在传达给观众的作品中,他会通过视觉语言引导着观众的眼睛去浏览模型最重要的功能。

教授视觉设计能够带来什么好处

furio-tedeschi’s work(from gamasutra)

他的视觉语言主要是受到他的设计经验的影响。他精通一种能让自己做出有关什么类型的模型几何结构能够与观众和自己对话的选择的心理过程。使用这样的直觉性方法(设计过程),最终结果(游戏邦注:也就是角色模型)将拥有一组明确的规则并且将被整合到表面功能中。但这些规则是什么呢?

Tedeschi在2015年便回答了这一问题。但他还是一直在努力寻找一个更准确的答案。如果他和其他数字角色创造大师能够以递进的方式整合他们关于设计的知识,那么他们所选择的视觉语言将成为他们与其他美术师都能够学习的规则集。

课程3:制作角色美术师教学!

为了让这些规则变成一种方法,拥有设计经验的角色美术师应开始开展教学。即不仅能够教授其他美术师,同时也能提高他们自己的效能。因为设计说明规则将被整合到教授游戏设计的实践中,所以这些课程应该不只是关于如何建模的说明,同时也要解释那些需要做出特定选择的原因。这将让那些大师级人物去证明自己能够将学派思想用于角色模型中,并让这些学员们觉得这些美术师足够可靠。

这一巨大的积极影响将让角色创造者能够传授给团队成员更多有帮助的内容:他们并不想雇佣其他角色美术师,因为这有可能改变一个抽象且基于感觉的系统。

通过让角色美术师去传授自己的技能,不管是教授者还是接受者在犯错时都将变得更灵活,并让他们能够通过一致且明确的视觉设计过程去引导并创造有效的结果。的确,教授视觉设计能让所有参与者都变成更出色的角色美术师。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转发,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

Why teaching about visual design will help character artists

by Martijn Jacobs

When character artists learn to speak aloud about using design principles they consciously develop their own taste and style, improve their own art, and teach their fellow artists.

During the Pixologic ZBrush summit the world’s greatest digital character sculptors present their work and talk about their experiences. For any aspiring character artist these presentations show a clear view on what it takes to be a character sculptor. But during these presentations an issue is made bare that stirs any artist wanting to learn more about visual design: when the inevitable question comes around, about what design sense and principles were used, even the most veteran digital sculptors fall short on giving a concise answer.

To help understand why character artists need to teach about visual design I will explain the fundamentals of visual design. I will argue why it is particularly hard to teach visual design, and finally how to overcome this obstacle through the medium of teaching.

Lesson #1: What is visual design for characters?

Any shape or object that will be a part of your character is a part of the design, and the goal is to clearly communicate a feeling to your audience. This feeling could be the intensity and desperation of a Mad Max road warrior or the instant appeal and trustworthiness of Sully from Monsters Inc. The way these details and choices cohere into a single vision of the character is its final visual design, and the decision making activity inside the artist is the process that they are using.

Each choice made by an artist is important: you can create a character from anything. For instance, take a tin can, draw on a face, and voila you have created a character. Want to create a unique human character? Only few accessories are needed to transform a blank mannequin into a steampunk cosmonaut or a medieval rice farmer.

Creating characters for video games is very much like this process, some extra prerequisites exist so that the character will work within game engines, but overall it is still a process where a series of small decisions is made by an artist that defines a character through its physical appearance. These decisions vary per character model and encompass everything from the big shapes to the tiniest details that a character can have.

So what is visual design? The acululated choices that make up the physical shape of a character.

Lesson #2: How to use thinking in action.

Most artists make choices about character art intuitively. It can be intimidating for beginners in the craft of character modelling to understand how masters make the decisions that drive their work. Equally, many masters will admit that there are times when a character model is not coming to life as they would hope, and their intuitive process is not functioning for them. Without explicitly outlining their process, they have no external critiquing method that they can use to interpret what may be weaker in their process for that model.

Let’s take a look at the work of Furio Tedeschi. His sculptures communicate to the viewer, speaking a visual language that guides your eyes along the most important features of the model.

His visual language is driven by his experience in designing. He has mastered a mental process that allows him to make choices about what type of geometry his models will use to speak not just to viewers but also to himself. Using this intuitive method (the design process), the outcome (the character model) has a clear set rules encapsulated into its surface features. But what are these rules?

Tedeschi tried to answer this question in 2015. But he struggled to find a definitie answer. If he and other master digital sculptors would mentally synthesize their knowledge about what is driving their designs, in incremental steps, then their preferred visual language would be established as a set of rules that they and others could learn from.

Lesson #3: Making character artists teach!

To allow these rules become a method, character artists experienced in designing should start teaching. Not just to educate others but to also help themselves become more efficient sculptors. Since the rules of their design instructions are put into the practice of teaching visual design to peers, the lessons should not merely be instructions how to model but why certain choices need to be made. This will enable the masters to demonstrate that they are capable in advancing their own school of thought on character models, making these teaching artists reliable team players.

This tremendous positive impact makes character artists who can teach more benefitial to their team: who doesn’t want to hire character artists who can change an abstract, feeling based system into a method that can be taught and followed by others?

By making character artists teach their skills, both teacher and student will become more resilient when making mistakes, allowing for happy accidents to be steered and moulded through having a consistent and clear visual design process. Teaching visual design allows all participants to become better character artists.( source:Gamasutra

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