Location: New York, NY
ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES
Reporting to: Executive Creative Director / New York Board
The Head of 3D and Technology in the TJ New York Studio is responsible for the overall performance and development of the 3D team along with driving innovation and the use of technology in line with the overall business strategy. This is a managerial and technical role, responsible line management of staff and facilitating the efficient delivery of multiple print, digital and motion based commercial and internal projects through the management of All VFX resources.
You will oversee and line manage the 3D team ensuring that learning and development plans are in place and teams meet and test the TJ standards of quality and excellence. You will continually improve the 3D production pipeline to optimize output from the studio in terms of quality, efficiency and innovation. This will require close liaison with the Head of 3D and technology in the London studio to ensure close collaboration and a consistent pipeline between all offices.
You will drive the development of innovative solutions as part of the studio’s growth through the presentation of new ideas to the ECD, MD and CEO and be active member in developing creative / technical direction of company.
You will need to be a creative / technical problem solver, finding solutions and planning the technical requirements through tested CGI & VFX workflows. You will be required attend on set productions to problem solve and foresee best practice to guide production teams to capture the required live-action and shoot material.
You will be an essential team member working with ECD, MD and the production department in the New York Studio as well as forging close ties to the London studio. You will work closely with the ECD, Creative Directors, MD, EP’s, Producers and the New Business Development team in pitching and winning new projects.
MAIN ASPECTS OF THE ROLE:
Leadership and communication
- Creative leadership within the CG pipeline, setting standards for the look of Taylor James’ work.
- Being an important voice within the New York Studio helping define and drive the strategy.
- Good communication and leadership by example are important skills, maintaining good moral within the team and throughout each project.
- Keep lines of communication open and keep staff and production updated on work status daily to help promote a better knowledge for all staff.
- Liaising among different departments supervising and motivating a team of operators.
- Provide accurate verbal and written feedback and instructions to all involved in the project.
- Recommend appropriate staffing options to Board to develop studio.
3D team leadership and management
- Lead inspire and oversee the 3D team. Manage and motivate the team to produce the highest quality and provide the best creative solutions to our clients.
- Recruitment, resourcing and retention of artists with industry leading skills and right attitude, and feeding in to recruitment and resource decisions across all sections of the business on both a F/T and freelance basis.
- Ensuring that all resource within your direct line management and sphere of influence is correctly inducted, trained, developed and managed on an ongoing basis.
- Champion great work within your team – and develop awareness and appreciation for this within the group
- Delegate work in an appropriate manner
- Ensure constructive and regular feedback about the performance of members of your team through 121s (one-to-one monthly reviews to help team members improve and achieve work goals)
- To understand and motivate each team member effectively
- To assess operator skill levels and training and development needs on a project basis.
- Manage and check CGI operators work to maintain quality, provide clear and concise briefs and always be willing to offer advice and support.
- Ensure that staff are nurtured and developed to improve with time with specific learning and development goals in place that they are supported with.
- Assist the Production team in strategically assigning roles to the tasks that will improve their personal development as set out in appraisals.
Artistic and Technical leadership and management.
- Create high quality CGI: modelling, texture, shade and lighting, rendering, animation and VFX (rigging, roto/paint, camera tracking, FX/dynamics, compositing
- Modelling of hard and organic surfaces, hi-res/lo-res, plus Sub-D modelling and CAD data prep
- Shader creation, lighting and texturing, UV generations on hard surfaces and organic assets
- Animation, be it hard object, characters or illustrative/design oriented animation
- Production rendering and compositing of technical comp
- Provide artistic technological support and scripting to CGI team – manage and oversee output throughout the process to ensure that quality standards are met.
- As / when required attend productions as the TD, consulting with production crew to ensure capturing of correct elements for the pre-agreed brief. Offering ideas, guidance and support to various crew members.
- Follow production methodologies, seeking out potential issues and develop creative approaches and problem solving.
- Ensure close collaboration with the ECD, Creative Directors and Production department.
- Maintain awareness of technical developments in industry and seek to continually improve skills and techniques personally and across the 3D team
- Research and consistently review and improve knowledge of TD VFX techniques, bringing latest ideas to productions.
- Present new ideas to creative team and be active member in developing creative direction of company.
- Work closely with London on R&D projects to build dual pipeline and seamless workflow across both sites.
- Lead implementation of tested ideas, validating the pipeline into the New York studio.
Department and Project Management
- Independently manage and oversee CGI jobs from initial quotation stage through to completion, working with CGI team to foresee issues and drive production to best creative conclusion aiming to hit all scheduling.
- Scheduling and team management, planning and communicating day-to-day work of team and ensuring on track
- Assisting in the effective training of staff, ensuring a production workforce that is well matched to the creative and technical requirements of jobs
- Effective resourcing of CGI freelancers as projects require and recruitment of key talent to the studio
- Keep lines of communication open and keep staff and production updated on work status daily
- Improving processes and structures to aid Production and CGI departments. Working with team to ensure effective running of the department.
Pitching for and winning business.
- Working closely with the Managing Director, production department and New Business Development team to ensure we continuously win work and the opportunity to bid for work from our agreed target markets.
- You will represent the company at bidding stage, effectively communicate planned pipeline for potential projects, share the concept and production process and to problem solve where necessary to install confidence.
- You must be comfortable and confident with client facing meetings and presentations.
- Estimate production timings at initial quotation stage, create bids when needed
- Develop and police projects plans, deadlines and quality targets with the production team.
- Compile reference materials and treatments for visual and technical proposals for pitches
- Ensure clear and concise briefs are given and understood by all involved in the project
In addition to being a highly motivated, organised multitasker with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, the following technical skills are a must:
- 3+ years professional experience in leading a team of 3d artists in a supervisory manner with responsibility for mentoring, coaching, setting objectives and managing the process of appraisal, 121s and setting learning and development plans.
- 5+ years professional experience in at least one of the following industry areas; VFX and Animation for Film and Broadcast, Computer Games, Product and Architectural Visualization
- Experienced in the following software tools; Maya, 3DSMax, XSI, Z-Brush, Mudbox, Cinema4D, Houdini, Motion Builder, VRay, Mental Ray, Character Studio, After Effects, Fusion, Nuke, Flame, PFTrack, 3D Equalizer, RealFlow, Flash, Thinkbox, Thinking Particles, Adobe Suite
- CGI production for both animation and still imagery, strong working knowledge of core CGI software packages and related practices
- Understanding of CGI & Photography & Print workflow and related practices
- Experience with Python, Maxscript and technical CGI pipeline creation
- Practical understanding of Adobe Photoshop and Acrobat… InDesign is a plus but not necessary
- Excellent organisational, interpersonal & communication skills, ability to work effectively in high pressure environments
- Able to design induction and training plans for staff and manage them to achieve the goals set.
- Strong desire and ability to learn and apply new knowledge and techniques
- Excellent time management to prioritise tasks and time / people management
- Willingness and ability to travel for work-related events
The duties necessary within this role include but are not limited to those outlined above. Additional duties will expand as the position develops and the organisation grows.