How To Become a 3D Animator

How To Become a 3D Animator

What is a 3D Animator?
People who work in the field of three-dimensional (3D) animation create visual effects and animated characters for television, video games, and other electronic media. They create moving images using digital models and add details to the pictures, such as landscapes, skin textures or clothing, and portray characters by giving images emotions, habits and expression. 3D animators create drawings or take photographs/films of an actor’s movements and then use technical and design skills to breath life into their digital creations.

What is the Job?
On any given day, a 3D Animator may take on a variety of tasks to create characters, visual effects and even scenery. Different projects have different demands, but an understanding of movement and basic art principles like lines, shadow, light and perspective are always necessary.

Typical duties of a 3D Animator include:

  • Meeting with clients and key stakeholders, such as Directors, Actors, Video Game Designers and other Animators, to determine the scope of the work and project deadlines.
  • Researching subjects to ensure accurate animated representations.
  • Communicating with other Designers to ensure a cohesive vision across the product.
  • Storyboarding to develop scenes that require animation.
  • Using software to create animated characters, scenes and graphics.
  • Adjusting colours, lighting, shadows and textures to perfect lifelike appearances.
  • Integrating client and stakeholder feedback into final designs.

Read More

How To Become a Development Assistant Producer

How To Become a Development Assistant Producer

What is a Development Assistant Producer?
Development Assistant Producers (or Development APs) are part of the team that comes up with the ideas that get transformed into TV programmes. They research and flesh out briefs given to them by the Development Producer, using their contacts and industry knowledge gleaned from several years’ experience. They have lots of ideas themselves and a nose for a good story.

What is the Job?
Development APs help condense diverse ideas into a communicable pitch. Depending on the type of programme they are developing, they may be responsible for filming and editing ‘casting tapes’, which are short interviews with potential contributors, including experts, presenters or members of the public. They may also be asked to shoot and edit a short ‘taster tape’ (also known as a ‘sizzle’) to give the commissioner a taste of the content, style and tone of the show they are hoping to get commissioned. If they are working on the development of a new quiz show, they may have to write questions and test games or rounds to see if they work.

Read More

How To Become a Layout TD

How To Become a Layout TD

What is a Layout TD?
A Layout TD (Layout Technical Director) is a VFX (Visual Effects) role, responsible for providing a foundation in terms of shots for the rest of the production team.

What is the Job?
A Layout TD (Layout Technical Director) determines the position of the virtual camera, and ‘blocks’ the characters for computer generated image shots of a virtual effects sequence. This involves choreographing where the characters will be positioned and where they will move to throughout the shot.

As a Layout TD, you will have to consider a shot’s framing, composition, camera angle, camera path and movement, as well as paying some attention to the lighting of each key scene. The work of a Layout TD will enable other VFX artists to carry out their work – as a Layout TD, anything you create is going to be passed onto the CG departments as the foundation of their shots.

Read More

How To Become a Sound Designer

How To Become a Sound Designer

What is a Sound Designer?
A Sound Designer is responsible for creating the soundscape for a TV, film, theatre or animation production.

What is the job?
Sound designers have overall responsibility for everything an audience hears during a production, from sound effects to the voices of the actors. They usually start to work at the same time as the Sound Editors, which might be after the picture lock or even before production starts, depending on the film budget.

It the decision of Sound Designers to decide which sounds to use in order to create the right atmosphere and communicate the story and characters to the audience. Whilst it is their decision to decide what sounds to use, they will discuss ideas with the Director to get an overview of the effect and atmosphere that the director wants to create.

Read More

How To Become an Edit Assistant

How To Become an Edit Assistant

What is an Edit Assistant?
An Edit Assistant is an individual that supports the Editor(s) in all aspects of putting together a production/film.

What is the job?
An Edit Assistant will be responsible for keeping a log of all materials coming into the editorial department. As well as video, this may include storyboard panels, animated scenes, dialogue, sound effects, and soundtracks. They will take care of digitisation, conversion, and storage of all the necessary footage and other assets.

In addition to this, Edit Assistants may also have administrative duties, which could include booking appointments with clients and in-house staff, making sure that equipment is correctly working, and placing orders with suppliers. The role will also involve an element of keeping up to date with changes in software and technology.

