6 August 2014

Careers in 2D at Dneg

Our 2D Artist Managers talk you through the entry roles into 2D

Hannah Cook (left) and Debbi Coleman manage our 2D Artists at Dneg London. Here they run down the mid-to-junior roles and entry routes into 2D at Double Negative.



A typical entry into 2D is as an entry level roto artist. Roto artists create mattes for the compers to use, meaning they work closely with compositors and gain an understanding of the VFX pipeline, working with film and working under pressure to deliver on schedule.

Typically, roto artists progress to doing prep work, ie plate preparation, or ‘clean-up’. This can vary from simple tracking marker removals, through to complex work which requires recreating half of the original plate, for example, when a motion-capture artist needs removing before being replaced by a cg character.

Prep artists use Nuke (and Silhouette), so they quickly gain an understanding of the fundamental comp skillset. From here, most prep artists will transition to junior comp work. Alternatively, there is also room for those who wish to pursue an alternative career as a professional prep/paint artist at Dneg, where we highly value this specific talent and skillset.


Our entry level roto hires are those who have specialised and taken VFX courses, or who have other industry-relevant experience, such as graphic design, or can clearly demonstrate a passion for VFX comp. When you apply, we are particularly interested in anyone whose reel demonstrates a strong, photographic or photo-real quality, anyone who is technically strong, and/or anyone who has been proactive and shot material other than that provided on their course.

Another route into comp VFX is as a runner. Runners get a great overview of the company and the VFX pipeline, whilst also building relationships with a wide variety of artists and employees at Dneg. They have their own login, so have access to all the online training docs and can begin to prove themselves as roto artists whilst running. Whenever we need to recruit into 2D, we will always look to our runners first.

(If you’re wanting to take your first step in 2D, be sure to read Singapore Paint/Roto Supervisor Ollie Atherton’s brilliant Q&A here.)


Our junior compers come almost exclusively via our roto/prep team. This ensures they have a good understanding of VFX at Dneg and the high standards we pride ourselves on. It’s rare that we’ll take on a Junior Comper without them having gone down this route


We recruit experienced compositors directly into our comp team. Anyone with 2-3 years high-end film comp experience will be considered as a mid-level comp hire at Dneg. If you have less experience, or it is on commercials/broadcast work, we are more likely to invite you to join our roto/prep team, before ‘fast-tracking’ into comp at Dneg.

There simply aren’t enough 2D specialists in the world and at Double Negative compositing is a specialist discipline. We want people to join our 2D team who excel at making shots look beautiful and work well in a team. If you think this is you please do contact jobs@dneg.com, we look forward to welcoming you to the team.


Debbi and Hannah.