The Lead Artist (also known as Art Director or Creative Manager) is responsible for the overall look of the game. Working with the Game Designer and Lead Programmer, the Lead Artist devises the game’s visual style and directs the production of all visual material throughout the games development.
They produce much of the initial artwork themselves, setting creative and technical standards and determining the best tools and techniques to use.
In conjunction with the Producer, the Lead Artist puts together and manages the team of Artists and Animators who produce most of the art assets for the game (including environments, characters, objects and effects) under the Lead Artist’s direction.
The Lead Artist must ensure that the art and animation team works to schedule and within budget. They also work closely with the programming team to make sure that all art and animation assets produced can be easily imported into the game engine.
The styling is often communicated through concept art. The Lead Artist will supervise, if not actually undertake, the production of material which illustrates the visual atmosphere and graphical design for the game.
They also research and test out different modelling, texturing, animation, rendering and lighting techniques and tools appropriate to the games technology, with input from the Lead Programmer.
They supervise the team’s output from a creative and technical point of view, and also ensure that the work gets done according to budget and schedule, alongside the games producer, anticipating problems and planning for any contingencies. They are also usually responsible for overseeing any outsourced art production.