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Sean M. Ritchie & Chris Cook — CG Supervisors, Crafty Apes


Crafty Apes’ Sean M. Ritchie and Chris Cook have seen changes in the VFX industry first-hand. The CG Supervisors both began their careers in architectural visualization before moving into VFX for movies and TV including The Walking Dead, Gravity, Once Upon a Time, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, and Dune.

Now, Sean and Chris work at Crafty Apes, the prolific VFX studio that’s delivered effects for Spirited, The Orville, Star Trek: Discovery, and many more. Sean and Chris shed light on what separates Crafty Apes from other effects houses, the effects of the pandemic and streaming on the industry, and how they nurture young talent. They also discuss the pros and cons of new technology such as real-time engines and AI-driven art generators.


Crafty Apes >

Sean M. Ritchie on LinkedIn >

Sean M. Ritchie on IMDb >

Chris Cook on LinkedIn >

Chris Cook on IMDb >

Chris Cook's Reel 2020 >


0:04:01 Introducing Sean

0:10:01 How Chris got into VFX

0:14:00 Moving to Canada for "Dune"

0:19:16 The benefits of being an artist-owned studio

0:23:03 How Covid changed the industry

0:28:55 Finding answers with CG supervisors

0:32:28 Coping with the sheer amount of work

0:38:32 Episodic work

0:42:37 Transitioning to LED screens

0:48:56 Where is Unity?

0:54:20 The advantages of real-time

0:57:33 How AI tools are affecting the industry

1:04:53 Upcoming work including "Spirited"

About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: November 21, 2022.
© Škoda Design

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