Concept Art – The Importance of 3D

A lot of artists ask why certain designs are done in specific ways. That’s because it renders greater work if we do so. We can always stick to one process but in art, mixing it up may turn out to be the best thing we can do. 

In this lesson, concept artist Gurmukh Bhasin was asked "There are some great designers out there, 2D drawings and 3D subject matter. Is that a trend, to do 3D concepts because art directors can have problems reading 2D drawings?" He moves on to explain why he thinks 3D concepts are really important. 

2D drawings are generally great for idea generating and moodiness. Its strength is in speed, presentation, and intuitive design. After all, drawing is generally much faster than modeling, right? 

Gurmukh says that if an artist is creating something tangible – like a vehicle for example – it’s something you can relate and almost put to life because it is real in life. Sometimes drawing something in a 2D perspective will not give you a 100% result. And this can be a huge impact in your overall design. Why? 

To quote Gurmukh, “When you go to build these assets for a film or for a game and the perspective is off, then they have to change so much of the concept, that by the end, they're not necessarily getting what they initially bought into. The whole idea with 3D concept design is to pass on the designs, something that people know what they're getting themselves into, they know what they're getting as an end product.” 

He shares his experience with creating for Star Citizen and he says that when he designs ships for the game, his concept goes to a certain level. “I'm passing off the 3D concept with 2D concept art. Eventually, the people who are making the game models end up making more changes to it because maybe there's things I had missed or forgot, they have to adjust them to add power plants and they have so many things that go into these ships but at least I would say 70% of what I design makes it through to the game.” This gives the 3D artists a chance to put a spin to his concept and give it their own personal footprint, making the design cooler. 

Accuracy is one of the properties that 3D concept can offer creative artists. Doing 3D rendering can give you accurate materials like lighting and such. Visually, it’s closer to the real thing so any audience that looks at it won’t have to think twice to know what it is exactly. 

“I've come to realize through the work that I do that when people feel like they can hold what you're creating or they can feel like they relate to what you're making. They look at it and it tells a story for itself.” ~Gurmukh 

If you take a look at concept design jobs out there, 2D is still available for anyone who want to work with it. But more and more, 3D is becoming a requirement for concept design because Gurmukh says it’s easier to sell ideas and designs to people who understand your creation right off the bat. And this can only happen with 3D concepts.