We know that Sucker Punch is working on a new PS4 exclusive open world game, but very little else has been revealed so far, even because the project is probably close to its infancy.
A new career opportunity ad seeking a Senior Character Technical Artist gives us more info on what we can expect from characters and animation.
Sucker Punch is looking for a senior level Technical Artist/Rigger to focus on making the characters in our games amazing. Reporting to The Character Technical Director, a successful candidate will exhibit strong interpersonal skills. We’re looking for a whiz kid that’s also positive, ego-free, and able to take/seek direction. They will also demonstrate the ability to work efficiently in the instances where there’s little direction and work well with a team. We’re looking for someone with strong troubleshooting skills. The result is a candidate who has the ability to support rigs and animation scenes and troubleshoot related technical issues and assist animators/designers/engineers with a positive, friendly demeanor. A desire to drink coffee and listen to grunge music is NOT required.
- A demo reel (with supporting breakdown of your own work), should demonstrate tools, rigging, user interface design, and technical ability.
- Minumum Bachelor’s Degree preferred in related field.
- Strong skills in Maya rigging, enveloping and high quality deformations.
- Strong knowledge of Maya and it’s dag networks/ nodes/ commands and workflows.
- Strong interest in working on Games
- Must thoroughly understand Maya joint properties and transforms, constraints and space-switching concepts, fkik, various ik types.
- Must have experience building simple to complex rigs and rig parts that are optimized for efficiency for animation and LOD’ing.
- Basic understanding of Scripted Procedural Rig Build Systems and animation/rigging pipelines as well as manual rigging techniques.
- Understanding of motion capture integration for rigs and related workflows
- Able to confidently and efficiently take on any high quality deforming or mechanical rigging tasks variations(character bodies/faces/creatures/robots/vehicles/props ect..)
- Experience with rigging for games.
- Experience with various techniques used for rigging toward realism/hyper-realism (for pre-renders, Commericals/Film/Cinematics for example) would be a plus.
- Understanding of animation concepts and supporting tools.
- Basic Modeling/UV layout skills.
- Basic Familiarity with Shaders.
- Good math skills, minimum of vector/matrix math.
- Experience and demonstrated skill with Maya scripting (python) with knowledge of object oriented programming and inheritance concepts.
Tool and Interface Design (python).
- Some Experience with Maya API programming (python or C++) preferred.
- Some Cloth/Hair/Muscle setup and simulation experience preferred (coupled with strong aesthetic and decent understanding of their base properties)
- Basic knowledge of Secondary Animation Rigging and Muscle System Techniques.
- Must have understanding basic BioMechanics and human anatomy and how it relates to rigs with strong supporting aesthetic.
There are quite a few nuggets of information in the requirements above, like the use of invese kinematics (the character reacts to the environment, for instance by placing a hand on a railing while vaulting over it) and procedural rigging, which is the mathematical generation of joint nodes and their behavior according to scripts, instead of manually coding each joint, allowing for better animation variety in less time.
Interestingly, we see the inclusion of creatures, robots and vehicles among the entities the candidate will have to work on, and the game is also probably going to include a degree of cloth and hair simulation.
Finally, we also learn that motion capture will be involved, as it’s becoming a more and more widespread standard for high quality animation in Sony first party games.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see if we’ll get at least a teaser of this new game at E3, even if I can’t say I expect it.