Last week we had posted an interview with Robert Sammelin about the concept art he had done with Battlefield 3, this week we are continuing that interview with Battlefield 4.
Since the beginning of February, I have been revisiting the Battlefield franchise with a look back at the titles and concept art created for them since it began with Battlefield 1942 with a few sketches on paper all the way through to the likes of Hardline and Bad Company.
We’ve seen concept art evolve throughout the franchise’s ever growing development and we have had the wonderful opportunity of chatting to some incredible concept artists and developers about the franchise.
After 8 articles about it since February we are coming to an end with the Art of Battlefield series – though don’t get too sad as we will be adding more Battlefield themed articles and fan art in the future.
Below we have one final interview with Robert Sammelin, but before that happens I would like to take a moment to thank Dan Mitre for working with me in the creation of these articles and also to Robert Sammelin and Patrick O’Keefe for taking the time out of their schedules to chat about their work too!
Escape The Level: Robert, Welcome back to Escape The Level and thank you once again for taking a look at the concept art with us!
Robert Sammelin: Thanks!
Escape The Level: So, a new game and an entirely new look at things with Battlefield 4 – What has changed compared to Battlefield 3’s approach that we discussed in our last article?
Robert Sammelin: More concept artists, haha! I was more or less alone for BF3, with more people joining as we went along.
For BF4, we were no less than five people.
Escape The Level: Would you be able to share some insight into the Sinking Car / Hallway pieces we are showing here?
Robert Sammelin: Those were us visualising a few key beats in the script and level flow.
Robert Sammelin: Yes, definitely. The team grew from one guy (me) to five and we still drowned in work, haha. We definitely planned for a lot more concept art this time around Exploring more varied environments requires a lot of visual work, even in the concept and discovery phase.
Escape The Level: Can you provide a bit of insight into the expansion key art created, how long did each take?
Robert Sammelin: I’d say about a week, but they leaned heavily on prep work from the main key art’s photo sessions, so taking that in regard, it took longer. The main key art usually takes me a few months to make from start to finish, meaning sketches, through photoshoots, and painting. It’s important pieces of marketing art, so we spend a lot of time and effort to get it right.
Escape The Level: Siege of Shanghai is probably one of the most played maps, what details can you share when working on these pieces?
Robert Sammelin: That was a massive challenge, with the technical elements and visuals. We did countless iterations on everything, from the look of buildings down to adverts, always aiming for a spectacle like none other.
Escape The Level: Can you give us a little insight into the character uniforms?
Robert Sammelin: Sure, it’s one of my favourite aspects of Battlefield games.
Like always, we work closely with the character artists, researching endlessly, drawing up ideas and then bringing in military expertise and getting hold of real equipment that we end updressing mannequins in.
In doing so, we can get a great understanding how things merge and fit, and also where to put the flare, the style, and where to tweak and change. We revise concepts back and forth when doing this, attending to every detail.
When you have a real life sized Battlefield soldier in front of you, it helps to set colour schemes and define the classes between themselves.
What we see in front of us is what goes into the game. In the end, it’s like real life sculpting, a rare occurrence in video game production.