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Technical Artist

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Technical Artists (TAs) act as a bridge between the artists and programmers working on a game. They ensure artists have the tools they need to create assets efficiently and to specification. They develop asset creation pipelines that ensure assets are easily integrated into a game without sacrificing overall artistic vision or exceeding the projects technical budgets. Technical Artists work as part of the art team, and coordinate closely between art leads and programmers.

The main areas of responsibility for Technical Artists include setting up and maintaining the art production workflow and maximizing the artists’ development process. Technical Artists are also charged with investigating new techniques and implementing them within the team. The job often includes an instructional element, where Technical Artists share their knowledge with other artists via training and mentoring sessions.

Technical Artists typically work one step removed from direct creation of art assets. They set up the systems of production and solve problems as they arise. By focusing on alleviating technical bottlenecks for the art team, Technical Artists free up programmers to focus on other areas of game development. It’s crucial for Technical Artists to keep up-to-date in changes in technology, in terms of hardware, art packages, and new asset creation techniques.

Technical Artists are expected to be able to design and create custom tools to improve the efficiency of the art team. They play a key role in providing feedback and debugging complex game asset systems. They will research and oversee the implementation of particle systems and pixel shaders as well.

Responsibilities

Work closely with lead artists to spec, implement, and continuously improve tools based on desired production practices and workflow.
Responsible for development of software tools in all areas of the art production pipeline.
Coordinate with game team on tool and process integration and optimization.
Must have strong technical skills, including experience in software design & implementation and knowledge of math & physics theories.
Must have demonstrable artistic skills and knowledge of color and lighting in digital media.
Must be able to document all tools on internal wiki and educate artists on the use of all new tools.
Ability to create efficient real-time and multi-level shaders a plus.

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