Game design studios thrive on the work of their texture artists. These trained professionals add detail and depth to computerized environments, creating a more believable and lifelike end product. Texture artists may recreate the scaly skin of a digital alligator or the coarse façade of a digital brick building. Adding the right texture can make the difference between a stunning, 21st-century virtual world, and an archaic imitation that probably should go the way of the dodo.
Even if texture creation doesn't become your specialization, you can benefit immensely from mixing in texture classes with your core art or design school courses. Texture artists can earn more than $60,000 per year after four to five years of on-the-job experience. Texture Art & Mapping Coursework
When selecting a career training program
(associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree), ask your college advisor about coursework in the texture arts. The skills you learn could prove invaluable when trying to land a rewarding position in the field of game design. Some of these skills include:
How to Master Texture Mapping
- Box mapping
- Bump mapping
- Cylindrical mapping
- Planar mapping
- Spherical mapping
- Shrink mapping
Design courses focused on texture mapping can teach you how to use rendering software, game engines, and processing speeds, allowing you to fit the texture into the structure of the game. A good online degree program
offers courses that expose you to a range of commercial texture-creation tools and software programs.
When working with textures, designers need to know how to keep pixel aspect ratios of texture maps consistent. This is crucial for avoiding image distortion and destroying the uniform effect. A knowledgeable digital art teacher can show you how to use shortcuts, such as tiling, overlapping, and continuous mapping, to cut down on the need for time-consuming details.
Classes in texture art include the use of perspective--along with computer-generated calculations--to create realistic effects. This means you have to play a lot of video games to know the issues. If you have a digital realm comprised solely of vertical walls and horizontal floors and ceilings (Doom, for example), mapping is extremely different from the textures for a game like Quake, which quickly scans into shapes that are never constant. Getting into Game Design Software
Ask your online game design school whether training is done on state-of-the-art software. Many companies now make plug-in texture mapping engines for popular 3-D rendering suites. There are also stand-alone CAD/CAM texture programs. Some tools are used in the fashion design industry as well as for game design and production.