What does a Texture Artist do? Where does a Texture Artist work? ACR takes a look:
About Texture Artists
A texture artist’s job is to paint surface textures on animated characters, environments, and props. The number of textures animators work with is endless and may include things such as wrinkles, fur, scales, sweat, and mud. In some cases, the textures used in animation cannot be found in real life. In these instances, the texture artist invents his own textures using his imagination and creativity skills.
Texture Artist Jobs
Texture artists use a variety of software, platforms, and rendering environments to create textures for environments, characters, objects, and props for animated films, television shows, and video games. Some of the most common types of software, platforms, and rendering environments used in animation include Photoshop, 3D Paint, UV Layout/Editing, RenderMan, Mental Ray, Maya, Shaders, and Houdini. Texture artists also use digital matte painting techniques to create textures and they work with advanced surface types, subsurface scattering, and global illumination.
Texture artists work in animation studios, film and video production studios, for game companies, web design companies, graphic design firms, advertising firms, and even mobile technology companies.
Texture Artist Salaries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports salaries for fine artists and animators. These salary averages will give you an idea of what you can expect to earn as an entry-level, intermediate, or senior level artist. Median annual wages of salaried fine artists were $44,850 as of May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned $19,190 and the highest 10 percent earned $89,720.
In May 2009, the mean annual wage for animators overall was $62,810 per year. The lowest paid animators earned $32,360 per year and the highest paid animators earned $99,130 per year.
Becoming a Texture Artist
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. Texture artists with advanced knowledge of applicable software, platforms, and rendering environments are also at the top of the list. Although the use of technology dominates the industry, traditional painting skills are still a requirement for most (if not all) texture artist jobs.
Job Trends for Texture Artists
Employment growth for fine artists, including painters and illustrators, is expected to average nine percent for the 2008-2018 decade. For artists and related workers combined, expected employment growth is 12 percent.
Employment growth in the animation industry is higher than any other field in the artists and related workers category. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the 2008-2018 decade, employment growth in this industry is 14 percent. Wage and salary employment in the motion picture and video industries is also expected to grow 14 percent between 2008 and 2018, compared with 11 percent growth projected for wage and salary employment in all industries combined.
Schools to Consider: