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Art Direction Bootcamp: Building Worlds Through Shape Language

Patrick Faulwetter  (President, Patrick Faulwetter Studio, LLC)

Location: Room 2001, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 19

Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits - Get your pass now!

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Tutorial

Tutorials: Art Direction Bootcamp

Vault Recording: Video

In order to inform the process of building imaginary worlds for video games and movies, this talk aims to examine the term "culture" as "story" which expresses itself in the physical world. The story of a culture is written in a myriad of particulars from architecture, customs, symbols, values to transportation systems. Starting from a philosophical perspective, Patrick will show the practical process of using 2D and 3D tools to build shape languages from abstract shapes as a foundation for designing different subject matters for world building including vehicles, costumes, architecture and environments.


The talk will introduce tools to translate the abstract concept of culture into a visual language. Attendees will learn creative strategies of creating visual shape languages, how to create variety and continuity in shape language and how to apply the concept of shape language in concept art .

Intended Audience

This talk intends to build a bridge between a narrative-driven and art-driven approach to world building by framing it as a wholistic, collaborative process. In this sense, it relates to everybody interested or involved in the process of "world building", specifically to concept artists, level designers, art directors, writers and storytellers. The talk approaches the use of 2D and 3D techniques more from the perspective of "why", rather than of "how", and therefore doesn't require deep prerequisite knowledge.