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Is there space in the gaming industry for a fashion designer?

Hi there! I am a trained fashion designer with 10+ years designing womenswear for runway in London and LA. I am looking to pivot my career (covid19 hit real hard) and I am interested in whether real world hyper-realistic AAA game developers use researchers or consultants outside of the artists themselves? For example with a historical game or a specific look where a more nuanced knowledge of fashion history, garment construction etc is required?
I have heard Phillip Boutte Jr (Star Trek, Black Panther)  who is a 3D costume artist mention "researchers" but have not found any job descriptions so far... any advice would be amazing! 

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  • sharsein
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    sharsein polycounter lvl 6
    I think the artists mainly do the research themselves. They might contact an expert, but I don't think clothing expert is a full time career. However character concept art is mostly fashion design, 3d character artists use Marvelous Designer to simulate clothes in addition to using their sculpting skills, and there are cloth technical directors/artists dedicated entirely to making sure clothing behaves correctly. So your knowledge is valuable, but you'll need to build a portfolio showing it that also demonstrates the complementary skillsets.

    Claire Hummel is a good example to look at: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Yoy4V
  • garcellano
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    garcellano greentooth
    That's an interesting take. It would depend on the game. You pitch your idea or mention it to them, or they reach out to you, with what you can offer. What you know can help for character artists, I want to say. Without looking at it as a game, and just a project that needs a certain style or fashion to it, I'm sure it can come in handy.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe hero character
    Big studios absolutely do use costume designers or other such consultants - for evidence I'm fairly sure there's a documentary/promo video about the lengths they went to on horizon zero dawn.
    It'll tend to be on a freelance basis since its going to be more of a concept phase task

    How you'd approach them, I couldn't say though. 
  • geordie87
    @sharsein thank you so much for your thoughts, and for the link. Claire's work is so inspiring. 
    @garcellano I agree, and I think @poopipe is saying similar, that any available work would be individual projects feeding into supporting the character artist. @poopipe thanks for the rec, I'm watching the documentary on HZD now :)
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    Interesting topic:

    Here's a writeup about Lyn Paolo, Emmy award winning television costume designer recounting her thoughts when hired by Rockstar Games too work on GTA V.
  • Biomag
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    Biomag polycounter
    Looking at our team and project I don't think we have a costume designer, though maybe some of the concept artist have that background. The research is usually done by the concept artists themselves. Still I see there a little niche that could be interesting for costume designers that not only can do concept work, but also make the (high quality) Marvelous Designer assets. Just as a bridge between 2D and 3D to save the character artists some time. 
  • Neox
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    Neox ngon master
    poopipe said:
    Big studios absolutely do use costume designers or other such consultants - for evidence I'm fairly sure there's a documentary/promo video about the lengths they went to on horizon zero dawn.
    It'll tend to be on a freelance basis since its going to be more of a concept phase task

    How you'd approach them, I couldn't say though. 

    not only big studios. horizon is a good call. Karakter a small local design studio hired fashion designers to help them design for Horizon. And it absolutely makes sense. 3d artists usually just wing it, having no idea how certain cuts, pins and darts create cretain types of fittings, folds etc.
    I think the bigger the production and the more it leans on the realisisc side of things, the higher are the chances of fashion designers being involved.
  • Heatolian
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    Heatolian polycounter lvl 2
    My teacher is a texture artist. As a fashion designer, you'd probably have lots of knowledge about materials so why don't you start with Substance Designer and give it a try? 

    Here's the portfolio of my teacher: https://www.artstation.com/jappluz
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