Defining a style of stylized game art (TF2)
on 05-26-2011 05:09 AM
I'm currently in the process of pinning down "my" stylized style in a game project I'm currently working at. Before posting some WIPs I want to talk about defining a style, which seems to be quite hard.
Computer games as medium, like a peace of paper, has some characteristica which are quite unique (polygons, shaders, resolution limits etc.). The hardest part about defining a stylized game art style is the missing of styles. What I mean is, that when we try to make photorealistic game art we have reality as reference, but when we try to make stylized art we only have art references which targets an other medium (canvas, paper). Many games tried to copy a special art style from one medium to the game medium (i.e. cell shading), more or less successfully. This is not a bad thing, digital painting is an example where the transition from tradiontal painting to digial painting seems to work quite good.
But there're only a handful of games which seems to create a new unique style which fits perfectly to a computer game and is not an attempt to copy it 1:1 from an other medium. The best example is TF2, although it has its roots in illustrative art, its visual appearance is very distinctive to illustrative art (phong shading, AO in textures etc.).
Well, the typical way to define "your own" style would be to experiement with different approaches. The question is, what could help to narrow the search for your style, if there's is any help at all ?
Atleast there should be a core of game art you most probably need to meet:
"Perfection is archieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
With this in mind, even if art is in the eye of the beholder (and therefore everything would be possible), what would you mean is essential in a stylized game art to be visual appealing ?