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Senior Gameplay Animator
Come join the award-winning God of War development team! Santa Monica Studio is looking for a Senior Gameplay Animator to help us push the boundaries of action and combat movement and set the bar for gameplay feel on the PS4. This individual will contribute to our interactive vision by animating and breathing life into the movement of our characters and game world.
As a Senior Gameplay Animator, you will be working closely with the Gameplay Animation Lead, Design Director, Gameplay Director, Animation Director, and Lead Combat Designer to create action moments that are visually stunning, while also working with a wide range of development team members to ensure technical feasibility.
- Work closely with the Combat Design Team during the pre-visualization process, assisting both with combat and character navigation 3D pre-vis. Focus on nailing character development, choreography, and timing of each move with the Animation Director and Gameplay Animation Lead.
- Assemble and prepare navigation, combat, and world interactive moves for shooting on the motion capture stage.
- Assist with mocap shoots, informing the stage crew of prop needs, checking for continuity and keeping track of editing needs for combat and navigation moves.
- Assemble, edit, clean up, and enhance motion capture data shot on stage, including both body and face. Collaborate with the Animation Lead, Design Director, Gameplay Director, Animation Director, and Lead Combat Designer to achieve the perfect balance between animation fidelity and gameplay responsiveness.
- Animate non-mocapped characters, creatures, and props by hand. This includes hand-keyed facial expressions and lip sync as necessary.
- Work closely with Combat Designers and Gameplay Programmers to integrate moves into the game engine, monitoring and troubleshooting any technical issues that might arise.
- Give concise and timely feedback to outsourcing teams when needed.
- Proactively facilitate requests or information needs regarding any aspect of the animation creation process. Work with the Character Tech Art team to improve character rigs, tools and workflow pipeline.
- 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.
- A strong demo reel that demonstrates expert knowledge of fundamental animation principles and acting skills. Be able to create a full range of lifelike performances from the subtle to the dramatic and powerful.
- Demonstrate proficient command of weight, timing, and posing through manipulating motion capture data as well as key-framing.
- High level of proficiency in Maya and MotionBuilder.
- Comfortable learning and working in game engine environments.
- Work well in a creative, team-oriented environment, exhibiting excellent communication, time-management, and organizational skills. Be able to reach across multiple disciplines to gather feedback and address cross-functional issues.
- Strong leadership skills, production sensibilities, and the drive and talent needed to produce and implement the highest quality work. Penchant for practical innovation and the ability to bring new ideas to the table.
- B.A. in fine arts or relevant curriculum, or equivalent skillset
- Minimum 5 years’ industry or related experience
- Experience working with both body and facial performance capture pipelines recommended.
- Good understanding of scene staging and layout. Experience with photography or cinematography a plus.
- Some knowledge of crafting interactive storytelling and/or minigames is useful.
- Basic modeling skills and knowledge of rigging and Python a plus.
- 1 or more published titles working with motion capture performance data a plus.
- Passion for video games
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