Animation Engineer



Crystal Dynamics, a part of the Square-Enix family, is constantly on the hunt for top-tier gaming talent worldwide. We pride ourselves on attracting and developing the best talent available to concept, create, and contribute to the most exciting projects in gaming today. 20+ years of history creating fun and exciting titles for the world to enjoy as well as our studio’s 1000+ years of combined game industry experience provides a rich tapestry of tested and new ideas to draw from and has established us as one of the best studios in the world to work for.

Position Summary:

Crystal Dynamics is seeking an Animation Engineer to design, develop, prototype, and improve our animation systems for the exciting upcoming Avengers title. In this highly collaborative role, you will team up with cinematics and animation departments to tweak and level-up our proprietary animation editor. You bring a passion for Animation and realistic performances as well as general knowledge in other key areas like Physics, 3D Graphics & Rendering, AI, Player Systems, Cameras, Networking, or Tools programming.  You have excellent people skills with the ability to convey technical concepts to non-technical partners. Working closely with with your lead, you will be at the forefront of developing the best game experience possible for our players.

Essential Duties:

  • Collaborate with animators and programmers to design improvements to existing tools and develop exciting new technology.
  • Work with our animators to iterate on existing systems and tools.
  • Collaborate with our team to develop cutting edge animation components that interact with networked, physics, and other gameplay objects.
  • Leverage animation system expertise to improve, optimize and debug runtime animation systems.
  • Work with the lead to architect the cinematic and runtime animation systems.
  • Optimize tools for ease of use, and boosting the workflow productivity for animators.
  • Provide and own the end-to-end solution for the system, from motion capture to authoring tools, export tools, build tools and runtime systems.

Competencies, Skills & Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of animation compression and optimization techniques ( i.e. quaternion, key frame reduction, LODs and efficient compression algorithms )
  • Knowledge of animation systems such as:
  • Muscular deformation
  • Facial animation
  • Cloth + Hair simulation and animation
  • Special Effects animation
  • Physics-driven animation
  • Strong industry knowledge in areas of expertise, and able to define technical direction in these areas for a given team and as an advisor for studio wide initiatives
  • Proven ability to work on complex long-term tasks and complete them at high-quality and on schedule
  • Able to design, implement, and optimize C++ code in new and existing systems. All code must be clear, maintainable, portable, and efficient
  • Be a self-starter that effectively manages time and responsibilities to produce the highest quality work possible
  • Actively contribute to a positive and fun work environment
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to effectively share and brainstorm thoughts and ideas to bring an exciting new world to life!

Essential Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • 4+ years of experience or equivalent as a software engineer with strong knowledge of animation techniques (i.e. motion capture, facial morphing, procedural and inverse kinematics)
  • Strong knowledge in C++

Nice to haves: 

  • Experience working with Python and Maya
  • Experience working with C#

Crystal Dynamics is an EOE and M/F/D/V Employer