Lead Environment Artist

ART Bellevue, Washington


We are seeking a Lead Environment Artist who has achieved an excellence in environment modeling, texturing, and lighting for our Crystal Northwest Studio in Bellevue, WA. As Lead Environment Artist, this person is the critical keeper of what good looks like on-screen. They are responsible for executional quality of the game’s vision through direct contribution and management of the environment art team to deliver AAAA quality assets on time and budget.

Crystal Northwest is a wholly owned extension of Crystal Dynamics, the award winning, AAAA game studio known for iconic game franchises such as Tomb Raider and the upcoming game based on Marvel’s Avengers franchise. Benefits for this permanent, full-time position include a competitive salary, 100% employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance options, with generous amounts of company holidays, paternity leave, and paid time-off.


  • Working with the Art Director’s vision, the Lead Environment Artist creates the plans, then implements and executes the vision on-screen through direct contribution and leadership of a team.
  • Partners with the design team in a joint creative and technical effort to build worlds from initial concept to their complete, polished form within technical budgets.
  • Knows cutting-edge 3D graphics techniques including:
    • Working with physics-based spaces
    • High poly modeling (Maya and ZBrush)
    • Baking normal and displacement maps from high poly to game res meshes
    • Shader manipulation
    • Modular construction and assembly techniques
    • Crafting and baking dynamic lighting models, Post Effects, etc.
  • Create visually stunning, atmospheric, effective and efficient 3D models of natural and architectural environments with strong drawing, texturing, materials, and lighting skills with an excellent sense of spatial relations and structural logic.
  • Conceptualize, present, and execute ideas within a schedule, while actively participating in technical and artistic problem solving.
  • Expertise in leading variable-sized teams of artists; improving their abilities and mentoring them through their careers.

Essential Requirements

  • 6+ years' experience as an Environment Artist on multiple blockbuster, AAA or AAAA titles.
  • Proven eye for scene and world composition and spatial awareness.
  • Software: Microsoft Word, Maya, ZBrush (preferred) and Photoshop.
  • Architecture or traditional art background, cinematography experience.

SPECIAL NOTE ** A portfolio submission is required for this position. Please focus this portfolio on personal contributions to your projects. Please include a shot breakdown specifying what you were directly responsible for creating. Considered portfolios should include the following:

  • 10-15 best examples of your work (Maya renders in addition to in-game screen shots or video).
  • 3-5 Mesh shots (that show efficiency & good work process).
  • 3-5 Texture Sheets including diffuse, spec and normal maps (that shows correct use of maps, efficient use of UV space and artistic skill).
  • Example of lighting.

Crystal Northwest is an EOE and M/F/D/V employer.