Six stalks of rice - creating plausible content

Quah, D 2009, Six stalks of rice - creating plausible content, Masters by Research, Media and Communications, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Six stalks of rice - creating plausible content
Author(s) Quah, D
Year 2009
Abstract Production design, art direction, set design, costume design, make-up, props and special effects all have key roles to play in the "suspension of disbelief" which is essential to the success of motion pictures and computer games based in the fantasy / science fiction genre. Digital special effects technology has enabled even more detailed and complete visual depictions of fantastic concepts. The way things look, the materials they seem to be made from, the way they move and appear to operate, designs which allude to functionality, and decoration which suggests culture, underpin the credibility of pseudo-realistic and alternate worlds.

I have been employed in some of Australia's most successful computer games production companies working as an Artist. In this capacity, I've had the opportunity to work in various roles, such as conceptual artist, texture artist and modeller, and at times animator. In my experience pre-production time is limited, sometimes non-existent. Most often it is done on the side during production. My role in these instances has been to design a creature and visualise it in 3D complete with textures. The budgeted time for me will not take into account the fact that the creature needs to be designed. Texturing is usually a more critical phase as it gives colour and surface property to the creature, and needs to be consistent in terms of style across the game. The lead artist is usually in charge of reviewing the work to ensure that all creatures appear to exist in the same world.

Currently, as a professional digital artist, I specialise in the production of conceptual art, 3d character models and textures. Over the years, my commitment to my profession gives me an informed understanding of the field, locally and internationally, and has nurtured my career as well as satisfying my personal interests. Furthermore, I engage in computer games activities, not only for pleasure but to keep up to date with current games standards and to observe and appreciate from the perspective of an Art Director, how great digital art contributes to a player's sense of immersion and satisfaction. This is particularly important with the next generation consoles such as PS3 and XBOX360 slowly becoming the norm, as these machines allow far more detailed worlds to be created. It is a thrilling experience to navigate through a well designed game environment.

In my experience, insufficient time was devoted to this aspect of production design, and because of the pressure of deadlines, we tended to draw upon a shallow range of references. The impetus of this investigation is to test whether more rigorous initial research and reflective pre-production processes could be beneficial to the creation of persuasive, convincing and entertaining pseudo-realistic worlds.

I believe then, as I do now, that this is a critical phase in the game production cycle when visualising fantasy based worlds.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communications
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Created: Tue, 29 Mar 2011, 13:29:50 EST by Guy Aron
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