Category Archives: VFX industry

About the VFX industry-week 6

Look development artist

The workflow of look development artist:
Look development artist will start their work when they received ideas or concepts about appears from a director at the pre-production.
They might start brainstorming ideas and be able to provide the director with an early design version. In the early stage, it is mainly the 2D works. It aims to experiment with different colors, shape atmosphere, and place lights searching for the various mood that can help tell a story. Once they received 3D models and references, they can create different shading variations by using these objects.
As a look development artist and technical skills, you also need to understand theoretical knowledge. Colorspace is one of the essential parts. Sometimes you may not get the result in the final products because of the incorrect use of colorspace. In the second, maintain the continuity of the lens. Be careful not to show inappropriate scenes. Lastly, start simple and keep it as soon as possible. Do not waste time if you can get the desired look in more straightforward ways, of course, choose it. Time and results are much crucial than others. You have to save time for the rest of the steps for other departments.

  • Lighting artist

The lighting artist’s duty in the VFX industry is quite similar to the lighting artist on set. Both of them use light to create an atmosphere, tone, and mood. The difference between the two jobs is that lighting artists in the VFX industry have to control lighting in the computer, which means that they need to master basic theoretical knowledge and practical skills in 3D programmers, such as V-Ray, Arnold, and Redshift.
In general, the duty of lighting artist is quite simple. They need to put the light into the scene. However, the VFX industry’s difficult part is that they have to organize lighting in the 3D software because lighting is more operable in software.
In the 3D programmer, artist can use the following methods to control the light objects.
Apart from 3D light artist, there is also some light artist work for 2D project. 2D animation also needs light to make it more vivid. Otherwise, the picture will become rigid and boring. Recently. There is a new tool that was created by Les Films Du Rouge. The new technology can help the artist finish a fantastic amount of work in not much time and reduce cost.

Here is the demonsration of new tools

  • Prep artist

Prep artist work with the Compositor. They prepare cleaning footage for Compositor. They clean the dust or electric pylons, which are useless in the frames.
As prep artists, they should be good at painting using a graphics tablet, have a high level of VFX programs such as Maya, Photoshop, and particularly Nuke. Besides, they should be methodical and thorough.
The workflow of the prep artist is to receive all of the assets from other departments first. Then remove the unnecessary items in the shot and arrange them carefully to help prepare plates for compositors.

  • Compositing Artist

The compositing work with lighting directors and VFX artist. They are responsible for the final frames. The compositing artist collects digital assets like models, matte-painting, and live-action footage to bring them into the final shot and arrange them reasonable and believable.
As a compositor, they should be knowledgeable not only for the compositing programs but also for photography. For example, understand cameras, cinematography, and how films are made. Besides, they should have the ability to work under pressure because they are the final step in the post-production. They probably will not have much time after the earlier steps are complete.

About the VFX industry-week 3

Assistant TD

Assistant TDs work together with pipeline TDs and other TDs to manage information and assets on each department’s needs. They need to deal with minor bug reports and create small-scale tools for VFX artists by coding skills. 

As an assistant TD, they need to be patient and helpful and communicate well with other members in the VFX industry.  They need to be a master in Python and Java and have advanced knowledge about various relevant software like Maya and Nuke.

Production Coordinator

The critical skill for a production coordinator would be time management,  scheduling, and teamwork. In some companies, they might be an interpreter to help the foreigner members understand their task or translate some papers.

The production coordinator needs to understand the process and the needs of each department. They also need to be patient and communicate.

Modelling Artist

Modeling artist is the people who create characters, props, and buildings on the computer in 3D. Modeling artists will create models according to the concept arts by using 3D programs such as Maya, 3D Max, and C4d.

As a modeling Artist, you should create models and arrange the lines on the surface. You should also learn various software such as 3DMax, Maya, Rhino, Cinema4D, Zbrush master at least two.

The workflows of modeling artists can break into four parts. In the first place, you should know what you want to make. You might need a reference image at the beginning. You can search it online or painting the reference by yourself. it is better to have a reference picture from different angles.

In the second, you can create a foundation model in 3Dmax or Maya and arrange your lines carefully. Otherwise, it will impede you from developing your model in the next steps.

Then you can import your obj fils into Zbrush or Mudbox to add detail and sculpture it. Plus, start with big detail, then try to add a small piece. It is better to hold it. And keep comparing your model with the image from a different angle. It will help you to make it more complete.

Finally, you can edit the UV and normal Mapping in Maya.

Texturing Artist

The Texturing Artist, along with the modeler, is at the head of the production. Texture artists are responsible for applying color and surface on the 3D models. Their objective is to make the model’s surface match its concept art design or real-world counterpart.

Texture artists can work as many roles: makeup, painter, costume, designer, model painter, or all of the above on any given project(609).

As a texture artist, you should be imaginative. The reason because you have to create the painting/ texture in advance to make the model more believable. You have to imagine where the model is most likely going to have scratches or damage due to wear and tear.

Generally, 3D texturing is supposed to work with three parts, material, lighting, and tertiary detail.

The workflow of texturing artist

Unwrapping UV

The first step of texturing is to unwrap the model first, which means unfolding a 3D mesh. Then the artist will need to create UV for each model.

Texture painting and shading

Adding color and detail on the surface will include in this step. It is called “texture mapping.”

About the VFX industry- week 1


Runner can be defined as an Assistant coordinator. Their responsibility is to support all of the members of the company and provide the things that they want. They need to do a variety of jobs. They deliver materials and messages between different departments. They organize meeting and inform people to attend it. Apart from that they also do some little things like locking up, provide tea and coffee to workers.

As I know Runner is an entry-level position. Besides, it is a good way for the people who want to join the VFX industry but without relevant degree education. The reason because that duties of these jobs can help them easy to understand the process of making VFX. It is a straight way for them to acquire knowledge about VFX.

In addition, Runner is an essential part of the VFX industry. It should be involved in every project which can make the programmer more smooth. And also they always need passion and patient for their jobs.


Matchmove artist can be defined as tracking artist. The duties of Matchmover is that to insert the CG scenes into live-action footage with correct position, scale orientation.

They use given information to digitally recreate onset environment. The workflow of matchmove can be broken down into two steps. In the first step, the artist needs to identify and track objects. They should choose several specific points on the objects or images. Then they can get a series of 2D coordinates from the results of calculating these points. The second step is to get the digital camera from these 2D paths through the computer calculating.

The tracking artist can go to the worksite and put the makers on objects. Then they can use these markers to track the camera motion trail and calculate the relevant data in the 3D scene. These data can be used in the next step like composing. They do this by using 3D programmers like Maya or Nuke.

Here is an example of tracking by using Nuke and Maya.

Roto artist:

The duty of Roto artist is to create roto mattes and prepare plates for the compositors using various software.

Roto artists trace the areas of live-action frames where the computer graphics will overlay or interact with live images, and allow all the elements of the scene to be layered convincingly. Their jobs can make compositors combine the various elements accurately.

Roto artist normally uses rotoscoping to remove the green screen or other things which are not allowed appearing on the screen.

The workflow of Roto is quite similar to masking in Photoshop. Creating a mask by using curves and adjust it. It is a kind of repetitive work that need artists to be more patient and motivated. The roto artists role exists more often on special effects work, within the facility houses or on projects that combine the live-action and computer graphics.

Here is the example of rotoscoping by using Nuke.