TAO Mentoring program poll

I am a grad student and few months back I realized that I want to be a technical artist and it was really difficult for me to start with because there are a lot of different skills required in this field. So, I started with rigging and a bit of python. But whenever I thought of what problems people might be facing in the industry, I couldn’t find any such problem because I am not exposed to an environment where such problems arise. So, I am sticking with the small tutorials online where we use maya and python to solve an issue. It would be great, for me personally, if I get questions based on the level of difficulty (easy, medium, hard) and categories (rigging, shading, tools, etc.). Just like Leetcode! But for aspiring technical artists.


I’d definitely be interested in mentoring, I’ve got a few years and a few studios under my belt. I’ve certainly got some experience and learned lessons that could be useful to people new to the industry :slight_smile:

I am very new to this position and I kinda got into to it just by luck. Been learning a lot on my own but, being the only tech artist at my company it makes it tough to look for guidance when I have to look at developers and artists and fill in the gaps on my own. This mentoring idea sounds great to me.

Have you joined the slack channel yet? A very different experience from 1on1 mentoring, but it is a group that is open to helping answer questions and a great resource when you need to bounce TA related issues off of someone else.


To second Bob’s comment, my instinct would be to distinguish between advice – which is situational and basically the kind of information exchange that we do here and on the slack channel – and mentoring which is really about building a longer-term relationship between individuals.


@bob.w Oh I didn’t know about this just sent the submission to get added. It definitely sounds like an awesome resource Thank You!
I think both are really important to me. I feel like I am very fresh meat and being so green I really not sure what I should be doing to push myself to the next level.

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This article has some good ideas for thinking about different kinds of mentorship


The mentoring idea is great and I’m definitely interested it, from the “mentored” side.
Following Bob’s and Steve’s posts I could say that from a mentor I’d expect a very different experience, compared to Slack (or forum).
For me, the biggest challenge is not the tech itself: let me be clear… I ask something on Slack quite often but I know that given enough time I could probably find answers online or figure out the techie devilry by myself in the end.
But since my job experience is limited to a small company (and in a Country surely not famous for its gaming industry) my biggest weakness is that i often don’t know processes/pipeline habits that are probably routine elsewhere.
Here I believe a mentor could be really useful: a person who doesn’t have to solve tech or code issues, but an experienced “big brother” capable to share broader concepts and ideas, methodologies and help another person to learn what can’t be found online, someone who can share real and first hand experiences and solutions, and help someone to slowly build the needed “forma mentis” to be a better TA
My 2 messy cents :slight_smile:


I’d say this idea would be a very fantastic idea for someone like me who is still learning and researching about tech art. I’d love to see how this goes. I’m certain there are plenty who would wish to learn becoming a tech artist and trying their best to help their departments (when they get the job/intern that is). Best of wishes to you guys out there with this mentoring program. I can’t wait how this turns out because I sure am interested in this.

We’re starting to talk about what a beta version will look like, we’ll be sure to let everybody know what comes out of our discussions


We finished the first draft of the program proposal at the annual board meeting, but we’re still editing it up. I’ll post the it as soon as we get the wording straightened out.

The current proposal has two tracks – one for people who are looking for their first TA job, and another for people who are already in the field and are looking for career guidance and networking. Our initial discussions make it look like those are two very different situations to help with so it makes sense to treat them separately. Since we’re new to this we’ll roll out a small-scale beta version of the program during 2020 and scale it up based on what we find out.

In the meantime potential participants might also want to check these links out – they are a bit dry, alas, but useful for setting expectations:


Can’t wait to know more about this!
The “2 tracks” idea is cool!

would love to be mentored as well. I’m pretty late to the tech-art game (couldn’t decide what to do in early CG days) and now I’m playing a lot of catch up game. Coincidentally, I was the only rigger when I was hired, and I am now the lead of rigging team (about 2 years of rigging experience, close to zero coding experience).
Needless to say, there are plenty of times that I felt lost and wish I had a mentor that could guide me to the right direction.

I would be interested into mentoring both who want to get in the industrie, or those that want to hear more about different possible tracks for technical artists like Biz Dev support or Product design. Lots of great opportunities for Technical Art in the expanding industrie :slight_smile:

In another thread I promised to put the draft up for community review on monday. So we’ll have something concrete to discuss starting then

draft proposal is up here – discuss in the threed:

Mentorship program proposal


Yes, I totally agree!

For me the hardest part (or at least the most confusing) is to know what to work on. I am just starting out, so the industry workflows/pipelines/thought-processes are still shrouded in mystery.
A mentor would be great for helping me know if my projects would be useful for professionals (or even make sense), what skills I need to know, what looks good on my portfolio but also things that I am interested in. With a role as broad as TA, these are not the most trivial things to find out.
The “guidance on my path” aspect would be the most valuable to me.

Make that 4 cents :slight_smile:

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A mentorship program sounds really neat!

As an undergraduate at a public university I’m sure people like me could learn a lot more relevant career knowledge and techical skills applicable to TA disciplines from a mentor than from much of university busywork.

I really want to make the most of my time in university and get past the grunt work to focus on the right skills and finding my niche.

I have no doubt a TA mentorship will help people like me do just that :slight_smile:

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Since this thread came back to life:

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I agree I go to a University that specializes in the Film/Game industry. I love tech art and I cannot get enough. It’s for sure what I am passionate about. However, there are only two instructors at my university that know their stuff and have a strong background in it. They really know their stuff and can answer almost any question or guide you to the answer you are looking for. The problem is they don’t have all the time in the world to get back to me when I have a random somewhat complex question every couple of days since they have multiple classes they teach on top of holding their own for us would-be Tech Artist.

My point, I could spend all week (or more) on scripting a toolset that an experienced Tech-artist would say can be done an easier way, or find out a month later that someone has already done it, and better, and with a far simpler implementation. And at the very least I would found out if it is the kind of thing that would even fit the scope of my job as a Tech Artist, especially since there are more specialized parts of Tech art like Pipeline, rigging, Technical animation, etc.