Animation Guild

Winter 2018

Animation Guild | We are 839 Digital Magazine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 43

O N T H E J O B "THE TECHNICAL DIRECTOR IS ONE OF THE BROADEST CLASSIFICATIONS IN THE UNION AND REALLY FOR ME, ONE OF THE LEAST UNDERSTOOD BETWEEN STUDIOS," SAYS BRIAN COLE, A TD AT DISNEY TV. INDEED, THE ROLE CAN ENCOMPASS A VARIETY OF JOB EXPECTATIONS. WE SPOKE TO THREE TECHNICAL DIRECTORS, EACH FROM A DIFFERENT STUDIO, TO FIND OUT HOW THEIR ROLES COMPARE. LET'S GET TECHNICAL "Being a Technical Director in many ways is about managing change. The tools and technology we use to do this job are constantly changing and evolving." BRIAN COLE | DISNEY TV When Cole started out in the industry 20 years ago, digital tools were just beginning to be adapted for TV animation. At that time, there weren't any formal training programs for the technology so he came into the business with a studio art/art history degree. DESCRIBE YOUR JOB. Here, at Disney TV Animation a technical director is the person who is responsible for managing and assembling all of the digital assets used in creation of a show. This covers the entire course of a show, all the way from pre-production through post and final delivery. We support a variety of pipelines here; traditional and paperless 2D, 2D build as well as full CG shows with a variety of renderers. The work here can vary anywhere from working on shots, to ensuring the integrity of digital material, to final output. WHAT'S YOUR TYPICAL DAY? A typical day here involves working directly with those assets, perhaps doing retake work, adding visual elements to shots or conforming scenes to match the final delivery. It's also often the case that a Technical director will be involved in the pre-production of a show as well, doing things like pre-planning the integration of 2D/3D materials, layout of complex 2D or 3D camera work or perhaps designing and planning the execution of effects. We may also find ourselves developing tools and pipelines that make this type of work easier. WHAT'S THE BEST PART OF THE JOB? Its diversity—we have a wide variety of shows with many wildly different styles. It's very satisfying to help make all of these styles and vision a reality. WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES? Being a Technical Director in many ways is about managing change. The tools and technology we use to do this job are constantly changing and evolving. Things move in a very rapid pace, staying current and finding ways to implement the ever- changing toolsets and technology. WHAT TECH DO YOU WORK WITH? As far as the technology and software goes, our 2D shows are produced using [Toon Boom] Harmony and our CG shows are produced using Maya with a variety of render engines and then composited using Nuke. There is also a huge amount of supporting software that is used, some of the shelf tools like Photoshop, Effects, etc. and some in- house tools we have developed. IS THERE A QUESTION YOU GET ASKED OVER AND OVER AGAIN? I think more than any specific question we often run into misconceptions about how to achieve things and what is possible and not possible. Softwares are tool kits capable of supporting many pipelines and workflows; traditional animation, paperless animation, 2D builds, etc. There are often assumptions or questions about how to achieve the visual elements or styles of all our shows that we plan for or execute during the course of a show.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Animation Guild - Winter 2018