How to create key art for video games in Photoshop and Blender

Key art tutorial
(Image credit: Adrien Cantone)

Generally, I’ll get commissioned for a keyframe when a game is reaching the end of production and there are already plenty of visual resources to rely on. In this case, it’s the other way around. The studio Strangers, for which I currently work as a lead artist, needed a keyframe in the pre-production of Trailblazers, a top-down sci-fi RPG in which you manage crews on gigantic landships. 

In this instance, you have more responsibilities than when creating an artwork for a game at the end of production, as the keyframe will be presented to potential commercial partners. But you have the advantage of working with a more malleable project, which implies a greater creative freedom. In both cases, the purpose of the keyframe remains the same: to generate interest and convey the various themes of a complex project in a single image, all without straying too far from what the final product will offer.

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Adrien Cantone

After working as a freelance concept artist for studios such as Sony Pictures Animation and Amopix, Adrien became a lead artist at Strangers.