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The Roll of the Texture Artist in 3D Animation

Texture artists provide the very "skin" -- the outside shape and color of an animated object -- that makes a multidimensional object come to life. They're often employed by producers of computer and console video games, animated cartoons, and feature-length films to give images a real-life appearance. Texture alone can create the illusion of dryness or moisture, heat or cold, smoothness or roughness, vitality or death on any object.

Texture artists and designers often work as part of a design team, adding their special touches to an animation after the initial character designers and storyboard artists complete their first pass. Texture artists assist in the creation of a texture style sheet or style guide that determines the look and feel of all the character skins and landscape textures used in the overall project.

Textures must contribute to the atmosphere of a game or animated film for the overall effect to have consistency and credibility. Based on the texture scheme, the texture artist will create skins from a software illustration or animation program, or by scanning textures from existing photographs and collages into a texture database that they can draw from during their part of the project.

Technically speaking, they "map" the textures directly against the objects, characters, landscape, and environment of the animation. Solid texture rendering skills will remain in consistent demand in the workplace. A high-quality animation school program will offer texture and character rendering training on the latest design software, providing shortcuts for trainees to help them cut production costs and reduce overall memory requirements for the animation.


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