Question on art references

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving art assets.
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Raharabin
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Question on art references

#1 Post by Raharabin » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:55 am

Hey there,

My name is Raharabin and I am very new here.

I just started working on my first visual novel. While I have worked on a few games in the past this will be my first time using Renpy and working on visual novels, so I could really use some advice.

I think I need to hire some artists to make sure this game looks amazing, and I am not an artist, like at all. I’ve seen on this site lots of people do commissions and it looks really good, but I keep on hearing about giving references so that they know what I am envisioning.

That’s where I get a bit confused. Could someone explain to me what a reference is and what kind of references should I be looking for? If possible an example would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if this is a stupid question, when it comes to art I am a complete noob.

Thank you!!!

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puppetbomb
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Re: Question on art references

#2 Post by puppetbomb » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am

References, at its basest form, are usually images to give an idea of what direction to take when creating a design. A good reference conveys what color palette, mood, level of detail, and style you're looking for.

For the overall look and feel, screenshots or names of a few series/movie/game visually similar to what you're looking can be incredibly helpful. It doesn't have to be the same genre, and as long as the atmosphere and mood of the story is similar.

For characters, a 1-2 sentence summary of their personality, any important physical details (height, hair, skin tone, defining features like scars, props, any pertinent details for costumes) and/or previously commissioned works should be sufficient reference material for an artist.

Raharabin
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Re: Question on art references

#3 Post by Raharabin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:10 am

Ah I see, that makes a lot of sense. I've been trying to figure this out for a while now so this is incredibly helpful. Thank you for explaining it to me!

jdhthegr8
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Re: Question on art references

#4 Post by jdhthegr8 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:30 am

Haven't reached the point of making serious art for my own thing, but I've found that Picrew is GREAT for making reasonably accurate representations of a character. It's helped people reading my work have a decent idea of what my characters are supposed to look like while I'm still making it. It's still not perfect (in particular if you want a non-white character who doesn't look like a generic anime style the options can be pretty sparse), but it is good enough to serve as a template when you don't have any artist on the spot.

You can try it at https://picrew.me/ . The main site is in Japanese but it's pretty easy to figure out; just click a picture to load the editor that was used to make it.

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