GDC 2012 Wrapup


Another year, another amazing GDC and in particular the showing by Tech Art. Here’s the rundown on what went down:

2nd Tech Artist Bootcamp
Another wonderful bootcamp with lots of new speakers! We had well over 100 people at any given point during the day. What a great audience!

Below are the slides from all the bootcamp presenters. If you want to see another bootcamp next year, please tell us what you liked and didn’t like and what you’d like to see covered. Also if you have any ideas for non-lecture things to do (like the ‘lunch with a presenter’ we did), I’d like to hear them.

[li]Adam Pletcher (Volition): Bootcamp Introduction PDF PPT[/li][li]Arthur Shek (Microsoft): PDF PPT[/li][li]Rob Galanakis (CCP): Teaching Tech Artists to Build Technology PDF PPT[/li][li]Seth Gibson (Intel): Build it on Stone PDF PPT[/li][li]Ben Cloward (BioWare): How Embedded Tech Artists Unite Artists and Programmers PDF PPT[/li][li]Jason Hayes (Volition): Lessons in Tools Development PDF PPT Videos[/li][li]Wes Grandmont III (343): Realtime Rendering Tips & Techniques PDF PPT Videos[/li][li]Will Smith (Volition): Illuminating Night Windows in Saints Row the Third PDF PPT[/li][/ul]

Roundtables Galore!
This year we had a hand in all the Art roundtables. First, we had the inaugaral VFX Artist Roundtable. I went to all 3 and wow, this was a huge success. We now have a VFX Community-specific subforum located here. I was amazed by all the new faces I had never seen at the other roundtables! Drew did an amazing job moderating, like a real pro.

The Tech Artist Roundtable saw another huge year and may be the longest running GDC roundtable now. Jeff was excellent as always.

The Tech Animator Roundtable was in its third year and it was very relevant. It has taken an overall character and performance focus which I think fills in some important areas other roundtables don’t cover.

And we also infilitrated the Lead Artist/Art Director roundtable, with Keith Self-Ballard moderating it, who was a Bootcamp presenter last year. Presence
TAO was out in force. Lots of t-shirts, lots of visibility. Makes me feel proud, and excited for the future. We had a small meetup on Tuesday (and really several other nights during the week), but the most amazing thing was our dinner Friday night.

I want to give a huge thanks to Seth Gibson for putting that together. There were almost 50 of us. On the night after GDC. That is amazing. There were probably not even 50 TA’s that knew each other at GDC a few years ago. Now you can get 50 of us in a room even after most of us have left!

After the delicious, crowded, and loud dinner, about 20 of us marched up to the top of San Francisco to drink at the Tonga Room Tiki Bar, which I have a feeling is going to become a destination. There, we drunk ourselves silly on Lava Bowls. See the wonderful photo at the end of the post to prove it.

See you in San Fran next year!
It behooves us, especially as Technical Artists, to make it to GDC every year. If you’re a student, new in the industry, or trying to find your place as a TA, even more so. 2012 is shaping up to be the best year for Technical Art ever- I want to see us only grow in 2013! Also, GDC 2013 is later in March so the weather should be even better (though it was pretty amazing this year).

Thanks, everyone, for another fantastic GDC!



I am still talking about my amazing week at GDC to all my friends/colleagues.
It was great meeting you all finally in person and it has been very inspirational to me.

Too much names for me to mention and to thank. I am hoping to meet you all again!

Btw: Too bad that last party ended so quickly. We were just going to hit the dance floor :smiley:


The bootcamp was awesome! You guys all did an excellent job (even if parts were over my head at the moment).


A good year. Lots of new material and trends.

Next year might be more interesting?


Thanks for posting these.


Awesome. Thank you so much! It was so great to attend!

I also had a great time at all of the technical artist gatherings! :smiley:


It seems the link for Ben Cloward’s PPT doesn’t work…


Yay, thanks a million for putting these up! Greedily devouring them now :smiley:

(and yeah, Ben’s PPT 404’s, though the PDF link works fine)


Butters, you have the most beautiful creations ^___^*

And to everyone who spoke, thanks for all the work! It was an awesome set.


Great stuff. Thanks! Always amazing knowledge shared as usual, thank you all. There is a problem with Jason’s video zip though, seems to be corrupted.


Thanks for posting the presentations. I was only able to attend the poster sessions, which were also super informative.


The sad part is that I was mostly sober during the installation of that art on my head. Also almost dead from walking uphill…

Thanks for getting this stuff all together, Rob!


My first time at GDC, My first Round Table, and My first Bootcamp! Such a great week!
Thanks for posting these!


Loving all of this, thanks guys!


Amazing how relevant a lot of this content has been for the studio I’m currently working in - wish they could’ve read all of this 6 months ago!


Excellent materials, let me to re-understand the TA, bring me a new vision, thanks a lot


It seems that the .zip file of Jason’s videos is still not working as of today.


Hmmm I’ll try and take a look, thanks for reminding me!