The Augmented Artist:
Computation & Content Creation


Modern game production is at a crisis. The primary bottleneck on quality, budgets, and schedules for most games is the limited available time of experienced artists. There is little opportunity to increase the number of artists because inflation-adjusted profit margins are stagnant or falling. Simultaneously, consumer expectations for the fidelity of the entertainment experience continue to rise. The solution to this crisis is to recognize that the digital artist's ultimate tool is computation...and that newer GPUs and the cloud disrupt historical trends in available computation for production workflow. We can't make more artists, but we can augment existing ones through computation to increase their effective skill and multiply their efforts. In this talk, I chart this space through case studies of production realities and research possibilities, including scalable assets and algorithms, procedural assets, digital content creation tools, and cloud resources.


Thanks to Dan Wexler (WexWorks); Larry Gritz (Sony Pictures Imageworks); Max McGuire (Unknown Worlds), Stephen Hill (Ubisoft Montreal); Naty Hoffman (2K); Johan Andersson (DICE); Jaakko Lehtinen, Peter-Pike Sloan, and Eric Enderton (NVIDIA); Vicarious Visions; Remedy Entertainment; and Bungie for information and feedback on this ideas in this talk.




  author = {Morgan McGuire},
  title = {The Augmented Artist: Computation and Content Creation},
  month = {March},
  day = {22},
  year = {2013},
  booktitle = {Interactive 3D Graphics and Games 2013},
  location = {Orlando, Florida},
  url = {}