In most of the companies, the technical illustrators are solely responsible to illustrate illustrations in technical manuals. It is time to think of the resurgence of technical illustrators, especially bearing in mind the necessities of mobile documentation.Illustrations are very essential in order to explain complicated technical matters in a comprehensible manner. The concept of technical illustration is not new but always existed from the start as it is observed by experts today.
The Position that technical illustration occupies today
Only digital illustrations are utilized in technical documents today. Mostly these are photos, since computerization has obviously simplified the complete creation process when compared to the previous analogue images. The line illustration and texture illustrations are created digitally for technical documents. Moving images are also made from these figures.
Moving pictures, be it digital videos or animation along with fixed pictures can in the future play a significant part in relating technical information. As technology grows, there is lot of demand for technical illustration and mobile documentation for tablets and smartphones. It will be only a short time before there is a sudden surge in demand for mobile documentation. According to expert opinion, the amount of material of technical illustration will also drastically increase in the future.
The field of technical illustration – A complex arena
Today the making of fixed and moving illustrations in accordance with the target audience is complicated material. A higher level of skill, experience and knowledge in depth from several fields is essential. A special skill set in illustration software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator programs dealing with graphics and 3D software is required. It is also very vital to have keen knowledge in image designing and visualizations and other technical aspects.
What does the job profile of technical illustrator comprise of?
The technical illustrators themselves are the authors of illustration documents. They are expected to deliver quality that is acceptable and precise to the topic given. They should analyze the given situation and get a synopsis of the present profile that is required of them. They should have good knowledge of graphics software like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe illustrator and other software that are mostly used. They should also have working knowledge in 3D visualization tools. An experienced technical illustration should be able to create graphics according to client specifications and integrate them in technical manuals.
The technical illustrator should have skills in editing and creating graphics and photos that are needed in technical documents. They should be well versed in drawing technical illustrations from design drawings. They should be able to create 2D and 3D images for the purpose of technical documentation. The technical illustrator should be able to visualize complicated technical data and create and edit screenshots and graphics for different purposes. There also a lot of other technical aspects that needs to be covered by the technical illustrator.
What do clients expect from a technical illustrator?
A majority of the clients today expect the technical writers to edit and create their own illustrations and also should possess corresponding talent and skills. In some bigger organizations they have a distinct graphics division and may also hire service providers externally who are responsible for creating illustrations. The field of a technical illustrator is very competitive and is required to develop quality work to survive. There are also a large number of technical illustrators who are dedicated in the creation of images necessary for technical documentation. They are permanent employees and also the company may hire service providers.
There is a division between the department of technical illustrators and graphic designers. So this leaves the job of illustrating technical illustrations only in the hands of technical illustrators. The whole quality of technical illustration depends upon the skill and knowledge of visual communication of the technical illustrators. So if the technical illustrations are solely created by the technical illustrator they should have a wide-ranging expertise which fulfils the qualification that the job requires. Additionally, the technical illustrator should have the expertise and knowledge in the field of creating mobile and multimedia illustrations to sustain himself in the future market.
Education required for technical illustrator
The technical illustrator should have a good knowledge in visual communication and this is a permanent part of study. Technical illustrators are trained in creating and image editing skills. The profile of a technical illustrator goes beyond the task of a technical writer. For technical illustrators of today, mobile documentation, animation and content that is interactive is most essential. Day by day the profile of technical illustrator is rapidly expanding and challenging too. As there is comprehensive range of work for the technical illustrators,they should expand their knowledge base with new and innovative technical standards.
At present, there are very few courses available in the field of technical illustrations that focus on visual communication. Most of the universities offer training in the field of technical illustration but still there is deficiency of an independent course in technical illustration. The demand for fixed and moving technical illustrations for multimedia and mobile phones are increasing every day and if the demands have to be met then the number of qualified technical illustrators should be available.
Working as a freelance technical illustrator
You can also work as a freelancer, most of the technical illustrators work at their own pace while they hold their jobs in place. Even advertising companies and publishers hire freelance technical illustrators. If you are interested in freelancing you should build upon your skills and build a strong brand image in the market, as you will be solely promoting yourself. You can also try your hand at developing your skill sets especially in the field of animation or graphic designs. There is also a tremendous scope for technical illustrators to become heads of departs or art directors. All you need is expertise in drawing and technical skills in computer aided graphics. As you work independently you should also adapt to the clients style of working and problem-solving skills. You can use your imagination and creativity to enjoy working.