Approach to Graphical Designs

The rules that help portray World of Tanks in the right way are grouped into several categories:

  • TANK ACTION
  • AUTHENTICITY AND REALISM
  • MODERNITY

It is important to remember that these divisions are synergistic and provided to simplify understanding. The categories work together to portray the general creative concept.

 


Tank Action

The action of tank battles is the spirit of the game, transferring the player to the heroic past. Images should reflect the dynamic and challenging drama of tank battle. Visual communications maintain a feeling of expression, power, urgency, and exertion. The plot is of secondary importance. The main objective is to convey the energy and pathos of a fire fight between armored vehicles.

Keep in mind the following rules, when working with the promotional materials:

1/ The tank is an aesthetic object and should be presented in the most powerful way:

Find a strong, interesting perspective,
where the tank has a dramatic, recognizable silhouette, which creates a feeling of monumentality of its basic forms and shapes.

Be accurate with scale: place the horizon line at usual eye level or above (bottom-top sight). A cartoonish, toy-like appearance (created using top-bottom look) is unacceptable.

Carefully consider graphical details such as, tracks, chassis, armor texture, chips, bends, impact traces, soot, dirt, clouds of dust, ground, snow, etc.

Do not hypertrophy the proportions and perspective (fish-eye, inverted perspective, etc).

2/ Avoid using more than three main tanks in the foreground. Additional tanks should not attract too much attention, playing a subordinate role in the scene. Including too many tanks decreases the scale, individuality, and impact of the vehicles in the foreground.

3/ Outline the silhouette of the tank: it should always be distinct and not dissolve into a background. Keep in mind that the tank is the principal character. The surroundings are of secondary importance and should contain a minimum of detail.

4/ Generalize the tank’s surroundings, making conventional ground, sky, and landscape elements. Use a distant horizon line to create the feeling of immensity.

5/ Small thematic details such as explosions, flames, flying sparks, fumes, dust, and shrapnel are very important. these elements create the feeling of a real tank battle. Together with fire lightning effects these details effectively unite the scene, intensifying emotional engagement with the image.

6/ Do not overwhelm action scenes with huge elements. do not cover the horizon line and distant planes. Place relatively small objects connected to battle action in the foreground. For example, blasting cones, explosions, fire, ground rutted by tracks, wreckage, etc. Larger objects such as buildings, ruins, forests, and damaged vehicles should be placed in the background. This emphasizes the scale of the tanks and intensifies the feeling of a distant horizon.

7/ Do not complicate the plot and composition. It should be simple, yet dynamic. do not include elements that divide the image into various scenes. There should be no “image in image” or other techniques that create multidimensionality or a surreal look to the design. The scene should always be consistent.

 

All these methods add a poster look to any illustration. Keep that in mind, when creating an image for a different purpose.

 

 


Authenticity and Realism

In contrast to fantasy and sci-fi universes, the project is based on a real historical setting. Promotional art should enhance the feeling of authenticity and realism of the game world, preferably elevating the perception beyond a visual level.

The most important graphical element for conveying authenticity is the texture of the tank armor. This element is the same for all tanks and countries. It embodies armored vehicles regardless of personal tastes and preferences, while communicating a high level of quality. We use the texture of real tank armor as one of the main branding elements. Rough grainy metal with grooves and battle damage, welding seams and worn out paint intensify the feeling of realness at the level of tactile perception.

Realism is a common feature of the project’s brand style. We strive to maximize realism in the game and promotional images.

1/  Images should contain only real objects presented in a photorealistic manner, or edited photos.

2/  Avoid illogical plots and images. Use imagery and elements typical of the WWii era. Consider the technical culture of tanks and engineering in the middle of the 20th century.

3/  Avoid historical and technical mistakes. We work in a real historical context. It is important to know this context and stay within its boundaries. Do not use modern technologies and mechanisms. The same principles are used for tank images: all details should be authentic and placed in an appropriate way. Remember that tanks are asymmetrical in their structure – never mirror them (flip horizontal).

4/  Light-shadow balance and color schemes of the illustrations should be typical of color photography from the 1930s and 1940s: shadows are dark, indistinct and lack detail, while highlights are bright, vivid and true-to-life.

5/  Do not use incidental random metal textures. In most cases, these textures have no relation to real tanks. the use of incorrect textures is clearly visible and ruins the branding component.

6/  Do not use old paper texture in project materials. This texture evokes a feeling of frailty, negligence, and old age, which contradicts the main brand features.

7/  Additional non-metallic textures must be associated with the WWii era and culture. exhaustion, wear and tear as a result of hyper-environmental exploitation, and the impact of a hostile environment such as scratches and spots of oil should all be visible. However, these characteristics are of secondary importance – they might be present, but should not be overemphasized.

 

It is important to consider the difference between textures related to the exhaustion of technical mechanisms versus those of deserted or neglected mechanisms (rust, thick layers of paint), or injuries and death (fabric with blood). These are negative associations and should not be used.

 

 

 


Modernity

The core style is formed by the tanks. While technical aesthetics of the 20th century are followed, World of Tanks aims to provide up-to-date design of both the game and its promotional materials. World of Tanks competes with a number of other glossy, modern entertainment forms. For this reason, historical military vehicles are presented a modern, bright, and stylish wrapping.

In a broad sense modernity is reflected in all promotional materials as a key emotional message. World of Tanks strives to convey the feeling of modernity, fashion, and trend consciousness, without losing the historic appearance of the tanks.

1/ Use tank images created by computer rendering of 3D models when possible. When editing or rendering these images, correct only the most visible drawbacks of the model.

2/ If a photo of a tank is used as an original image, always edit the image to remove the feel of modern digital photography. Repaint the tank above the photo using drawing methods common to the CG and game industry.

3/ In some cases it is acceptable to color shift the palette to more fashionable colors of present day pop culture and youth-oriented mass media.

4/ Do not use visual effects that have been widely overused by documentaries and documentary photography for designing movies, websites, and exhibitions: old photo paper, corrosion effects, dirty concrete textures.

5/ Pictures should be energetic and dynamic. Their perspectives and spirit should follow principles of modern advertising posters and photography.

 

For some promotional materials, such as at exhibitions, we intentionally hypertrophy the feeling of modernity. In such cases we use advertising techniques and methods that exceed the boundaries of the principal style. Art objects created for these situations should not be used in other circumstances.

Be extremely cautious and prudent when choosing how to modernize images. It is very easy to produce tacky or kitschy results. This can cause a loss of identity and negative reactions from the game community.

You must hold focus tests with project ideologists: directors, history advisers, as well as tank and historical experts. Once approved in focus tests, you should contact the brand manager for final approval of your creative idea.