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3D Digital Game Art

A 3D Digital Game Artist uses their creativity, technology, and geometry skills to create captivating animated experiences in a video game.

Why is this skill important?

The games development sector comprises three occupations or work roles: the designer, the artist, and the programmer. The 3D Digital Game Artist takes a designer’s brief and, through a combination of conceptualization, creativity, selectivity, technical, and specialist skills, completes the brief to the satisfaction of clients. The 3D Digital Game Artist receives, conceptualizes, and interprets design briefs on the basis of their market knowledge and skill sets, and the given scope and limits of the briefs. The skills required of the 3D Digital Game Artist can be broken down further into 2D concept art, texture painting, 3D modelling, rigging, and animating.

After interpreting a brief, the 3D Digital Game Artist must produce a 2D digital concept of the required assets for the game, which could include objects, characters, and environments. This requires the development of good silhouettes enabling the designs can be recognized immediately without detail, with greyscale values that highlight the important details of an asset, in order to define a colour scheme based on the Artist’s knowledge of colour balance, saturation, and mixing.

The 3D Digital Game Artist must then produce a 3D mesh of the asset, making decisions for geometry, triangle count, symmetry, and silhouette, and modelling the edgeflow. UV unwrapping is used to flatten a 3D model into a 2D set of shells that a texture can be painted onto. This requires the ability to assign enough 3D mesh from the model for the model to render enough detail. The placement of the UV shells is a meticulous job. Artefacts must take into account the bleeding effect of colour on smaller versions of textures dependent on hardware, so these shells should be grouped by base colour.

Textures are then produced to create materials that may be applied to the 3D model, taking into account the colours, secularity, and opacity of various parts of a model. Some textures are painted by hand; some require the use of photographic references and others require a digital process to calculate ambient occlusion and normal maps for shadows and detail. Next, the model may be rigged with bones in the 3D software in order to animate it either in the 3D software or the games engine.

An artist may work in a team led by an Art Lead or Director, or in small companies with a programmer and designer. Artists may work in open areas for creative sharing, or in isolation on a strictly confidential basis.

Despite tremendous growth in the sector, the 3D Digital Game Artist’s role has evolved and split into specialisms, but otherwise remained constant, with an ongoing appreciation of aesthetics, colour, structure, and form as well as movement. The best artists are able to lead art teams solving visual errors and producing assets that operate on the fringes of the available technology to achieve the most absorbing experiences possible in a videogame.


Goyang, Korea

13—16 October 2022

Skill Sponsors


Ting Kwan CHAN
Hong Kong, China

Chinese Taipei


George Huchison
United Kingdom

Jedsadaporn Kaennok


Kai Luo

Paige McMillan


Lumi Ritari


Jing Yi Tan

Abhinav verma

Hikaru Yamazaki

Jieun Yun