What is a Texture Artist?
A Texture Artist is responsible for creating photorealistic textures for mapping onto 3D objects used in video games, films, television, music videos, or commercials.
What is the Job?
Texture Artists use a variety of software systems to create textures for environments, characters, objects, and props within animated films, television shows and video games. These textures will often be created from scratch, in which case the artist invents their own own textures using their imagination and creativity. Other times, the textures can be found in real life, such as wrinkles, fur, scales and sweat.
Texture Artists make 3D models look believable and life-like. They will often add imperfections, for example rust to oil cans, scuffs to trainers and reflections to windows to give the object an extra dimension. They are concerned with making surfaces realistic, in order to help the player or viewer forget that they are experiencing a computer-generated environment.
In order to create appropriate finishes, a texture artist may scan photographs and then digitally apply the textures to objects and environments that have been created by other members of the visual effects team. It is the Texture Artist’s job to keep textures diverse and to avoid repetitive contributions to the production that they are working on.
The job involves working on a variety of animation software platforms, as well as working with other individuals as part of a team responsible for the entire visual layout of the media.
- Good communication skills
- Ability to work in a team
- Knowledge of materials and how they behave in different conditions
- Strong artistic ability
- Knowledge and experience using image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop and 3D painting software such as Quixel
Salary & Working Hours
The salary for a texture artist can vary between £34,000 at the lower end of the scale, right up to £63,000 for Senior Texture Artists.
Working as a Texture Artist can sometimes mean long working hours, with you sometimes having to spend many hours just to get one particular texture on one character right. It is a very time consuming job, especially considering that one texture may only get half a second of screen time.
How to Become a Texture Artist
There are several routes to becoming a texture artist, from apprenticeships, to entry-level jobs, to degrees. Employers prefer to hire texture artists with a bachelor’s degree in animation, film, or fine arts. They also prefer a minimum of 2 years’ professional experience in production.
It’s also possible to get into the industry through finding an apprenticeship. Whilst there may not be any apprenticeships specifically for texturing artists, it may be possible to find an apprenticeship as a 2D artist and work your way up from there.
The best thing, as with most jobs in this industry, is to get some experience and create a portfolio to showcase your work. Most employers will be looking for individuals who already have some prior experience of the job, as it means they have to spend less money and time on training!
Where Can It Take You?
As with most careers in this industry, being part of the visual effects team can lead to the possibility of learning about other types of visual effects and potentially transferring to a different job within the department. Or there is potential to move up to a management role – becoming a Texture Artist can eventually lead to supervisory positions such as Senior Artist or Lead Artist.
Become a Texture Artist
If you are ready for the next step in your career, why not take a look at the latest Texture Artist vacancies on our jobs board? You can view our latest vacancies here.