As a technical artist at Tinybop, I collaborated with our small, diverse team of developers, product managers, designers, and researchers to bring all the art to life in our award-winning apps. I helped guide the artwork from the first sketch to the animated, interactive version you see in our apps.
Below, see the process as one character is transformed from static vector illustration to interactive fish in our latest release, Coral Reef, illustrated by Wenjia Tang.
Top left: Art delivery after a few rounds of revision. Top right: Tweaks I made in house to highlight the personality and form of the fish we were striving for.
Below: All the parrotfish parts and pieces ready for export into Unity.
Below, I assembled and animated the fish in Unity, and then passed him off to a developer for integration into the final scene.
There is constant collaboration between technical art and development teams as interactions are updated based on user needs. To communicate changes, I often created mockups for interaction updates to help developers visualize the new direction. Below, I outlined multiple "swim zones" for various creatures in a scene that was becoming very chaotic when implemented.
Learning New Tools
Each app comes with its own new set of problems to solve. The Tinybop Technical Art team worked with our talented developers to create new tools as needed for each app. For our app, Mammals, the technical art team learned how to use Blender in order to create more lifelike, gooey animations while still preserving the textural quality of the artwork.
Our developers also modified a tool called Polybrush, which allowed us to paint textures onto custom blender meshes within Unity. This tool allowed us to control shading, texture, and color in a fine-tuned way to preserve the artist's vision while still achieving the interactions we needed.