These two pages contain concept art from the video game Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Conspiracy, created by the artists at High Moon Studios. Several alumni and a former instructor from The Art Institute of California–San Diego held roles in the game’s production. “This is the type of title that just about every Game Art & Design student strives to be a part of in their professional career; it’s great to see recent grads, some less than a year out of school, participating in a project of such high caliber. We are extremely proud of our graduates, and it’s amazing to see their hard work come to life in a game such as this,” says Jean Branan, director of career services.
Most people would not classify the 3D imagery found in a video game or a film as “art.” Perhaps it’s because they are looking at moving sequences rather than still frames. Yet, if folks had the chance to see the beautiful sketches that form the basis for the animated imagery, they would indeed agree that the term “art” is fitting.
A few months ago, The Art Institute of California–San Diego, in collaboration with High Moon Studios, presented a gallery exhibition of artwork from Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Conspiracy video game. The third-person action title features a blend of hunter-prey activity with dramatic escapes, all designed around the Jason Bourne character’s signature combat style, popularized in the trio of feature films and described in the best-selling novels.
The Art Institute had a special interest in the game: Several of its alumni assumed a role in the development of the game.
“Given the success of the Robert Ludlum trilogy and the popularity of the Game Art & Design and Media Arts & Animation program, The Art Institute of California–San Diego was thrilled to showcase the talent of its alumni and faculty member who took part in the game’s evolution,” says Jody Auslund, public relations/communication coordinator at the school. “The focus of the exhibit was to showcase the talent of our alumni and the caliber of student coming out of our programs.”
This is the first time the school has hosted such an exhibit, though its graduates have worked on numerous popular games in the past, including Guitar Hero World Tour for the Wii, Midnight Club Los Angeles, and EverQuest II.
The eight students who worked on the Bourne game include: Charles Bradbury, environment artist; Tyler Wanlass, associate prop artist; Don Ott, associate prop artist; Jason Copeland, prop artist; Carlos Dominguez, technical artist; Jess Morris, cinematic animator; Chad Campbell, associate character setup artist intern; and Michael Vincent Castro, associate game designer. Alan O’Brian, a former Game Art & Design instructor at the school, assumed the role of animator.
All the images showcased at the exhibition were crafted in Adobe’s Photoshop CS2, and each image was created to provide a specific mood.
“I get to play for a living. As someone who transitioned out of the engineering industry into games, it’s a dream come true,” says Dominguez. —Karen Moltenbrey