Monthly Archives: February 2013


Released August 21, 2007 was another video game that inspired my field of study, Bioshock. Created by Irrational Games and 2K Games, Bioshock is based in the year 1960. The game begins with the player’s aircraft crash landing in the Atlantic ocean. Flames surrounding the area, the character has only one clear swim to land. This is where the player’s character, Jack, discovers Rapture. This underwater utopia consists of many deadly Splicers, Big Daddies and Little Sisters. By using Plasmids, which genetically alter Jack’s DNA, the player can use telekinesis, electrocution, fire and more with just a flick of his wrist. With modifiable guns and ammo available throughout, Jack must destroy Big Daddies who keep watch over Little Sisters. In order to collect genetically enhancing ADAM, Jack must either save the Little Sister or ‘harvest’ her. Bioshock was created for XBOX, PS3 and PC. The amazingly detailed graphics along with an enticing story line lead this game to receive multiple awards for Game of the Year, Best Visual Art, Best Story and more.


The screen shot I have chosen is from inside of Rapture. The first color that pops is the gold on the railings, then the red on the walls, down to the deep almost faded purple on the floor. These colors resemble an analogous color scheme of warm colors. The gold in the baluster and ceiling panels create a vintage feel. Complex molding, patterned balusters and intricate ceiling designs suggests the architecture has an Art Deco style.

One thing that always amazed me about this game was the attention to detail. The texture in the monkey wrench is so realistic, one would feel as though they can reach in and grab it. Looking closer, the artist even added touches of rust spots and embossed writing on the sides. The wood flooring leads the eyes forward creating depth, while the side cement pillars, stairs and upper level columns create space throughout the room. The walls are cracked and there is a glare reflecting off it, this suggests that the wall may be wet. There is also steam or smoke rising from the lower level creating an eerie and less visible view to the area below. The framed art hanging on each side of the hallway, along with double sided staircases create balance and unity in this scene. The large architectural pieces surrounding the character are proportionate in comparison to a normal sized male.

I enjoy the small aspects that Bioshock displays. The crumbled cement scattered and dusted on the floor, the graining of the hardwood, the red glow from the light reflecting off the wall, these things make a good game, exceptional. It takes a great team and great patience to create a game with illusionistic qualities. The artist needs to have an extreme knowledge of lighting and shading. This particular game art is what I hope to achieve one day. I would like to do environmental art for video games and this screen shot perfectly represents what I aim to create.  


Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda

It all begins with an idea, or even a dream. Born in Kyoto, Japan, Shigeru Miyamoto is the brains behind the Zelda series. As a child, he was a curious young boy with a vivid imagination and enjoyed venturing off to discover new things. This reminds me of another young boy, or Kokiri as he is called. Link, the main character in The Legend of Zelda series created by Miyamoto, was a young adventuring Kokiri. Sent off by Princess Zelda to find the scattered pieces of the Triforce and to later save the Princess from Ganon’s evil clutches.  

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The Legend of Zelda was released July 29, 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the first role-playing game for its time. Since the game was created for an 8-bit cartridge, the range of colors were restricted. The designers had to recycle colors for certain lands and dungeons. These colors were flat and the only form of shading was by the use of thin to thick lines. In the first and brighter picture one can notice the attempt of texture by the use of patterns. The bushes are a repetative green and the rocks are identical. The main emphasis in this screen shot is the bridge. It would be the first thing the player spots because it is their only route to continue on their quest. The brighter contrasts in color suggest the player is outside, compared to the darker colors of the second screen shot of a dungeon. The dungeon uses deeper colors to create a darker and more spooky effect. The colors on Link are also lightly saturated, the hair and outfit are slightly different from his outfit in the sun. The proportions between the old man and Link are perfectly matched. The Legend of Zelda might not appear as a work of art, but for 1987, this game was a hit!


