How To Become a Matchmover

How To Become a Matchmover

What is a Matchmover?
A Matchmover is the bridge between 2D and 3D. A Matchmover is responsible for match moving, which is a technique that allows the insertion of computer graphics into live-action footage.

What is the Job?
Match moving has become a standard visual effects technique in almost every case where live-action materials and computer-generated imagery are combined. It allows real and virtual scenes to be seamlessly merged together, to make them appear as if they are from the same perspective.

The most basic duty of a Matchmover is to match a CG camera to a live action camera, as well as matching animated objects and characters to real-world objects and characters. This is done by object-matching and tracking the movement of a camera through a shot so that a virtual camera can reproduce identical motion through the use of the latest match moving software.

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How To Become a Concept Artist

How To Become a Concept Artist

What is a Concept Artist?
A Concept Artist is a designer who visualises and creates art for characters, creatures, vehicles, environments, and other creative assets. Concept art is used to visualise ideas so that Modellers, Animators and VFX Artists can make these ideas a reality, ready for production.

What is the job?
The role of a Concept Artist involves getting the project started by imagining and sketching characters and worlds that don’t yet exist across film, animation, VFX, video games and advertising. You’ll have to apply imagination and artistic skill to create images of people, creatures, places and moods.

A Concept Artist has the opportunity to work across many areas of visual media, such as animation, comic books, and films. Any project involving a visual story will likely require a Concept Artist. You can choose to specialise in one area of concept art, such as character (producing mainly human characters), creature (illustrating non-human characters) or environmental (creating detailed scenes and worlds).

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How To Become a 3D Generalist

How To Become a 3D Generalist

What is a 3D Generalist?
A 3D Generalist is an individual who can work in any number of capacities on projects in the film, games and animation industries. They are fairly common in the field, and most students with little specific career experience will be prepared to start as a Generalist while they sharpen their skills.

What is the job?
The role of a 3D Generalist varies from studio to studio. However, in most positions, Generalists are responsible for modelling, rigging, animation, motion capture, painting, and sculpting. On top of this, the 3D Generalist will be responsible for anything else that the studio needs done at any given time. It’s not expected for the 3D Generalist to be an expert in every field, but it is expected that they have basic knowledge in a variety of niches.

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How To Become a Rotoscoper

How To Become a Rotoscoper

What is a Rotoscoper?
Rotoscope Artists provide traced outlines (mattes) so that live-action objects can be integrated into layers for films, television shows, and video games. Instead of manually tracing each frame by hand, computers and complex software are used to make the process slightly easier.

What is the Job?
The main duties of a Rotoscoper involve tracing over live-action movements on film, in order to create more realistic and fluid animation. Modern technology has allowed this process to become a lot easier than it used to be; the old technique of projecting film images onto a glass panel to be redrawn has almost completely been replaced by computers. Rotoscopers will create detailed digital mattes with 2D image processing and drawing tools. The mattes are then used to remove wires, rigs, and other unwanted elements, as well as to make background fixes and extractions.

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How To Become a Junior Animator

How To Become a Junior Animator

What is a Junior Animator?
A Junior Animator, as the name suggests, is a junior member of an animation team, whether that be working on 2D, 3D model-making, stop-frame or computer-generated animation.

What is the job?
A Junior Animator’s role can involve several stages, including generating ideas, building models and rigging lighting. The role of a Junior Animator will often require the creation of storyboards that depict the script and narrative, which will involve drawing in 2D to create sketches, artwork or illustrations. On top of this, you will be responsible for developing the timing and pace of the movements of characters or objects during the sequence of images, as well as ensuring they follow the soundtrack and audio requirements.

As a Junior Animator, you will be expected to be able to use technical software packages, such as Flash, 3Ds Max, Maya and LightWave. The basic skill of animation still relies heavily on artistic ability, but there is an ever increasing need for animators to be familiar with technical computer packages.

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How To Become a Production Designer

How To Become a Production Designer

What is a Production Designer?
A Production Designer is an individual who is responsible for overseeing the visuals of a production. They choose a design style for sets, locations, graphics, props, lighting, camera angles and costumes. They also work closely with the director and producer.

