POLL: Tech Art = Dev or Art Track?


Hi folks! I am doing an industry survey. And wanted your feedback. So far, my previous poll resulting in a 50/50 split, so it was no help :wink:

Here’s the question:

If you had two discipline tracks, and you had to define Tech Art into only one of them, which ONE of the two would it be, and why:

–Engineering Track
–Art Track

(No ‘on the fence’ answers please! Remember, you can only pick ONE, which?)

I know this seems very binary, but part of the problem is how everyone has a different idea (and lets face it, we’re UNIQUE!), and for my survey specifically, I need to know oft he two tracks, which one defines TAs best.



If forced to choose, i’d say art simply because we need dev skills for only one reason. Programming is a tool we use to do something else.


I’d say Art as well, we need to understand how art is structured, how artists work. Most Game Programmers do low-level, high performance work, and don’t have “customers” on the team (unless you are a tools programmer).

  • 1 to Art. Scripting is generally a tool we use to enable us to do art.


We’re doing 4 things here:
tool dev (pipeline, QA, workflow), content creation (shaders, some VFX), training (export pipelines, basic dev kit use, etc), day-to-day support (plugin install, p4 troubleshooting, engine troubleshooting, even basic IT stuff).

some companies put tool dev in their own group and then add it to engineering - this make sense if your tools are bound to an editor of your engine. If your dev is mostly pipeline, then you’re still better off in art imho. Everything else also is art, because your clients are mostly: artists, art producers, etc.


I’m the only person on our art team with more versions of visual studio installed than versions of maya. Some days I wonder how that happened.

  • Artist

And to extend to Robert his response : Data analysis, I see myself logging a lot of extra meta data to predict problems, learn about new problems and balance units out which indirectly enhances the art.
Even though I am programming most of the time now, its all to improve our art production.


I also vote for Art.

Many of the reasons already given, I agree with: we have to understand how art is created, sometimes we make art ourselves, the tools we make are in service of the Artists.


I would also vote “Art”.


[QUOTE=Nysuatro;29281]+ Artist

And to extend to Robert his response : Data analysis, I see myself logging a lot of extra meta data to predict problems, learn about new problems and balance units out which indirectly enhances the art.

sorry for the OT: can you elaborate a bit on this? I’m currently working to enhance our pipeline with some metrics gathering regarding assets, app use, etc. It this something you’re logging? and if so, which stats do you find really useful?


To give a short description, we want to cross correlate the data exported from Maya, with the placement in our editor ( amount, overlap, density, …) with runtime data ( from playsession, focussed playthrough and marked high intensity camera position found by QA or tech art team)

This gives us 3 perspectives to balance out the worst case scenario’s for frame rate. But we see its givings us on the same time bottlenecks on where to improve our pipeline.

But we are still in experimentation/exploration state, so its hard for me to tell properly what works and what not. But feel free to email me to bounce ideas and brainstorm together :slight_smile:


I thought being a “tech” artist, means you do both?

A tech artist video is always a guy showing off his favorite media making tools right? (doing b, after doing a.) I guess you dont always use your own tools if you accidentally stumble apon another Tech artist, who had a better idea than you. then you find yourself lowering to use his toy instead of your own. (doing b, instead of doing a.)

Its like going over your friends house to play with his toy, instead of socializing with him.

Being one of these guys, must date back BEFORE TECHNICOLOR!!! making the original dr who on tv - with your fancy analogue plasma!

And its all because you KNOW HOW AN ELECTRON GUN WORKS!!!



It really kind of depends on the subset of Tech Art in which you fall, whether rigging, tools, sim, lighting, shaders, optimization, etc. That’s kind of a thing that happens when having such a broad term to describe so many different jobs done by people with dual inclinations.

I’d personally describe myself as much more artist, but then again, I went to art school, and am a rigger. I feel like we’re pretty far on the art side of the spectrum as the majority of our efforts are spent creating in-game assets, or writing tools to directly speed up making of said assets. That’s with the exception of those who maybe start to deal with doing the major deformer writing, and light animation programming in-engine.


I see so many TA job posts that actually are just looking for a dedicated tools programmer. Sometimes they are even interested in me for the position, but I tell them sure I CAN do C++, but if I become a fulltime programmer then I’ve wasted 16 years with 3d art. So unless the position benefits in some small way from art/content-knowledge then it’s not really a TA position, then it’s just “a tools programmer on an artist salary”.