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Aaron Aikman

Senior Technical Artist II

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What is a technical artist?

Technical artist means something different to every studio. In short, tech artists solve technical problems faced by game developers, usually from an art or animation perspective. In my experience, there are a few categories that tech artists can be divided into: graphics, pipeline, characters, and vfx. I like to call these the “Tech Art Hats” that tech artists wear. There are a lot of tech artists who are generalists, wearing more than one or all the hats. This is more common in smaller studios, but can occur in large studios depending up the needs of the project. Usually, large studios want to have tech artists who are experts in wearing one of the hats, and can wear other hats as needed to support the team. Support is huge part of being a tech artist. Many have described it as being the bridge between other groups. It’s important for tech artists to understand the art pipeline so they can help artists and look for ways to improve it. It’s also important to know some of the low-level details about how things work behind the scenes, so that you can act as a translator between art and engineering, and also as an advocate for both sides, given that you understand the conversation from multiple perspectives.

Tech Art Hats

Graphics

Click here for info on the graphics/shaders/lookdev hat

Pipeline

WIP

Character

WIP

VFX

WIP

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About

Aaron Aikman is a Senior Technical Artist II with 7+ years of experience. He focuses mainly on shaders, pipeline, and problem-solving.