Software Developer - Imaging, Playback Tools

Production Technology, Software Product Development Toronto, Ontario Montréal, Quebec


Position at DNEG

Software Developer - Imaging, Playback and Review Tools

DNEG is looking for an experienced C++ software developer to support xSTUDIO, our open source video playback and review application for the VFX and Feature Animation industries. xSTUDIO is freely available through the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) GitHub page. The main responsibility of this role is to manage internal and external versions of the code base as well as accelerate the development of xSTUDIO’s growing feature set. Knowledge of Open Source Software (OSS) best practices and standards is a must for this role.

About the Project
Viewing moving images is an activity fundamental to almost every role in a VFX and Feature Animation studio. This goes a long way beyond just video playback – VFX and animation artists, supervisors, and producers all require fast, accurate, highly interactive and flexible interfaces for examining their work, submitting notes and feedback as well as producing their own creative edits. Large format image sequences with high bit depth and high frame rate demand the utmost in performance optimization to make the most of available graphics hardware resources. In addition to this, collaborative working is an increasingly important aspect of the workflows, requiring innovative solutions to allow multiple users to work together fluently. All this must be delivered by a solution that offers the very best in UX and UI design. To meet these requirements and to take advantage of recent advances in associated technologies, such as HDR displays and projectors, new graphics rendering pipelines, and modern video formats, DNEG is investing in xSTUDIO, a solution that is now being used by our global workforce of VFX professionals and was open sourced in January of this year.  

About the Role
We are looking for an experienced C++ developer to help us address the growing feature set of the xSTUDIO roadmap. You will also be responsible for managing internal and external versions of xSTUDIO to distinguish DNEG pipeline features from generic external contributions. Additionally, you will act as a consultant to the existing development team, advising on strategies to modify code, develop appropriate unit tests and produce first class documentation appropriate for consumption by colleagues elsewhere in the wider industry.

As well as demonstrating technical skill and initiative, you will need to be an excellent communicator – your ability to communicate between technical developers and non-technical artists and end users will help you thrive in this role. We encourage a technically creative attitude and are looking for individuals who are willing and able to bring their own solutions and ideas to the table. 

We follow Agile development methodologies and you will work closely with Product Owners and Stakeholders to understand artist needs and deliver bespoke software products. You will have influence in all aspects of the software development life-cycle; designing, supporting and maintaining software as well as integrating tools into our existing pipeline.

This is a rare and exciting opportunity to join the open source xSTUDIO project and collaborate with internal and external industry experts to reinvent playback and review workflows across the VFX and Animation Industries.

About the Product Department and Imaging Domain
Unique among VFX studios, the Product Development Department is disparate from show-supporting technology groups, and is focused on developing stand alone applications and DCC plugins to enable new creative capabilities and improve production efficiency. xSTUDIO is part of the Imaging Domain under the general Product Development umbrella. Other disciplines under this domain include Colour Science, Computer Vision, Editorial, and IO Data, you will also have the opportunity to work in these technology areas too.

Must have: 


  • Degree in Computer Science, Engineering or similar, or equivalent experience
  • Excellent programming skills in modern C/C++ (2011, 2017) and Python
  • Experience with graphical programming APIs - Qt (C++), OpenGL, GLSL
  • Experience with open source software development
  • Knowledge of open source standards and best practices
  • Strong comprehension of concurrent programming and performance optimisation


  • Excellent written, verbal, and graphical communication
  • Experience drafting, reviewing and maintaining technical documentation
  • Working experience in the Agile Development model
  • Knowledge of product development best practices

Nice to have: 

  • Experience with the following APIs: C++ Actor Framework, OpenColourIO. Qt/QML
  • A passion for excellence in UI design and UX
  • Experience of software development in a Linux environment (shells, version management etc)
  • Experience of cross platform development including any exposure to Apple and Windows graphics APIs (Metal/DirectX)
  • An understanding of image processing techniques including image sampling and filtering, colour science and video codecs

A note on Equal Opportunities
We would not be able to produce award-winning work without our Production Technology department, which is committed to nurturing an inclusive, diverse and exciting workplace. Our teams have a variety of backgrounds and originate from a number of different countries, working across the globe at the forefront of technology in the industry.

About Us
We are DNEG, one of the world’s leading visual effects and animation companies for the creation of award-winning feature film, television, and multiplatform content. We employ more than 10,000 people with worldwide offices and studios across North America (Los Angeles, Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver), Europe (London), Asia (Bangalore, Mohali, Chennai, Mumbai) and Australia (Sydney).