Senior Research Scientist, Computer Vision and Machine Learning

Weta’s Technology and Research group is the innovation engine of Weta Digital. All large scale projects of the studio are powered by tools invented and developed by the group, and it is well-known how leadership in both the technology and research spaces is a key strategic objective for Weta Digital.

Weta Digital is looking for an experienced, visionary senior research scientist to help guide research and implementation of tools based on computer vision and machine learning (CVML) across our technology and research departments.

As part of our senior technology and research group, you will lead our research in the CVML space and lead a team of developers delivering high quality software in fast paced, challenging and creative environment.


  • Lead research into CVML-based tools and applications across the studio, in fields such as image synthesis, denoising, computer vision, motion analysis and synthesis as well as large scale data discovery, mining and analysis
  • Be a key advisor in setting the direction for Weta’s strategy in the CVML space, in collaboration with the Senior Head of Technology and Research to align with the studio’s wider goals
  • Work closely with the heads of our technology and research departments to share insight into mutually beneficial opportunities for new solutions, exercising a high level of creative thinking for leveraging CVML to build new, improved tools for the VFX process
  • Collaborate with developers to design and ship applications and plugins to enhance the quality of the work of Weta’s artists, improve their focus on the task at hand and empowering them to achieve new levels of excellence in their field, by means of a pleasant, forceful personality and a charismatic communication style
  • Seek and maintain long-term collaborations with leading research institution around the world, fostering a climate of collaboration between the industry and academia
  • Stay up-to-date and contribute to the applied research in the CVML space, spanning both the theoretical and implementation sides. Apply new technologies in the development and enhancement of our products and processes, and develop a vision for new possibilities. Continuously raise the effectiveness of the team building skill and trust both inside and around it

Required skills and experience

The ideal candidate will have a number of publications in the field, corresponding to observable improvements in tooling similar to Weta’s areas of interest, such as image synthesis, denoising, computer vision, motion analysis and synthesis, data analysis and discovery. The ability to illustrate a vision and a complex set of ideas in a manner appropriate to the present audience will be a crucial asset to the successful candidate.

The candidate will also be able to demonstrate skill in leadership and mentoring roles, ideally involving teams of researcher and engineers or various degrees of seniority as well as project managers and interfacing with testing teams.

Another crucial asset to the successful applicant will be an ability to illustrate best practices of use of the proposed tools to artists and technical directors with a rich diversity of backgrounds, enhancing their understanding of the new possibilities offered by the proposed technology and stimulating a fruitful exchange of ideas with the target user base.

The candidate will also be able to demonstrate a high degree of competence in multi-threaded C++ development on Linux and its associate toolchain, as well as common libraries for CVML applications. It is understood the successful applicant may also be versant in other languages common in this space, such as Java, python or R and the associated library packages

Additional desirable skills

  • Image synthesis and rendering
  • Animation
  • Physically based simulation
  • Design of effective user interfaces, workflows and interaction stories for new tasks
  • Requirement gathering and an ability to elicit expression of stated as well as latent needs from the target users
  • Experience with real-time environments, high performance computing and GPU programming
  • Experience working in a professional development team, including collaborations with project managers, tracking tooling such as Jira, regular reporting on progress and similar
  • Familiarity with Linux-based environments
  • Familiarity with common VFX pipeline tools such as Nuke or Maya and in general the VFX process

Qualifications and requirements

  • PhD or Master’s degree and proven track record of excellence in research
  • Proven track record of achieving significant results as demonstrated by grants, fellowships, patents, as well as first-authored publications at leading workshops or conferences such as CVPR, ECCV/ICCV, SIGGRAPH, NIPS
  • Demonstrated software engineer experience via an internship, previous work experience, coding competitions, or widely used contributions in open source repositories (e.g. GitHub)
  • Willing to work in Wellington, New Zealand

Location: Wellington - New Zealand