Week 07: Production Management and Technical Department

On this task, we are going to talk about four more different job roles. Two for each department we already described in the previous tasks.

Production Managment Department

VFX Producer

On a film set, the VFX producer oversees the schedule and budget of the VFX department. This makes this role responsible for ensuring that the VFX artists and VFX Supervisors bring to life the digital work in a timely and fiscally responsible manner.

The VFX producer works also in three different stages:

  1. Pre-production:
    1. Meets creative and technical executives in order to discuss the director’s vision. This allows to estimate the amount of VFX work and decide how many on-set special effects are supposed to be used.
  2. On-set:
    1. They are responsible for overseeing the VFX department’s schedule and the budget.
    2. Work closely with the live-action production crew
  3. Post-production:
    1. Here the VFX Producer will be responsible for ensuring that the VFX artist and supervisors are going to stick to the determined schedule. if needed, alterations will be made.
    2. Work with the editors

The VFX producer follows the project from beginning to end to make all the VFX work completed.

Let’s see which are the responsibilities a VFX Producer has:

  • Interact and mantain contact with the clients
  • Schedule production goals and tasks
  • Schedule client review sessions
  • Ensure all shots are tracked throughout the pproocess until final delivery
  • Mantain a smooth workflow
  • Take care of projects from the beginning phase till the last deadline having the job of centralize information
  • Ensure the timing and deadlines on the project will be kept

A VFX Producer skills are:

  • Plan and manage the project and to budget accurately
  • Stronk communcation and leadership skillls
  • Understand the VFX pipeline’s aspects
  • Problems-solving skills
  • Keep the clients informed and keep good relationships

This role liaises with producers and directors of the production. They also work closely with VFX supervisors, production managers – which is going to be described right after – and coordinators.

Web reference



VFX producers

Production Manager

A production manager takes care of multiple things that ensure that the production runs smoothly, from hiring crew and equipment, having a location to film at, to any problem that may arise on set that needs tackling. Every Production manager act on the decisions made by the VFX producer.

They create the detailed schedule for the project, oversee the work of the production coordinator, and last but not least, liaise with the VFX artists and TDs from all parts of the VFX pipeline to check that the work is completed on time.

Responsibilities for this kind of job include:

  • Planning and organising production schedules
  • Hiring artist
  • Assesing project and resources requirements
  • Estimating and agreeing budgets and timescales with clients and managers
  • Conduct regular inspections of machinery, workers and the units
  • Ensuring that health and safety standards are met
  • Determining quality control standards
  • Overseeing production processes
  • Sanction purchasing of equipment
  • Supervising juniors’ work

A Production manager must be good at:

  • Communications skille by keep contact with different departments on a production
  • Being organized and multitasking
  • Be one step ahead of what’s going on
  • Leadership skills
  • Knowledge of VFX
  • Anticipating anu issue that may occur furing the porject with problem-solving skills

The Production Manager answers the VFX producer, but manage the production coordinators and runners.

Web reference



Technical Department

Rigging Technical Director

This position is responsible for designing and implementing new rig modules, tools and plug-ins that allow for a variety of props, vehicles, characters and other CG objects that need to be animated by animators.

Rigging TDs receive 3D models in a static pose – generally from 3D artists – and work out how the bones move when a character runs or – if they receive facial shapes and expressions – smiles. Also, Rigging TDs create computer programmes that simulates those movements.

Later, animators test rigs and give a feedback to this role, who then will complete any requested fixes so that the process can continue until both parties are happy with the models.

Their duties are:

  • Implement new rig modules base on feedback from Animation and Rigging teams
  • Create tools for the rigging department
  • Provide technical direction to reach the highest level of rigging
  • Reppresent the Rigging department and interface with animation and other departments
  • Provide support to artist and supervisor
  • Resolve issues quickly
  • Generate documentation and tutorials for artists
  • Give tool and workflow demonstrations within the pipeline
  • Meet delivery deadlines under production constraints

Moreover their required skills are:

  • Proogramming and coding in Python and C++ and be able to use Houdini, Maya and Nuke
  • Complete tasks under pressure and be organized
  • Work with other VFX artists, using each other’s resources efficiently
  • Strong and high level of knowledge of anathomy and physics
  • Find solutions as quickly as possible to support modellers and animators need

Rigging TDs work under the management of a VFX supervisor and communicate with the production management department about schedules and deadlines. Moreover, Rigging TDs liaise with 3D modellers and animators, who test the rigs.

Web resources

Rigging TDs

Careers in screen


Creature Technical Director

A Creature TD is responsible for building, rigging and simulating the internal anatomy of a creature, in order to drive the final deformation of the skin. They also define animation controls and rigging puppets to be used by animation and other departments.

Developing and programming digital tools for all artists who work on CG creatures, the Creature Technical Director also works with the pipeline TDs to incorporate the tools into a VFX production pipeline.

Creature TDs work depends on the size of the studio:

  1. Small studios
    • they rig creating system of skeletons and sucles usend by animators later on
  2. Large studios
    • they focus their work on creating fur, hair, feathers and skin

They must make sure the effects look convincing and blend seamlessly with other VFX and live-action components.

A Creature TD skills are:

  • Being able to come up with solutions and overcome obstacles quickly
  • Being able to work with other VFX artists and use each other’s resources efficiently
  • Programming and coding skills on Python, C++ and Mel, and being a Houdini, Maya, Ziva Dynamics power user

TDs answer to CG and VFX supervisors and liaise with the production department about schedules and deadlines. They also work closely with VFX artists such as Modeling artists, Riggers and Animators.

Web resources



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *