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What is Production Art?

Definition of Production Art

Production art is a type of digital art that is created specifically for use in media production. It includes various types of artwork, such as character designs, environmental art, storyboards, and concept art.

Purpose of Production Art

Production art plays a vital role in media production as it helps to convey the story and enhance the visual elements of the final product. The use of production art helps to bring the vision of the creators to life and allows for a more immersive and engaging experience for the audience.

Versatility of Production Art

One of the key benefits of production art is its versatility. Digital art can be easily modified, resized, and manipulated to fit a variety of media formats, making it a popular choice for media production. Whether it’s for video games, film, television, or advertising, production art can be adapted to suit the specific needs of each industry.

Examples of Production Art

Production art can take many forms, such as:

  • Character designs: These are used to create the look and feel of characters in media production.
  • Environmental art: This includes backgrounds, landscapes, and other environmental elements used in media production.
  • Storyboards: These are used to plan out the visual elements of a scene or sequence.
  • Concept art: This is used to create the initial visual concepts for a project.

Overall, production art is an essential component of media production, allowing creators to bring their visions to life and create a more immersive experience for the audience.

Techniques for Creating Production Art

Creating production-ready art requires the use of various techniques to ensure the artwork meets the standards of the media production industry. Here are some of the most effective techniques for creating high-quality production art:

Drawing and Painting

Drawing and painting techniques are often used to create detailed and expressive characters. This can include using software like Photoshop or Procreate to create digital sketches and paintings. These tools allow artists to create high-quality, detailed artwork with a range of brushes, colors, and effects.

3D Modeling

For environmental art, 3D modeling is a popular technique that allows artists to create detailed and realistic environments. This can include using software like Maya or Blender to create 3D models of buildings, landscapes, and objects. These tools provide artists with the ability to create highly detailed and complex environments that can be used in a variety of media productions.


Compositing is another technique that is often used to create special effects and composite different elements together. This can include using software like After Effects or Nuke to combine 2D and 3D elements and create complex visual effects. This technique involves layering multiple elements to create a final image or video, allowing artists to create highly customized and detailed visuals.

Matte Painting

Matte painting is a technique used to create highly detailed backgrounds or environments in film and video games. This can include blending a series of photos or 3D models to create a seamless, realistic environment. Matte painting can be done using software like Photoshop or other specialized tools, allowing artists to create highly detailed and realistic backgrounds that can be used in a variety of media productions.

By using these techniques, artists can create production-ready art that meets the needs of different media production industries. Each technique has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the right technique for the job at hand.

A Beginner's Guide to Production Art: Techniques and Tips

The Role of Production Art in Media Production

Production art plays a vital role in media production, helping to create compelling visuals that captivate and engage audiences. In media production, visuals are essential in conveying the narrative and capturing the viewer’s attention. Production art helps to create a visual language that communicates the story and creates an immersive experience for the audience.

Production art is used in various types of media production, including video games, movies, and TV shows. Examples of production art in media production include:

  • Character designs: In video games, character designs help to create unique and memorable characters that players can identify with and relate to. In movies and TV shows, character designs help to bring the characters to life and make them more believable.
  • Concept art: Concept art is used in movies, TV shows, and video games to create a visual representation of a concept or idea. This can include anything from the design of a new world to the look and feel of a new character.
  • Environmental art: Environmental art is used in movies and TV shows to create immersive, believable worlds. In video games, environmental art helps to create interactive worlds that players can explore and interact with.

Production art is essential in media production as it helps to create a visual language that communicates the story and creates an immersive experience for the viewer. By using production art, media producers can create compelling visuals that engage and captivate audiences, making their content more memorable and enjoyable.

Section IV: Creating Production-Ready Art

Creating art that is production-ready involves following best practices and tips to ensure that the art is optimized for media production. It is important to consider factors such as resolution, color space, and file format to ensure that the art is optimized for its intended medium. Below are some tips for creating production-ready art.

Best Practices for Creating Art for Media Production

  1. Understand the technical requirements: Different platforms may have different technical requirements for the art used in media production. For example, video games may require different technical specifications than film or television. Understanding these requirements is crucial for creating art that is production-ready.
  2. Use high-resolution images and textures: High-resolution images and textures help create detailed and high-quality artwork that is suitable for media production. This is especially important for large format prints or high-resolution digital displays.
  3. Optimize file sizes: Large file sizes can slow down production time and are generally not ideal for media production. By optimizing file sizes, artists can help speed up the production process and ensure that the art is easily accessible for use in different mediums.
  4. Use appropriate color profiles: Using appropriate color profiles is important to ensure that the colors in the art appear correctly in the intended medium. Different mediums have different color requirements, so it is important to use color profiles that are compatible with the target medium.

Tips for Creating Production-Ready Art

  1. Pay attention to composition: Composition is important for creating visually appealing art that draws the viewer in. Using techniques such as the rule of thirds and leading lines can help create visually interesting compositions.
  2. Consider lighting: Lighting is an important aspect of creating realistic and engaging art. By paying attention to lighting, artists can create a sense of depth and mood in their artwork.
  3. Use perspective: Perspective is important to create a sense of depth and dimension in art. Using techniques such as vanishing points and foreshortening can help create a sense of realism and depth in artwork.

By following these best practices and tips, artists can create production-ready art that is optimized for media production.

