Technical Career Guide

Character Artists: Responsible for constructing 3D character rigs, animation interfaces and establishing muscle, skin and clothing behaviors (i.e. range from broad squash and stretch to realistic physical simulations). Traditional drawing, design and sculpture abilities are applicable, as is knowledge of anatomy, kinematics and physical behaviors.

Character Animators: Responsible for bringing characters to life. To be a successful candidate, Character Animators may have a background in any of the following animation disciplines: Traditional, CG, Stop Motion or Claymation. Prior training should cover anatomy, perspective and composition, including solving problems in weight, balance, movement, space, construction and proportion. Animators must be able to demonstrate their understanding of animation principles such as timing, clear staging, squash and stretch, anticipation and follow-through, and secondary action.

Background/Matte Painters Create the final environment for our characters to live in. A strong sense of design and compositing, color and proportion is essential in developing 2D and 3D backgrounds. Look Development Painters Work with other Look Development staff to achieve the look of complex 3D elements (i.e. characters, props and environments) in the show. This could include painting texture maps (e.g. color maps, specular maps, displacement maps, etc.), working with TDs to enhance the look and creating lighting setups. Look Development Painters typically have previous production experience and have demonstrated exceptional skills/abilities in 3D artwork.

Hair/Cloth Artists Work with the Model Department, Look Development, Animation and Software teams to create art-directable dynamic simulations for character hair/fur and clothing in 3D feature animation production. Production experience with procedurally generated objects and dynamic simulations, a thorough understanding of 3D computer programs and exceptional artistic skills/abilities in 3D/traditional artwork are required.

Effects Animators Add natural, and sometimes supernatural phenomena, to an animated film. An understanding of physical dynamics and natural forces is key, as it aids in producing a believable world and setting the mood for the story. An Effects Animator must take direction easily, work well with an artistic team and deliver scenes in a timely fashion. Lighting Artists Responsible for assembling the elements of a shot into a final composite and composing the digital lighting of the scene. Shot Finalers must have an understanding of color, contrast, and lighting design, along with a solid familiarity with 3D lighting in a production environment. Shot Finalers also possess a strong visual sense and the ability to distinguish subtle differences that affect the matching of elements created in multiple mediums

Artistic Career Guide

Storyboard Artists Have the ability to visualize a film script in a series of panels somewhat like a comic strip. They are able to convey the essence of story line, scene structure, character emotion and create action and humor in alignment with the overall direction of the film. Ability to quick sketch, a mastery of human and animal anatomy, a filmic sense and a design-caricature ability are all necessary requirements.

Visual Development Artists Visually explore a concept, which may include Character Design and/or Environment Design for animated films, shorts and special projects. Visual Development Artists will experiment with the diverse elements of film presentation to manipulate dramatic story moments, plot thrusts, moods, character conflict and place-time motifs to capture the emotional connection to the story’s theme. A rich imagination, a sense of caricature and design, strong color sense, a mastery of human and animal anatomy, architecture, the ability to work in different mediums and the versatility to conceptualize visually in a variety of techniques are required. Children’s book illustration, fine art and/or illustration skills are a plus.

Modelers: Responsible for creating complex organic models needed for character animation; prop elements for effects; and environmental sets and structures. A mastery of human and animal anatomy, perspective, weight, volume, proportion and/or architecture, industrial design or automotive design are required. Previous experience with traditional sculpting is a plus.

Layout Artists Responsible for the staging and set up of each shot. Layout Artists should demonstrate a strong sense of place and environment and be well-versed in principles of cinematography. Attention to perspective and composition is critical in developing a variety of environments for characters to live in.