What does a VFX supervisor do?
VFX supervisors are in charge of the whole VFX project. They manage the VFX pipeline, including all of the VFX artists that work in this process. They have ultimate responsibility for all of the VFX elements produced for a project by their company or studio.
VFX supervisors work on a project from the early stages of preproduction. They are the main point of liaison between a VFX studio and the director or producer of the film or TV programme. Together, they decide on what VFX is needed for every shot of the film. VFX supervisors then work with the VFX artists to create prototype materials to present. These can include concept art and 3D computer-generated images (CG). The prototype materials help to inform the style of the VFX in the production.
VFX supervisors are present for filming during production so that they can see if the shots are satisfactory and ready for the VFX elements. VFX studios prefer if shots (pictures) are ‘locked’ (edited and okayed, ready to have VFX elements added to it) during filming. That means they can start working on the VFX while the rest of the film is being shot.
VFX supervisors continue to lead their team when the film is being put together during post-production. They oversee the quality of all work produced and make sure that it is in line with the vision of the director or producer.
Depending on the size of the production, VFX supervisors, may be employed on a single film for up to two years.
What's a VFX supervisor good at?
- Art: have excellent design, layout, colour and composition skills
- Knowledge of photography: understand cameras, cinematography and how films are made, be able to influence the shoot so it works for the VFX
- Knowledge of VFX programs: be adept at using relevant programs such as Maya, Nuke and Photoshop
- Collaboration: work in preproduction with the director or producer to decide on which shots will need VFX work, respond to their creative and artistic direction
- Leadership: share the director or producers’ vision of the film with the VFX artists of all departments, inspire them to do their best work, manage their output in terms of quality and deadlines