Read More

How To Become a VFX Producer

How To Become A VFX Producer

What is VFX Producer?
The VFX (Visual Effects) Producer is responsible for achieving the creative aims of the Director or Producers through the use of visual effects. It is a senior role, with a high level of responsibility running the visual effects department.

What is the Job?
The VFX Producer works in pre-production, on set, and in post-production. On set, the VFX Producer is responsible for overseeing the schedule, as well as the budget of the visual effects department. This means they are responsible for ensuring that the VFX Artists and VFX Supervisor complete work in a timely and fiscally responsible manner.

In the pre-production stage, the VFX Producer will have to meet with creative and technical executives, in order to discuss the Director’s overall visual concept. This will allow them to estimate the amount of VFX work that will be required after filming, and allow them to decide how many on-set special effects will be used. This stage of production will involve adjusting the pre-determined schedule and budget to fit in with the planned work.

Read More

How To Become a Steadicam Operator

How To Become a Steadicam Operator

What is a Steadicam Operator?
A Steadicam is a camera stabilizing system used to capture tracking shots with motion picture cameras. A Steadicam Operator is an individual who is responsible for setting up the Steadicam, and capturing the footage for the production.

What is the Job?
Before Steadicams were invented, smooth moving shots had to be prepared through a very time consuming rigging of a lot of bulky tracking equipment. Nowadays, even though it’s much easier, operating a Steadicam still requires plenty of expertise and physical effort. A Steadicam is a system that keeps the camera operators movements smooth regardless of how fast the operator is moving, or how bumpy the surface that the camera is on is. Steadicam Operators are responsible for the equipment they operate, which sometimes is actually their own.

The equipment that a Steadicam Operator is in charge of usually weights around 40kg and it has to be worn for long periods while performing movement, so excellent physical fitness is essential.

Read More

How To Become a Post Production Supervisor

How To Become a Post Production Supervisor

What is a Post Production Supervisor?
A Post Production Supervisor is an individual (or a team) that helps a Producer achieve as much as possible in the edit process without going over the set budget.

What is the Job?
The Post Production supervisor oversees all aspects of the post production process. The role of the Post Production Supervisor will vary depending on the type of production and the budget.

Their main job is to provide an overall picture of what can be realistically achieved in post production.

Their role will also include making sure the Producers are aware of all of the creative and financial considerations of post production before work on the film starts.

Duties may include helping with employing staff for the edit, and supplying accurate information for the cost reports for the Production Accountant.

A Post Production Supervisor will work on production until all elements needed for the completion of the film are complete, including music and effects.

Read More

How To Become a Pipeline TD

How To Become a Pipeline Technical Director

What is a Pipeline TD?
Pipeline Technical Directors (TDs) make sure a VFX project runs smoothly by identifying and fixing problems as they arise. This is done by making sure each department has the software tools that they need to complete their part of the project to the best standard possible.

What is the Job?
The role of a Pipeline TD will involve working closely with the rest of the pipeline team. It involves the responsibility for developing and maintaining departmental tools used for animation, VFX and other projects. Specific responsibilities will include writing and modifying computer code to solve problems related to art or productivity, acting as a liaison for communicating technical issues to Production, R&D and IT, testing and debugging tools and processes to ensure stability, and educating Artists on how to work with the pipeline and department tools.

A Pipeline TD will work with a range of people, including 3D Animators, Riggers, Modellers, Lighters, and Compositors. They communicate with VFX Artists across the team to understand their needs. If the project that they are working on isn’t running smoothly, then it is the Pipeline TD’s responsibility to identify what kind of tools need to be developed to fix the issues.

Read More

How To Become an Archive Producer

How To Become an Archive Producer

What is an Archive Producer?
Archive Producers are a key part of the production team, employed especially for working on archive-based films. Many productions will use footage that has been filmed by someone else, and the Archive Producer’s job is to source this content, and secure permission for it to be used in the production.

What is the Job?
The role of Archive Producer will vary from set to set, depending on the film that is being made. Sometimes studios can ask for individuals with specialist knowledge of particular subject, so you may not be able to work on every production.

The role of Archive Producer will involve working with Producers and Editors to determine the archive content needed, as well as managing all selected archival materials. In addition to this, Archive Producers may be responsible for working with Assistant Editors and Associate Producers in the management of archival elements for Editors.

An Archive Producer has similar duties to an Archive Researcher, but with more responsibility.

Read More