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Compositors are creatives who are the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to animation. They take layers of images that have previously been constructed (see 3D Rendering) and combine them to create a final image. You can find them in most areas of animation and post-production. While they are responsible for producing the ultimate set of images that are aligned with the project’s final outcome, they will often times work very closely with the animation team throughout the process to ensure that the creation process goes as effortlessly as possible. Industries that have a need for compositors range from film and game design/development to advertising, graphic design, and web design.

Compositors are expected to have a refined skill set that includes:

  • Having a college degree in arts or design, with an emphasis in subjects such as photography, illustration or computer animation
  • Demonstrating expert proficiency with compositing-specific programs such as Shake, After Effects, Opus, Animo, and Flame
  • Working knowledge of software programs used by 3D animators and 3D Renderers (e.g. Adobe Creative Suite, Maya, Combustion, etc.)
  • Having a thorough understanding of the CG process
  • Possessing a keen artist’s eye for detail as well as a solid set of artistic skills, allowing them to understand the elements of composition, lighting and shadow, and color techniques

Compositors may be required to work in a team environment (with constant communication and constructive feedback), on their own (with little to no supervision), or sometimes both. Outstanding compositors will have the flexibility to work in whichever environment is deemed best for the project at hand.

Other job titles that are equivalent to that of Compositor are Visual Effects (VFX) Artist, Nuke Compositor, and Visual FX Cleanup Artist.

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