Design: Understanding and Communicating Form
With the emergence of powerful next-generation platforms
such as PS2 and X-BOX, game artists have been given unprecedented
power to create realistic manifestations of their creative vision.
No longer do characters, vehicles and other game objects and environments
have to be represented by blocky, low-resolution geometric parodies
of the desired design. Ultra-high poly-counts and adaptive tessellation
of spline-based models allow for highly sophisticated organic surfaces.
Real-time reflection, specular and environment-mapping allow light
and reflection to perfectly describe every subtlety of an object's
shape. We are rapidly approaching the point where sophistication of
form won't be lost in the translation to real-time models. Rather,
the lack of subtlety in how form development is approached will begin
to mark the difference between good design and bad, much as it does
in the product and automotive industries. More than ever before it
behooves the designer to truly understand the three-dimensional nature
of the forms he or she is creating, and to properly communicate to
whomever may be executing the design the important relationships,
resolutions and proportions of form that they are instinctively instilling
into their designs.
The goal of this paper is to give designers the ability to think of
organic three-dimensional shapes in a structured way, rather than
as abstract "blobby" form. As well, an understanding of
how form affects light and reflection, and how to apply that knowledge
to drawing, will be covered. Armed with this knowledge, artists should
be better equipped to control the forms in their designs, illustrate
them accurately from any number of angles, and communicate the underlying
structure (and thereby a way of approaching them) to whomever (including
themselves) may be tasked with making the design 'real'.
sum up, this article could be called: "Making rounded shiny things
that look good."