Environment Art Direction for Games with Cecil Kim


Environment Art Direction for Games with Cecil Kim

Today, The Gnomon Workshop releases an amazing DVD series from renowned visual development artist Cecil Kim. This two volume series, titled Environment Art Direction for Games will guide you through Cecil’s production workflow, beginning with ideation, thumbnail, and sketching phases in Volume 1: Ideation Sketching, through tonal and full color painting in Volume 2: Painting Concepts. Throughout both DVD’s, Cecil discusses not only the technical and artistic process he uses to create his amazing environment concepts, but also what makes these techniques and processes so successful in a production environment.

Environment Art Direction for Games
Volume 1: Ideation Sketching

DVD Description:

In this first DVD of a series, Cecil will demonstrate how he quickly produces various design options using traditional drawing tools such as markers, ink pens and mechanical pencil. Cecil will guide you through more than eight environment production sketches describing how he creates various drawing concepts to support creative leads and a production team on a daily basis. He will begin with concepting the main fortress buildings for a game level idea, continue with rough thumbnailing of the organic building profile, and also create a hi-level production vista shot of a city concept using pencil. Street angle environment layout and futuristic design are explored as well. Learn how Cecil establishes perspective layout, filling it with architectural details, as well as how he designs the surface of the abstract shapes he initially starts with.

"Cecil’s visions of Olympian worlds put blood back into the marble. His legendary ability to teach others to create these for themselves is a double marvel."

– Iain McCaig
Illustrator and conceptual designer

Environment Art Direction for Games
Volume 2: Painting Concepts

DVD Description:

In this DVD, Cecil takes the initial idea sketches created from the first volume of this series, “Ideation Sketching” and paints them digitally using Adobe Photoshop®. From ten-minute building shading to coloring a vista layout for a futuristic city, Cecil will use basic painting layer techniques to put down value, color and lighting into multiple scenes. During this process, Cecil will also edit the structure design of some sketches as he paints them. Watch as Cecil breaks down his efficient workflow; demonstrating how he preserves line drawing as he separates value and color in multiple layers, and focuses more on readability and defining shapes rather than surface material rendering. This technique allows him to quickly present painting concepts for a production team to review.

"I have had the pleasure of working with Cecil for the past 8 years, during which he proved to be a driving force behind the vision of the God of War series. He has a combination of skills that give him an unlimited range, and command attention in this industry. On the first day I worked with Cecil, I was in awe of the beauty he created. Today, I am still in awe. His art truly inspires me."

– Stig Asmussen
Video game developer

Instructor Bio:

Cecil Kim has been working as a concept artist and illustrator in the entertainment industry for the past 15 years. Originally from Seoul, Korea, Cecil moved to the U.S. with a dream to pursue an art career, and studied Illustration and Fine Arts at the prestigious Art Center College of Design. Cecil began his career in the game industry as a cinematic storyboard artist for SquareUSA. With strong layout and detailed environment sketches, he began designing memorable locations in Final Fantasy IX and later joined Sony Santa Monica Studio where he devoted seven years of his career creating the God of War series as Visual Development Lead. Cecil also teaches at various institutions such as Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Art Center College of Design and Otis College of Art and Design where he serves as Concept Art Area Head. From hi-level production art to prop design, Cecil’s intuitive and energetic artistic style has been inspirational creative fuel to the directors and production team at Sony Santa Monica.

Cecil Kim

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