Wednesday, October 10, 2012

SwissNex Boston Video Game Art

Swissnex Boston the Consulate of Switzerland in Cambridge MA held a panel discussion on video games and art on Wednesday October 10, 2012. The guest speakers were Chris Solarski and Terrence Masson. Solarski was on a book tour for his tome, Video Game Art. Terrence Masson teaches at Northeastern University in Boston and brought along copies of his book, CG 101, Version 2. They were introduced by The Deputy Consul, Andreas Rufer.

Adreas Rufer, Deputy Consul

Chris Solarski is an author and Artist Game Designer. His studio is in Zurich Switzerland. Solarski explained that he was focused on classical art applied to video games. He explained that old masters created art on a hidden system of lines. The lines and angles in the pantings suggested eye movement along the lines or circles. He called them "emotion generating slopes." Reubens suggested circular movement of the eyes. Others used triangles to represent sharp movements as opposed to smooth transitions. He said "everything can be reduced to very primitive shapes." When designing video games there is the background, the middle ground, the foreground, the barriers and the goal.

Chris Solarski, Author, Artist Game Designer

He showed the Mario figure which is round. He is a circular figure in a circular environment. His job was to eliminate the angular shapes. The objective was to create harmony. If both shapes are present there is dissonance. He said his favorite game is The Agenda of Zelda.

Mario and Wario

He explained the role of controller as the means through which the observer, the player, interacts with the video environment. The player can change the environment and the message being expressed in the video game. Reality is complex. The player can be seen as the conductor as in a symphony orchestra. The conductor influences and changes the music.

Example of Triangles in Classical Painting

Solarski did not mention the role of light in creating an environment. He may have assumed that it was understood. He discussed the difference between an observer of a painting which remains static, and the video game environment which changes and is changed by the observer.

Terrence Masson, Executive Professor of Creative Industries 
College of Arts, Media and Design, Northeastern University.

Terrence Masson mentioned his travels and his participation in producing 20 films, including Titanic, and Batman. He also contributed to the creation of the Bruce Lee video game. He reported that he is originally from Boston and returned to his current position Executive Professor of Creative Industries, at Northeastern University in their College of Arts, Media and Design.

Terrence Masson (l.) and Chris Solarski

He said he has a BFA in art history and graphic arts; and worked in animation for film production. His passion was very apparent. He was especially excited about his students who come from many backgrounds and disciplines to immerse themselves in the various means of visual expression. He said they are history, English literature, Health Sciences and Engineering majors.

Example of Sharp Angles, Triangles in Classical Art

No comments: