Virtual Art Department - Technical Director

At Wētā FX we celebrate our diversity and believe in creating an environment where all our crew feel welcomed, respected, supported and appreciated. We define ourselves by the quality of our work, and we’re striving to build a workplace experience that’s second to none. Here at Wētā FX we value open minds and encourage our crew to be themselves.

The Virtual Art Department (VAD) consists of a tight-knit team of generalists responsible for creating performant, real-time proxy models and shading for the Mocap and Animation departments, derived from hero models, on-set data and concept art. This role is embedded in the department, providing front line support for artists. Reporting to the Head of Department and Department Manager, The VAD TD interacts with a variety of technical stakeholders and is responsible for support and development of department pipeline tooling.

We seek a self-motivated, proactive, team player with proven production experience. The ideal candidate is adept at balancing long-term development objectives, while also providing responsive solutions to immediate issues. Excellent time management skills and collaboration with Artists, Leads, Department Managment, and Assets RND stakeholders is required to achieve organizational objectives.

Responsibilities:

  • Maintain the department's tools and provide mocap stage support
  • Diagnose and troubleshoot critical show issues reported by VAD artists
  • Effectively triage issues, directing them to the appropriate project space or technical stakeholder
  • Determine appropriate solutions or workarounds to facilitate timely delivery of task & project milestones
  • Investigate and assist in the development of new tools and workflows
  • Engage with crew daily and host weekly internal department meeting with VAD Leads and "tech librarians"
  • Represent VAD during facility-wide technical meetings and speak on behalf of the department at Asset realm RND meetings
  • Mentor and assist VAD artists in their investigations, provide escalation support and assistance
  • Provide accurate bid and scope assessment of technical initiatives to department management, assist in sprint planning
  • Proactively communicate known issues to crew via established communication methods
  • Create and maintain confluence documentation and gitlab merge requests
  • Comfortable working in a collaborative development environment
  • Work effectively under pressure to produce results with quick turnaround in a fast-paced production environment

Required Experience:

  • 1-3 years providing pipeline support and development for VFX/gaming industry via Python in a Linux environment
  • Experience developing tools for industry standard DCCs (ie Maya, Mari, Photoshop, Substance Painter/Designer, Unreal Engine)
  • Debugging and profiling real-time rendering platforms
  • Troubleshooting & refactoring existing code, navigating repositories
  • Familiar with asset modelling and texturing workflows typical of film and video games
  • Familiar with Atlassian Jira and Confluence

Preferred Experience:

  • Experience with modern OpenGL and Vulkan and techniques (ie GPU-Driven Rendering, ray-tracing and bindless rendering)
  • In-depth knowledge of past and current real-time rendering techniques
  • Experience with real-time motion capture systems
  • Proficient in C++, understanding of foundations of physically based shading model
  • Familiarity with character rigging and deformation
  • Familiarity or interest in machine learning models (ie PyTorch / TensorFlow)

We aim to provide a discrimination-free experience, beginning from the moment you apply for a role with us. If there is anything we can do to make the recruitment process easier, please let us know at recruitment@wetafx.co.nz.

This role is local, on-site at our Wellington, New Zealand headquarters

If this sounds like you, we can’t wait to hear from you!

Location: Wellington

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