Senior Employee Interviews

Technical Artist Console Titles
Technical Artist

【 Interview Movie 】

Automatic generation tools have significantly transformed the field of design

I'm a technical artist (TA) and my work revolves around developing new console titles. A technical artist assists programmers and artists by helping them improve productivity. For instance, if we were to create a background consisting of buildings, it would be far too time-consuming to create each structure individually. It's the TA's job to streamline the process by introducing tools to help alleviate an artist's workload. Normally, we utilize procedural modeling in a 3D software called Houdini to automate certain elements of the process.

The role of a TA encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, as we serve as a bridge between programmers and artists, sometimes providing artistic suggestions or assisting in compressing large quantities of art datasets. You don't need have expertise in both programming and art to be a technical artist. In fact, SEGA has separate positions for both.
The moment I graduated high school in Malysia, I came over to Japan to study CG at a vocational school before finding work here. Before joining SEGA, I worked at a company specializing in computer-generated animations. During my time there, I took the initiative to learn Houdini and study programming independently with the aim of boosting productivity. Now as a TA at SEGA, I have the opportunity to apply all the knowledge and skills I've learned.

A dynamic workplace with seasoned specialists

My main responsibility as a TA is to find solutions for problems that artists are facing. To start off, I'll have a sit-down with them to hear them out and confirm that we're on the same page. Much of the feedback I receive is about how user-friendly the tools are for artists. Given that artists will ultimately end up using these tools, I pay careful attention to how they function artistically, and make every effort to ensure that they will lighten the workload of the artist. I've gotten back quite a lot of positive feedback about how useful the tools are, but I'm always trying to find ways to improve my techniques in order to meet the high standards that have been set.

At the TA division, we are fortunate to have so many seasoned veterans with extensive knowledge and expertise under their belt. It's a highly motivating environment; some of our team members have very high levels of technical programming experience, while others bring a wealth of artistic skill. The company and our projects constantly present us with new challenges, making every day a thrilling adventure. Although some days can be extremely demanding, I find the entire experience highly rewarding as a creator.

An expert across multiple art fields

Although I'd dabbled in Houdini, it wasn't until I joined SEGA that I was able to tap into its capabilities and fully explore its potential. If I find something new that I don't understand, I take the time to study it, and learn to how to harness it. Because SEGA sets such a high benchmark, I feel like I've grown leaps and bounds since joining the company.
And since each department holds workshops from time to time, there are ample opportunities to learn new skills. Our own workshops in the TA division center around our personal experiences using different tools on our projects.

I'm always astonished to find there are so many other approaches to accomplishing a task. Since the tools are directly tied to my work, it provides an excellent opportunity to expand my skill set.

In the future, I'd love to challenge myself to venture into a new genre as a technical artist. It would be great to widen my skill set by developing or proposing new game engine rendering techniques. TAs regularly work across different fields of art, so the job is a perfect fit for someone who appreciates a wide range of variation in their work. Despite the considerable need for technical artists, the industry continues to face a shortage. It would be fantastic to welcome more aspiring TAs to join SEGA—let's learn together!


9:00 AM Work day begins with me checking emails and updating data.

9:30 AM Art tool creation using Houdini.

11:00 AM Meeting with the Background Team: I report on my progress and share any relevant updates.

12:00 PM Break for lunch.

1:00 PM Art tool creation.

6:00 PM I compile report on my progress for the day and share it with the team.

7:00 PM Work ends.