Artist-Facing Pipeline Engineer

Production Technology (R&D, PE, Pipeline) San Francisco, CA


Position at Industrial Light & Magic

Position Summary

ILM’s R&D and Core Pipeline groups develop the ground-breaking technology that our artists use to create dazzling visuals. Our technology roadmap:

  • Modernize our core infrastructure, integrating the latest technologies
  • Increase the throughput of our global compute and storage processes
  • Streamline our guru artist tools so they’re easier to learn and easier to use
  • Develop ever more powerful techniques that push the bounds of visual complexity and cinematic fidelity, and continue to create images no one has seen before

We push the state of the art in technology, but always in service of the latest creative challenge.

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 applications such as Maya, Houdini, Katana, Shotgun, etc.
  • 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
  • Split your time between long-term software development projects and day-to-day support of active shows

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
  • A passion for developing tools for master artists
  • A knack for simplifying complex processes
  • Experience with visual effects production pipelines
  • A solid background in software engineering and a thorough knowledge of computer graphics. You don’t need to be a professional UX designer, but you should have a keen sense for how creative people use technology to work together under pressure.

Personal Skills

  • An intuitive understanding of the demands of a fast-paced, creatively-driven visual effects production environment
  • Readiness to place confidence in others, be trustworthy, and play nice
  • An ability to express yourself concisely, a willingness to speak up, and a conviction to keep everyone informed of progress and issues
  • An ability to listen intently and interpret artists’ needs
  • An insightful and analytical thinker; a creative problem solver

Technical Skills

  • 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, 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 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.