What is a Technical Artist? I dunno... Ask Katie!


Katie here again! There’s a saying ‘Men are from Mars and women are from Venus’, but it should be ‘Artists are from Mercury and Programmers are from the Triangulum Galaxy.’ My job as a technical artist is to help translate between our drawing friends and our coding friends.

Right now this takes the form of building our animation rigs. The rig is like a skeleton for our 2D drawing- the image of Emilia gets broken up into bits that get attached onto bones not that different from how our bodies work. Rather than traditional animation frames where we would have to re-draw Emilia in a bunch of poses, we can just bend the bones and her arms and legs bend with them!

The rig is obviously important for the art team because it’s how we animate the characters, but it’s also very important for our programmers as well. The bones let the computer talk directly to Emilia- rigging her feet a certain way makes it easy for our programmers to tell the game “Hey! Emilia’s walking here! Right here at (137.89, 465.72).” Basically it’s how the computer knows how high to put her when she jumps and where her feet hit the ground. By making the rig I take what the art team needs Emilia to look like and what the programmers need to make move the way she’s supposed to and put it all together!