Transition from houdini fx to technical artist?

Hello everyone! I’m a Houdini FX artist (film/tv) but looking to transition to an UE technical artist if possible. I’m basically hoping to get into a more programming type role with less shot work as such.

I have some small experience with C++ and python, I’ve also used UE in production to a limited degree as an FX artist. Just wondering if this is a realistic move and what I can spend time learning now to be as prepared as I can and get my first gig. Are junior tech artists a thing?

I’m guessing I will need to revise C++ in general and definitely how it’s used in UE. What skills should I be developing? Any good resources out there? Any advice would be muchly appreciated!

Heyy ! I am currently a Junior Tech in Games so yes they are a thing, they are becoming more and more common I would say but they are still kind of a niche thing.
I am personally more on the graphic side of things so I don’t know what are some of the required things but to me, what makes a good technical artist is being a good problem solver. Being able to know how the stuff works, having basic knowledge of all the different aspect of developing a game or a film and being able to help someone that is not directly attached to your working pole is really a big plus.
I hope this help and clarify some stuff, I can gather some interesting resources about Houdini for games and such later if that’s what your interested in.

i am doing the same, working on portfolio atm

First step into game VFX is to call it VFX instead of FX :smiley:


Out of curiosity why do you want to transition to Technical Artist and not games VFX Artist?
For myself I went from a Houndi FX Artist to a games VFX Artist. Although I also do a lot of work in a Technical Art capacity. I had to learn a lot along the way as game art is very different from film/tv. But it might be an easier transition than going to Technical Artist. A good Technical Artist knows how workflows and processes are supposed to go and it is hard to know those things if you are new. So if you get a job as a VFX Artist you can get real world experience on how game development works and then maybe transition to a Technical Artist role later.

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As a general reasource I have made a wiki with lots of resources:
I also wrote an article called “What is a Technical Artist?” that might help you with which direction you want to go, as Technical Art is a vast discipline and you do not need to know everything to be a good TA.(I am still writing up more articles but life got in the way for a while. I hope to pick it back up next month)

So the first thing is to decide which fields suit you and make you happy to work. Start learning these skills in a game development context and other knowledge will come along the way.
For example: the amount of coding might differ on what the company needs in a TA are. I know TAs that never need to touch anything else than just python (if even!). Because their strengths lie elsewhere. But in other cases, a TA builds a whole pipeline of tools using python, C++, or whatever else is used in the company (many also use Lua or create standalone tools in Rust).

Hope this helps you to tackle your transition! :slight_smile:

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