Concept Art Software: A Guide to Choosing the Best Concept Art Software

Creating a design and underlying theme for a movie, video game, comic book or animated film is essential before the pieces can be put together.

The art of concept design using hand drawn samples came into being with the first animated films. It involved countless hours and tedious revisions to map out the ideas. Concept art software has become an invaluable tool, saving a lot of time and frustration. Choosing the best concept art maker can be tricky but following certain guidelines will help you make the right choice.

What is Concept Art Software?

The first thing to know about graphic design programs is that not all of them are robust enough to handle concept art creation. Most of them have a raster graphics editor and a vector graphics editor for static images. Only advanced graphic design software includes the features needed to create concept art.

What Do You Need to Create Concept Art?

Gaining a sense of what is needed to create concept art can be achieved by understanding what the artist is required to know, and it is far more than meets the eye:

  • A comprehensive understanding of human and animal anatomy that enables the artist to animate believable body proportions and mechanics.
  • A knowledge of physics that can be applied to a credible relationship between anatomy and character movement.
  • A detailed awareness of the fabrication processes required for manufacturing tools, weapons, vehicles and aircraft.
  • A thorough schooling in perspective, color, composition and architectural design for creating plausible environments.

The concept art software must have the capacity to perform according to the skills the artist utilizes in creating the designs.

How to Choose the Best Software for Concept Art

Concept art is developed through several iterations, all shown to the project's clients, directors and investors for review. The most practical concept art maker program includes timesaving illustration features and tools that increase productivity:

  • The ability to create complex compositions
  • Painting and drawing tools that allow you to draft your ideas
  • The ability to output in many different formats

Essential Tools for Concept Art Design

A concept artist can use a variety of styles for the design, such as illustration, Manga, photo art and fine art. The concept art maker must provide the ability to block in shapes, establish form, develop light source, set the color mood and add texture. Along with the technical tools, the best concept art software provides the essential tools for creating the artwork:

  • Composition — craft the perfect composition for the environment.
  • Sketching — quickly sketch concepts during brainstorming sessions with a wide selection of realistic pens and pencils.
  • Brushes — use full color texture brushes, air brushes, blenders, glow, glazing, stamps and watercolor.
  • Layout — use the concept art palette encompassing the features to streamline the process.

The Concept Art Maker for Professionals and Novices

For a visual or print media project, several solutions are explored before agreement is reached for the final design. This work is done almost entirely on a computer using graphics software. With the proper skills and the best concept art software, the overarching theme that eventually becomes the finished product can be produced with an expert touch. Whether you are a professional concept artist to have some great ideas of your own, choose the concept art software that gives you the best of all worlds.

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