What is the Job?
Production Designers are responsible for the visual concept of a film, television or theatre production. They will begin work at the very early stages of pre-production and are requested by the Director or Producer, who’ll collaborate with them to decide the design style for the film. Once this concept is decided, they’ll be responsible for appointing and managing the art department. All of a Production Designer’s work will take place in pre-production and principle photography stages.

Production Designers play a crucial role in helping Directors to achieve the film’s visual requirements, and in providing Producers with carefully calculated schedules which offer a variety of ways to make the film within the agreed budgets and time schedule.

They may have to prepare detailed drawings and specifications in order to pitch work on productions before they are actually offered the job. Once they are offered the position, they may be asked to look at scripts to provide estimates of the projected art department spend. This will involve them reading the script and assessing the visual qualities that will help to create atmosphere and bring the story to life.

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How To Become a Gaffer

How To Become A Gaffer

What is a Gaffer?
A Gaffer is the head of the lighting and power department on a film set. They work mainly in pre-production and production and are responsible for helping to achieve the desired cinematic image.

What is the job?
The Gaffer will collaborate with the Director and Cinematographer to decide on the aesthetic for the visuals of the film, and make a plan of how they are logistically going to achieve them. This involves the Gaffer scouting the locations and where the lights can live in each set up, as well as making sure cables can be run and finding a safe place for the generator. On top of this, the Gaffer will work with the Cinematographer to create lighting plots, which act as a reference point to help establish a plan.

Other duties that the Gaffer is responsible for include negotiating with Producers, as well as Production Managers, on the electrical budget and required lighting equipment. The Gaffer must constantly work with their crew to make them as efficient as possible, to make sure production is happening quickly and efficiently. If the lighting department is slow, shots will be cut and the production may go into overtime (this is because changing lighting setups usually takes the most time in a transition on set).

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How to Become a Lighting Technical Director

How To Become a Lighting Technical Director

What is a Lighting Technical Director?
A Lighting Technical Director (TD) is an essential member of the CGI team who adds surface qualities to objects, through adding depth to sets and characters with shadows, as well as light to provide illumination that helps accentuate the mood and emotion of a scene.

What is the Job?
As a Lighting Technical Director, you will be responsible for ensuring effects look as good as possible with the available resources. It is also your duty to write tools to facilitate lighting and shading rendering techniques, to ensure that shots can maintain the highest standard and continuity as required.

Lighting Technical Directors often work from references, such as paintings, drawings, photographs and film, as well as actual objects and locations. On top of this, they will work with a variety of different departments, such as art, digital paint and lighting, and will work in a variety of different stages of production (but will spend most of the job in rendering).

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How To Become a Grip

How To Become a Grip

What is a Grip?
A Grip is part of the production team that is responsible for developing and building sets for the production. It is usually an entry-level position and often requires a flexible schedule with irregular working hours.

What is the Job?
As a Grip, you will work primarily on complex equipment that supports the cameras and lighting. It can be a physically-demanding job, as it involves construction and set up, as well as the tearing down of sets once production has finished. It can involve setting up, maintaining and then dismantling backings, which are the large, painted backgrounds. On top of this, you may also have to order and sort out the renting of equipment, and carry out various administrative duties.

There are various types of Grips – the Key Grip, the Best Boy Grip, and the Dolly Grip. Often, individuals will begin as Grips, and then as they gain experience, they will specialise and through promotion may become the Key Grip.

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How To Become a Production Accountant

How To Become A Production Accountant

What is a Production Accountant?
Production Accountants are responsible for managing the finances and maintaining financial records during a film or TV production, including preparing schedules and budgets for shooting, and managing the day to day accounting and financial reporting.

What is the job?
A Production Accountant looks after all of the finances for a production. Their duties include calculating outgoings, costing productions, liaising with financiers, and managing cash flow. It is also their responsibility to ensure that all financial legal requirements are met. They will finalise all financial records relating to the production and may have to arrange an independent audit. On top of this, they are responsible for helping Producers and Production Managers to prepare budgets, and will also set up and manage accounting systems, and supervise Assistant Accountants and Accounts Trainees.

Sometimes, at larger production houses and studios, Production Accountants will work in collaboration with Senior Accountants, known as Financial Controllers, who are often permanently employed by the company, or in collaboration with Studio Finance Executives.

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