CAREERS IN 3D

Hi, I'm Dara McGarry, I'm a 3D Artist Manager here at Double Negative and I want to share our view of career paths and entry points into 3D at Double Negative.

A career in 3D can cross many disciplines, including modelling, texturing, lighting and a variety of effects, to name a few. At DNeg we're very keen for our 3D team to have a broad range of skills, allowing them to work on several aspects of a project.

The most common entry point to begin a career in 3D is to start in the matchmove department, where they will be responsible for camera, object and body tracking. A very good understanding of Maya is helpful as well as knowing tracking software, even though we use some proprietary tools. Most people spend 12-18 months in tracking and will have the opportunity to pick up TD tasks along the way. This could include anything from running a pre-existing lighting set up on a new shot to creating small props or buildings. This experience gives our junior artists a complete understanding of the pipeline and the tools we use here at DNeg.

Artists who do well will get the chance to move into a full-time TD position. It's not uncommon for people to start in one discipline and then move onto others over the course of their careers. People often start off doing 'build' tasks at the beginning of a show, then get to see the work through to completion by lighting shots towards the end. At DNeg, we have a great appreciation for generalists who possess a broad skill set.

Artists who start their career in tracking typically have studied a specialist VFX related program, or sometimes a combination of computer science and art.

Another way to start with the company can be as a Runner. Our runners are vital to the day-today operations of the company. While it can be quite a busy job, there is an opportunity to do tutorials, try out different areas, and gain the experience needed to move into tracking. There is also the benefit of meeting and developing relationships with many of the fantastic artists here at DNeg.

An alternative for Computer Science graduates is to start as an ATD. The Assistant Technical Director position provides the opportunity to help in developing and maintaining tools and scripts as well as the general technical support of the artists. This position is a great way to learn what's happening "under the hood" and to get a sense of the dynamics of an active production. Artists who start as an ATD could move into a full TD, FX TD or Pipeline TD spot.

For current entry level positions in 3D please look at http://www.dneg.com/jobs/