The Technical Animation Lead is responsible for the smooth running of the technical animation (cloth, fur, hair) pipeline for a project, working closely with the Rigging, Technical Animation, and CG Supervisors. This will require maintaining existing technology, integrating third-party technology, and designing and implementing all-new, proprietary technology. This is a broad role which encompasses many departments and disciplines, including but not limited to: modeling, texturing, rigging, creature FX, (including at least fur, cloth, soft-body deformations), and animation.
The Technical Animation Lead would also be designing, simulating and delivering elements in shots that involve cloth, hair, fur or other specialist technology. They will work closely with the Rigging and Animation Teams to ensure that the productions’ needs are understood and met, and that the technical animation team have fast, efficient, intuitive puppets.
The Technical Animation Lead should be comfortable managing teams, (including interviewing, scheduling, and mentoring artists). He or she is also required to develop a deep understanding of the studio pipeline, work within it, and ensure that his/her artists are doing the same.
Duties & Responsibilities
- Lead team of technical animators to complete projects on time and on budget
- Work with Model department to ensure geometry being simulated meets Technical Animation needs
- Work with Rigging and Animation departments to ensure geometry or rigs delivered to Technical Animation meets needs
- Working with Production, assign technical animation tasks to appropriate artists
- Apply and simulate clothing, hair or other areas requiring technical animation.
- Analyze and fix any initial problems found and resimulate as needed.
- Ensure that geometry delivered to production pipeline meets each department’s needs
- Develop techniques to ensure the requested animated geometry will integrate into a photorealistic environment.
- Respond quickly to notes from the VFX/DFX or CG Supervisor(s) before or during dailies to ensure best possible quality is maintained.
- Research, develop, implement or adapt existing technical animation solution that best fits the show needs with the available resource.
- Prevent problems by communicating early with stakeholders and coming up with solutions that are both efficient and technically sound.
- Initiate and maintain clear communication with Department Lead / Supervisor regarding project status and potential issues that might arise.
- Other duties as appropriate to the role and determined by supervisors
- Good working knowledge in a production environment with Maya.
- Self-sufficient and can manage both his / her own time and needs of the team in order to meet project deadlines.
- Houdini knowledge a plus
- Good working knowledge of hair, fur, and cloth simulation software such as Yeti, Shave & a Haircut, Xgen, nCloth, and Marvelous Designer
- Good working knowledge of rigging and muscle systems on live action feature film or television productions
- Good understanding of sculpting geometry
- Character animation experience on live action feature film or television productions
- Excellent problem solving and communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills with an emphasis on inspired leadership
- Tracking experience is desirable
- A strong sense of self-motivation and ability to work with little supervision
- Linux scripting experience, especially in Bash/Python is desirable