Pirates of the Burning Sea: Art Evolution Journal

The guys over at MMORPG.com have another dev journal for Pirates of the Burning Sea. The journal takes an in depth look at the evolution of graphics in their upcoming MMORPG. Lead artist Bruce Sharp compares the difference between screenshots from over a year ago and the screenshots of today both in pictures and words.


When I started my first day at Flying Lab Software, I’d seen the game in screenshots on the web and once during my interview. The course was clear in terms of what was missing from the game’s artistic direction: Romance! The game looked antiseptic in its art style, as if a lot of technical issues had been solved but few artistic issues had yet been explored, at least not the big, sweeping broad strokes that ultimately define the style or “voice” of the game’s imagery. As an artist I’m a true believer in the idea that the simple but abstract parts of an image, like the color palette (derived in our 3d space from the color of the ocean, sky, ship textures, direct light, ambient light, and distance fog), are where the image’s true power is; once established in an appropriate (and hopefully exciting) way, the image can then be populated with detail and content successfully. At the school where I’ve been teaching art since the early 90’s, I’ve noticed that a lot of students have this notion exactly backwards – most think that an image’s power comes from the details, which is where they put almost all of their energy, while ignoring the larger strokes like color, contrast, soft and hard edges, etc. Sadly a lot of game companies practice this same philosophy.

Follow the link to read the rest.

The guys over at MMORPG.com have another dev journal for Pirates of the Burning Sea. The journal takes an in depth look at the evolution of graphics in their upcoming MMORPG. Lead artist Bruce Sharp compares the difference between screenshots from over a year ago and the screenshots of today both in pictures and words.


When I started my first day at Flying Lab Software, I’d seen the game in screenshots on the web and once during my interview. The course was clear in terms of what was missing from the game’s artistic direction: Romance! The game looked antiseptic in its art style, as if a lot of technical issues had been solved but few artistic issues had yet been explored, at least not the big, sweeping broad strokes that ultimately define the style or “voice” of the game’s imagery. As an artist I’m a true believer in the idea that the simple but abstract parts of an image, like the color palette (derived in our 3d space from the color of the ocean, sky, ship textures, direct light, ambient light, and distance fog), are where the image’s true power is; once established in an appropriate (and hopefully exciting) way, the image can then be populated with detail and content successfully. At the school where I’ve been teaching art since the early 90’s, I’ve noticed that a lot of students have this notion exactly backwards – most think that an image’s power comes from the details, which is where they put almost all of their energy, while ignoring the larger strokes like color, contrast, soft and hard edges, etc. Sadly a lot of game companies practice this same philosophy.

Follow the link to read the rest.

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