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Head of Character Lab
21 days ago
Character Lab design and create the characters yet to be invented. The close-knit team of specialists comprised of Modelling, Surfacing, Blendshapes, Rigging and Groom, tackle the most challenging, technical, and creative tasks. We provide an outstanding character-focused design and deliver service for our clients with the very best global talent.
Reporting to the Head of Creative Operations, the Head of Character Lab is responsible for day-to-day operations and long-term strategic management of all creative disciplines within their department.
The Head of Character Lab is accountable for ensuring creative excellence is delivered by following technical and workflow standards set by our discipline supervisors.
They ensure the creative disciplines within the department are utilising all available resources to improve efficiency whilst maintaining the required creative and technical quality. Partnering with the Character Lab discipline supervisors and leads, MPC Software RnD and the TD teams, they must drive improvements and innovation in the department. Partnering with workforce planning and Learning & Development to ensure continual development and upskilling within the team.
Managing the team:
- Mentor and manage the training and integration of new artists into the existing team in accordance with the global needs of the business
- The hod is responsible for facilitating training for their team, to a level at which the crew can perform their duties.
- Recruiting and casting of the Leads
- Cast and assign appropriate teams to the various projects, balancing the financial, technical and creative considerations of the task
- Nurture creative vision and technical ability, while ensuring balanced personal and professional development
- Assess performance of the team through appraisals (formal as well as informal), and manage career growth and promotions within the wider considerations of the company
Strategy and technical development:
- Have a compelling strategy and vision for the future of the department
- Keep up to date with industry developments and tools to ensure the department remains relevant in an ever-changing global industry
- Ensure the successful integration of new tools, standardised workflows and techniques to continuously improve the creative output for successful and efficient delivery of shows
- Be a member of the global creative council that informs the workflow group on the department’s needs. Report this to the Head of Creative Operations.
- Collaborate with other department HODs to design workflows between their teams. Facilitate global communication.
Show planning, maintenance and delivery:
- Work with New Business and the Global Asset Producer to assess, bid and categorise incoming characters to designate level of Character Lab involvement
- Work with the lead artists, supervisors and show production to help facilitate the bidding or planning of work, and ensure the project methodologies, quality and schedule expectations are consistent and achievable
- Assist in the briefing of asset work as required
- In collaboration with show supervision, where required help interpret the client’s vision in respect to assets,
- Work with show teams to plan for future challenges and problem solve current issues
- Assist other artists and supervisors solve issues as they arise during production, delegating work where necessary
- Create effective communication channels with other disciplines, show production and senior management to ensure complex information is disseminated appropriately
- Ensure that work is delivered to MPC's global standards, on time and on budget
Qualifications, Skills, and Experience
- Strong understanding and good technical knowledge of the asset discipline workflow (model, texture, lookdev, groom & rigging)
- Solid knowledge of VFX shot production
- Strong technical understanding of CG pipelines and the ability to develop efficient workflows and identify additional tools required
- Up-to-date knowledge of VFX tools and emerging technologies
- Extensive Knowledge of Asset build software and techniques (Maya, zBrush, Houdini, Katana, Mari/Substance Painter, Nuke)
- Extensive understanding of Character Design – anatomy, form, proportion
- 6+ years of proven leadership and management experience in a leading VFX company or associated industry
- Excellent communication and negotiation skills
- Strong work ethic
- Strong attention to detail
- Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills
- Exercise patience, problem-solving and mediation skills
- Ability to cope with stressful situations and conflict with composure
- Ability to work in an inclusive and diverse organization
- Strong creative ability and flair
- Strong sense of aesthetic
- Excellent team building skills
- Strong business acumen
- Understanding of financial impacts of business decisions
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