Years later Nintendo released a more complex system, the Nintendo 64. Named for the fact that it housed a 64-bit cpu, this product provided game designers with more graphics capabilities. On November 23, 1998 Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64. Also created by Miyamoto, this game was the first Zelda to be in 3D. It has a wider range of colors which helps create more texture. In the first screen shot one can easily decipher grass from dirt because of its use of lines and multiple colors. The map, health and action icons are all more vibrant colors compared to game-play for easier view. Link’s fairy Navi, is also bright and has an aura around her letting you know that she is glowing. The scale of the surroundings and creatures make the game feel more real, enhancing the role-playing adventure.  


The second picture is visually stunning! The sky changes from day to night creating a glare on the player’s camera view depending on the angle. The value of the land gets progressively brighter as the sun rises. Distant areas have a darker contrast and Link’s shadow moves in perfect harmony with the rising sun.


The final picture from Ocarina of Time, is a hallway scene. I chose this picture because of the dramatic use of lines. The rug and patterned wallpaper help twist this room as the player actively runs through it. The pillars closest to the player are more vertical, but as one looks towards the end of the hallway, they become more horizontal. This hallway, paired with eerie music and a dark playing room, gives the ultimate playing experience for its time.  


The most recent Zelda game to date is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Released November 20, 2011 this game was inspired by Miyamoto’s love for impressionism. The sky is said to be his tribute to Cézanne. As the player looks off in the distance they will notice the images are blurred, but not how your average video game blurs. The distance blurs in Skyward Sword are more like brush strokes, similar to Monet. Also, the colors are brighter in comparison to Twilight Princess. Pastels rule the environment while vibrant colors decorate the main character, people and surrounding creatures. I was not a fan of the visual aspects of this game until I researched it. I have a much greater appreciation for the art in this title and I hope others can see the same.


My First Assignment







 Since I was young I’ve always had an interest in video games. My addiction began with Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt, it graduated to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, then from there moved to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The art in Twilight Princess was very beautiful to me, it was better than most games I had played before. Until the release of God of War 3. I have played all previous God of War games, yet none could compare to the exquisite beauty of God of War 3. The person behind the art? Andy Park, Concept Artist at Sony Santa Monica Studios, my inspiration for my career field choice.

The first work of art is a digital painting of a Centaur. The bright whites and medium yellows in the body bring the focal point up to the face. While the warm golds and browns bring out the muscle definition which help adds weight to the body.Protruding spikes on the chest and shoulders help bring balance to the characters texture. Deep reds and blacks in the wounds give gashes of surface depth that portray a fought battle. The armor on the Centaur shines bright in contrast to the of the body. Its smoothness lets the viewer know that it is a tough metal that can not be penetrated. The eyes focal point moves down the arm to the horse body, but then gets pushed back up by the lifted front hoof. This circular motion completes the eyes tour of a wonderful work of art.



The next piece is a picture of The Steeds of Time. This digital painting appears very quiet with its use of cool colors. The shades of greens, purples and deep blues on the horses body show the length of time the steeds have been submerged in water. The background has tints of whites and light blues with shades of dark blue and gray giving an overcast and calm skyline. The armor on the steeds stand out beautifully with bright whites, yellow and golds. The metal appears smooth and yet sharp. Ones eyes move up the armored mane to each distant steed. The colors with each horse become more saturated and foggy, this brings depth and a sense of distance to the art. The small birds near the last steed and in the clouds help show the proportion in comparison to the world around them. The artwork is properly balanced and with its beautiful use of cool colors, gives the viewer a sense of a complete and mellow painting.



The last piece to introduce is a digital painting of the main character Kratos in battle. This furious work of art comes to life with extreme movement. The lower character Kratos has spectacular body shading that brings out his muscle definition and strength. The chain from his Blades of Chaos fly up to the boss whose hammer catches ones eyes and brings forth a sense of danger. This leads the eyes further around to the angry face of the horse who is rearing in anticipation of a strike. The fiery reds give the emotion of anger, while the deep shades of green in the background darken the mood and bring out the fight as the dominant focal point. Specks of white give the appearance of water and more movement. Although there is so much action in the painting, it has magnificent balance and unity that helps bring this blood thirsty digital painting to life.