Tips & Tricks for 3D Art in Gaming

Ringtail Studios Gen Zero

We often hear about art and artists in gaming. VFX artists and concept artists are mentioned all the time but 3D artists can sometimes go unappreciated. 3D art, as you can imagine in the modern gaming world, is quite important!

So, we sat down with some of Ringtail Studios’ 3D artists to ask about their work, what purpose it services in game development, and if they had any tips or tricks to share.


The Basics of 3D Art in Gaming

The purpose of 3D art in games is fundamental to its existence. 3D art brings games to life. The world, the creatures, and elements within it, are often delivered by 3D artists. Whether environments, characters, or objects, these pieces make up the basis for the game world and its experience. Without these there’s barely a game to play, never mind be immersed in!

The basic skills of a 3D artist includes modeling, texturing, and rendering. And for those looking into tools to learn the art, there’s a few to consider. For 3D modeling, we typically use Maya, 3ds Max, and Blender. ZBrush and Marvelous Designer are great modeling tools for more organic shapes and clothing. Substance Painter is fantastic for texturing and baking textures.

Knowing how to use these tools is what separates a good artist from a great one. The stellar 3D artists at Ringtail Studios understand the array of skills required. Clean and consistent modeling, accurate and grounded texturing and rendering, all of which are supported by a keen eye for detail. Outside of technical skills, our 3D artists emphasise one key tip is to understand how to collaborate and communicate with your team. And that time management is integral in such a time sensitive industry.


Tips for a 3D Artist: What to do, what to avoid

When asked what a 3D artist should focus on, the Ringtail 3D artists had a few answers:

  • Pay attention to the details – even the most fantastical and absurd creations still follow some pattern. Everything has details that can be enhanced and encouraged that will wow players or immerse them further.

  • Keep your 3D models organized – time management is important and having easily navigated models will make everyone’s life easier.

  • Use plenty of reference materials – whether inspiration or a style to follow, reference is the lifeblood of any artistic pursuit. Find the style and aesthetic, fill your board with references and grow from there.

  • Never stop learning – this extends to new techniques, software, and tools. It also includes other artists’ work. Keep up to date technically and mechanically. But never stop learning from other artists, let yourself admire and be inspired by other artists!

They also mentioned a few things to avoid:

  • It’s best, on average, to avoid creating low-quality models with unoptimized wireframe – cutting corners might be quicker but it will hinder you in any longer project.

  • Always check copyrighted material’s permissions – this can cause huge problems for any project. Always be sure you have permission.

  • Don’t overly rely on pre-made assets – they are invaluable in so many projects but don’t use them as a crutch!


Day-to-day of 3D Artists and Last Tips

As mentioned before, collaboration and communication is key for a 3D artist. Our artists say that on a daily basis they will discuss and collaborate with game designers, concept artists, programmers, animators, and other 3D artists. This is all done in the pursuit of style consistency and clean integration.

For any project, the visual style and artistic consistency is paramount. The artists at Ringtail say that clearly established style guidelines early in the development process is key, as is a wealth of good reference materials to support it. For example, one of Ringtail Studios’ ongoing projects is co-development with Avalanche Studios’, Generation Zero. Where a machine uprising has left humanity fighting for survival in the 1980s. The style, consistent and reliable, is a rusted and DIY-look for every piece of survivor equipment!

Finally, the artists make it clear that your skill and growth through learning is integral in the highly competitive field of 3D art and game design.

If you’re in need of high-quality and consistent 3D art and art production, get in contact today and start benefiting from streamlined, scalable, and reliable outsourcing services. As part of Magic Media we have the combined bandwidth to tackle any project, at any size, in house. Instead of using multiple studios, you can come to your one stop shop, and we can offer a range of services to ensure your project is a success.