VFX Studio Departments & Pipeline Chart

I find it valuable to provide our students at Alpha Chromatica with a bird’s eye view of how VFX studios, particularly large ones, are organized into departments with specific responsibilities. This is how the visuals you see in a movie, TV episode, or streaming series (we call each of these a “show” in VFX) are made.

Our students are learning Compositing, so why do they need to learn about these other departments? Because they will be working with people outside of the Comp department, we don’t know if they will change roles in the future, and we don’t want them to feel restricted. We told our students that working in a large studio as a Compositor isn’t the only path, and they have the freedom to use their newly acquired skills, knowledge, and connections however they wish.

VFX Infographic made by Alpha Chromatica

Having a flowchart or pipeline diagram is a helpful visual aid to spark discussion. There are other charts like this available online, but some have grown outdated and many don’t include important departments like Production, I.T., Talent Acquisition, Training, Artist Managers, or H.R., to name a few. This is the version I created and revised repeatedly throughout those lessons, and will continue to evolve as studios do. I am sharing it so other teachers, trainers, students, and people new to the VFX industry can use it as a learning resource.

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