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Create a cyberpunk character in Photoshop

For this workshop, I’ll take you through the stages for creating artwork for card games – in this case, the character Noise for Android: Netrunner, produced by Fantasy Flight Games. 

Illustrating images for card games has some special considerations to keep in mind that make it unique from other types of creative work. Readability is always a concern, because card game images are often printed very small and should be recognisable at a glance. 

This isn’t to say that they can’t be detailed, but complexity often comes at a price. Particularly in the Android game world, avoiding over-elaborate imagery can be tricky, because the setting naturally combines futuristic tech, intricate interfaces, and complex characters with the backdrop of a gritty, dystopian world. Striking a balance between creating a compelling scene and what needs to be communicated becomes an art form in itself. 

While there are many approaches that will enable you to accomplish this, doing so in a way which achieves that balance is the key. Composing an effective card illustration takes practice, and while I’m still in the process of learning myself, 

I hope to share some techniques I’ve learned along the way, which will help you to bypass some of the usual pitfalls.

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Matt is a full-time concept artist by day, and illustrator by night. He’s painted for a variety of products, with his largest body of work being featured in the Android: Netrunner universe.