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A new era: BioWare's art director talks Dragon Age 3, Mass E

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Neil Thompson on how choice of aesthetic can transcend technology

Neil Thompson has enjoyed a long and varied career - his credits include Psygnosis, developer of the WipeOut titles, Curly Monsters, the studio behind Xbox racer Quantum Redshift, and Bizarre Creations, where he helped finish off the sorely under-appreciated Blur. Thompson is now director of art and animation at BioWare, and the man responsible for the visual style of Dragon Age 3: Inquisition - one of 2013's most promising Xbox RPGs.... read more

A new era: BioWare's art director talks Dragon Age 3, Mass E

Postby Johnbhoy69 » 24 Feb 2013, 19:49

Cool article, Ive always thought gaming magazine/websites should do more interviews with people who work in the industry giving advice on how to get started working in games.
As an aspiring character artist who spends a lot of time drawing anatomy and practicing painting in Photoshop its always good to hear what potential employers in the industry look for in a portfolio.

Hope its ok to post this, if not tell me but if anyone is interested in taking a look then...

http://www.johnboyjunior.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: A new era: BioWare's art director talks Dragon Age 3, Ma

Postby Alaric14 » 24 Feb 2013, 20:01

For Dragon Age III, I'd like a story that actually finishes this time and doesn't leave me with a cliff-hanger plot point lodged in my guts. Visually I thought Dragon Age II looked much more refined than Origins, the Qun'ari in particular were brought to live in a way I thought was just brilliant, and I'm hoping the artists get to work their magic with the new Frostbite engine for DAIII.

And Johnboy, that's some stellar work you've got shaping up there. You've got a good grasp of the body's movements and mechanical nature, which are the very fundaments of good character design. Might be time to experiment with some new body structures, design some new species? In any case, great work and keep going!
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Re: A new era: BioWare's art director talks Dragon Age 3, Ma

Postby Johnbhoy69 » 24 Feb 2013, 20:07

Alaric14 wrote:And Johnboy, that's some stellar work you've got shaping up there. You've got a good grasp of the body's movements and mechanical nature, which are the very fundaments of good character design. Might be time to experiment with some new body structures, design some new species? In any case, great work and keep going!


Too kind mate cheers :)
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Re: A new era: BioWare's art director talks Dragon Age 3, Ma

Postby Bezza89 » 24 Feb 2013, 20:14

After going back to Origins, one of the rare games I can play again and again without it being tedious, I have to say I want the warden back, origins story type stuff back and no voices for my character so I can be a complete dick to people thanks to a larger increase in dialogue options. Or just get the voice actors to say a a lot more lines I suppose. A mass effect style backstory (war hero, spacer etc) would also do too, just something to make characters react to you differently, it really adds to the game and is cool when characters address you differently whether due to race, nobility or class and not just your gender.

Go crazy on the uniqueness options in short.

This is about art you say? Erm, keep up the good work then!
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Re: A new era: BioWare's art director talks Dragon Age 3, Ma

Postby Jabraham » 24 Feb 2013, 20:47

I'm kind of looking forward to this i guess love origins one favourite RPG's but dragon age 2 no matter how much better it looked graphically it just never sucked me into it as origins did.
But still great interview.
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Re: A new era: BioWare's art director talks Dragon Age 3, Ma

Postby CunningSmile » 25 Feb 2013, 12:06

Johnbhoy69 wrote:Hope its ok to post this, if not tell me but if anyone is interested in taking a look then...

http://www.johnboyjunior.blogspot.co.uk/


You've been around long enough that we'll forgive a link. It's the guys who do it on their first post that tend to annoy people.

You've got some really nice anatomy stuff there, with obviously a good grasp of musculature and how bones work. You do however need to work on your faces. It's the obvious weakness in your stuff, and I know not an easy area to master but you've already managed feet which is something a lot of people never get (run a google image search for Mike Turner. He's a big name comic artist, all of who's characters end at the knees)

And as Alaric says try to experiment and create some new characters and races. It can be much easier to emphasis what you are good at in a portfolio if you design to your strengths.
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Re: A new era: BioWare's art director talks Dragon Age 3, Ma

Postby Johnbhoy69 » 25 Feb 2013, 12:36

CunningSmile wrote: You do however need to work on your faces. It's the obvious weakness in your stuff, and I know not an easy area to master but you've already managed feet which is something a lot of people never get (run a google image search for Mike Turner. He's a big name comic artist, all of who's characters end at the knees)


Never noticed that about Michael Turners work before...but when the drawing is as good as his who cares about feet haha
Though hands and feet are difficult to get right for even the most skilled artists at times.

Agreed, the face is one of the most important things in character design alongside the pose itself (so all the books I buy tell me) And my face creation needs a lot of work.
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Re: A new era: BioWare's art director talks Dragon Age 3, Ma

Postby Jackotiny » 06 Mar 2013, 20:53

i am psyched for the new dragon age game, judging by the concept art, it should be great as long as they learn from their mistakes. It is good that the people that work in the various different positions get some input into how the game is done and how it is molded from start to finish.
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Re: A new era: BioWare's art director talks Dragon Age 3, Ma

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