Game artist: caught clipping

game artistA game artist goofup

A game artist has a hard life.

You spend years – nay, a lifetime – honing your skills and craft. You sketch incessantly, driven by your passion for visual expression. You paint, you sculpt, you design, you draft.

After your traditional art training, you pick up the digital tools of creation. Your fingers are constantly molded to a mouse or a Wacom stylus. Your eyes grow bleary from texturing armies of space soldiers and modeling armories worth of fantasy broadswords. Day after day, night after night, you trudge into the office to tweak pixels to satisfy the lead game artist or please the whims of some publicity flack.

Or you’re rendering a cover shot for the art director of a major videogame industry magazine.

And then, dear game artist from the mega-AAA title Gears of War 2, you <ahem> goof it up royally and send the art director this shot of Gears of War hero Marcus Fenix ingesting a Locust drone…

through the side of his face.

This is a phenomenon known as clipping, if you’re new to the game design world. Two gameworld objects, one personal space. Happens a lot in even the best videogames. It’s tough to get complex interactions between animated objects without a few polys getting intersected here and there.

On the other hand, it’s not every day that you see the faces of two characters mashed through each other on the cover of a big gaming mag.

In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever seen it.

So… happy holidays, Mr. Gears Game Artist. I probably should’ve kept my mouth shut, and made your life a little easier. But I couldn’t believe what I saw, and I had to share at your expense.


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