Insomniac Games’ Character TDs are responsible for creating character setups, including the rigging of various heroes, enemies, weapons, vehicles and props, and support Animators and other developers with scripts and tools. We are looking for a Senior Character TD to be responsible for the collaborative design, implementation and maintenance of the animation and rigging pipeline. Create character setups of quality befitting AAA titles, including the rigging of various heroes, enemies, weapons, vehicles, and props. Supports Art, Animation, and other teams with scripts and tools.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following:  

  • Consistently delivers animation rigs, systems, and setups at the highest quality possible while staying on schedule
  • Creates believable and accurate deformations based on knowledge of physical anatomy using skinning, blendshapes and other applicable deformation techniques as they develop
  • Authors simulation setups for cloth and hair
  • Assists the animation team in troubleshooting setup and animation problems as they arise, especially as they relate to projects
  • Creates simple Entity animations for the purpose of testing new and existing systems, and animate cameras and simple Entities for gameplay and cinematics, as necessary
  • Stays informed about the latest improvements in Maya and on the latest in animation techniques from various sources of media. 
  • Contributes to the design and improvement of the character set-up process, including improvements to tools and workflows. 
  • Edits and improves existing character animation systems, such as facial setups and animation transfer tools
  • Writes and maintains scripts using Python and PyMel in support of animation rigs, workflows for animating/rigging characters, expediting the character setup and animation process, or to aid the art team
  • Supports Core team by creating tools and improving the DCC-to-Engine art pipeline.
  • Acts as an intermediary between the animation and technical teams to clarify and communicate the workflows, needs, and terminologies of each team.
  • Understands (and assists when technical needs arise) the entire process of creating cinematics including set construction, camera setup, character blocking, character animation, motion capture, cloth simulation, animation troubleshooting, and ensuring that scenes run properly on the real-time game engine.
  • Designs and develops new standalone tools to solve production challenges.
  • Helps define the standard for the industry with their animation rigs, deformation systems, tools, and workflows. 
  • Creates believable and accurate deformations based on knowledge of physical anatomy using skinning, blendshapes and other applicable deformation techniques while helping develop new techniques to continuously improve results.
  • Works with Art on modeling practices to facilitate the set-up process and to advance the visual fidelity of the character performances.
  • Helps coordinate with the Art Department the delivery of assets to the Animation Department; help Leads schedule and assign rigging tasks.
  • Work with other departments to solve art-related production needs as well as create production systems and methods to attain production goals
  • Mentors less experienced Character TDs and offers training to other riggers
  • Keep abreast of industry trends and techniques
  • Other duties may be assigned

Supervisory Responsibilities: Assists the Leads with mentoring more junior level Character TD’s. Runs select meetings as assigned by Lead. Assist Leads in hiring when requested. Runs or aids in running strike teams when requested. 

Education/Experience:

  • Eight plus years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Experience should be in character setup, python scripting and all technical aspects of Maya animation
  • A strong understanding of animation principals is also required
  • Extensive knowledge of Maya, and a working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite
  • Advanced working knowledge of MEL, Python, and PyMel scripting as it applies to character setup and animation
  • Strong working knowledge of UI development with PySide/PyQt
  • Knowledge of the Maya API and Plugin Development is a plus

Other Skills: This position may be required to help evaluate new technical tools and make suggestions in either the implementation or practical uses of said tools. Possess an understanding of animation techniques for the purpose of proactive problem solving and trouble shooting. Maintains an understanding of skeletons, facial animation methodologies, constraints and other Maya tools and systems used for character animation.

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