Junior Layout Artist

CG Artist London, United Kingdom


Position at Industrial Light & Magic

Position Summary

The Layout Team acts as a central hub for all shot preparation to ensure continuity and camera accuracy in CG elements including matchmoving, layout and performance retargeting.

Matchmoving is the replication of the real set, camera move and actors within the computer for later use by animators and technical directors. Each shot in which 3D computer graphics are to be added begins with a matchmove.

Often this includes manipulating both 2D and 3D elements, while maintaining accurate camera perspective.

Layout is anything that deviates from what was shot on set. This includes restaging, retiming, blending, and adjusting cameras to achieve a new camera move to fulfill the client brief. In some cases shots might be entirely computer generated with no live action background elements.

Performance retargeting uses in house software to retarget an actors full body or facial performance on to a CG character.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Track plates to solve camera moves and calculate lens distortion on both spherical and anamorphic plates. Understand and utilise information and material gathered on set.
  • Track and solve rigid objects and matchanimate actors using rigs and witness cameras to recreate onset action accurate in both camera and world space.
  • Model proxy set geomety using photogrammetry techniques in the absence of LIDAR to assist camera solves and provide an environment for animators and technical directors to work in.
  • Adjust camera positions and animation to fulfill client briefs and match previz. Work closely with the Layout Supervisor to ensure final camera move and workflow is legitimate with surrounding shots in the sequence.
  • Originate entirely CG camera animation and block out the scene for downstream departments.
  • Assist with the solving and editing of facial motion capture data as and when required. Work closely with the Facial Supervisor to ensure actors performances are honoured and successfully retargeted onto a character. This involves a mix of traditional match move, observation and subjective refinement requiring a good eye for detail.
  • Deliver high quality work within established targets. Work with supervisors and production to estimate project schedules. 

Education / Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience as an artist, animator, or camera operator.

Required Skills / Competencies

  • Ability to reproduce exact camera moves within a computer environment. 
  • Understanding of photography and the effects of different lenses on perspectives. 
  • Attention to detail and strong problem solving skills.
  • Good written and oral communication skills including strong interpersonal skills and a high level of professionalism.
  • Ability to work under pressure and take direction under tight production schedules.

Technical Skills

  • Advanced knowledge of a 3D software package such as Maya or 3dsMax
  • Advanced knowledge of a tracking software package such as 3DEqualizer, Pf Track or SynthEyes
  • Exposure to LINUX OS.
  • Must have the ability and willingness to learn new in house proprietary software. 
  • Exposure to motion capture, particularly facial work, is a big plus.
  • Ability to catch, analyse and identify technical issues.

Preferred Skills /  Technical Competencies

  • Experience of working in a live action VFX pipeline.
  • Experience in gathering information on location for matchmove is a plus.
  • Sharp eyes for motion, timing and expression a big plus for facial related work.