Lighting "TD" = artistic lighter?

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  06 June 2013
Lighting "TD" = artistic lighter?

I'm especially curious after reading this article which states that lighting TD is basically a lighter, is that really it?

http://www.creativeskillset.org/ani...icle_4632_1.asp

The word "TD" gives me impression that the position requires some sort of technical knowledge and not just artistic skill? If so, what kind of knowledge would that be when it comes to lighting? Or is it implying I need to be able to do those some-what irrelevant skill listed in that article such as UV and stuff?
 
  06 June 2013
Being Lighting TD is a bit of both. You need artistic skills, but (where i've worked at least) you need good TD skills too. Eg, we use Python to submit jobs at my work, so it helps to know it. Also, understanding how renderers work under the hood helps for optermizing.

A lot of my time is spent getting things to actually render.
 
  06 June 2013
It depends on the facility.
Plenty places call "artist" people with competences and responsibilities well into the technical, some places are known for calling TD anybody who isn't RnD or Art Dept, and some places ban the word TD entirely due to issues with the "director" part.

Some times a VISA might have weight in it as well either way (calling a TD an artist to fit them into the graphic designer category, or viceversa to get them into engineering sub categories).

Basically, the title has been rendered absolutely irrelevant and unrelated to knowledge, tasks or responsibilities by the churn over the last dozen years or so.

@Nick, this being Australia I'd be very surprised if your contract said TD officially instead of "Artist", as you're probably being lumped in the GD category.
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  06 June 2013
Oh yeah, im not a Lighter, im a Digital Artist.
 
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: It depends on the facility.
Plenty places call "artist" people with competences and responsibilities well into the technical, some places are known for calling TD anybody who isn't RnD or Art Dept, and some places ban the word TD entirely due to issues with the "director" part.

Some times a VISA might have weight in it as well either way (calling a TD an artist to fit them into the graphic designer category, or viceversa to get them into engineering sub categories).

Basically, the title has been rendered absolutely irrelevant and unrelated to knowledge, tasks or responsibilities by the churn over the last dozen years or so.

@Nick, this being Australia I'd be very surprised if your contract said TD officially instead of "Artist", as you're probably being lumped in the GD category.


There are indeed some oddities. A job title with the word "Artist" can claim income averaging in Australia due to the complex tax rules ! .

Last edited by mr Bob : 06 June 2013 at 07:57 PM.
 
  06 June 2013
In my experience, the term TD is often applied rather loosely to roles; for example, one studio I worked at calls all its texture painters "texture TDs". As someone else mentioned, this may be due to visa requirements or something, but the point is that from studio to studio, there doesn't really seem to be an agreed consensus on the meaning of the term.

Personally, I'd only use the term TD to describe someone who fulfils a very technical role, including writing scripts and tools and stuff.
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  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: Personally, I'd only use the term TD to describe someone who fulfils a very technical role, including writing scripts and tools and stuff.


That's how I always thought the term was supposed to be used.
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  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by ndeboar: Oh yeah, im not a Lighter, im a Digital Artist.


Yeah, calling yourself a Lighter is like saying you're only needed when someone pulls out their Marlboro lights.

*drum roll!*

But yeah.. I think TD's do need the actual shading and rendering skill.. Because sometimes you're needed to save the shot and get things to actually render properly.
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  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: Personally, I'd only use the term TD to describe someone who fulfils a very technical role, including writing scripts and tools and stuff.


Same here. If you can't do scripting and troubleshoot technical issues, then you're not really a TD. A TD IMO is someone who straddles the technical and the artistic, but the emphasis is on the technical and solving problems in the production pipeline.
 
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by ndeboar: Being Lighting TD is a bit of both.
A lot of my time is spent getting things to actually render.

I agree with both. And unfortunately, as a lighting TD sometimes I am spending 90% of my day maintaining a shot, figuring out why something is not rendering and making it render, and if it finally renders, making it technically correct. 10 percentage is when I am finding the "make it cool" button.
 
  06 June 2013
Rhythm is my favorite as every artists is titled a td. We never even say artists in regards to all the artistic hires, it's simply TD's. I lover hearing matte painting TD, for a matte painter who granted is a brilliantly talented artist, but can barely navigate the operating system. (to clarify not suggesting all matte painters are this way at all, just an example of a department where a very skilled artist need not be technical at all)
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  06 June 2013
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