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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Illustrating Tamriel: Creating Key Art for 'The Elder Scrolls Online'

Lucas Slominski (Senior Concept Artist, ZeniMax Online Studios)

Location: Room 2006, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 21

Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm

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

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

'The Elder Scrolls Online' releases four content updates per year. Each update is accompanied by a highly-detailed key art illustration, produced in-house and used as a focal point of the corresponding marketing campaign. In this session, Lucas Slominski discusses compositional strategies for crafting a compelling narrative within a single image, and details the character-centric visual storytelling techniques he employs to enhance dramatic tension and expand the emotional resonance of key art. Using a recent illustration as a case study, the artist summarizes his meticulous approach for creating these images within the various constraints imposed by competing stakeholders. He also outlines parameters used to select approved compositions, and shows how forces external to the artist often influence the final result of key art.


Attendees will learn about visual storytelling strategies intended to maximize the narrative impact of marketing illustrations, and receive an overview of the production process used at ZOS for executing high-resolution, realistic key art. They will also gain an understanding of the various competing factors that determine the final product of key art for a high-profile online game like ESO.

Intended Audience

Intended primarily for concept artists, illustrators, art directors, and brand managers interested in narrative storytelling, and familiar with the basics of digital painting pipelines.