Effects Technical Director

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What does an FX TD do?

Effects technical directors (FX TDs) create physics-based digital effects, such as explosions, smoke and water, that the animation artists can use in their shots and sequences. They make sure the effects look believable and also consistent with the style of the animation so that they blend seamlessly with the other art assets.

The role is both artistic and technical and so is ideal for problem-solvers with a good eye. FX TDs aim to meet the director’s vision, in terms of digital FX, with the resources available to them.

FX TDs work for animation companies or studios.

What's an FX 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 and lighting artists, 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 Maya, Houdini, Blender, Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D, MotionBuilder, Nuke, RenderMan and 3ds Max
  • Programming and coding skills: have advanced knowledge of programming in Python, VEX and C++ with a very high level of technical ability

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