Paul Drummond

Design & Development

Technical Artist

Architectural illustration

Technically, an artist

The term ‘technical artist’ is new but the job has been around for a while. Technical artists are a combination of computer engineer and artist who provide a bridge between these disciplines. They need both creative and technical skills to solve problems.

For example, if a client needs a character for an interactive demo or game the development process may include:

  • Concept design: The initial character design which goes through several iterations until client sign-off.
  • Prototype design: The first working version which can be tested in the real system.
  • Character texturing and shader development: Creating the textures and shaders which define the surface appearance of the character.
  • Character rigging: Creating the underlying skeleton which controls character movement, and how the surface deforms as this is manipulated.
  • Character controller development: Creating custom controllers to provide a user-friendly interface for using the character.
  • Character animation: Pre-defined and procedural animations.
  • Documentation and support.

This process involves a mixture of artistic design and programming. The technical artist may handle the entire process, or act as a bridge between artists and engineers on the same team.

Current Work

At the moment I’m working on character tools for a Unity-based application used for generating synthetic data to train Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence systems.