Technical Artist Workshops

The Pixel Mill is running a series of workshops on Technical Art in Video Games for artists, modellers and animators working within the Northern Ireland interactive sector (video games and immersive). The course will be delivered online across 8 evenings over 4 weeks between Tuesday 16th November to Friday 10th December.

The workshops will cover 4 areas:

  • Game Engine Fundamentals
  • Animation
  • Rigging
  • Python

The goal of the workshops is to give video game artists an opportunity to learn how to use a game engine as well as upskill in technical art disciplines with a focus on the animation and rigging pipeline. The workshops will be delivered using Unreal and Maya.

The dates and topics of the workshops are as follows:

Game Engine Fundamentals An introduction to a game engine (Unreal) and the features for game artists. Some of the topics include:

·       Navigation and basic usage of the editors

·       FBX interoperability

·       Mesh triangle counts

·       Clean mesh construction

·       Collisions

·       LODs – Level of Detail

·       LightMap UVs

·       Static vs skeletal meshes

·       Naming conventions

·       Unreal Engine PBR workflow

·       Textures guidelines

Tuesday 16th and Thursday 18th Novemer 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Animation Sequencer and Cameras – Day 1

·       What is Sequencer?

·       Sequencer Interface

·       Cinematic Views

·       Organising Sequences

·       How do Cameras Work?

·       Using different tracks types


Animation and Cinematics – Day 2

·       Animation Import/Export

·       Skeletal Animation vs Geometry Cache

·       Rendering Out Cinematics

·       Post Processing for ‘Film Look’ Colour Grade in Engine

·       Using Spawnable Objects

Tuesday 23rd and Thursday 25th November 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Rigging Creating a Biped rig ready for realtime – Day 1

·       What are the limitations of a real-time rig?

·       Skeleton Setup

·       Skin-weights and Deformers

·       Creating Controls

Adding advanced features and controls – Day 2

·       Node Editor

·       IK/FK Switches

·       Custom Attributes

·       Tweak Controls

·       Squash and Stretch

Tuesday 30th November and Thursday 2nd Dec 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Python Intro to Python in Maya – Day 1

·       Why use Python?

·       Variable Types

·       Loops

·       Condition Statements

·       Maya API/Commands

·       Functions

·       Definitions and Attributes

·       Creating tools


Python for rigging – Day Two

·       Modular rig setups

·       Rigging a leg with Python

·       Adding custom attributes

·       Starting a Custom Library

Tuesday 7th and Friday 10th December 6:30pm to 9:30pm

No prior knowledge of Unreal, animation, rigging or python is required to take part in the workshops. However, workshops are for freelancers/employees actively working within the Northern Ireland interactive sector (video games and immersive) that are seeking to upskill and develop their knowledge. The programme is not open to individuals in full-time education. The workshops will be delivered as a series so it will not be possible to sign-up for individual workshops.

Those applying to the must:

  • Be a resident in Northern Ireland.
  • Have at least 1 credit on a completed video game or immersive project in an artist/animator/modeler role.


  • Have at least 6 months experience working within video games or immersive across multiple project.

To apply for the programme please email your CV with recent credits of interactive projects (video games or immersive) you have worked on to Spaces on the course are limited and will be assigned, if application meet the above criteria, on a first come first serve basis.

Deadline for applying is Friday 12th November.

NI pupils urged to take part in the Big Games Review 2021

Northern Ireland’s young gamers are being given the chance to play a leading role in the future of one of the fastest growing industries in the world.

Film and education charity Into Film has launched a new initiative to find out what young people aged 5-19 think about the games they are playing so they can develop training programmes to support the industry.

This project kicks off with The Big Games Review 2021, a Northern Ireland wide competition in which young people submit reviews of the games they are playing with a chance of winning prizes including a new PlayStation 5.

Into Film Programme Manager Sean Kelly said: “The games industry is big business in Northern Ireland and the kids are the future game creators. They’re the experts and we want to hear from them.”

From Fortnite to Fall Guys, Minecraft to Mario, Into Film wants to hear about games played on everything from consoles, PC’s or even games pupils might play on a tablet or smartphone.

Mr Kelly added: “Writing reviews is brilliant for developing literacy skills and critical thinking. We want to hear from as wide a range of young people as possible. With the games industry going from strength to strength locally, it feels like the best time to invite young people to have conversations with us at Into Film on what they are enjoying playing.”

The games industry in Northern Ireland is growing at a rapid speed and Into Film hopes to work to support young people to find out more about the opportunities available.

Kevin BeimersCreative Director at Italic Pig Gaming has said: “Games are a fast-growing industry with a strong presence in Northern Ireland – its important young people are aware of the career opportunities that are available and feel encouraged to analyse and review the games they are enjoying.”

The Big Games Review is running from Friday 24th September – Friday 10th DecemberInto Film encourages and supports young people to discuss and review games in many formats, they welcome review submissions in English, Gaelic, picture exchange symbols, spoken audio files and drawings.

To enter or find out more visit

The Pixel Mill Workshop – Essentials of Employment Law

The Pixel Mill will be hosting an online workshop for interactive companies with the Labour Relations Agency on the Essentials of Employment Law & the role of the Labour Relations Agency. The workshop will take place online on Thursday 28th October from 10.30am – 12.00pm.

The workshop will cover subjects such as the sources of employment law, the employment contract and main terms & conditions, pay, working time, notice & dismissal, discipline & grievance, family-friendly employment rights, equality legislation and redundancy. The workshop is appropriate for employers and employees.

The Labour Relations Agency provides a free, impartial and confidential employment relations service to those engaged in industry, commerce and the public services. It provides advice on good employment practices and assistance with the development and implementation of employment policies and procedures. It is also active in resolving disputes through our conciliation, mediation and arbitration services.

Spaces are limited and will be assigned on a first come first serve basis. If you would like to attend, please email