Texture Artists and Texture Mapping
Don't be surprised if you visit a video game development team and find the texture artist just standing and staring at the wall. The wall is a very important element in video game environment and the video game texture designer has to know exactly what different walls and materials look like in all kinds of light. Remember, the texture on a wall, a vehicle, or even on a creature's scaly skin is one of the elements that makes a difference between a really three-dimensional video game and just another kiddie cartoon.
The texture artist may scan actual photographs of the appropriate textures into the computer and then apply that texture to the creatures, environments or objects created by other members of the team.
texture designers find ways of creating exotic, new textures that
may go far beyond any surfaces occurring in nature-at least in
this planet's nature.
textures have to be mapped onto the 3D objects, environments,
and characters in the game. A sloppy job of texture mapping
in a game will take away the visual edge. You can have great
3D environments, but the textures have to back them up. Boring
repetitive textures will make the levels seem blah and give
the gamer the "been there, done that" feel. This
can be a game killer. There are just countless textures in
a game such as The Battle for Middle Earth (shown on the
video game texture artist has to understand the technical
limitations of the systems for which the games are being
designed. Textures have to fit within the memory and processing
ability of the machines being used. Texture designers learn
various tricks to give the illusion of intricate textures
without using up the memory cache needed for other parts
of the video game.
Salaries for texture artists depend on experience and where you work. In the first few years, you can expect to get on average $40,000+, with an increase to $60,000+ with 4 or 5 years of experience under your belt.
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