The MA in Animation - Technical Artist Concentration prepares students for a range of roles, from the complex jobs of riggers, next generation modelers and motion capture artists to the hybrid specialization of the Technical Artist.
A game industry Technical Artist is an art department member who serves as a bridge between art and engineering. The art pipeline is the workflow of creating the art assets of the game: from concept to model to texturing to rigging to input into the game engine. The TA’s objective is to make the pipeline streamlined, efficient and documented. The TA diagnoses and debugs the technology used by artists. The TA specs tools that will help make the art department more productive, sometimes scripting the tools in the software and sometimes working with programmers to tackle more complex operations. The TA needs to understand the language of both art and engineering and act as a translator between the areas.
In the film and television CGI animation and VFX industries the Technical Artist is more commonly referred to as a Technical Director or Technical Animator. The TA in these fields shares many of the core responsibilities (pipeline, troubleshooting) and animation technical skills as the game TA.
The Technical Artist concentration is not solely for the person who wants to be a TA, since these disciplines are constantly evolving. It also prepares the student interested in technically demanding areas such as rigging, modeling and motion capture.
Technical Artists come from both art and programming backgrounds. It is recommended that someone entering the TA concentration have an undergraduate degree in one of the following areas: art, animation, game art, graphic design, illustration, game design, game programming, computer graphics, computer science, or interactive media.
Learn more about admission to this program.