Animation Technical Director

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What does an animation TD do?

Animation TDs program digital tools to improve and speed up the workflow of artists in the animation department of a project.

Animation TDs work with the animation software, developing and testing tools, custom features and add-ons, and making sure it does the best job possible for the animators and layout artists.

They also make themselves available to solve their colleagues’ problems. If an animator or layout artist has a technical problem, they turn to the animation TDs for advice on how to fix it.

Animation TDs need to have a good understanding of how the various artist roles in an animation department use animation software. They use analytics to monitor the workflow of the company or studio and streamline operations.

Animation TDs are usually employed by animation studios.

What's an animation TD good at?

  • Problem-solving: think analytically to identify problems and come up with creative and efficient solutions, find ways to overcome obstacles and deliver the project
  • Support: offer guidance to more junior artists, give face-to-face technical help to all animation staff, communicate well, have a positive attitude
  • Knowledge of all parts of animation pipelines: have a strong understanding of all jobs within a pipeline, what these involve, the needs and challenges of the roles
  • Knowledge of 3D animation programs: be adept at using relevant programs such as Adobe After Effects, Blender, Cinema 4D, Maya, MotionBuilder, RenderMan and 3ds Max
  • Programming and coding skills: have advanced knowledge of programming in Python and C++ with a very high level of technical ability using a variety of relevant software used across the project such as Maya, Houdini and Nuke

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