Feature Film VFX Supervision

Taught by Sheena Duggal

Course Number:
Software Version:
Original Run Date:
July 2012 
7 hours 50 minutes 
What is the role of a vfx supervisor and what does their job entail? In this interview-style course, vfx supervisor Sheena Duggal will be discussing the role of the production-side vfx supervisor on major feature films, working through the film production process. The job touches almost all areas of pre-production, production and post, working with just about every department in a film.

She will be sharing examples from her vast experiences as a supervisor. This can be a tricky balance, since the supervisor is allied with and supports the director but also needs to answer to the studio. She will be looking at a part of the process of making a film from the vfx supervisor's perspective. While the process seems linear, it's certainly not. The steps described are often happening in parallel, with something in one part of the production process impacting another. Guest lecturers will also focus on specific details and tasks, helping bring the whole process together.

Duggal is an acclaimed visual effects supervisor, director and compositor whose work has shaped Academy Award nominated features (Superman Returns, Cast Away, Starship Troopers) as well as blockbusters (Contact, Sex and the City 2, and SpiderMan 3) most recently serving as VFX Supervisor on The Hunger Games. Duggal will be among this year's inductees to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences; in addition, she holds a BA (hons) in graphic design specializing in animation and lens media and is a published photographer working on behalf of the UK water charity Pump Aid.
Feature Film VFX Supervision
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1

It all starts here for the vfx supe, with script mark ups, bidding and more. Building the show and asset schedule, starting the VFX database, hiring an VFX production/onset crew, reviewing reels selecting vendors to do the work, research and reference.

Class 2

Previs and Production Design. A look at the creative development of the game room, including on-set considerations as well as design prototypes for the table surfaces.

Class 3

Previs and on-set. First of two parts, a look at preparation for filming the Tributes chariot parade.

Class 4

Previs and on-set. Second of two parts, a look at preparation for filming the Tributes chariot parade.

Class 5

On Set: The vfx crew
What is the job of the on-set vfx team? surveyor, data wranglers, lidar, texture acquistion, PA, vfx coordinator & producer. Rolling with the constant changes that happen on set, shooting schedule is always evolving, often times it isn't until the camera starts rolling that you see what will be in shot, where tracking markers need to go etc. The VFX need to be constantly vigilant as to what is happening around then and ready to leap into action quickly.

Class 6

Post Production: During filming. While filming is still going on, screening of dailies begins and the picture editor is starting to cut the movie. The vfx supe needs to work with the picture editor to explain how seqs were shot, show picture editor design concepts, create a relationship with the picture editor so VFX can aid seamlessly with story telling.

Class 7

Sheena sits down with Chris Capp, one of the editors on Hunger Games, on his role as the vfx editor in the post production process. For this movie (and many others) it is one of the most critical working relationships for the vfx supervisor. Also includes an exclusive bonus interview, Sheena Duggal and Ridley Scott discussing "Body of Lies" with Brian Frankish.

Class 8

Post Production, Part 1 (audio-only interview)
As the director begins their 10 week cut, the vfx supe dives into post. A critical partner on the job is the vfx producer. Sheena and Jacquie Barnbrook discuss their roles in getting the post process started.

Class 9

Post Production, Part 2
Shots come rolling in from all around the world -- how does the global post process impact the vfx supe? Based upon the evolving cut, rebids begin of vfx. Reviews of work in progress VFX with the director and editor lead to finaling shots and the DI process.

Class 10

The eye of the supervisor
The production side VFX supervisor gives creative feedback which is in-line with the directors vision. It is the supe's eye for detail and ability to communicate that vision that is important; it is not the supe's job to be in the details and give technical feedback on how to technically achieve a task in a shot. They are required to see the big picture and the important nuanced details that make a shot look believable and seamless. As part of the final class, Duggal will be reviewing challenge submissions from course members and providing critical feedback -- demonstrating exactly the type of feedback a supervisor provides