The Art of Atomhawk Design: Volume 1

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9780955153020: The Art of Atomhawk Design: Volume 1

Founded in 2009, Atomhawk Design Ltd has quickly developed a reputation for delivering exceptional concept art for the film, game and online industries. The Art of Atomhawk Design: Volume 1 presents a variety of sketches and work-in-progress images from some of this young studio's most successful projects, along with a selection of inspirational personal pieces. From breathtaking action scenes to mind-blowing futuristic environments, this book provides a tantalizing insight into the creative mind of a professional concept artist and demonstrates how a team of experienced industry veterans can turn a simple idea into a captivating visual feast.

As well as boasting an impressive portfolio of concept work, Atomhawk Design have worked with some of the best entertainment companies in the business, including Ubisoft, Warner Bros Games and Nether Realm, on projects such as Wheelman, Mortal Kombat, Dead Island and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.

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About the Author:

Atomhawk Design Ltd was founded in 2009 by four highly talented and experienced industry veterans from the legendary Midway Games Inc. Led by Director, Cumron Ashtiani, the company has rapidly developed a reputation for delivering exceptional concept art for the film, game and online industries. As a team they fully understand what it takes to compete in the entertainment and digital online sectors. Their clients need the most creative art and design work, executed to the highest possible standards in order to say ahead of their competition, and Atomhawk provide this without fail.

Cumron Ashtiani
Residence: England
Position: Director/CEO of Atomhawk Design Ltd
Cumron Ashtiani has over fourteen years experience in the games industry and has worked as lead artist and studio art director for a number of high profile companies including Midway Games, Kuju Entertainment and Black Cactus.

Corlen Kruger
Residence: England
Position: Lead Concept Artist
South African-born, award-winning concept artist Corlen Kruger was lead artist at I-Imagine Interactive before moving to the UK to join Midway Games and, later, Atomhawk Design.

Pete Thompson
Residence: England
Position: Lead Concept Artist
Pete Thompson has a background in freelance illustration and during his time at Midway Games worked on titles including TD Overdrive, Wheelman and Necessary Force.

Steven Pick
Residence: England
Position: Lead Graphic Designer
An experienced artist in the games industry, Steven Pick was Senior UI Artist at Midway Games before helping to found Atomhawk Design.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Foreword

From 2004 to 2008 I was working for Midway Games in Chicago as a visual art director on the game Stranglehold, and later as creative visual director for the studio. Whilst I was there I was leading the Chicago concept group, and was involved in many different projects taken up by the different Midway studios. It was during this period that I was introduced to the work of a group of artists working at Midway Games in Newcastle, England, on a game called Wheelman. I remember being at my computer reviewing the different projects that were to be presented during our annual company summit, and as I was scrolling down the presentations my finger suddenly froze. The concepts I was looking at were stunning. The environment pieces were strong, dynamic and demonstrated an excellent understanding of composition, mood and light. They were also very clear and had all the visual information necessary for production. Similarly the character concepts and story panels showed a remarkable sense of realism and storytelling. They were both dynamic and well executed. I instantly found myself wishing that this team was working with me in Chicago.

A few months later Midway Games was no more and as everyone went their different ways looking for new opportunities, I found myself wondering what would happen to these artists. It didn’t take long for me to find out. I was settling into Dallas to art direct Rage for id Software when I was contacted by this same group and told of the creation of Atomhawk Design. I was very impressed and excited to find out that these talented artists had decided to take a big risk and start a studio from scratch in a difficult economy. Having been part of the creation of a new studio in the past I was also very aware of how difficult and challenging such a decision can be.

The game industry is large and competitive and when one company creates a successful IP it doesn’t take long for the competition to try to emulate that success. To be successful, however, and to make sure their games don’t get labeled as inferior look-alikes”, companies constantly need to find ways to technically and visually stand out. This is why concept art has become an indispensable part of the entertainment industry. Good concept art is about conveying interesting ideas and setting up compelling visions. As an art director I am always looking for those artists that not only have great skills, but can also provide me with solid and original concepts to bring strength, excitement and uniqueness to a project.

In just a few years Atomhawk has managed to do just that. Not only have these artists anchored themselves firmly in an uncertain industry, but they’ve managed to do it with great skill. The art in this book not only showcases a variety of subjects and ideas, but also demonstrates a keen sense of storytelling. This is what concept art is all about: skills, technique and originality; a good understanding of the production pipeline and the needs of the clients; the ability to create unique characters, bring compelling designs to vehicles and create environments with a strong narrative. In short, it is about creating visual excitement and establishing a unique, compelling vision.

Atomhawk Design has proved that it can produce great work that stands out from the crowd. As an art director I can only be excited. As a concept artist these guys will keep me on my toes. I have no doubt that our paths will cross again and look forward to the day when I will have the opportunity to work with such a talented group. Until then, I remain a big fan.

- Stephan Martiniere

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