Week 08: Pre-production and Production management department

We already know what is the Production management Department, but what is the Pre-production Department? This one draws up rough versions of the VFX so the production can be planned and works out what tools will be needed

Production management Department

VFX Editor

A visual effects editor, also known as a VFX editor, is the person who is overseeing and is responsible for all the visual effects in production.

The VFX editor is a link between the film – or TV production – and the VFX studio that works on the visual effects. Moreover, the duties of this role depend on whether they are employed by a studio (in-house) or by a film or by the TV production company (client-side).

Let’s see how their duties change related to each employment:

  1. Client-side VFX editor:
    • Works on a set while the live-action footage is being shot
    • Checks if the shots are captured properly to integrate VFX afterwards
    • Keep track of the director’s note and makes sure the in-house VFX editor know any changes that will affect the VFX
    • Brings shot drafts together allowing the director to see how the production will look once the VFX will be incorporated
    • Makes sure the footage comes together as planned
  2. In-house VFX editor:
    • Works closely with the client-side VFX editor
    • Is responsible for ensuring everything the VFX artists need to create their work

VFX editors create a workflow that allows the VFX supervisor to evaluate VFX artists’ work and provide feedback on aesthetic and technical direction.

VFX editors skills include:

  • Keen eye for details, making sure every shot is at the highest quality possible
  • Strong undestanding of software and story-telling
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Keep clients informed on progress
  • Keep track of ethe work, any project changes and keep all staff informed
  • Good time-management skills
  • Meet schedules and deadlines

With who they do work?

  1. Client-side VFX editors: work with directors, producers, editors and in-house VFX editors.
  2. In-house VFX editors: work under the VFX supervisors and collaborate with data input/output technicians, pipeline TDs and VFX producers. They also liaise with the client-side VFX editors and post-production editors.

Web reference


Data input/output technicians

Data input/output (I/O) technicians are responsible for organizing, transferring, and storing the computer files and data for a VFX production company.

They make logs and perform quality control checks on all the files they receive to see if there are problems or if the files are corrupted. Therefore, I/O technicians manage the computer’s storage, retrieval systems, and company hard drives and give technical support to people working on the VFX pipeline.

The I/O technicians’ duties are:

  • Oversee the organizations of projects drives and data
  • Material’s quality control
  • Coordinating and monitoring various projects and task properly and efficiently
  • Support by helping monitoring VFX artists
  • Monitor disk space usage
  • Deal with high-quality video files

Data input/output technicians’ skills include:

  • Strong undestanding of different digital camera formats such as Alexa, Cannon, Phantom and Red
  • High level of programming and coding skills in C++ and Phyton
  • Know how the VFX pipeline is created
  • Communications skills with a large range of staff as other I/O technicians and VFX artists
  • Keen eye for details of files and data that need to be stored
  • Working quickly, efficiently and effectively

Data I/O technicians work mainly in a team and liaise with other VFX departments in a company.

Web resource


Data I/O t

Pre-production department

Concept Artist

Visual storytelling is the key task of the Concept Artist, they imagine characters and worlds from off the page and bring the story to life. It sets the tone and visual style for a project and is a point of reference for everyone involved in the project.

They interpret a design brief from a client or expand their own original idea by illustrating and carrying out researches on key characters and environments of a project. Moreover, their concept helps other members of a production to have a shared vision.

Mainly the work concept artists produce is 2D stills, but can also produce 3D CG wireframes to help speed up the VFX production pipeline.

Their responsibilities are:

  • Communicate with prooducers, art directors etc
  • Researching conceppt subjects, style and genre
  • Creating detailed designs from a brief
  • Presenting a series of drafts
  • Drawing up specification sheets, establish dimentions and details
  • Using traditional and technological approchead for either 2D and 3D environments
  • Assisting in creation of materials and assets

Concept artists skills required are:

  • Strong drawing skills
  • Knowledge of anatomy, costuming, physical settings and histpry-related ref
  • Knowledge of facial expressions, pose and movement
  • Able to draw from written briefs
  • Keen eye for details
  • Knowledge of the animation processes
  • Illustrations and 3D sofware knowledge

Concept artists work with directors and production designers, but also with lighting artists, modeling artists, and draughtsmen to develop CG creatures or environments.

Web reference



Previsualisation Artist

A Previs Animator (or Previs Artist) creates 3D animatics, which are rough versions of scenes used as a draft of animation to test the action. Different drafts may be created in this previsualization process.

Previs artists take the form of 3D animatics starting with a 2D storyboard and creating drafts versions of different moving image sequences. They put all together using compositing and editing skills.

Their responsibilities are:

  • Liasise with directors and animators for the look and style
  • Research sequences and assembling references
  • Translating storyboard into animated sequences
  • Creating previs using media as photos, illustrations, visual references etc..
  • Editing and compositing scenes
  • Ensuring consistency in style and look
  • Tetsing previs assets and rigs
  • Integrating sounds and visuals to the sequence
  • Rendering final animations of previs
  • Working with motion capture references

Their required skills are:

  • Editing, compositing and coding skills
  • Experience with rendering
  • General animation skills as modelling, rigging, shading etc..
  • Understandign of animation process
  • Solid knowledge of film language, genre and cinematography principles
  • Visual storytelling skills
  • Problem-solving and communciation skills
  • Artistic eye for detail
  • High level on using 3D animaton, VFX software

This job role works closely with layout TDs and directors. They also liaise with the production management department to ensure the project stays on schedule and report everything to the VFX supervisor.

Web reference



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