Kinesthetic Games is seeking a passionate, multi talented and cross disciplined Senior/Lead Animator with a knack for management and excellent communication skills to join our team! As an Animation Director at Kinesthetic you will have the exciting role of overseeing everything that has to do with character animation in our projects. This is a key role in a studio that aims to define itself through the quality of animation in our games. You will be collaborating frequently with designers, animation programmers and gameplay programmers to better understand their needs and you will work with production to outline plans for servicing those needs. You will need to be familiar with both motion capture animation as well as keyframe animation and identify the right approach, providing routes to solving problems quickly, efficiently and at a high quality. As Lead of a very small in house team working in a startup minded environment, you will need to be equally happy with hands on implementation tasks ranging all the way from rigging, skinning, keyframing and mocap optimisation, architecting project animation libraries and setting project wide standards, directing mocap sessions and integrating capture data with our libraries, as well as higher level management and direction of internal and external animation content creation staff. You’ll be the type of person that craves multitasking and dabbling with a variety of exciting tasks rather than pigeonholing yourself in a single, strictly defined role. Familiarity with industry standard engines like Unity and Unreal and their various “gotchas” in terms of making animations look their absolute best and run efficiently in the engine is a big bonus.
Desired Skills & Experience
- Has shipped at least one game as an Animation Director / Animation Lead demonstrating a high visual bar
- 3-5 years prior game industry experience
- Experienced in Mocap techniques and packages (Motionbuilder)
- Experienced in keyframe techniques and packages (Maya, Max, XSI)
- Experienced in specialised and technical areas of animation (setting up blend trees, rigging/skinning, facial rigs, IK techniques, cloth, lip syncing etc.)
- Experienced in managing teams of animators
- 2d animation skills desirable
- B.A. or equivalent degree
- Past experience with industry standard engines (Unreal/Unity) is a big bonus.
- Collaborating with Producer and Project Director to identify and plan animation requirements for projects
- Leading and motivating the animation team to realize overall goals and deliver a successful project on time
- Assisting the Producer in the creation and overall management of the animation schedule and resource plans
- Sourcing and creating critical game ready animation content
- Liaising with outsourcers to source additional animation content at appropriate quality standards
- Tracking and approving completed animation content from outsourcers or junior artists
- Overseeing the lifecycle of animation content through the pipeline
- Collaborating with Gameplay and Animation Programmers to brainstorm technical ideas and solutions
- Responsible for establishing the animation production pipeline and enforcing the process throughout the project cycle
- Working with Producer to adjust project goals and design revisions on the fly as necessary to adapt to changing situations to meet established schedules
- Identifying potential problems in the animation pipeline and working with the Producer(s) to prevent them
- Supporting the Producer to keep studio executive staff, the publisher and/or marketing staff up to speed on product status and vision through the preparation and presentation of appropriate project materials (e.g., milestone updates, demos, etc)
- Understands game production design process and methodology
- 3-5 years of games industry experience in animation
- Ideally has Animation Direction and/or Animation lead experience on at least one shipped game.
- Demonstrates an understanding of storytelling, craftsmanship and continuity
- Excellent leadership, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
- Strong time management skills with a proven ability to focus on priorities juggle multiple tasks and meet deadlines
- The ability to effectively communicate, both creatively and technically
- Ability to balance impacts of deadlines and resources with style and quality requirements of a title’s animation direction
- Experienced with motion capture pipeline.
- Must be familiar with one or more types of Animation software (MotionBuilder etc)
- Experience with pipelines required for both game animation and pre-rendered animation for film and Visual FX is an advantage.
- Several years of experience with character and creature animation, facial animation, skeletal construction and point weighting.
- Ability to work cooperatively on a team spanning artists, programmers and designers, and to compromise when necessary to achieve overall best results
- Ability to communicate effectively with executive level staff on a broad range of topics: technical, business, and creative
- Passion for making and playing great games, with an awareness of current titles and industry trends.
Kinesthetic Games is a young start up where experience, talent and skill are surpassed only by our passion for creating awesome things. We’re a small group of motivated industry vets (ex-Lionhead) looking to make our mark on the world and we want you to join us! As a start up we crave responsibility and ownership and the variety that comes from not pigeonholing ourselves in strictly defined roles and sinking our teeth into all sorts of crazy challenges! Our mission is to maintain an environment where team goals and personal expression are valued and fostered equally. We are a friendly bunch who are strong believers in excellent work/life balance and the “work hard, play hard” philosophy. We offer competitive pay and benefits like annual and project based bonuses. Kinesthetic Games is situated in one of the UK’s most vibrant games development hubs: the historic town of Guildford, Surrey. With its rural countryside and picturesque town centre, a 35 minute ride to central London and its active gamedev community due to the large number of studios operating in the area, Guildford is an ideal base for games developers looking for career opportunities in the UK
Type: Contract/Permanent Option
Location: On Site/Remote Option
Experience: Mid-Senior level
Industries: Computer Games
Job ID: 6820831