The more I've been a professional artist the more I became disenchanted with the notion of realism being relevant in arts.
Realistic was never synonimous to appealing, so why are we so hung up on it? Getting to realism isn't a challenge – it's just a process because the destination is marked. Now let me give you a real challenge:
This quick sketch has very little in terms of fidelity, yet it makes it so painstakingly obvious why it is a sight worth seeing. After exhaustive analysis I've come up with a system that loosely allows to quantify and analyze contributions of particular factors of beauty:
So far there haven't been a single representative image that couldn't have been broken down this system.
You can't really go wrong when your crushing an entire building right in front of the players eyes. Another example would be a beautiful person making your whole image beautiful:
Games lack really dramatic composition because player-controlled camera means no cinematic points of view. Take away the control, get some of the most atmospheric composition in games:
It's a hygenic factor if you're familiar with the term:
Because our brain is wired differently from what you are used to thinking.
And not taking into account the specifics of your target platform is the biggest mistake you could make.
Christopher Lloyd will tell you all about it way better then I ever could:
Luckily all of our audience knows how the world looks, so you don't really need to educate them. You just need to suspend their disbelief.
Game art is nothing short of magic. And at the core of all magic is Misderection.
Now our main job as production artists is to establish the level of fidelity on which a collection of shapes becomes this cohesive visual experience, eliminating waste, overwork and minimizing missed opportunities.
But is there, really, any technology that we lack today to be able to deliver on every component of beauty?
Doesn't look like we do.
Now how can we can we make our visual investments and our time worth while?
In the end: