Software Engineer - Shader Writer

Sony Pictures Imageworks is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. We are committed to respecting traditional lands, and working with communities towards reconciliation.

We are looking to expand our team of software engineers that support the development of our shading pipeline. The ideal candidate is a strong coder, highly adaptable thinker and strong communicator who is looking to collaborate on projects of varying size with an emphasis on meeting the needs of productions with time-sensitive deadlines.

 Candidates must have strong technical chops and enjoy collaboration with other engineers and artists.  They must be at ease working with little supervision and/or with a Lead Software Engineer or Architect in an environment where production demands can shift priorities more quickly than some traditional software environments.

The engineer is primarily responsible for the development of and implementation of production and studio shading solutions under the guidance of the department lead. This position requires collaboration with other engineering staff, project managers, and production artists to develop and implement innovative studio capabilities.

Your primary focus will be writing shaders in Open Shading Language (OSL) for our shader library as well as working on other look-development tools used in production with our physically-based ray tracer. You will work closely with show leads, award-winning artists, as well as the core developers of SPI Arnold, OSL, and Katana. Tasks may include the full range of low-level library functions, artist-facing visual tools, problem solving for production, and advancing the state of the art in rendering, lighting, and shading technology. The range of looks you will be solving include photoreal visual effects films, family-oriented CG feature films, and art-based non-photorealistic rendered films. 


  • Writing OSL shaders for productions
  • Leverage strengths of lighting package and renderer in developing new shading technology 
  • Maintain and expand existing codebase based on production needs 
  • Collaborate on best practices and work to remediate workflow inefficiencies

The ideal candidate has a keen artistic eye, a deep knowledge of modern production raytracing, and experience with shader writing and shot lighting. You will join the Development Group and work within the Shading team and alongside the Katana and Arnold teams. In addition to gaining experience with advanced rendering techniques, you’ll be uniquely positioned to work alongside artists and engineers to deliver the next generation of tools to advance future productions. You can also contribute to other disciplines within the software group, according to your interests.

Required Skills: 

  • Experience with and passion for writing shaders! (Any shading language, though OSL preferred.)

Desired Skills: 

  • OSL shader writing
  • Physically-based shading/rendering in a raytracer
  • Katana production lighting experience, scripting, and API knowledge 
  • Experienced with Python, C, C++ 
  • Highly detailed and organized in work practices 
  • Penchant for optimization and improvement 
  • Great team player in a highly fluid environment
  • Experienced with UNIX/Linux

Desired Experience: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or equivalent 
  • QA experience

We value unique perspectives, and want diverse, unique talent to work with us.  We encourage candidates from all identities to apply.

*Sony Pictures Entertainment is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other protected characteristics.

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