What does an assistant TD do?
Assistant TDs help to identify and fix problems and make sure everyone in a visual effects (VFX) production pipeline has the tools they need. They have a very good understanding of how VFX pipelines work and of different VFX job roles. Their expertise also includes understanding the software used by VFX artists and the needs and limitations of different departments.
Assistant TDs assist pipeline TDs and other TDs to gather information on the needs of each department. They design solutions for problems that arise and also use coding skills to create small-scale tools needed by the VFX artists. They deal with minor bug reports so that pipeline TDs to deal with bigger problems, such as rendering errors.
Assistant TDs are also responsible for data management, archiving and restoring and tracking data and converting and resizing files where needed. They help to keep the project on schedule. Along with pipeline TDs, assistant TDs will work closely with research and development teams, who design and test any new software.
What’s an assistant TD good at?
- Communication: be helpful and patient and communicate well with a variety of staff at different levels to understand their needs and assist with technical issues, work well as part of a team to develop solutions, take direction from a pipeline TD and escalate issues to them when necessary
- Problem-solving: think analytically to identify problems and come up with creative and efficient solutions, finding new ways to overcome obstacles and achieve a creative vision
- Attention to detail: have a good eye for detail when designing tools and fixing technical issues
- Knowledge of all parts of the pipeline: have a strong understanding of all jobs within the pipeline, their roles, needs, and the challenges they face
- 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