Recently I have been coming up alot against the question "is this the work of a technician or an artist?"
I have been working on making a particle effect to simulate liquid splattering against a wall. Mostly this has involved scouring the internet for clues and altering an array of numerical fields named magnitude, rate, radius, friction and resilience (etc etc). I've even attempted copying and pasting lines of code into the equation.
Technician or artist.....the question I'm asking myself now is "what the hell am I doing? this isn't what I signed up for, how did it come to this?"
It's been a gradual creep since I moved over from traditional to computer animation. From having to fiddle with character set up, polygonal modelling, and uv mapping. More and more I've found myself typing numbers into boxes. Until I've come to the point where with these particles, the closest thing to art I've done is choose the colour.
Sure I keep telling myself that I have the picture in my head, that's what I'm working towards. It's my visualisation skills that set me apart from being a technician......but I'm not really convinced. When the medium for creation is umpteen numerical fields with abstract names tagged on them, it seems largely a job
of trial and error.
Of course knowing the right boxes to type numbers in, is highly valued knowledge. Most of my lead artists have had a very strong understanding of the technical side of cg art. Some of them could barely draw.
In the kingdom of cg art, it seems the coder artist is rapidly becoming king.