In our game art outsourcing studio, we have a structured workflow for handling projects, which we’ll outline in this post. The first step of our process is to gather as much information about the project as possible. We recommend using our project brief example as a guide for providing this information. Once we have all the visual references and details outlined in the technical brief, we move on to the following stages.
Step 1 – Art Style Research
When working on a large game art project, such as 150 pieces of character art and backgrounds for a mobile game, it’s important to have a clear and defined visual style. This is where the Style Guide comes in. It can be one or several reference assets that show the visual style and pipeline that the artist should follow. It’s crucial to create the Style Guide before starting the main production stage. This is especially important when working with a distributed team, as it ensures that all the artists are working in the same defined style.
We begin by creating a mood board to show our ideas and confirm our interpretation of the client’s vision. The Style Guide is a vital asset that can make the difference between a successful project and one that fails. Plus, it can be given to other artists in the future, eliminating the need to explain the requirements again and again.
Step 2 – Proceeding to the first milestone
We stay in constant communication with the client to get feedback on progress. We may also add them to our Slack channel or use their preferred method of communication. The first milestone allows us to implement the ideas outlined in the style guide and adjust the workflow accordingly. It also helps us prepare a more detailed estimation of the future pipeline for large projects.
Step 3 – Applying internal quality-control
We have strict quality-control routines in place during the project. All work-in-progress art goes through internal quality checks by our lead artists and art director before it’s approved for presentation to the client.
Step 4 – Creating initial sketches
We create rough sketches based on the defined visual style. At this stage, the sketches depict the overall direction of the process. The client can review the progress and provide feedback for adjustments to the art. If we have a style guide or at least defined the visual style beforehand, it won’t take long to move on to the next stage.
Step 5 – Developing detailed sketches
At this stage, the art and elements are almost in place, requiring only a few more polishing runs to finalize. Communication is key, and this stage takes more time to adjust the art according to the client’s feedback and requirements.
Step 6 – Presenting the final art
After all adjustments have been confirmed and implemented, we present the completed art to the client to ensure they are 100% satisfied. If not, we are happy to discuss specific moments and identify what went wrong. However, this is usually not an issue as we have been collecting feedback on each stage throughout the process.
Step 7 – Exporting the art
Once the client has approved the final art, we export the assets in the desired format and naming structure. If any further adjustments are needed, we make them at this stage. And with that, the project is complete and we move on to the next one.
It’s important to note that every project is unique and may require slight variations in the workflow. However, this general outline serves as a guide for our typical process and helps ensure a smooth and successful project outcome.
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