Senior Animator

Contractor

Posted 06.22.2017

Come join the award-winning God of War development team!  Santa Monica Studio is looking for a Senior Animator to help us create imaginative and visually stunning worlds that set the bar for creativity and complexity on the PS4.  This individual will contribute to the vision of amazing, top-of-class games, animating and breathing life into the performances of our characters and game world. 

Solid key frame skills, a strong understanding of animation techniques, and a thorough knowledge of motion capture animation principles and pipelines are all required for this role. The ideal candidate must be able to work with high-level direction, and should also possess strong leadership skills, production sensibilities, and the drive and talent needed to produce and implement the highest quality work.

As a Senior Animator, you must possess the ability to effectively collaborate with the Animation Director and Game Director to create characters that are visually stunning, while also working with a wide range of development team members to ensure technical feasibility.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Work with a group of animators to create compelling and consistent performances for all major characters and utilize both hand and mocap animation techniques to create animation of primary and secondary characters.
  • Create high-quality character animation at a quality bar suitable for next-generation console development in order to define and achieve a product’s visual style and encourage artistic evolution within the studio.This entails expanding methods to improve the production pipeline, tools, systems, and visual integrity.
  • Work closely with the Animation Director, Lead Animator, and animation team to develop animation practices and assets that fulfill the requirements of the project’s game design and visual design.
  • Resolve a broad range of complex artistic development issues for both artists as well as other team members.
  • Proactively facilitate requests or information needs regarding any aspect of the animation creation process.
  • Work in a team-oriented environment and use organizational and interpersonal skills on a daily basis, bringing a creative and proactive attitude to the task of animating performances.
  • Actively advance skill set and abilities by keeping aware of industry trends and techniques, evaluating competitive products, and learning new software packages and traditional art methods.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • A strong demo reel that demonstrates a high level of proficiency of classic animation principles and its fundamentals (staging, timing, anticipation, follow through, exaggeration, squash, and stretch) as well as the ability to create the full range of lifelike performances from the subtle to the dramatic and powerful.
  • Demonstrated extensive professional character animation experience in the entertainment industry, showing command of weight, timing, and posing through manipulating motion capture data as well as key-framing.
  • Good understanding of camera movement, staging, and storytelling techniques that will be carried through the creation of cinematic sequences.
  • Expertise in working with motion capture performance data is a plus, including proficiency in Maya, Motion Builder, and motion capture editing, and experience with both body and facial performance capture pipelines.
  • Working knowledge extending Maya and Motion Builder functionality.   Knowledge of scripting in Maya and Python would be a plus.
  • Highly knowledgeable with video game product development including, but not limited to: experience animating bipedal characters that showcase both acting/pathos and action performances, creature animation, mechanical (machinery) animation, and facial animation with lip-sync.
  • Excellent communication, time-management, and organizational skills. Must possess a strong ability to work across multiple disciplines to gather feedback and address cross-functional issues. Penchant for practical innovation and the ability to bring new ideas to the table.
  • Must be passionate about games and proactively analyze competitive products for their strengths and weaknesses.
  • B.A. in fine arts or relevant curriculum, or equivalent skillset
  • Minimum 4 years’ industry or related experience
  • 1 or more published titles working with motion capture performance data a major plus

What’s hot

  • Creatives wanted! Our studio is home to over 200 talented developers dedicated to designing, developing and delivering the highest quality AAA PlayStation games. We would love to welcome you to our family. Please view our current open positions.

  • Watch Santa Monica Studio Creatives, a new video series focusing on 3 notable members of our SMS family, whose journey to our studio is as inspiring as their creative talent they possess. While their stories are candid, raw, and anything but ordinary, their expert craft and the collaboration that takes place within our creative walls, hits at the heart of what matters most to our studio culture - the team is everything.

  • Forged in the depths of Hades to the peak of Mt. Olympus, fashioned for Gods, and for fans worldwide, visit our official God of War gear store to discover many permanent reminders of your pledge to Kratos. Shirts, statues, God chalices, Pop Vinyl collectibles, and much more all await you.