Virtual Production R&D Engineer

Production Technology (R&D, PE, Pipeline) London, United Kingdom


Position at Industrial Light & Magic

We are looking for engineers for our Virtual Production R&D team, to help us advance the state of the art in real time virtual production technology for major motion pictures and television.  

We’re looking for engineers with experience in performance capture, real-time visualization, retargeting and/or complex systems integration. We need people with a keen interest in making production-worthy tools for artists, and with the drive to put them into action on our upcoming slate of Hollywood blockbusters.

Leveraging our decades-long experience in production and effects, we are bringing the best of this technology together to create a single integrated virtual production platform we call, StageCraft.

StageCraft represents a new paradigm of filmmaking that combines traditional filmmaking tools with cutting-edge technology to allow filmmakers to achieve their vision with speed and flexibility previously unimaginable.

StageCraft offers filmmakers the ability to:

  • Design shots in an immersive VR Environment

  • Scout locations and shots virtually

  • Previsualize and block shots and performance capture

  • Capture multiple live performances and review in real time on monitors, mobile devices, and large LED or projection displays.

We are;

Industrial Light & Magic, founded in 1975 by George Lucas, has created some of the most iconic moments in motion picture history. From Star Wars to Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, The Avengers, theme park rides and interactive experiences, ILM continues to expand the possibilities of what visual entertainment can be.

ILM’s R&D and Core Pipeline groups develop the ground-breaking technology that our artists use to create dazzling visuals.  ILM’s innovations have won 29 Scientific and Technical Academy Awards®. Today, we are 70+ visually-minded software engineers, working side-by-side with over a thousand digital artists in a fast-paced, intensely collaborative, creatively-driven film production environment, across studios in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver, London, and Sydney.

Prime responsibilities;

  • Work in a collaborative, distributed team of full-time software engineers, and work directly with highly specialized and supremely talented artists, in ILM’s studios in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver, London, and Sydney.

  • Develop innovative algorithms and techniques, based on the latest in virtual production technology

  • Design artist-friendly user interfaces and automated batch processes that scale to high volume visual effects production.

  • Integrate commercial and open-source systems into the ILM production pipeline; collaborate with external organizations such as Disney Research, and with commercial software and hardware vendors.

  • Work within and extend and support ILM’s proprietary software systems.

  • Split time between long-term software development projects and day-to-day production support.

Education & Experience;
  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or a related technical field. 

  • Previous experience in VFX or similar digital production facility.

  • Proficiency with realtime workflows and virtual production technology is desirable.

  • On set experience is desirable.

Required Skills & Competencies;
  • An intuitive understanding of the demands of a fast-paced, creatively-driven visual effects production environment.

  • Collaboration: a readiness to trust others, be trustworthy, and play nice. 

  • Communication: an ability to express yourself concisely, a willingness to speak up, and a conviction to keep everyone informed of progress and issues.

  • Empathy: an ability to listen intently and understand artists’ needs.

  • Creativity: an insightful and analytical thinker, and a creative problem solver. 

Required Technical Skills;
  • Expert knowledge of programming in Python and C++ on Linux.

  • Thorough knowledge of technology related to animation and performance capture: character rigging, geometric deformations, dynamic simulation, computer vision, etc.

  • Experience designing interfaces using GUI toolkits: Qt, PyQt/PySide, etc.

  • Thorough knowledge of software design/development principles: design patterns, object-oriented design, agile development, etc.

  • Experience working with a large, complex, mature, and dynamic code base.