Current Openings

Animation – Lead


Location
Vancouver
Department
Project
Various
Start Date
As soon as possible

Description

ABOUT IMAGE ENGINE

Based in Vancouver BC, we are a world-class visual effects studio led by a team of creative and passionate individuals who are committed to furthering the art of visual storytelling, and helping our exceptionally talented crew to push the boundaries of artistic and technical achievement.

Well known for our Academy Award Nominated work on Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, we have gone on to create numerous incredible creatures, epic environments and extraordinary digital effects for a broad range of feature films including; Zero Dark Thirty, Jurassic World, Game of Thrones, and Independence Day Resurgence.

We can do this because we place awesome new tools in the hands of our artists. R&D is central to our philosophy of driving creativity through innovation, with a focus on continually evolving our robust production pipelines and pioneering in the area of proprietary software development.

POSITION PURPOSE

The Lead of the Animation team plays a very important role in the quality control and supervision of Animation artists. The Lead will be responsible for ensuring all client notes and briefs are delivered in a constructive manner to all artists. They will build a good rapport with all artists to foster communication and increase inter-department creativity. They will provide support, guidance and feedback to the team through the quality control process. The Lead will be proactive in identifying issues, while developing and implementing creative and technical solutions. As a Lead, they will keep track of all task statuses and manage task workflow with minimal instruction.

The Lead supports the Animation Supervisor to communicate creative and technical notes to artists while maintaining the continuity/integrity of the brief and ensuring quality and standards are achieved. They will use their leadership to maintain a positive attitude in times of high stress and create a work environment of motivated artists.

The Lead will also contribute to the overall operation and improvement of the Animation team by setting and maintaining department standards. This will include, but will not be limited to engaging in cross-department communication, documentation, and participating in the buddy system for new employees. In addition, the Lead will develop new processes and stay up to date on innovative technologies to keep the Animation team on the cutting edge and to execute shots of high levels of difficulty.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Communicate the creative brief from the Director/Animation Supervisor to the Animation Team
  • Ensure briefs and notes are in line with the Director’s/Animation Supervisor’s vision and creative direction
  • Apply client notes to all shots with minimal guidance
  • Assist animators in interpreting the Director/Animation Supervisor's notes, as needed
  • Communicate successes and challenges faced by the team to the Animation Supervisor
  • Manage time and resources to meet weekly targets
  • Complete all quality control for animation submitted for review for artistic problems (e.g. bad poses, character being off model, crashing, etc.) prior to Animation Supervisor’s review
  • Coach/train Animation team on existing and new animation tools
  • Ensure the team has the tools and information they need to carry out their tasks
  • Assist the Animation team in solving technical problems
  • Assist Animators who are having trouble working with the animation rig as needed
  • Work with the rigging department to solve problems with rigs (including requesting new animation tools or revising an animation rig)
  • Animate dynamic, believable and appealing characters/non-character assets
  • In the absence of an assigned Animation Supervisor, act as a creative Lead working closely with Supervisors and Clients to execute the story and binding physics involved
  • Attend dailies, reviews, and team meetings as required
  • Work with Recruiter to assess and interview artists as needed

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

  • 10+ years’ of experience animating character and non-character assets for VFX/feature films
  • Experience leading teams (6+ people) on large projects of 300 + shots
  • Demonstrated expert knowledge of traditional animation principles, acting, film production and compositional design
  • Ability to animate multiple types of character/non-character assets from simple to complex with a minimum of supervision
  • Strong visual storyteller and well-versed in cinematography: camera angles, composition and continuity
  • Excellent attention to detail when finalizing, approving or quality controlling work
  • Ability to balance quick turnaround while achieving a high degree of aesthetic quality

SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Technical skills

  • Understanding of leadership skills
  • Ability to train and coach artists in animation techniques and best practice
  • Expert level knowledge of Maya
  • A working knowledge of Motion Capture and/or Rigging is a plus

Core skills

  • Ability to help with bidding; determine the timeframe and scope required for each project
  • Ability to troubleshoot and deal with competing priorities and projects
  • Capable of managing a team of artists; setting expectations, and managing their time
  • Ability to assess artist’s strengths and weaknesses to assign tasks and manage workflow
  • Ability to adapt quickly to new technologies and applications
  • Ability to teach new techniques and apply new approaches to push Animation to the next level
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Excellent time management and communication skills

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