Research & Development Engineer - Artist-Facing Tools
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, and London.
With over 40 years of experience, ILM is the best in the business, but we’re never content with the status quo. With a full slate of upcoming movies, we have the ambition to improve everything we do:
- Develop ever more powerful tools and production techniques that push the bounds of visual complexity and cinematic fidelity, and continue to create images no one has seen before.
- Improve our most powerful artist tools so they’re easier to learn and easier to use.
- Modernize our core infrastructure, and increase the throughput of our global compute and storage processes.
What You’ll Do
- Develop tools, structures, and pipeline systems that define how artists assemble and manage massively complex 3D scenes.
- Design user interfaces for authoring, validating, publishing, and tracking 3D and 2D data as it moves through the production pipeline.
- Extend, optimize, and simplify a complex network of automated batch processes.
- Integrate commercial and open-source systems into the ILM production pipeline.
- Work with and extend ILM’s proprietary content creation systems.
- Work in a collaborative team of software engineers, and work directly with highly specialized and supremely talented artists, in ILM’s studios in San Francisco, Vancouver, London, and Singapore.
- Split your time between long-term software development projects and day-to-day support of active shows.
Education / Experience
- BS or advanced degree in computer science or related field, or equivalent experience.
- Proven years of experience in professional software development and/or VFX production.
- 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.
- Expert knowledge of programming in python and/or C++ on Linux.
- Thorough knowledge of computer graphics and animation concepts: character rigging, geometric deformations, dynamic simulation, shading and rendering, etc.
- Experience with commercial animation and VFX software applications: Maya, Houdini, Nuke, RV, Shotgun, etc.
- Knowledge of industry-standard scene data formats: Alembic, USD, etc.
- Experience with GUI toolkits: Qt, PyQt/PySide, etc.
- Thorough knowledge of software design/development principles: design patterns, object-oriented design, agile development, etc.
- Experience with revision control and release management: Perforce/SVN, Git, etc.
- Experience working with a large, complex, mature, and dynamic code base.
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 age, race, colour, religion or belief, sex, nationality, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, disability or pregnancy or maternity. Disney 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.