From education to employment

VFX artist or technical director



K1: Core – How to critically analyse and interpret the technical specifications, client requirements, organisational and industry standards and how this evaluation will affect the delivery of the VFX. Back to Duty

K2: Core – How photogrammetry, texture reference and scanning impact on the VFX produced. Back to Duty

K3: Core – The principles of motion picture photography and the factors that affect the film making process including lenses, composition, light, colour, perspective and scale. Back to Duty

K4: Core – Methods used to assess and evaluate VFX processes, tools and workflows to identify limitations, risks and interdependencies, selecting the option that allows for the completion of content within timescales. Back to Duty

K5: Core – The utilisation of industry production tracking tools to interpret and track interacting factors on the project. Back to Duty

K6: Core – The specialisms and disciplines in the VFX pipeline and how these communicate and interact with each across the VFX development process. Back to Duty

K7: Core – Approaches to communication and strategies that can influence others and achieve the production outcome required. Back to Duty

K8: Core – The industry and organisational standards that apply when selecting software packages and tools. Back to Duty

K9: Core – Approaches used to assess and evaluate potential improvements to packages and tools and how best to collaborate on implementation. Back to Duty

K10: Core – How to present work as part of the “dailies” review process, seeking and acting on feedback for the work produced. Back to Duty

K11: Core – The practices used to research, test and critically analyse results when trialling the latest advancements in technical VFX tools, concepts and techniques within your department and organisation. Back to Duty

K12: Core – The iterative nature of the production and how it can be used to continuously improve and meet the client specification. Back to Duty

K13: Core – The formatting requirements of VFX products to enable them to be reviewed effectively and securely. The importance of meeting development timescales and the wider impact this has on the pipeline, business and resources. Back to Duty

K14: Core – Scripting and coding languages (e.g Python, MEL, PyMEL, VEX etc.) and their application in VFX production and pipelines. Back to Duty

K15: Simulation – Practices used to critically evaluate, select and apply the 3D software required for the simulation of, muscle, cloth, particles and Voxel based dynamics e.g Houdini, Maya. Back to Duty

K16: Simulation – How to apply and interpret mathematical and physical principles (e.g Algebra, Vectors, Matrices, Area, Volume, Density, Speed, Velocity, Acceleration) in the context of CG simulations. Back to Duty

K17: Simulation – Approaches used to critically analyse and balance real-world physics and the properties of materials against the limitations of the simulation tools or techniques Back to Duty

K18: Simulation – How to interpret, convert and apply scale and orientation between different CG software tools. Back to Duty

K19: Rigging – Practices used to critically evaluate the user interface requirements to meet the animators needs and for technical abstraction of the rig. Back to Duty

K20: Rigging – Anatomy and skeletal structures (bones/muscles) and mechanical systems. Back to Duty

K21: Rigging – The different deformation systems and how they layer together (blendshapes/lattice/deformers/skinning). Back to Duty

K22: Rigging – How the application of modular coding can improve rigs and workflow efficiencies. Back to Duty

K23: Rigging – The application of linear algebra; vectors and matrices, to optimise rigging. Back to Duty

K24: Lighting, Shading and Look Development -The physics of light and the mathematics and coding principles that enable replication of real world phenomena in digital environments. Back to Duty

K25: Lighting, Shading and Look Development – The suitability and limitations of different techniques for using light in computer graphics: point, directional, spot, emissive, ambient, diffuse, specular, key light, rim light, fill light etc. in the context of creating the desired mood from the client brief. Back to Duty

K26: Lighting, Shading and Look Development – The options for optimising render times, without degradation of the quality required to fulfil the agreed brief for a project. Back to Duty

K27: Lighting, Shading and Look Development – The variety of material maps (e.g. displacement, bump, diffuse, specular, roughness etc.) and how they can be applied to achieve the correct ‘look’ for an object, character or environment. Back to Duty

K28: Lighting, Shading and Look Development – The different types of shader (e.g. vertex, pixel, geometry, tessellation, primitive, mesh etc.) and how they can be used to alter the hue, saturation, brightness or contrast of an image; including producing blur, light bloom and volumetric lighting. Back to Duty

K29: Environments – Practices used to critically evaluate and plan the requirements for 3D modelling, texturing, matte painting, lighting, layout and matchmove to create convincing environments; that are consistent throughout sequences and meet the creative requirements of a project. Back to Duty

K30: Environments – Principles of photography and the application of technical aspects e.g. exposure and lenses, and how lighting interacts with surfaces to re-create photo-realistic images. Back to Duty

K31: Environments – The application of cinematography and composition theory to form, colour, texture, volume, scale, proportion and mass. How these interact with historical, geographical or environmental references to create convincing landscapes or architecture. Back to Duty

K32: Environments – The application of camera science, 2.5D projections and 3D lighting to digitally matte painted textures within computer-generated 3D environments, allowing for 3D camera movement. Back to Duty

K33: K33: Environments – The application of VFX terminology relating to colour space such as Linear, Log, rec709 and sRGB colour space. Back to Duty


S1: Core – Interpret the brief and identify tangible assets to meet the specifications. Identify the resources required and any interacting factors, in order to meet the specification. Back to Duty

S2: Core – Critically evaluate the brief, checking for any missing information and clarifying the outcomes. Back to Duty

