What does a computer graphics supervisor do?
Computer graphics (CG) supervisors are ultimately responsible for the delivery and quality of the 3D computer-generated (CG) elements of a VFX project.
Before a film goes into production, CG supervisors identify areas of the VFX work that need to be researched by software developers. They design the VFX pipeline – which means they decide the order in which the work needs to be done. They manage the team of technical directors (TDs), helping decide which digital tools need to be created to streamline the pipeline.
Once production is under way, they supervise the creation of all CG imagery and manage the artists creating it. Some walk around the desks of the VFX artists to check their work and provide feedback. They ensure the art is true to the vision of the film or TV director. Once complete, the art, or assets, are give to the compositors who put the whole scene together.
CG supervisors tend to be employed by VFX companies or studios. Supervisor positions are some of the most senior in these companies; as such, CG supervisors are often involved in the hiring process for new VFX artists.
What's a CG supervisor good at?
- Art: have a good eye, understand the principles of composition, know what looks good and why
- Understand the VFX pipeline: know the process of how VFX get created, be able to plan and implement an effective pipeline
- Working with Linux or Unix operating systems: know how to work with these operating systems, which are different form Microsoft Windows or macOS (Apple)
- Knowledge of VFX programs: be adept at using relevant programs such as Adobe After Effects, Blender, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Maya, Nuke, RenderMan and 3DS Max
- Programming and coding skills: have knowledge of programming in C++ and Python with a high level of technical ability
- Leadership: manage the VFX artists and the TDs within the VFX pipeline, inspire them to do their best work, manage their output in terms of quality and deadlines, review and inform all creative work