A Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(2)
You must have learned about What is compositing, Six basic skills of compositors, Standards for cinema-level film compositing requirements from The Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(1). Now, your TPN_Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, will still lead you deep into the career of VFX Compositor.
Part 4 Workflow specification of compositors
Because the workflow of each company is different, and even the operations of everyone in the same company will be various, it is difficult to have a unified workflow. I am here to share the basic process of a compositor making a shot from beginning to end.
The first step is whether to perform color conversion after the material comes in? How to deal with the conversion? It is usually set by the compositing director.
The second step is to create a variable speed and camera redefinition repo, which is specifically compared with the editing sample, and we make the same settings as theirs. If there is a green screen, and then there are tracking points on the green screen, the tracking points need to be erased. If there is no green screen and need to add something, it needs to do keying and Roto. And sometimes it even needs to quickly do some 30%, 50%, or 80% keying to prepare for the back.
The third step is to do the creation of 2D elements or increase the environment, characters, props and other elements output by the 3D department. According to the six basic skills mentioned above, making the first version, and then the director and client will give feedback after checking. Then compositors modify the project according to the feedback.
After completing the detailed processing and final inspection afterward,if there is no problem, it will be converted back to customer needs and the delivery documents are sent to the customer. The technical inspection above refers to verifying according to the standards of the cinema-level movies mentioned before.
Part 5 The five stages of the compositor's career
I roughly divide the career of a compositor into 5 stages, including junior compositor, senior compositor, compositing team leader, compositing supervisor, compositing director.
The work done by compositors is more art-oriented. And in the process of accumulating technical capabilities, they will continue to improve their artistic capabilities without worrying about losing their jobs.
For junior compositor, it is not easy to define by seniority. It’s more about ideas and how it realizes? It is recommended that those newcomers could explore the six basic skills, learn online, and practice at work.
When it comes to the senior level, more work is focusing on judgment on whether it is possible to independently complete a shot and where to do compositing. The senior compositing should be able to find these problems and have the team leader or supervisor to communicate.
The next stage is the compositing team leader. Some people will be confused that what is the difference between leader and supervisor? Like Base, there are many employees, and each project may have 5 to more than a dozen compositors, and even more, there will be team leaders and deputy team leaders. For small studios, the team leader may be the supervisor. The team leader serves the supervisor, the director and artists. At the same time, it needs to has a good sense of teamwork and serve the project well in the management of small teams.
At the supervisor level, the responsibilities are more about the management of the artists, finding more suitable artists for the department to become senior artists or project leaders. At the same time, we must continue to add new skills training for the team; of course, there are staff who are inappropriate, the supervisor should find out the reason and see if they can continue to grow together. If so, how to continue, etc.
The fifth step is to become the compositing director. At this stage, The focus will put more on the process of the project, etc.. The director will develop corresponding plans for different projects, including pre-stage, post-stage, setting and feedback of the 2D process effect, as well as auxiliary visual aids in departmental projects.
Many people will ask if it is possible to change directly from team leader to director? If you are a team leader, you can actually do the job of a supervisor. If not, I personally feel that there is a missing piece. Because the head of the compositing is basically in the group, but the director of the compositing needs to deal with the leaders of other departments.
What is the difference between these 5 positions in the actual process of doing the scenes? For example, both junior compositors and senior compositors can make a good shot, but the number of feedbacks received, versions, completion time, details, ideas are all different.
However, as a team leader, it needs to consider whether the entire plan is feasible and whether the entire color is unified. It’s also important to communicate well with each artist or do an effect test. After becoming a supervisor, it is necessary to consider whether the whole scheme is efficient? If as a director, it needs to be connected with the customer, decide whether to use 3D or 2D, control the quality of the project, and consider whether the cost is feasible. In short, the more you go up, the wider the scope of management and the greater the responsibility.
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