S3: Core – Assess and evaluate the VFX processes and workflow required to complete the tasks within timescales, developing a plan for VFX deliverables Back to Duty

S4: Core – Take responsibility for competing priorities, multiple stakeholders or projects simultaneously, adapting approach to achieve the required production outcome without impact on relationships or deliverables. Back to Duty

S5: Core – Apply industry and organisational standards regarding the selection and use of workflows, software packages and tools. Back to Duty

S6: Core – Monitor and evaluate the agreed workflow and methods and make recommendations to improve workflows, packages or tools. Back to Duty

S7: Core – Provide VFX work in progress as part of the dailies review process; evaluate and act on feedback to maintain delivery timelines, technical requirements and outputs. Back to Duty

S8: Core – Provide information and rationale for the development of organisational policies, standards and procedures such as confidentiality, security, asset storage, legal and regulatory requirements. Back to Duty

S9: Core – Apply problem solving techniques to determine the root cause of technical challenges, adapt approach whilst recognising the impact this could have on other workflow stages and departments. Back to Duty

S10: Core – Write scripts or code to customise software or pipeline tools, simplify/automate processes or procedurally generate assets. Solve technical or creative problems, improve efficiency and/or reduce errors for the requirements of the project or department. Back to Duty

S11: Core – Research and analyse information to keep-up-to date with the new tools, software, data and other related technology. Critically evaluate how they could impact on personal development and the potential wider impact across the department and organisation. Back to Duty

S12: Core – Present findings and the wider business implications. Adapt communication style to influence and meet the needs of the audience. Back to Duty

S13: Simulation – Analyse and interpret reference or concept art material, to choose the correct simulation technology/technique, and adapting simulations to output art directed motion, that meets client/project requirements. Back to Duty

S14: Simulation – Develop or adapt simulation setups to achieve required visual quality while working within the time constraints of the production. Back to Duty

S15: Simulation – Create convincing, naturalistic motion though controlled simulation, tailoring simulation as needed to follow client brief. Back to Duty

S16: Simulation – Develop programs (shaders) for the purposes of bespoke simulation shading (e.g.VEX / Vops for Mantra). Back to Duty

S17: Rigging – Critically analyse and evaluate body shape to select the correct anatomical structure. Back to Duty

S18: Rigging – Critically assess rigging issues and develop modular scripts to problem solve and automate the rigging process. Back to Duty

S19: Rigging – Evaluate, select and apply different deformers to create natural deformations in characters and change the positions of vertices in a parent mesh. Back to Duty

S20: Rigging – Assess the animator’s user interface requirements and collaborate with animators to optimise the rig for speed and control. Back to Duty

S21: Lighting, Shading and Look Development – Utilise or modify shaders to achieve photorealistic or stylised ‘neutral renders’ of assets that meet the ‘look’ outlined in the brief. Back to Duty

S22: Lighting, Shading and Look Development – Analyse requirements and create lighting templates for scenes or sequences that can be utilised by other artists during shot production. Back to Duty

S23: Lighting, Shading and Look Development – Deliver lighting shots that work within the given render budget on a particular production. Back to Duty

S24: Lighting, Shading and Look Development – Work with texture and groom artists on the development of the texture maps and/or the hair and fur of an asset; taking responsibility for ensuring that all assets work within the lighting and colour pipeline requirements of a particular production. Back to Duty

S25: Lighting, Shading and Look Development – Evaluate the technical specifications of the production to define and produce the render passes required. Back to Duty

S26: Environments – Apply 3D modelling techniques to layout the scene for camera. Create, refine and correct geometry and integrate assets and textures, ensuring that all assets work within the lighting and colour pipeline requirements of a particular production. Back to Duty

S27: Environments – Assess lighting requirements including position and distance of light, shadows, style of lighting for internal or external scenes, day or night and depth of lighting e.g. directional, ambient, spot or volume. Back to Duty

S28: Environments – Analyse, select and create detailed and convincing textures free of artefacts that represent real-world surfaces, traits or imperfections. Back to Duty

S29: Environments – Evaluate and apply the artistic techniques and/or the 2D (e.g Nuke & Photoshop) and 3D packages (e.g. Blender, Maya, ZBrush & Houdini) and tools to create and layer images. Embed landscapes and architecture seamlessly into scenes. Back to Duty

S30: Environments – Research, source, evaluate and select images to meet the technical requirements of the scene. Back to Duty


B1: Teamwork and Partnership – Works collaboratively with stakeholders and colleagues, developing strong working relationships to achieve common goals. Adopt a flexible approach to working with others and promote mutual respect. Back to Duty

B2: Accountability – Acts professionally when carrying out daily work, actively encourages and supports colleagues, setting personal goals and high performance standards for self. Committed to prioritising and completing work within a set timeframe and to industry standards. Adapts positively to changing work priorities and patterns, ensuring deadlines continue to be met. Back to Duty

B3: Quality focus that promotes continuous improvement, innovation and creativity to the VFX development process. Back to Duty

B4: Problem solving – Uses initiative to identify issues quickly; enjoys solving complex problems at the root cause and applying appropriate and/or creative solutions. Back to Duty

B5: Self-development – Overcomes problems through a process of reflection and review and by undertaking continuous professional development (CPD) in order to utilise new technological advances in the sector. Back to Duty

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