50 great artists in game design, animation and development

50 great artists in game design, animation and development

There isn’t an artist in history who wasn’t inspired by the creative giants before him. Exploring (and studying) the work of past and contemporary masters is a crucial step in the growth of any young artist.

By analyzing great artworks, you can get an idea of ​​what works and what doesn’t. It’s one of the easiest (and most fun) ways to learn the basics of composition, lighting, and design, and it’s also a great way to unwind at home.

And while looking at beautiful images doesn’t teach you the technical side of CG, it does help you get the most out of your tools and software. Nothing replaces good solid practice, but these artists’ portfolios can be an incredible source of inspiration, reference and motivation.

industry legends

Before we get to the people who work at CG today, here are (just a few) the men who helped make entertainment design what it is today. There are definitely some omissions, but it’s a good place to start if you want to take stock of your story.

  • Will Eisner & Jack Kirby – Perhaps the most important ancestors of the comic book genre.
  • Frank Frazetta – One of the greatest fantasy painters of all time. Certainly the best known.
  • Frank, Ollie & The Nine Old Men – Legendary animators from Disney’s Golden Age.
  • Jean “Moebius” Giraud – One of the most imaginative visual minds to walk the earth.
  • Syd Mead – Blade Runner & Aliens – what else can I say? Oh yeah, he’s probably the greatest futuristic illustrator of all time.
  • Ralph McQuarrie – The man who designed Star Wars. It doesn’t get more legendary than that.
  • Stan Winston – The god of makeup and monsters.
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Concept Design/2D Artist

This list reflects a fairly strong interest in environmental design, but it’s still worth exploring if your own interests differ.

3D artist

Alright, here comes the main event! Obviously there are thousands of professional 3D artists out there, so it’s impossible to list even a fraction of the good ones. Some of them are among the most well-known artists in the industry:

  • Alex Alvarez – Creature Sculptor, Founder of Gnomon, and one of the men directly responsible for the wealth of good CG online training we enjoy today.
  • Allesandro Baldasseroni – His play “Toon Soldier” is wonderful.
  • Pedro Conti – A truly fantastic stylized work.
  • Marek Denko – One of the ruling gods of photorealism.
  • Cesar Dacol Jr – Sculpture of Creatures.
  • Joseph Drust – Insane ZBrush stuff with a hard surface.
  • Scott Eaton – Classic Anatomy Sculpture, Ecorche. His anatomy style is probably our favorite in the industry.
  • Tor Frick – A master of low poly/optimization. Recently it’s been making waves, creating an incredible level of play with a single 512px texture sheet.
  • Hanno Hagedorn – His work for Uncharted 2 is amazing.
  • Andrew Hickinbottom – CG pinups galore!
  • Kevin Johnstone – World class environmental artist from Gears of War.
  • Ryan Kingslien – Teaching Anatomy.
  • Stefan Morell – Its industrial environments are outstanding. He is also an excellent texture artist.
  • Mike Nash – Lots of great hard court games. (NSFW)
  • Neville Page – Concept Sculpture/Character Design (Avatar, Tron, Star Trek).
  • Scott Patton – Conceptual Sculpture/Design Creature (Avatar, John Carter). He and Neville pretty much paved the way for ZBrush as a design tool.
  • Victor Hugo Queiroz – One of the best toon modelers in the world!
  • Wayne Robson – Mudbox Master, Environment Artist, Plugin Author and FXPHD Instructor.
  • Jonathan Romeo – Very nice character work.
  • Rebeca Puebla – Stylized models rendered very realistically.
  • Jose Alves de Silva – Also one of the best toon modelers out there! (Seriously, it’s impossible to choose between these two types).
  • Manano Steiner – His study of Richard McDonald from a few years ago is one of our favorite ZBrush pieces.
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Traditional artists/illustrators

And finally, a few wonderful artists who like to take a more traditional approach:

  • Max Bertolini – fantasy illustration, very much in the style of Franzetta.
  • John Brown – Sculpture Maquette.
  • James Gurney – Fantasy illustration, creator of Dinotopia and author of two very good art books.
  • Stephen Hickman – Fantasy and Science Fiction Illustration.
  • John Howe – See above (The Lord of the Rings).
  • Alan Lee – Fantasy illustration, key designer of Lord of the Rings.
  • Richard MacDonald – Wonderful, wonderful classical sculpture.
  • Jean Baptiste Monge – Imaginative illustration.
  • Jordu Schell – Traditional Model Sculpture/Overwhelming.