Your position as an R&D Software Developer is vital to Image Engine. Through your expertise in Animation, Rigging and Creature FX challenges, you will help us create new and innovative VFX art on major hollywood productions. Reporting to the Head of Technical Production and the R&D Lead, you will be responsible for implementing high-end tools to push our capabilities and efficiencies in these departments.

You will work closely with Rigging, CFX, and Animation TDs to build efficient workflows that push our technical capabilities to the next level, building upon the reputation for high-end creature driven VFX work that Image Engine is known for. Projects may include implementing new algorithms for specific hero creature challenges, improving the performance of our in-house nodes and deformers, or helping to identify viable 3rd party solutions for common CFX problems (eg muscles, hair, feathers), and integrating those products into our pipeline. Your passion, talent, and ideas will help us bring VFX at Image Engine to the next level of efficiency and performance.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Design, implement, and support a mixture of proprietary, open-source, and third-party software for Animation, Rigging and Creature FX workflows
  • Collaborate with artists, technical directors, and supervisors to determine the Animation, Rigging and Creature FX needs for current and future productions
  • Identify and optimize bottlenecks in Rigging and Simulation algorithms and workflows
  • Contribute to Image Engine's open source initiatives: Cortex and Gaffer
  • Communicate with third-party software vendors to prioritize Image Engine's feature requests and bug fixes
  • Design and implement solutions targeting current production workflows, while ensuring they can be generalized for all productions when possible
  • Document, test, and debug tools to ensure they meet production requirements
  • Write clear documentation for tools, scripts, and plug-ins
  • Provide secondary technical support, training, and tutorials to artists and production staff
  • Stay up-to-date with industry trends for animating, rigging and simulating muscles, skin, cloth, fur, crowds, and any other Rigging and Creature FX driven topics that may be well suited to procedural or simulated solutions
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

  • A university degree in Computer Science, Math, Physics, or a related field
  • 3-5 years experience developing software in a film production environment
  • Master's or PhD in Computer Science or a related field a plus
SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Technical skills

  • Solid understanding of rigging, animation, and simulation algorithms
  • Experience writing software in C++ and Python
  • Experience developing for Maya in both C++ and Python a must
  • Experience developing for Houdini in both C++ and Python a plus
  • Experience with modern VFX data formats and APIs like Alembic, USD, or VDB
  • Familiarity with our open source efforts (Cortex or Gaffer) a plus
  • Experience developing in a Linux environment
Core skills

  • Team oriented with good communication skills, able to work closely with artists
  • Preference for a structured work environment, with clearly outlined priorities
  • Expectation of upfront planning before proceeding with final implementation
  • Proactive with proven ability to work both independently and in a team
  • Ability to take direction and feedback from a supervisor or a peer
  • Excellent time management and communication skills
  • Ability to monitor and identify potential inefficiencies in a production pipeline
  • Excellent troubleshooting and debugging skills
  • Ability to adapt quickly to new technologies and applications