Technical director: Difference between revisions

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'''A Technicaltechnical Directordirector''' ('''TD''') is usually a senior technical person within e.g. a [[software]] company, [[engineering]] firm, [[film]] studio, [[Theatre|theatrical]] company or [[television studio]]. This person usually possesses the highest level of [[skill]] within a specific technical field and may be recognized as an [[expert]] in that industry.
== Software ==
In [[software development]], a Technicaltechnical Directordirector is typically responsible for the successful creation and delivery of the company's product to the marketplace by managing technical risks and opportunities; making key [[software design]] and implementation decisions with the development teams, scheduling of tasks including tracking dependencies, managing [[change request]]s, and guaranteeing quality of deliveries and educating the team on technical [[best practice]]s.
Typical Responsibilitiesresponsibilities:
* Defines the technological strategy in conjunction with the development team of each project: pipeline, tools, and key development procedures.
* Assesses technical risk and mitigation plan.
* Establishes standards and procedures to track and measure project's progression.
* Evaluates development team(s)teams, identifying strengths, problem areas, and developing plans for improving performance.
* Evaluates interview candidates for technical positions.
* Scouts for and evaluates new technology and tools as opportunities for innovation and development excellence.
* Oversees technical design documentation process for correctness and timeliness.
* Provides input to the other disciplines on the practicality of initial design goals and impact to the overall project timeline.
* Evaluates software implementation on design and task thoroughness
* Helps to identify high risk areas for the Projectproject Director.director
* Identifies weak software systems that need code improvement and schedules corrective action, when possible.
* Creates automated test process for system features, where possible, and contributes to the build system.
* Aids in all stages of post-production including during finalizing
== Film &and Gamesgames ==
In Visualvisual Effectseffects (VFX) ([[Industrial Light and Magic]], [[Sony Pictures Imageworks]], etc.), Featurefeature Animationanimation ([[Pixar]], [[Dreamworks Animation]],etc.) and Gamegame Developmentdevelopment ([[Naughty Dog]],etc.), a technical director's (TD) [[Film Academy Baden-Württemberg|responsibilities]] vary from studio to studio and as such, the term is not very well defined.
Typically, a TD is a mixcombination of an artist and a programmer, responsible for the more technical aspects of film production, such as programming [[shader]]s, developing [[Skeletal animation|character rigs]] and animation setups, performing complex simulation tasks and setting up the pipeline (how the data is passed from one stage in the film production to the next). In contrast to a programmer, a TD would normally not work on large programming projects, but rather make heavy use of [[scripting language]]s such as [[Python (programming language)|Python]], [[Maya Embedded Language|MEL]], [[MAXScript]], or [[shell script]]ing. {{clarify|date=August 2013}} Another responsibility of a TD is to look after any technical problems the regular artists encounter and to develop custom tools to improve the artists' workflow.
In these industries, "Technicaltechnical Artistartist", "Technicaltechnical Animatoranimator" and "Generalistgeneralist TD" are sometimes used as synonyms.
===Categorization of Technicaltechnical Directorsdirectors in Filmfilm &and Gamesgames===
Frequently, the role of a TD is more precisely defined. Various areas of computer graphics require a high degree of specialized technical/scientific knowledge and therefore merit more precise categorization. As an example, a skilled Character TD has a strong understanding of human/animal anatomy, movement, and mechanics, whereas a skilled Lighting TD might have a detailed understanding of the physical properties of light and surfaces.
=== Education ===
Technical Directorsdirectors usually have a background in computer science, though such education often lacks expertise in practical film and media production. [[Film Academy Baden-Württemberg|Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg]] offers a unique, 30 -month post graduatepostgraduate course for technical directing.<ref>[ Technical Directing].</ref> The course is open to applicants world wideworldwide (English language skills required). Aside formfrom working on film, animation, vfx and game projects, the students also engage in research.
== Theatre ==
It is a Technicaltechnical Directordirector's job to make sure the technical equipment in the theater is functional, maintained and safe, e.g. lighting and sound equipment; the technical director is responsible for the overall organization of the technical production process. Duties included are generating necessary working drawings for construction (in conjunction with a drafts person, if there is one); budget estimations and maintaining of accounts; materials research and purchasing; scheduling and supervising build crews; coordinating put-ins; handling conflicts that arise between different departments; and organizing the strike and clean-up for the production.
estimations and maintaining of accounts; materials research and purchasing;
scheduling and supervising build crews; coordinating put-ins; handling conflicts
that arise between different departments; and organizing the strike and clean-up
for that production.
"Technical Directordirector" can also refer to the in-house chief designer/ or master carpenter for a smaller theater company.
== Television ==<!-- This section is linked from [[Cut (film)]] -->
The Technicaltechnical Director (often abbreviated TD)director works in a [[production control room]] of a [[television studio]] and operates the [[Vision mixer|video switcher]] and associated devices as well as serving as the chief of the [[television crew]]. For a [[remote broadcast]] outside of the [[television studio|studio]], the TD will perform the same duties in a mobile [[production truck]]. It is the TD's job to ensure all positions are manned and all equipment and facilities are checked out and ready before the recording session or live broadcast begins. They typically will switch video sources, perform live digital effects and transitions, and insert pre-recorded material, graphics and titles as instructed by the [[Television director|Directordirector]]. In larger productions, the Director does not actually operate the production equipment, allowing him/her to coordinate the production and make rapid decisions without worrying about how to mechanically execute the effect or camera move being called for. The Technical Director may provide training to more inexperienced members of the technical crew when needed. In consultation with the Director, the TD may have more or less input into the creative side of the production, depending on the situation. He/she may provide the Directordirector with guidance on crew assignments, camera shots and the most efficient way to accomplish any given effect. The TD is usually responsible for the technical quality of the signal being recorded or broadcast and will use various measuring devices and displays to ensure quality control.
Technical Directorsdirectors commonly work on productions that are either broadcast live or recorded on [[video tape]] or [[video server]]s. Television productions shot on film generally do not use TDs, as the camera cuts and effects are realized in [[post production]] after the shooting is completed.
The terminology in the [[UK]] differs in some respects from the above description: The production control room is called a "gallery", a mobile production truck is called an "[[Outside broadcasting|OB Vanvan]]" or a "Scannerscanner" (a [[BBC]] term). In UK television practice, the Technical Director is the senior technical person in the gallery and supervises the technical team, but does not operate the "[[vision mixer]]". The TD is responsible for ensuring that the gallery is technically fit for purpose, the routing of internal and external sources, as well as liaison with other technical areas such as [[Mastermaster Controlcontrol]] Roomsrooms and transmission suites. They may additionally perform Visionvision Controlcontrol duties, matching the exposure and colour balance of the cameras ("Rackingracking").
==See also==
* [[Chief Technology Officer]]
* [[Television director]]
== External links ==
* [ Stagelink Technical Directors Directory]
* [ Gamasutra article on the role of Technicaltechnical Artistsartists (Directorsdirectors) in game production]
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