Wednesday, August 28, 2013

TESV:Skyrim - Solitude

Early in development, I literally go to the drawing board and get set to working out ideas with markers and colored pencils. This is useful in many ways and I find the connection with paper to be far more engaging than working on a computer screen. For one thing there are no distractions like emails popping up or the ever present temptations of the internet clawing at my basal ganglia for dopamine. 

Most of these drawing will never be used as they tend to be a means to a conceptual end. It's a way of narrowing down our choices to find the right path. 

After all of this sketching I start to get to the business of rendering out more finished pieces in Photoshop that ties together all the ideas settled on by us. 

I'm certainly not the first person to realize this, I attempt to find the character of a city and the environment it occupies. That is what helps to drive the design more successfully. 

“If you start with character, you probably will end up with good drawings.” - Chuck Jones

All Images Copyright Bethesda Softworks LLC, All Rights Reserved 2011


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! These are absolutely wonderful. I love that the half-timbered houses isntantly tell you that you are dealing with an Imperialised city, a pretty good contrast to the ancient, somber Windhelm. And that Blue Palace looks very impressing.

Ray Lederer said...

Hey thank you so much! I really appreciate the kind words. We really tried to give each setting its own story and personality and I'm glad you were able to glean that sense of history from the design.

RogerH said...

These are beautiful Ray! I really love your environments. I also appreciate the nuggets of wisdom you add to your blog posts. I also find it refreshing that you can still do traditional drawing and sketching at Bethesda. I assumed that most game studios were pushing for fully completed digital paintings on a daily basis. The games themselves have that hand crafted quality and I wonder if it does have to do with taking the time away from photoshop and just connecting with the art in a traditional way. -RogerH

RowenaW said...

Ah solitude, my favorite city, although in game it appears lighter and less moody. Same with RogerH, I do appreciate that you are really trying to establish the ip there and you can actually do some traditional media. Nowadays it seems that working with photos are preferred, I personally think pencil sketches are still quite sexy. Thanks for sharing with your stuff, I am a fan of sky rim the world you create and your work.

Unknown said...

Absolutely fantastic artwork. All of your Skyrim concept design is incredible.

Sarah Marie said...

Hello Ray Lederer,

This is probally a long shot but here goes!

My name is Sarah Im a new fan of your works and Skryim thanks to my amazing partner Paul, it was the first computer game I had ever played (besides the Sims) and the amount of hours I spend just wondering around admiring the detail in the very game just astounds me.

Paul showed me your game when I was going through the most difficult time in my life. My abusive ex partner kidnapped my son and refused to let me see him all because I left him. Not only did I move on but I found true love and happiness and a family in Paul and his incredible 3 children. He has been there for me helping me to stay strong for not only my son or his own children but for me and for that I can never thank him enough.
He is honestly the most selfless person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and every minute of everyday since I have met him I am thanking him for choosing me.

I was hoping that I could possibly purchase one of your game sketches? I just feel that I need to get him something truly special for Christmas to not only show him that I appreciate everything that he has done for me, but to thank him for not letting me give up on having my son returned home to me.

Kindest regards

Sarah Marie