Assassin’s Creed 3 Interview – Concept Artist Gilles Beloeil
Sean Gibson / Nov 5th, 2012 No Comments
We caught up with Assassin’s Creed 3 concept artist Gilles Beloeil, who is helping promoting a new book available at major online book retailers, The Art of Assassin’s Creed III, a lavish hardback packed with never-before-seen concept art from the upcoming game. The hardcover book sells on Amazon for under $20 so be sure to check it out if you’re an Assassin’s Creed 3 fan. If you haven’t checked it out already, be sure to check out The Evolution of Assassin’s Creed.
Gaming Illustrated: How much research went into perfecting the American Revolution and Native American designs in the game? Which one was harder to execute?
Gilles Beloeil: Because we want to be historically accurate, the Assassin’s Creed team always does a lot of research about the time period the game will take place into. Even historians are with us to help on this. Fortunately, there is tons of information about American Revolution and Native American history, so none of them was more difficult than the other, in my opinion.
Gaming Illustrated: Is it difficult striking a balance between historical accuracy and just “looking cool” for a game? Does that same issue come up when working on making the distinctive multiplayer characters?
Gilles Beloeil: Take historical events and characters and make them look cool, this is exactly what our job is about. We don’t invent a new world but instead we learn how it was at this time and we design it as we think it will fit in the AC world. And yes, we have to find the good balance, because they are both equally important.
Gaming Illustrated: Do you often borrow themes/designs from previous entries in the series to make the look
cohesive across the bar?
Gilles Beloeil: It is still an Assassin’s Creed game, so even if everybody wanted something new and refreshing, we had to stay in the AC universe, so the previous AC are still in our minds when we work on a new one. It is very important to stay coherent in our approach.
Gaming Illustrated: What were some of the more difficult environments to execute?
Gilles Beloeil: After working on Venice, Rome, Florence and Constantinople, it was difficult to make a Boston street epic. There was a lack of iconic places in these brand new cities. So we had to find different ways to make them interesting to look at and it was the big challenge indeed.
Gaming Illustrated: What was the difficulty in getting an authentic look with the Native American characters in the game and not having them simply be stereotypical archetypes of what Native Americans have been popularly portrayed as in popular media?
Gilles Beloeil: When we work on an AC episode, we become very curious about the cultures that will be involved in the game. So instead of just looking what has already been done in movies for example, we did a very serious historical research and asked advice from people from these cultures too. We always learn a lot of things when we work on AC, and personally, this is why I like so much working on this brand.
Gaming Illustrated: Since the Assassin’s Creed series has used events and people from history in the plot of the games, is there a mandate for the art to be historically accurate or is it a balance between that and the artists’ own artistic license?
Gilles Beloeil: Historical accuracy is something very important in the AC series and we have to stick with it in a certain point. But we are free to bring our own vision in the way we stylize it. It has to fit in the AC world too.
Gaming Illustrated: Artwork in AAA titles such as what we’re seeing in shots from Assassin’s Creed 3 often inspire a new generation of artists to jump into the gaming industry. What advice could you give to these inspiring artists?
Gilles Beloeil: I would say that it is important to work your fundamentals first, by learning how to draw, how to paint, understand how design works. Studying master works is a fun way to learn too. Software will never do the work for you. It helps you to work faster and to have more control, but you have to know what you are doing. There are no magic tricks.
Gaming Illustrated: Any final words that you’d like to pass along to your fans?
Gilles Beloeil: I would say that I hope they will enjoy both the art book and the game. We are very proud of
what we achieved on Assassin’s Creed 3.
We’d like to thank Gilles Beloeil for his time and candid answers and Tom Green for putting together this interview!
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