Senior/Principal Technical Animator - Nottingham UK

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Job Reference: BBBH3534
Job Type: Permanent
Sector: Artist & Animator
Location: Nottingham
Salary: Competitive Rate

About You:

You’re a world-class practitioner with experience across a range of animation styles and game genres - including multiplayer games. You’re an specialist in 3D animation for games with an outstanding show reel. You have a deep understanding of the challenges of animation and characters for games and you have lots of practical solutions and advice.
You’re an expert in setting up animators for success with rigs and tools, ensuring they can reach quality targets and deadlines through training and continued support. ?You have a great understanding of game design and visual direction, enabling you to assess the impact and opportunities they propose for animation/characters.
You have one eye on the future - you research, evaluate and propose tools and practices that keep us on the cutting edge, or ahead of the competition.
A solution focused team member, who enjoys mentoring and training.

Job Description:

As Senior/Principal Technical Animator you’ll be responsible for how we get the right animation for a game ?into game?. You’ll assess, propose and create rigs, animation tools and pipelines, help set quality and delivery targets - and do your best to ensure the animation succeeds. You’ll work closely with animators, character artists, engineers and the wider technical art and art teams, making sure the work you do is suitable, understood and used correctly.
You’ll report to the Lead Technical Artist with a dotted line to the Lead Animator and Lead Character Artist.

Responsibilities:

  • Provide integral support the development of animation for games, by creating rigs, tools and pipelines for body, face, creatures and other animated objects.
  • Define and help implement the best methods for getting animated assets into the game.
  • Ensure your work takes into account the needs of the game, the animators, time frames and technical constraints of the product.
  • Assist in identifying inefficiencies in run-time character rendering, toolchain or workflow and help find solutions
  • Ensure your work is robust and can cope with a dramatic scale in production for multiplayer demands.
  • Help with R&D of user customisable and morphable characters for end-users.
  • Keep open channels of communication across the studio - responding quickly to change and flagging issues/risks/praise.
  • You’ll continually evaluate animation technology - iterating on tool/pipeline designs and conducting group critiques to improve work practices and overall art quality.
  • You’ll use your deep understanding of game design and technical specifications to guide/create best practices, technical benchmarks for internal and outsource teams.
  • You act as a point of contact for technical animation - internally, outsource and clients. You’re happy discussing the work with all disciplines and an ambassador for the studio and your craft with our external partners.
  • There may be some travel needed for this role.
  • You help with recruitment for animation, character and tech art teams and other crafts.


Skills and Knowledge:

  • Understanding of the pros and cons of different animation techniques such as skinning and morph targets.
  • Knowledge of how to reduce Level of Detail for bones, morph targets and character meshes with visual quality in mind.
  • Knowledge of IK set up and implementation
  • Thorough understanding of animation fundamentals for human and non-human characters.
  • A good knowledge of graphics profiling and debugging tools.
  • Expert building animation rigs for human, animal and other animated entities for at least one published title within the Console, PC or film industry
  • Expert in setting up and producing art and animation content for real-time 3D game engines
  • Thorough understanding of optimising animation content for memory and performance constraints.
  • Expert in ?scripting languages to improve art workflow.
  • Expert with source control systems.
  • Thorough understanding of animation within the Unreal and Unity game engines.
  • Knowledge of how to fake or approximate physics using animation.
  • Knowledge and experience of mocap workflows and implementation.
  • Comfortable giving and receiving direction and feedback.


Experience:

  • Previous experience in a Senior/Principal position.
  • Experience of in-game character creation and user generated content.
  • Experience setting up characters for real-time cloth simulation.
  • Experience with using displacement maps to deform characters.
  • Experience of lip syncing for 3D characters.
  • Experience of modeling characters, hair and clothing desirable.
  • Experience with clothing design software such as Marvellous Designer desirable.
  • Experience of UV mapping methods for characters desirable.
  • Experience working on Mobile Platforms desirable.
  • Understanding of modern real-time lighting techniques and PBR workflow desirable.
  • Understanding of shader authoring languages such as HLSL or Cg desirable

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