Sony Santa Monica Strengthening Animation Team to “Set the Bar for Creativity and Complexity” on PS4

on April 23, 2015 5:25 AM

Sony Santa Monica has been hard at work on a secret project for a while, even if thanks to Cory Barlog, it isn’t so much of a secret anymore.

The prominent PlayStation developer is now looking to strengthen its animation department by hiring a Senior Animator and an Animator with definitely lofty-sounding goals.

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Come join the award-winning God of War development team! Sony Santa Monica Studio is looking for a senior animator to help us create imaginative and visually stunning worlds that set the bar for creativity and complexity on the PS4.

This individual will contribute to the vision of amazing, top of class games, animating and breathing life into the performances of our characters and game world. Help us create the games that will set the PS4 apart from the rest!

Key frame skills and understanding of basic animation techniques are necessary. It is also important to have a thorough knowledge of motion capture driven animation principles and pipelines.

You can work with high-level direction, possessing strong leadership skills,production-sensibilities, and the talent to produce and implement the highest quality work.
As a senior animator, you must possess the ability to effectively collaborate with the animation director and game director to create characters that are visually stunning while also working with a wide range of development team members to ensure technical feasibility.

Responsibilities

  • Work with a group of animators to create compelling and consistent performances for all major characters and utilizes both hand and mo-cap animation techniques to create animation of primary and secondary characters.
  • Is a key contributor in creating high quality character animation at a quality bar suitable for next-generation console development in order to define and achieve a product’s visual style or encourage artistic evolution within the studio. This entails expanding methods to improve the production pipeline, tools, systems and visual integrity.
  • Work closely with the animation director, lead animator and animation team to develop animation practices and assets that fulfill the requirements of the project’s game design and visual design.
  • Fully capable of resolving a range of complex artistic development issues for both artists as well as other team members.
  • Proactively facilitates requests or information needs regarding any aspect of the animation creation process as requested.
  • Work in a team-oriented environment and use organizational and interpersonal skills on a daily basis and bring a creative and proactive attitude to the task of animating performances.
  • Actively advances skill set and abilities by keeping aware of industry trends and techniques, evaluating competitive products, learning new software packages and traditional art methods.

Qualifications

  • Expertise in working with motion capture performance data is a plus. Please be fluent in Maya and Motion Builder as well as with motion capture editing. Includes both body and facial performance capture pipelines.
  • Demonstrated extensive professional character animation experience in the entertainment industry, showing command of weight, timing and posing through manipulating motion capture data as well as key-framing.
  • A high level of proficiency of classic animation principles and its fundamentals(staging, timing, anticipation, follow through, exaggeration, squash and stretch) as well as the ability to create the full range of life like performances from the subtle to the dramatic and powerful. Demonstrated by a strong demo reel.
  • Should have a good understanding of camera movement, staging, and storytelling techniques that will be carried through the creation of cinematic sequences.
  • Working knowledge extending Maya and Motion Builder functionality. Knowledge of scripting in Maya and Python would be a plus.
  • Highly knowledgeable with video game product development including, but not limited to experience animating bipedal characters that showcase both acting/pathos and action performances, animating creatures, mechanical (machinery) animation, and with facial animation and lip-synch.
  • Excellent communication, time-management and organizational skills. A strong ability to work across multiple disciplines to gather feedback and address cross-functional issues. Penchant for practical innovation and the ability to bring new ideas to the table.
  • Passionate player of games with an ability to analyze competitive products for their strengths and weaknesses.
  • B.A.in fine arts or relevant curriculum or equivalent skill set.
  • Minimum 4 years industry experience or related experience.

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There are a few very interesting pieces of information, besides the ambitious goals mentioned at the beginning.

The studio seems to be planning to use both body and facial performance capture for its upcoming games, and the mention of mechanical animation of machinery is also definitely interesting.

Looks like the folks at Santa Monica are ready to raise the bar again, and I’m definitely curious to see what they will achieve.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.
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