Technical Director in blender

Someone can explain me what is the exact role of a tecnical director and why don’t see any TD in blender?

A technical director is pretty much the go-to guy/gal for making sure that everything runs smoothly. There are many different types of TD’s. You can be a lighting TD who supervises the lighting of a shot. You can be a rigging TD who solves problems in difficult rigs. You can be a programming TD who writes in-house software and tools for the studio you are working for, to name a few.

Being a technical director typically means that you specialize in a field and you are so good at it that you oversee the work of the people who work in that said field. It is a kind of a chief position in larger studios.

I’m sure there are some TD’s who work with Blender but they generally have to stick with their studio’s pipelines and Blender is not commonly used in such pipelines.

What NinthJake said.

Assuming this isn’t a passive-aggressive troll post, the primary reason behind there being a lack of TD’s in Blender is that it is simply not used as much in studios where there is a need for a Technical Director. Blender’s lack of cooperation in a pipeline, the (relative) lack of complexity in it’s addons/plugins, and the number of people using Blender in a common production (often one maybe just two people) mean that a TD is overkill for the studio’s needs.

There have been one or two Technical Directors focused on Blender (Plumiferos likely had one, Blender Institute probably has Ton take the role though others could as well, etc). However, TD’s are not really needed (in general) for one/two man studios and the number of studios using Blender as their primary 3D tool AND having a large team are few & far between.

If/When Blender becomes a more popular foundation around which one can build larger teams needing TD’s, then you will see more of them either rise from unknown status or known names being hired for their skills.

Just throwing my 2c in specifically around character technical direction.

If you’re doing character animation, you need a character TD. Smaller outfits won’t have a dedicated TD but someone has to be able to fulfil the role of character TD - maybe a technically-minded animator or a modeller with some animation knowledge. Here’s an example of responsibilities of a character TD in point form (source):

  • Create versatile character rigs and animation interfaces to suit the requirements of the production.
  • Sculpt blendshapes [Maya’s equivalent to shape keys] and create character facial rigs.
  • Create rigs for props and locations too.
  • Test the rigs before passing to animation team.
  • Troubleshoot and improve the rigs in response to feedback from other departments.

This is distinct from a lead character TD which is a supervisory position (source).

As for why you never see any TDs in Blender? There’s definitely character TDs around. JP Bouza and Cessen (Nathan Vegdahl) are very capable character TDs, just to name just a couple. Jeremy Davidson on Tears of Steel did character TD work on Tears Of Steel to make that awesome quadbot character - officially he was credited for “character rigging and animation”, and the rigging part is character TD work.

FWIW, the quoll is right on this one. Technical Director, as a stand-alone term, is somewhat different in practice to “specialised” TD roles like lighting TD, character TD, shader TD, etc. In general, if the specialisation is left off, the Technical Director tends to be specialised for rendering & lighting (though there is no universal law that is the case).

Of course, there term is pretty lax and I wouldn’t agree that if one is doing character animation one needs a character TD. Rigging can be a complex & technical task, but often it is not (especially with the tools available now in Blender & elsewhere). If one is using a prebuilt rig or one of the rigging setup tools (such as Rigify, Character Studio, etc) - I don’t believe what you are doing classifies you as a character TD nor have I heard artists I know who do that as part of their job referred to as one. Of course, if you start adding your own scripted drivers and whatnot, then you are dipping your toes in the deep waters of TD work.

Quoll also names a few people that I would consider character TD’s without a doubt. Hell, Nathan Vegdahl is the man behind Rigify so if that doesn’t count, I don’t know what does! I would also consider Brecht a rendering & lighting TD (or just Technical Director as the term is usually used). Of course, my earlier statement still stands - they exist, but they are few and far between because there isn’t a huge demand for them. Like many niche jobs, you need the niche to grow in order for people filling the job to multiply. Currently, people who have the skills for being a Blender-specific Technical Director (be it lighting, rendering, shading, character, or generic) are not a highly sought after in the industry. Like custom TARDIS shed builders, they exist but if you’re part of the fan community - you already know who they are. If you’re not, you don’t really care who they are cos you don’t need them. :wink: