Art Pipeline (%TRANSLATIONS%)

What is an art pipeline?

An art pipeline, in tangible form, is a text document written by a member (such as TechnicalArtist (TA)) of an art team. Some teams dedicate pipeline writing responsibilities to one artist while others distribute the writing evenly among the team members.

The document is typically a step-bystep instruction list that guides an artist through the development process of one art asset as an example for other assets of that asset type. The document may contain pictures, videos, and comments from the author. Once the document is completed, it is published to the Intranet for internal distribution within the studio.

For example, consider the writing of a production pipeline for the “structure” asset type. The author begins by listing the parameters which outline the creation of a structure. These typically include the polygon count, texture memory limit, scale, level of detail, color palette, shaders to use, the number of UV sets, the use of the UV sets, and anything else that limit the creation of a structure. Then the author leads the reader through the creation of a structure. The author records the creation processes of modeling, surfacing, and lighting involved in the production of a structure. The recording includes detailed information needed for MFS use; photos and descriptive text explaining where the structure’s geometry is modified for use by surfacing. Finally, the author lists the approximate time needed to develop an asset of the structure type, how it is placed within an environment, and where to store the files created during development.

An art pipeline, even after publication, is never considered finalized (unless mandated by someone in a management position). Art pipelines are often modified after publication. A typical scenario for this involves an artist using the pipeline to create an asset. The artist analyzes the pipeline before, during, or after asset creation, and determines that the pipeline could be modified to produce better assets. Following approval from the original author of the pipeline and sometimes a lead artist or art director, the artist will edit the document and re-post it to the intranet. A pipeline may go through this process many times, most often during the R&D stage of development. However, a pipeline may be edited during later stages.

Sub pipeline overview

  1. the terrain
  2. trees and bushes
  3. the structures: buildings with or without portals.
  4. indoor objects
  5. main character and addons
  6. creatures
  7. Shared animations
  8. Particles and skill effects
  9. UI and 2D art
Topic revision: r3 - 2009-02-04 - Spring
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