Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Speed Photoshop Battle

One of the evening events at the concept art masterclass in Montréal was a speed painting battle. 

Two artists sitting at large computers, their work projected on the screen to an energized audience of peers, attempted to illustrate an assigned theme within a 15 minute limit using Photoshop. No command Z, no history, no photos or photobashing. The loser of each round had to drink a tumbler of rum.

One of the competitors was  Jeff Simpson, an artist at Ubisoft. He painted the theme "gravedigger."
I sat over to the side and painted him using watercolor. Although I wasn't competing in the battle, I stayed within the 15 minute limit also.

Syn Studio Gathering of Masters


Bartleby said...

great little painting, limitations can be fun. any way to see the "grave digger" results? And a tumbler of rum could be seen as a win I think. Is there a stigma regarding photobashing for digital artists similar to the use of projection in fine art? I would think the means justify the ends in commercial art, but it seems it's not tolerated as well in fine art. I've seen a few photo deniers (photogate?) in the fine art scene when it's clear they use them. I'm not against their use, just the dishonesty regarding their use. I think it's an attempt to satisfy the beliefs of the general viewer/consumer. I've seen the discussion before and it seems most artists themselves generally don't take issue with other artists doing whatever it takes to achieve their vision, unless they are dishonest about it. It seems to be the desire of the layman that all things art be magic and Jimi Hendrix fell from the sky; to cater to that can be good for business. Has anyone else noticed this? It seems to be the desire of the viewer that the thing be made the way they imagine, and artists attempt to fulfill that desire even if it occasionally means telling them what they want to hear, myth building. I don't know much, just typing thoughts. Thanks for the great blog, long live GJ!

Ahmet Faruk Çetin said...

When i heard Ubisoft, i tremble a little bit, for us, you are not a hero just because of teaching us, also draw us to our favourite game concept artists

Bill said...

Any link to the final results?

James Gurney said...

Bill, Sorry I don't have the results of what the artists painted. I don't know if they saved them but if they post them somewhere, I'll post a link.

Thank you, Ahmet. Yes, there were some wonderful game concept artists among the faculty of this workshop, and each of them gave a presentation about their inspiration and their process.

Bartleby, fundamentally, I agree with you: "I'm not against their use, just the dishonesty regarding their use." As far as photobashing, I don't really have any experience with that because I don't make images with Photoshop.

The artists who did use Photoshop or other digital tools briefly discussed on a panel whether or not they're willing to cut and paste photos (or other artists' work or 3D models or textures made by someone else) into their concept art. Some explained the practice, saying that anything is OK if it's just for a quick visualization for an internal meeting—as long as you delete it afterward. Because after all, concept art is really a means to another art form, namely the game or movie, and whatever gets the visualization job done efficiently is OK. I understand that view, and that makes sense inside the corporate pipeline.

The way I feel is that doing something by hand is satisfying for its own sake, regardless of what the work is used for or how long it takes (though in my experience, physical paint is potentially faster for most things). It's not easy to use brushes and paint to capture a branch full of backlit maple leaves, or a wet cobblestone street at nighttime, or the reflections in a toy store window. It might be easier to copy or paste a photo. But that challenge uses and develops parts of the mind that feel good, and that good feeling is transmitted to the viewer somehow.

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James Gurney said...

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