R&D Engineer - FX/Crowds
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 33 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.
We are looking for engineers for our FX/Crowds R&D team to help us develop advanced tools for simulating natural phenomena, rigid-body destruction, and crowds for major motion pictures.
We’re looking for engineers who can work closely with artists and other developers to author tools, solvers, and pipelines for physics-based simulation, fluid dynamics, and/or procedural simulation of crowds in Houdini. We need people who are passionate about overcoming technical and creative challenges to meet the needs of production on our upcoming slate of Hollywood blockbusters.
What You’ll Do
- Work in a united, global 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 data management techniques, based on the latest research in physically-based simulation and crowds animation
- Design artist-friendly user interfaces, including SOP and HDA 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; work with external organizations, such as other Disney divisions, and with commercial software vendors
- Work with, extend, and assist ILM’s proprietary software systems
- Split time between long-term software development projects and day-to-day production assistance
- Develop tools within a large, complex, mature, and dynamic code base
What We’re Looking For
- BS or advanced degree in computer science or related field, or equivalent experience
- 3+ years of experience in professional software development and/or VFX production
- An intuitive comprehension 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 recognize artists’ needs
- Creativity: an insightful and analytical thinker, and a creative problem solver
- Ability to develop software in Python and/or C++ on Linux
- Knowledge of technology related to one or more aspects of FX or crowds simulation: physics, numerical techniques, procedural geometry, procedural crowd animation, etc.
- Familiarity with open-source utilities and numerical libraries such as OpenVDB, Alembic, Eigen, TBB, etc.
- Experience working with Houdini, both as a user and developer
- Thorough knowledge of software design/development principles
This position is with Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. LLC, which is part of a business segment we call Industrial Light & Magic. Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. LLC is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. Lucasfilm fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world. **FOR U.S. BASED NEW HIRES ONLY:** We are taking a responsible approach to creating environments that allow us to do what we do best - entertain and inform millions around the world. As part of our commitment to health and safety, COVID-19 vaccines are required for current U.S. salaried and non-union hourly employees, as well as all newly hired U.S. employees.