GDC | Technical Artist Bootcamp

Technical Artist Bootcamp

Technical art is evolving rapidly. In many studios technical artists (TAs) play key roles in developing efficient tool pipelines, and ensuring art content is visually striking and optimized for performance. TAs bridge content and engineering, helping make both more successful. However, many studios have still not fully embraced the TA role. Their TAs are smart and eager to make an impact, but are not sure how to best prove their value, and be given key roles in development. A group of experienced, respected technical artists from across the industry would like to invite you to sit with them for a day and learn how to be a more effective TA. Speakers will focus on the tools and skills TAs can use to demonstrate their value, and further integrate technical art into their studios' pipelines and cultures. Find the worst development problems at your studio and show them what a TA can do!

2017 Highlighted Sessions

All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, or GDC Summits Pass required.

Technical Artist Bootcamp: Shaders 201: Creating Art with Math
Ben Cloward (BioWare)
Building on last year's "Shaders 101" talk, this presentation will go beyond the basics and present several more advanced shader techniques. As the industry continues to explore the exciting world of shader creation, tech artists will learn basic concepts and functions, and then put them together to create beautiful pixels. No previous shader or programming experience is required, but basic math understanding will be helpful.
Technical Artist Bootcamp: A Tech Artist's Guide to VR
Mary Cassin (Google)
This talk is an introduction into the VR production process from a technical artist point of view. It overviews the general day to day responsibilities of a technical artist as well as looking at the technical challenges that come with developing in VR. This session will explore the limitations of mobile VR development and how to circumvent these limitations. No previous VR or mobile development is required.

Technical Artist Bootcamp Advisors

Steve Theodore
Steve fell in love with computer animation in the Dark Ages, in more ways than one. He dropped out of a Ph.D. program in ancient history to start rendering 3D scenes on the Brown University mainframe. Steve went pro in the early 90's, doing animations for a variety of commercial and television projects. His first game job was building mechs and environments for FASA's MechCommander in 1995.

In the subsequent two decades, Steve has worked on some of the most well-known titles in the industry. He worked as an artist and animator on 'Half-Life', 'Team Fortress 2' and 'Counter-Strike'. In recent years, he's specialized in art tools and pipelines, first as the artist-in-residence for the Granny animation system, then as the Technical Art Manager at Zipper Interactive (SOCOM 3 and M.A.G.) and Technical Art Director at Bungie ('Halo 3'). He's currently the Technical Art Director for Undead Labs ('State of Decay').
Jeff Hanna
A seventeen-year veteran of the video game industry, Jeff has worked on many notable titles such as 'Saints Row: The Third', 'Red Faction: Guerilla', 'Dark Age of Camelot', and 'Planetside'. He currently works as a senior technical artist for Deep Silver Volition. At his job he strives to identify new tools and processes that can improve game visuals and benefit artists. Jeff is involved with many community sites such as ScriptSpot, Autodesk's Area, and He is a member of the GDC Advisory Board and also sits on a curriculum advisory board for Purdue University. He was awarded an Autodesk 3ds Max Master award in 2007 and was named an Outstanding Alum of Purdue University's School of Technology in 2012.

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