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Communicating with Programmers

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#21 tswalk   Members   


Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:17 PM

trying to learn how to program as an artist is actually rather hard... its' just a very different way of thinking and approaching a problem.

i studied/degreed in art, and later decided to pick up programming (sadly started with assembly, and now many years later working with C#).. so i think i can completely relate to the OP.

the odd thing about all of this, as a profession... i did NEITHER as a whole, i became a technical manager (the middle man of IT.. you know, sorta like the guy in this scene from "office space":

does it hurt to understand how a part of your projects workflow functions to do what they do?  nope.  is it necessary to do it as well as they do? nope.  but i think it can help to understand.

I honestly believe artists and programmers are very similar... creative, complex, and abstract thinkers.

so, to begin programming?  I would say to NOT pick any particular language, but rather learn the concepts to build a good understanding.

Simon Allardice did a couple great training videos on Lynda.com that I took and found to be excellent starting places, "Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals, and Object-Oriented Design".   They are mostly language independent, but show a few examples of concepts in different languages to show syntax differences, etc...

then i would say, pick a language that YOU want to learn.

#22 Kyall   Members   


Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:16 AM

As a programmer I fear that people might not understand me more than I might not understand them. But my brain tends to compartmentalize everything so I might seem like I don't have a clue what you're talking about sometimes.

"Whats the progress on it?"
"What what ? What it ? What is this it? "
"The thing we were talking about 5 minutes ago"
"Oh right, I reckon I've figured out how to do it, will tell you if I succeed"

Generally if a programmer ever says something you don't understand; make them explain it, jargon isn't jargon, it's a concept that has a name.
I say Code! You say Build! Code! Build! Code! Build! Can I get a woop-woop? Woop! Woop!

#23 krippy2k8   Members   


Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:44 AM

Generally speaking I think the bigger concern is the other way around. As a programmer who has spent many a day dealing with artists, the biggest barriers to communication have been when I didn't understand the content creation process well enough and was unable to effectively communicate the necessary constraints or requirements, or fully understand the implications of such from their perspective.

So I got myself a subscription to Digital Tutors and spent a couple of months learning what I could about developing game assets with Max, Maya, ZBrush and MotionBuilder, and typically now I spend at least a couple days a month doing the same, and the communication has become much, much easier.

This is probably not something that every programmer will be able to or want to do, but as somebody else mentioned, there should be one guy on the programming team that can act as liasion between the technical and artistic sides, and it would be a good idea for that person to have a reasonable understanding of the content creation process.

#24 RobTheBloke   Members   


Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:40 PM

Prefer talking often, to talking longer.
Prefer sketching small isolated ideas, to excessive feature planning.
Don't always talk at the same desk. Alternate!
'Knowledge transfer': The programmer needs to understand your problems, you need to understand theirs. (alternating helps to see it from both viewpoints)
A pint after work usually solves the very worst problems.

#25 tswalk   Members   


Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:34 PM

A pint after work usually solves the very worst problems.

definitely, unless you've both had a bad day and are lookin' for Trouble (capital T style).ha!

#26 swilkewitz   Members   


Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:25 PM

Don't forget about tech artists, who are middlemen between artists and programmers. A Google search brought up this result: http://www.creativeskillset.org/games/careers/profiles/article_5287_1.asp

#27 superman3275   Members   


Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:34 PM

I think programming has made my mind far more, I don't know how to describe it, uniform. I am constantly thinking about programming, different errors, how I'm going to program something, new features for things I program, etc. I never really stop thinking about programming. I believe I'm the kind of person who easily gets off task, so my mind darts to programming. That's good in a way, because I'm constantly thinking of new solutions to problems, and it's really easy for me to go on a jog or work out and come back with fresh ideas. But it's a bad thing also, because what RobTheBloke described constantly happens to me. I feel like I can solve problems better as a whole now, though.

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