Week 03 – CG Department

The Computer-generated (CG) Department defines the look of the VFX, creates the characters, vehicles, backgrounds and effects like explosions

For this task, I am going to underline the aspects of four different job roles related to this department.

Modelling Artists

Modelling Artists build 3D characters and environments based on concept art. They mainly create a “wireframe”, commonly referred to as a “mesh” of the object, and build the models’ surfaces – or skins – by wrapping 2D textures on the digital frame. Modellers also create character skeletons, which animators then control. 

The characters and environments that 3D modellers create are used for video games and 3D movies as well as images and modelling for websites, graphic designs, animation, film effects, and so on. According to several career websites, the demand for 3D modellers to create models for research and development purposes is very high. This means career opportunities in the medical, architecture, engineering, chemistry, geology, and crime labs fields are plentiful.

There is also a slight difference between Modelling Artist and Character Artist even if usually both refer to the same people. We must underline that if a modelling artist specializes in creating a specific type of 3D model, for instance, characters, then they may refer to themselves as a character artist. In this case, they will likely create both models and textures for characters. However, smaller VFX companies may not distinguish between modelling and texturing artist roles, and advertise for one position to do both.

Employers may look for the following skills in this field:

  • Having a good understanding of form, color and texture and make these elements work perfectly together
  • Being able to create 3D model from 2D brief, quick and having a required level of detail and quality
  • Being able to use programs such as Blender, Maya ans ZBrush but also Cinema4D. The more you know, the better.
  • Working within the production schedule
  • And being able to work with other artists

In the end, Modelling artists usually work with 4 different figures: they take briefs from concept artists; draw their models into the work created by environment artists, and pass their work onto the texture artists and animators (job roles we are going to explain afterward) to finish it up.

Web reference:




An Animator is responsible for creating a series of images known as frames, to simulate movement. Their duties include working with creative professionals including storytellers, designers, and voice actors to produce films, video games, or graphics for commercials and other forms of TV entertainment. 

Animators use computers and other techniques to create moving images that tell stories or provide information. They work with clients and production team members to establish project goals, create storyboards, and design and refine animations. To be a successful animator, you should be adaptable, creative, and receptive to direction.

As an animator, you must be good at:

  • Drawing and reveal emotions through a character’s movement and have spatial awareness
  • Have a good understandin of the pirnciples and mechanics’animation
  • Be adept at using relevant programmes
  • Working within the production schedule and matching deadlines
  • Be able to work with other VFX roles in the pipeline

An animator needs more than artistic talent to work in this occupation. In addition to the technical skills learned in an academic program, they must have certain soft skills such as:

  • Communication interpersonal skills
  • Listening and speaking skills
  • Time management skills

These three soft skills are not just related to this job description but are necessary and essential for all the VFX Industry roles.

VFX animators work from an overall brief from the film’s director. They pick up the work from matchmove artists, who create the rigs for the scene’s elements that will be animated.

Web Reference



Texture Artist

Texture Artists specialize in creating the textures of 3D animated objects. They require a biological understanding of skin in humans and animals, as well as a knowledge of textiles, geographic elements, architectural finishes, landscapes, etc.

The role of the gaming Texture Artist is to recreate realistic or fantastical textures or surfaces to characters or objects until they look like a photograph. They specialize in all surface qualities of 3D computer models such as skins, flesh, textiles, armor, fur, hair, and so forth and so on. Texture Artists work from a library stock, but they might use photographs from the live-action footage of the film they are making to digitally project them onto a 3D model as a basis for the texture. With gaming graphics becoming ever more sophisticated, this job role delivers increasingly real and dynamic results. 

Any Texture Artist needs to have a keen eye for detail as everything that surrounds them could be a reference point for a surface or character skin.

The usual duties of a Texture Artist include:

  • Dialog with designers and developers regarding the design brief
  • Researching reference materials for aesthetics and genre of game, film or animation
  • Working with post production and visual effects teams for seamless integration with footage
  • Develop and refine textures during the production process
  • Collaborate with animators and modelers on the best textures for each object and character
  • UV mapping
  • Maintain a high level of design and photorealism

Employers may look for the following skills in this field:

  • Having a good understanding of form, color and texture and make these elements work perfectly together
  • Having technical proficiency
  • Know how to use programs as Blender, Maya, Adobe Ps, Zbrush and keep improving their ability with these
  • Working with the production schedule
  • And working with other artists, using each other’s resources to work effecrively

Texture artists work for VFX companies but can also be freelancers. Even in this case, smaller VFX companies may not distinguish between texturing and modelling artist roles as they advertise for one position to do both.

Web reference



Enviroment Artist

3D Environment Artists are 3D Modelers who specialize in creating indoor and outdoor settings for films or usually video games.

Such as a Modelling Artist, the Environment Artist first creates a ‘wireframe’, commonly referred to as a ‘mesh’, of the environment. This looks like a series of overlapping lines (or interconnected polygon shapes) in the shape of the intended 3D environment. The more the environment has polygons in it, the more photorealistic everything will look.

The responsibilities of the Environment Artists are:

  • Modelling and texturing elements
  • Working from storyboards and concept art to develop environments
  • Researching references and resources
  • And creating prototypes and mock-ups in early stages of production

A Video Game Environment Artist works closely with Level Designers – a creator of the levels within a game, mapping out the layout so that it functions within the rules of the game – and Animators, to design within the framework of the action of each sequence or level. They must also consider the technical aspects of animation lag, glitches, and incomplete objects when working on the resolution and complexity of the environment.

An Environment Artist’s skills must be:

  • Good ad drawing and Solid understanding of visual language – texture, color, dimension, scale, perspective, lighting, shade, composition depth of field, proportion
  • Strong knowledge of geography, architecture and the laws of physics
  • Know how to use programs as Blender, Maya and ZBrush
  • Self-motivated, able to work under pressure and meet deadlines

A great problem in smaller VFX companies might be caused by not distinguishing between environment, modelling, or texturing artist roles, and instead advertise for one modelling artist position, involving all roles. This can cause a great deal for a single person in a small company.

Web reference




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