Technical Animator (fixed term)

Sumo Digital
The Chinese Room, Brighton
13 days ago

The Chinese Room has established a reputation as one of the most creative and exciting studios in the UK. We’re proud to be internationally recognised as pioneers of storytelling with a flair for creating atmospheric, rich and imaginative games.

As a Sumo Digital studio, The Chinese Room is built on passion, on finding amazing people and letting them shine. It’s an exciting time to be part of Sumo, winners of the Develop: Star Awards 2019 Best Studio and GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work; big things are on the horizon and we want you to be part of our continued journey. Join us!

The Chinese Room is made up of a diverse mix of fantastic people, although sometimes, some groups are still under-represented. We are working to remove obstacles that can make it difficult for those groups to progress their careers in the games industry. We welcome applications from under-represented people in the gaming industry, including, but not limited to women, BAME, older people and those from working-class backgrounds.

What's the role?

In the role of Technical Animator, you are responsible for ensuring that all animation happens with ease. You’ll be solving technical challenges in creating animation for games. Where movements are too complex, for example, they can slow a game down. Or they can take so long to create, that the game becomes too expensive to make. You will be responsible for our motion pipeline from creating custom rigs, optimising workflows with scripts, and writing custom tools to help the animators workflow.

As a Technical Animator, you will be supporting the needs of the animators by ensuring they have the tools they need to do their jobs. As well as pushing the animation fidelity, you will be controlling the animation pipelines on our games to help us achieve stunning results, whilst keeping efficiency at its peak. The Technical Animator works with both in-house animators and external partners, as well as our engineers. Sharing knowledge, producing technical documents and guidelines is an important part of the role too. As an experienced animator, you will be creating the backbone of the games motion pipeline, by working closely with designers and art directors to previz and conceptualise the movements of the game to help sell the vision of the game to the team and our partners alike.

What do we want from you?

We're looking for someone who has a broad range of skills and a lot of industry experience, by understanding and executing animation (keyframes and mocap) you will spot potential animation problems, research new technologies, have conversations and find solutions.

We’re looking for someone with a knowledge of current facial capture approaches, facial blend shape rigs and FACS based rigs.

We're looking for someone who has an open and approachable persona with excellent communication skills to help mentor and guide the rest of the art team through practical demonstration. Applicants should have a deep technical understanding of game engines and have previous experience allowing them to own the animation pipeline from source to engine (expertise in Unreal is a must). Most of all, we're looking for someone with a positive, can-do attitude.

Home-based / hot-desk

Ideally, the role would be home-based with a hotdesk available in the Brighton studio as required.

Our titles include the ground-breaking Dear Esther (2012), cult horror Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (2013), the VR fairy-tale So Let Us Melt (2017) the open-world adventure Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (2015), a PlayStation 4 exclusive that won major awards across the world, and the multi award-winning Little Orpheus (2020). This included an amazing 10 BAFTA nominations and 3 BAFTA wins.

We bring our passion and commitment to creating exciting original games to a network of studios renowned for quality and expertise. Being part of the Sumo team enables us to expand and grow in ambition and confidence, taking our reputation for storytelling into new genres. Our most recently announced game, Little Orpheus, is an Apple Arcade exclusive and we’re working on other unannounced ‘AAA’ titles that will further establish our award-winning style and reputation.

We offer a superb benefits package including generous holidays and flexi-time. We care about our people, with an emphasis on the work/life balance and out of office events such as our legendary Sumo ‘Big Day Out’, plus epic Christmas parties and much more! Our regular studio Game Jams are a highlight - winning concepts can go on to commercial release, so far including Snake Pass and the upcoming Spyder for Apple Arcade.

The Chinese Room is located in Brighton in the south of England, home to an amazingly vibrant game development scene and a cultural hotspot with fantastic food, arts, music, shopping and sports. The studio is in the city centre, near the beach, and close to the South Downs National Park. Gatwick Airport is only half an hour away from train, and you can be in central London in just over an hour. It’s an easy place to love!

Our environment is relaxed, friendly and built upon the basis of every team member having the opportunity to shine and have a realisable input into the games we create. We’re in the amazing position of building a brand-new team, and creating a studio culture that’s all about passion, respect, diversity, fun and togetherness. We’re looking for people that love what they do and love to share their enthusiasm with each other.

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