Creating an AI-Assisted Art Tool to Optimize Efficiency in Game Art

Quinnie Cheuk
Mighty Bear Games
Published in
4 min readAug 2, 2023

One of the most common barriers artists face when delving into script tools is the prerequisite knowledge of programming. This apprehension often leads many talented artists to shy away from developing their tools. Guess what? We can break through barriers with the help of AI!

In this article, I’ll share my journey of breaking through this barrier and developing an Autodesk Maya Tool for our art production using Python, with the invaluable aid of AI, ChatGPT. How AI technology empowered me to bring my creative vision to life and bridge the gap between art and programming.

Photo by Levart_Photographer on Unsplash

What Motivates Me To Code My Script?

As an animator and rigger artist within the 3D Production team, my quest for efficiency and quality work is unending. I’ve always been eager to expedite the character rigging process while maintaining the excellence our projects demand. While purchasing a pre-made tool is an option, customizing the rig to suit specific production needs often becomes necessary. Unfortunately, my limited programming knowledge from my university days left me apprehensive about coding my rigging tool. Therefore, to bolster my confidence, I decided to begin by developing a tool aimed at expediting part of the character rigging process, Skin-weighting.

AI Are Powerful But Imperfect

Seneca states, “A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer’s hand”.

Many professionals raise concerns about the potential negative impact of AI on the industry, and I acknowledge the significance of considering these viewpoints. However, I would like to underscore the possibility that AI could steer us toward exploring new avenues for working and advancing our practices.

In conclusion, I have derived three key observations from my experience with ChatGPT:

  • To receive accurate and clear responses, avoid vague requests, and instead, ensure that your inquiries are specific and well-defined.

To ensure a clear understanding of your request, it’s best to provide specific details either in point form or step-by-step instructions. While ChatGPT can assist in generating code, your input remains vital in determining how the code should function to meet your needs.

  • Offering precise directions on error resolution is the key to successfully resolving the problem.

When facing code errors and seeking help from ChatGPT, it’s important to provide specific details about the error and its cause. This way, ChatGPT can accurately pinpoint the section that requires attention.

In the case of lengthy or complex code, you can suggest ChatGPT focus on a specific function rather than the entire code. This approach streamlines the process and ensures more effective results.

In some instances, you might encounter situations where ChatGPT gets stuck in an error loop and continuously suggests the same code. To break free from this cycle, a beneficial approach is to take a step back and guide ChatGPT on how to modify the code gradually. While ChatGPT is proficient in coding and provides solutions, it relies on your input to address errors beyond its capabilities. Therefore, consider ChatGPT as a collaborative partner in working through the tool’s challenges, rather than a source of solutions for all issues.

  • AI can never replace a human programmer; instead, it serves as a valuable tool to assist and augment their capabilities.

From my standpoint as an artist, while AI has its merits, professionally-trained programmer holds a distinct edge due to their years of industry experience. Their expertise in crafting specialized and efficient solutions surpasses what AI can offer.

In essence, despite the capabilities of AI, the expertise of a professional programmer prevails, as their experience and knowledge ensure optimal and efficient code tailored to specific situations.

I am sure more AI tools can define the best solution to solve a specific issue, but to define which is the best solution, human input is still needed.

Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

Is It Worthwhile to Embrace AI in Art Production?

From a production standpoint, my answer is a resounding yes. In my first experience using AI to assist in coding, I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I accomplished tasks that seemed daunting before. While the initial outcome was met with success from a programmer’s perspective, it was further refined by our in-house tech artist, resulting in remarkable progress. Tasks that initially took an hour to complete were drastically reduced to just 10 minutes. Witnessing such incredible results was truly inspiring.

Encountering this challenge significantly bolstered my confidence in developing my own tools for future art productions. Witnessing how AI enabled me to harness my potential in providing technical support to the Art Production Team was truly remarkable. This workable pipeline has opened up a world of possibilities, and together with AI, we will continue crafting more tools to enhance the team’s overall efficiency.

And here is the end of the article. Tooduloo! Fallow Artist!