Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Visual Composition

As I said in my last blog, composition is a thing I never engaged in my work, throughout my art education there was never a real involvement of it, no actual referencing to “make sure the composition is right.” University was the first time I was told to truly look at comp and apply it effectively to my work, or rather got a jist of it. Looking at composition and how if effects work has really opened me up to how important it can be. For a quick example, recently I had done a painting of Bradgate Park for a visual design project. The reference materials i had gathered led me to create something that looked a bit off, the image was meant to look hilly in a distance view but the piece looked more like a more direct uphill image. Applying the thought of “the right composition” I was able to correct this, fantastic.
Aside from thinking about it on a personal level, most types of “art” need some kind of composition, exclude fine art from this because some people can go mad with something and get it called art. In the idea of level design within games, composition can effectively make a piece of crap and pretty sweet environment. But wouldn’t designers go through the process with composition first? Possibly, sometimes the idea of a level is taken from plot based reasons i.e. cover, well placed machine guns, spawn points etc. In my head I just have a feeling they go “yeh we’ll let em spawn here cause there’s that rock they can hide behind” sounds stupid but some of the interviews I’ve seen games designers have said things like this. Luckily though there are those few who think…

The composition could have a large effect on how a game plays out, think about a level in any game, it doesn’t go from point a to b in a straight line even with obstacles in your way the re-occurrence of this would just be redundant causing companies to fail.
The way it works is that you are able to drop down to lower areas, go through different terrains so you don’t get bored with the same rocks over n over again. REACH is a prime example here; the game allows you in 1 level to go through multiple well designed and shiny areas, within one environment. It keeps you interested, that’s the MAIN point. You find new areas to hide so health re-builds and to reload; you battle across new terrains and find effect uses for it. Same with racing games, if the track was always the same what would be the point? Even saying different shaped tracks within the same setting would be crap.
Variety is the spice of life.

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