They say timing is everything in game design, comedy, and so many other things, but framing is often forgotten. Putting characters and objects in the right position, to grab the attention of your audience is so important in all kinds of art. But how do we do it - by framing and using some tools I haven’t mentioned yet.
First, is the rules of thirds. Especially with digital art, putting a rules of thirds image in front of everything, it is so important. It allows you to place things properly, because nothing is more boring than putting something right in the middle. Always keep your dominant feature off to the side. Especially something like a tree. Imagine, you turn the corner on a huge hill, and see a fantastic mystical tree where a player needs to go, and the tree is just to the left side, and the branches go off to the right, obscuring the sky. That is possible with gaming.
Framing gives a sense of story, whether it is the subtle heart beat I gave Trolly and Trollette, romantically holding each other, looking into each other’s faces, or my renders of planet earth - one in the upper corner, teasing the start of something coming to Earth, or the render where it is the bottom corner, teasing a great journey is about to start.
Framing is everything that makes this happen. Once you get use to these principles, you don’t even need to think about them, they happen naturally (BTW, I drew the embrace before I downloaded the grid and golden ratio curve).