Sunday, 14 December 2008
Week 7 – The role of the Art director
An Art Director is one of the roles an artist within the company can aspire to. They control and oversee the work of the art team to ensure the deadlines are met, and to monitor the overall visual style of the game. Even though it partly focuses on managerial skills, I still think it is a creative role more concerned with artistic concepts than production. Also, someone who wants this role would likely have a background as an artist directly involved in creating content, who would prefer to take on more responsibility for others, and become less involved in physical production.
I agree that art direction within a game is similar to the role of the same name within a film production. Setting up a shot in terms of lighting, composition, colour and overall style all still apply as much in games as they do in film. They’re the same artistic principles.
The qualities you would need to fit this role I think would be the capability to have a clear artistic vision which you can express to others effectively. Social skills are important, as one of the main focuses is communicating with others, so an Art Director should love to work with people. They should be self confident, as they’re taking responsibilities for others as well as themselves, and be able to work closely with other designers. An assertive but not forceful personality would probably be suited to this job. I’m not sure if this is the kind of role I would like. Having more artistic control does have a certain kind of appeal, as does becoming very involved with everyone else’s work, but I doubt I have the right kind of personality for this job. I’m pretty meek and not forceful with my opinion. More of a ‘yes sir’ kind of person. That’s really bad, isn’t it?
Also, here’s a good place to share something I’m finding very interesting and amusing to play through in game - Toby Gard [creator] and Jason Botta [Crystal Dynamics Creative Director] comment on Tomb Raider Anniversary, Greece level.
I love Director's commentary. Everything should have it.