What does a Technical Artist do?

Technical artists act as links between artists and programmers while working on a game and serve as a hybrid between artists and programmers. They work closely with the lead artist, creative director, and lead programmers working on the project and set up and maintain the workflow. They also investigate new techniques to implement along the way. Technical artists review completed art, which could include a character or environment background. After they are delivered, technical artists must ensure the art designs maintain standards of visual quality.

Technical artists prepare and design character systems including cloth and collaborate with environment artists and other programmers to optimize environments and establish physical barriers. Technical artists also create custom tools that are carried out using scripting languages, including modeling and animation packages. They oversee and research the implementation of rendering techniques, including standard and specular maps and pixel shaders. Technical artists must know console hardware architecture and are highly skilled in 3D graphics software with a fluency in lighting and rendering, texturing, and graphics-related programming languages.

What responsibilities are common for Technical Artist jobs?
  • Develop custom workflows using scripts and coded tools solutions for the visualization team
  • Integrate off the shelf and custom applications into an efficient production pipeline.
  • Maintain the integrity of art content pipelines by identifying inefficiencies and recommend and implementing improvements.
  • Troubleshoot key pipeline issues and solve core problems in cooperation with the development team.
  • Facilitate technical art communication across disciplines by providing clear and constructive feedback and guidance.
  • Collaborate with engineering, design, and art to achieve project goals.
  • Create new techniques and procedures to improve asset quality.
  • Analyze and improve art asset inefficiencies to optimize console performance.
  • Act as a liaison between engineering and the art departments.
  • Identify lacking areas and contribute to documentation and tutorials.
What are the typical qualifications for Technical Artist jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree in computer science or engineering.
  • Demonstrated careful attention to detail.
  • Trained in the use of Maya and other animation programs.
  • Accomplished with Python, C++ and other programming languages.
  • Adept with debugging tactics.
Education--
Work/Life Balance
4.2 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.9 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Technical Artist Salaries

Average Base Pay

$77,435 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$56K
Median: $77K
$107K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Technical Artist Career Path

Learn how to become a Technical Artist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Technical Artist

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
18%
2 - 4
57%
5 - 7
11%
8+
14%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Technical Artist Insights

Read what Technical Artist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Fortitude GamesFortitude Games
Technical Artist
Mar 25, 2021

“There is good emphasis on personal and career development that helps elevate the talents within the studio even further.”

GameloftGameloft
Technical Artist
Feb 22, 2021

“The projects we get to work on are fun and the people are awesome.”

NetEase GamesNetEase Games
Technical Artist
Aug 29, 2022

“Working life balance was not the best.”

Imagination TechnologiesImagination Technologies
Graduate Technical Artist
Jan 5, 2021

“Compared to my friends starting in the games industry I was being pay a decent amount more.”

Pacific ColumnsPacific Columns
Lead Technical Artist
Feb 14, 2022

“Terrible PTO offerings and not much vacation.”

MOTIONX STUDIOMOTIONX STUDIO
Technical Artist
May 18, 2021

“Hard work and overtime.”

SuperformulaSuperformula
Technical Producer
Apr 26, 2021

“I've accepted that there's no such thing as a perfect company and the best characteristic of a company is its ability to listen and change.”

Ovation (TN)
Technical Producer
Aug 13, 2020

“Direct Supervisor was not helpful”

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Technical Artist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a Technical Artist

The most similar professions to Technical Artist are:
  • Concept Artist
  • Environment Artist
  • 3D Artist
  • Game Artist

Related Careers

Concept Artist
$65,016
No skills overlap
Environment Artist
$64,609
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3D Artist
$57,989
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Game Artist
$63,548
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Technical Artist jobs