Tech Artist Bootcamp and Interviews
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We are the premiere (and only!) community focused on tech art for games and film. Whether you're looking for tips on creating tools and pipelines, help with using a language or API, or just want to hobnob with some of the best technical artists in the industry, tech-artists.org is for you. Anybody who's anybody in the tech art world - and plenty of people outside of it - are a part of our great community.
Executive Producer, GameDev.net
GDC '11 Tech Artist Bootcamp
This past GDC, Jeff Hanna from Volition organized with various other technical artists a "bootcamp" tutorial session with the focus of educating instructors, studio management and other technical artists about the role of TAs and the skills needed to be proficient in this field of the games industry.
Tech-Artists.org has the compilation of slides and videos that came out of this session:
.zip with all 8 talks (No videos)
Keith Self-Ballard “In Advocacy of Tech Art”
Scott Goffman “Making Tools Your Artists Will Use”
Rob Galanakis “Ending The Culture War”
Seth Gibson “TA Personality Assessment”
Steve Theodore “Epic Fail”
Adam Pletcher “Tech Art and Databases”
Bryan Moss “Using Sim Data In Realtime With Video Textures” (Videos)
Bronwen Grimes “Shader Techniques in Portal 2”
You can also visit Tech-Artists.org for additional notes and discussion on the session.
Recently an email was sent out by Jeff to begin discussing details for another bootcamp at GDC 2012 - so keep your eyes peeled both here and over at Tech-Artists.org for more details as they become available!
Technical Artist Interviews
Bill Crosbie from the IGDA Educational SIG spent some time at GDC '11 interviewing a number of technical artists, 18 in total, and has posted these interviews on his YouTube channel. The goal was to talk to both professional tech artists and students to get a better understanding of what was needed for a more formal education in the field of technical art.
He's selected 5 of his favorite for us to feature below. Check them out for a revealing look into what it means to be a technical artist in the industry today and how people would like to see their field evolve in the years to come.
Jeff Hanna, Senior Technical Artist at Volition and leader of the Technical Artist boot-camp at GDC11, describes what it means to be a technical artist in the games industry.
Rob Galanakis, TA for CCP Games, talks about the importance of programming and why a TA must learn to be 'ruthless' to help better the production environment. Don't miss this one!
Craig Goodman, Insomniac Games, shares some laughs and really deep concepts about the need for TAs to be broadly educated, perpetually asking questions about the world and always learning. This video is a little longer, but stick with it to the end. It's worth it.
Bronwen Grimes, TA for Valve Software, discusses why it is important for a TA to have flexibility in both education and job structure.
Ben Cloward, TA for Bioware Austin, talks about how a TA can solve huge problems or automate complex tasks quickly through the power of scripting, resulting in more time to engage in other creative work. Also, he gives a stern warning for students looking to enter the industry with work that is 'good enough' in school.