Realistic or Photographic concept art is a technique that, as the name suggests, tries to give a sense of realism to character creation. And it’s done through mostly photo manipulation, taking elements of costume, clothing, texture and fabric from various image sources, and gluing them all together. If you’re working on a film or TV pitch, working with a fashion designer, looking to get an idea of how a future cosplay design may look, this technique is a style of concept art that stands out from the rest.
Traditional illustration work is able to capture costume designs of course, but it’s still going to be limited by it’s two-dimensionality. This technique pushes things to a place that is far more believable, giving clients the ability to have a better visual representation of the character or characters they want to bring to life.
It’s the type of style that requires not only a different approach to design, it also requires a level of patience and persistence. It’s not a case of just layering brush strokes in, we’ve got to learn how to manipulate photographic pieces and make them work for us.
So, this tutorial is going to cover the basics tools we’ll be using in our software, some principles of art and design, how to search for the right images, what out thought process has to be, and finally we’ll cover a project I created from start to finish, bringing to life a 2D illustrated character. This is a technique that’s going to take time to develop, so if you’re up for the challenge let’s get started.