Am I a technical artist?

recently i decided to become a technical artist, and I’d like to target to senior position. But the problem is I never work as a technical artist, but I knew a lot off staff about it. Could you please check me demo and say you truly opinion what is my chances.

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Yes. You are most definitely a tech artist.

but am i good to senior position? over 15 yeas in industry but only on animator position. I don’t know what you can get doing tech staff every day. yes i new python and API but with help page opened in next monitor

Never be ashamed of reading the docs.
I’ve been doing the TA thing for more than a decade and I still pop those pages open when someone asks me a question.
The big thing that separates a Senior from a Mid is that we’ve messed up more, been asked weird questions more, and have been there helping solve problems more often.
If you’re worried that primarily having animation jobs is holding you back, it might be worth looking for Technical Animator positions, it’s basically a specialized form of TA that focuses on the animation side of the business, if you’ve got 10+ years of experience animating, then you certainly have seen and solved enough problems that you can help and support other animators to be more effective at their roles.

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thank you for you replay. It is sound very promising for me. I’m not a bad animator (lead position for 4 years and quite famous projects in the past), I just thinking about to try something new (maybe it is very stupid from my side)) … but such easy task as skinning i will do not so good as people who do it on routine base, my code will smell, decisions will be not optimal and not on some very well for everyone known patterns ( on begin at least ) , so if would are looking for employee what will be you decision?

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One of us! One of us! One of us! :slight_smile:

Tech art, as with all art is an iterative process and you look like you’ll do well. Tech art also can be very specialized which is a great thing! Having a few tech artists with a few different backgrounds is a great way to round out a team.

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Honestly, it depends on the role we’re looking for. But in general, what I usually am looking for is:

  1. What kind of problems have they solved?
  2. How did they solve them?
  3. What kind of problems did they fail to solve? (This is always interesting to me, and I’ve got a list of my own)
  4. What kind of tools they are comfortable using?
  5. What type of work they find most compelling?
  6. Who they like working with most?
    etc…

I also tend to try to ask some questions about the skills they’ve listed on their resume, because that kind of thing is a spectrum, and “Worked with Maya” can mean a billion different things to 3 different people.

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thank you, guys. i will inform society about my progress

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Greetings Amator -
Your work is very good. In fact it is where I want to push my students towards, (The one that want to go into rigging.) Your tools look very solid. Yes, I would definitely say you have what it takes to be a TA Rigger. Keep up the great work.

Out of the gate I would say you are a solid Intermediate rigger. Advanced is a bit hard to judge since much of that depends on the wants and needs of the company you are applying. A good guideline to remember, especially when rigging and creating tools is how many other TAs and animators are using your tools and rigs? A sr. level rigger spends less and less time creating the actual tools and more time creating the pipelines and templates for the solid riggers to create their tools with. You have great tools. however, if you are the only one using them, then there is still growth. You are in a service related part of the industry and the younger TAs and animators are your clients. The more leadership and following you have, the for qualified you are for that senior role.

Keep up the great work. You are well on your way!

Thank you very much for your reply. And you are right about persons who use my scripts, I am only person who do it((. More of that i can tell truly not of this tools exist half year ago( the time i decide to go to TA rigging. And I understand i have no experience to pretend to senior role. Just trying to show invention and learning abilities. More of that I have a offer same as previous position (lead in animation department) well paid, and have some benefits such as remote. And afraid I will accept it in couples of days. Maybe for good

Technical Artist (or Tech Animator) - for sure!
Senior? I think you need a bit wider expertise.

If I was hiring for a Snr. TA position then I would look not only at your specialization (shaders, tooling, VFX - or as in your case: rigging/animation) but I would also look at pipeline skills (like how are your Python skills outside of Maya? Do you know powershell, bash? Have you worked in a Mac environment?), skills with other DCC’s like Substance, Blender, Photoshop? Have you made tools in any of those DCC’s? What where the challenges and what did you like/dislike about it? I would ask if you are familiar with databases, maybe some front-end web dev? Have you ever setup logging for your tools? Made a Slack bot? etc…

Also:
Documentation and unit testing skills? Setting up and working with source control (git, Perforce, etc) and I would also ask about previous work with other team members - and especially looking at mentoring of intern and junior Artists and TA’s. I would ask about what type of support duties you’ve done before (troubleshooting is a major part of Tech Art) and if you’ve ever worked with translating white papers to actual algorithms and/or tools. Have you done any prototyping and/or RnD -type of work?

At least this is my perception of a Senior Technical Artist. Being good in one area is a great start but is not enough for a position of higher seniority. Seniors in my view are supposed to know a little about a lot of things, inspire others, be highly independent, and have very good knowledge of good work practises. But I do know that every studio is different and typically larger AAA studios are fine with their TA’s being more of a specialist in a certain type of area.

Last but not least: I hope this doesn’t kill your motivations to pursuit a career in Tech Art. I know the overwhelming feeling of “there’s so much shit to learn” and truth be told: that never really goes away! As a TA there will always, always be more things for you to learn and you just have to accept the fact that learning new things is a big part of Technical Art. There’s a huge demand for people like us - remember that. You already have good enough skills to get hired and once you do land your first TA job, your journey has just begun.

Good luck!

EDIT: One final thing: When you land your first job you are probably gonna experience some Impostor Syndrome. This is perfectly normal and a common part of technical jobs. Don’t take that feeling for something objective. If a recruiter thought you have the skills to be a TA then you should trust that. I felt so much Impostor Syndrome during the first months of my first TA job that I considered quitting - and recently I landed my first Senior TA position and I still experience a lot of Impostor Syndrome. It’s normal and it typically goes away after a couple weeks/months but it might come up again multiple times in your career. Be vary - Your brain will play tricks on you!