Concept Art for Production

Concept art is a vital part of the pre-production stage of media production. This type of production art focuses on creating visual concepts for media production, which can include everything from character designs and environmental art to storyboards and keyframes. The purpose of concept art is to help visualize the ideas and concepts behind a project before it goes into production. This can help to identify potential issues and explore different creative directions. Concept art also helps to set the tone and style of a project, providing a visual reference for the production team.

The Importance of Concept Art

Concept art plays a crucial role in the development of media productions. It provides a visual representation of the ideas and concepts behind a project, which can help to ensure that all members of the production team are on the same page. By creating concept art, designers and artists can explore different creative directions and identify potential issues before they arise. This saves time and money during the production process, as it allows changes to be made before any work is completed.

Tips for Creating Effective Concept Art

Creating effective concept art requires attention to detail, experimentation with different styles and techniques, and consideration for the practicality of the design. It’s important to create designs that are both visually appealing and functional for the intended purpose. Here are a few tips for creating effective concept art:

  • Research: Before creating any concept art, it’s important to research the project thoroughly. This can help to identify the style and tone of the project, as well as any practical considerations that need to be taken into account.
  • Sketching: Sketching is an essential part of the concept art process. It allows designers to explore different ideas and concepts quickly and easily, without committing to a final design.
  • Detail: Paying attention to detail is crucial when creating concept art. It’s important to consider every aspect of the design, from the overall shape and composition to the smallest details.
  • Experimentation: Experimenting with different styles and techniques can help to identify the best approach for a particular project. This can involve trying different color palettes, brush styles, or even media.
  • Practicality: While it’s important to create visually appealing designs, it’s also important to consider the practicality of the design. Designs that are too complex or difficult to produce may not be practical for the intended purpose.

By following these tips, designers and artists can create effective concept art that helps to bring their creative vision to life.

Tools and Software for Production Art

Production art requires the use of various tools and software to create high-quality artwork. Some of the popular software options for digital art production include Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Maya, and Unity.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a versatile software used for both photo editing and digital painting. It is a popular choice for creating concept art and illustrations for media productions. It offers various brushes, filters, and effects that help artists create high-quality artwork. Photoshop is suitable for artists who want to create detailed artwork and manipulate images with precision.

Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya is a 3D computer graphics software used for creating models, animations, and visual effects for films, television shows, and video games. It offers a wide range of tools and techniques that help artists create realistic 3D models. Maya is suitable for artists who want to create complex 3D models and animations for media productions.


Unity is a cross-platform game engine used for developing video games and interactive experiences. It offers various features and tools that help game developers and artists create high-quality games with ease. Unity is suitable for artists who want to create art for video games and interactive media productions.

When choosing software for production art, it’s important to consider the specific needs of the project and the requirements of the target medium. Different software options may have different strengths and weaknesses, making it important to choose the right tool for the job. For instance, if you intend to create 3D models, then Autodesk Maya could be the appropriate software to use. Similarly, if you want to create digital paintings, then Adobe Photoshop could be the best tool for the job. By choosing the right software, artists can create high-quality artwork that meets the needs of the project.

Careers in Production Art

The field of production art offers many opportunities in the entertainment and media industries. Production artists are responsible for creating artwork that meets the needs of various media productions, including video games, film, television, and advertising.

Types of Jobs Available in Production Art

There are several types of jobs available in production art, such as:

  • Concept Artist: Concept artists create the initial visual design for characters, environments, and objects in a media production. They work closely with art directors and production designers to develop the overall look and feel of a project.
  • Character Designer: Character designers specialize in creating the visual appearance of characters in a media production. They work with writers, directors, and concept artists to create characters that fit the story and tone of a project.
  • Environmental Artist: Environmental artists create the visual design for the world in which a media production takes place. They work with concept artists and art directors to create the look and feel of a setting, including landscapes, buildings, and interiors.
  • Visual Effects Artist: Visual effects artists create the special effects and visual elements that are added to a media production in post-production. They use a variety of digital tools and techniques to create realistic and engaging visual effects, such as explosions, fire, and other special effects.

Preparing for a Career in Production Art

To prepare for a career in production art, it’s important to develop a strong foundation in art and design principles. This can be achieved through formal education, such as a degree in art or design, as well as self-directed study and practice. It’s also important to gain experience using digital art tools and software, as well as developing a strong portfolio of work that demonstrates your skills and abilities.

Attending workshops and networking with industry professionals can also be helpful in preparing for a career in production art. This can provide opportunities to learn from experienced artists and designers, as well as making connections with potential employers.

In summary, pursuing a career in production art requires a combination of artistic talent, technical skills, and industry knowledge. By developing a strong foundation in art and design principles, gaining experience using digital art tools and software, and networking with industry professionals, aspiring production artists can prepare themselves for a successful career in this exciting field.


In conclusion, production art is a crucial part of media production that enables artists to create engaging and captivating visuals that tell stories in powerful and immersive ways. Understanding the techniques and tips involved in creating production art can help you create art that meets the needs of different media production industries.

We hope this beginner’s guide has given you a solid foundation for exploring the exciting world of production art. Whether you are interested in creating concept art for the next blockbuster movie or designing characters for the latest video game, there is a world of opportunity waiting for you.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about production art, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to provide you with more information and help you get started on your journey as a production artist.