Bronwen Grimes

Technical Artist

Solving Visual Problems through Technology

About Me

I'm a technical artist living and working in the Pacific Northwest. I've been working in games for 10 years. In that time I've worked on 8 shipped titles on a variety of platforms. I'm primarily a look developer, though I have also worked on UI programming, pipeline tools, and character and environment art.

So what is a technical artist? A technical artist uses both programming and artistic skills to solve problems. Typically, they're problems of scarcity. Game developers never have enough staff, time, memory, or perf to do all the things we'd like to do. A technical artist can figure out how to get around scarcity. We can use automation to make tasks faster, or design systems that can modify, recombine, and place existing art assets. We can analyze the performance characteristics of art assets and figure out how to get on budget. We're also a great bridge between artists and programmers, facilitating communication between departments that don't always speak the same jargon.

A look developer is a different class of technical artist. We're concerned with rendering, using graphics programming techniques to empower artists to achieve different artistic styles. There are problems of scarcity in this area, as well. Performance and memory are a constant concern. Complex shaders might require inputs created with special authoring techniques, which may need new pipelines and tools that also need to be designed and implemented.

Our field touches on game design as well. The biggest problem of scarcity that we face is that of player attention. A look developer is also, often, an fx artist, working to communicate gameplay state to the player through the game world. That's the toughest challenge of all.



Bronwen Grimes. March 2014. "Building the Content that Drives the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Economy." Game Developers Conference.

Bronwen Grimes. March 2011. "Making and Using Non-Standard Textures: Manipulating UVs through Color Data in Portal 2." Game Developers Conference.

Bronwen Grimes. March 2010. "Shading a Bigger, Better Sequel: Techniques in Left 4 Dead 2." Game Developers Conference.

Bronwen Grimes. February 2009. "Good Morning Class!" Game Developer Magazine.
February Issue




"Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code" is a non-profit foundation dedicated to growing computer programming education. I'm proud to be included in their recent film, which is geared towards students. There are multiple formats of the film, which you can view or download here.


[Bill Crosbie's Technical Artist Interviews]

Bill Crosbie is an educator and program coordinator at Raritan Valley Community College. He's also a member of the IGDA's Education Special Interest Group. At GDC in 2011 Bill conducted interviews with a number of Technical Artists with the aim of promoting our field to other educators and students.


Copyright © 2008-2012 Bronwen Grimes. Contact