If I don't want to develop and animate living characters (animals, humans, robots, et cetera) for games, but I do want to develop/animate objects (TVs, phones, cars, et cetera) or levels... is it possible to have a career as an artist in the industry?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Absolutely viable. For example you can start with car models and terrain objects for racing games, then move into spacecrafts, then change direction into general assets making. In gamedev there are many jobs and it's often animators, modelers, texturers are 3 different people in bigger studios. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kromster
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 7:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have a friend who is an "environmental artist", his team makes models for objects like TV, carton boxes, and what not. However, human modeling and animation is equally important. Being a versatile artist opens more job, and generally gives the artist a better understanding of different techniques. \$\endgroup\$
    – harsimranb
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 0:48

4 Answers 4


If you work in a big company, there will probably be few 3D artists for specific tasks. One of them might be soft body modeller that will do characters and animals, etc. You can be level designer, make some fences, houses, rocks, perhaps lightining artist which is really crazy if you are good one. You can type in your portfolio that you are level designer and show some beatifull landscapes for example. I think level designer is what you search for.

On the other hand, I think you must spend some time trying to build characters, at every try you will get better. Traditional paining and 3D modelling are kinda different. If you model a TV, you can also model a human, you just need some time to get the feeling of the creation of soft body models.

Also if you model long enough, your brain will get boored and you will start wanting to model something completely different, so in time you might get get interested.

PS: I had no idea coding games requires math knowledge, I'm not good at all in math, but I keep forward becouse I want to create a game :D

  • \$\begingroup\$ A word on the math knowledge: When it comes down to it, games are really nothing but math and logic. Honestly, can you think of one game that you made that didn't have at least some basic form of or math/logic? \$\endgroup\$
    – Lysol
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Didn't realize that until I started with 2D stuff, the thing is to keep going. \$\endgroup\$
    – dragons
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 20:00

It's possible. Perhaps less feasible. Many artists focus purely on modelling machines or architecture, for instance. Or characters. But for game designers, it's a bit different. You tend to need to be less of a brilliant artist and more of a generalist in order to cover different design topics.

It does depend though on the types of games you want to be involved in making. Remember that when potential clients / employers review your portfolio, they are going to be looking specifically for those things they expect to see in their game. For example, awesome medieval arms and armour, contemporary cars, or sci-fi vehicles.

Modelling these specifics are viable skillsets all on their own, because those in the industry know that modelling / animating any one class of thing very well means you will tend not to be quite as practiced in other areas. Artists' specialisations are typically respected if they show good ability in said realm.

This is no different for game programmers. Specialisation is a common aspect of tech industry teams, and especially in a field as complex and multifacted as game development, where teams are often large and every member has a very specific role to play in shipping product.

I'd suggest you maybe spend a couple of months at some point on characters in Max, just so you can say you have a basic grasp, if needed. Your other work will form the centrepiece of your resume.


It sounds like the job title you should be shooting for is environment artist. Those are artist who specialize in scenery and props. There is generally a bigger demand for environment artists than character artists; if you think about all the open-world games coming out these days it's pretty obvious why.


Sure, game artists are either: character artists, environment artists, effects artists

it sounds like you want to be an environment artist.

animating objects often falls under effects (fire, smoke) or level design (doors opening, drawbridge moving) or tech art (all of the above).


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .