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Summary: Responsible for authoring facial rigs from scratch or utilizing a variety of high-resolution scan-data; participate in facial research & development efforts; pioneer and recommend new tools, techniques and technology for pushing visual boundaries, performance and efficiency. Responsible for a strong understanding of FACS and facial anatomy, as well as cutting edge approaches to facial technology.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following:

  • Authors high quality photorealistic facial rigs based on FACS using blendshapes

  • Authors rigging systems to augment or support blendshape-based facial rigs

  • Authors or contributes to systems/workflows for integrating head and body rigs

  • Collaborates with Character Art, Animation, and Engineering teams to deliver the highest quality assets with animator/mocap friendly interfaces that run smoothly in engine 

  • Contributes to tools for authoring and editing facial rigs (python/pyqt/pyside)

  • Contributes to automated tools and workflows for runtime optimization

  • Contributes to tools for ingesting 3rd party facial rigs

  • Contributes to facial animation systems such as facial solvers and R&D (python/C++/Machine Learning)

  • Sculpts FACS (from scratch if necessary) using deformers and/or sculpting tools

  • Processes and cleans 3D or 4D scan data from FACS sessions

  • Keeps up with state-of-the-art approaches to facial rigging for photorealistic characters in film and games

  • Has strong understanding of facial shape transfer techniques and ability to implement shape transfer pipelines

  • May be asked to direct actors through FACS during facial acquisitions

  • May ingest and integrate facial assets from 3rd parties

  • May be expected to maintain relationships and provide feedback to external vendors

  • Other duties may be assigned

Supervisory Responsibilities: This role has no supervisory duties but may mentor other TD’s with regard to facial mechanics, rigging, sculpting, or solving techniques.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education/Experience: Bachelor's degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or university; or five to seven years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience. One to four years of experience in character setup, Python scripting, a familiarity with MEL and a comprehensive understanding of all technical aspects of Maya animation. One to two years of animation training covering all basic animation principals.

Language Skills: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents.  Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from customers, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community.  Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format.  Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.

Mathematical Skills: Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference, and fundamentals of plane and solid geometry and linear algebra and trigonometry.  Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.

Reasoning Skills: Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.

Computer Skills: Expert-level experience with Maya. Experience sculpting details with ZBrush, Mudbox, or comparable; processing scan data with Wrap3 or comparable; with deformation transfer workflows. Preferred experience with machine-learning based solutions for facial scanning/authoring/solving (TensorFlow, PyTorch, etc); authoring plugins that aid in facial deformation transfer or solving (python or C++); and working with faces in realtime (Unity, Unreal or other).

Other Skills:

  • Strong understanding of state-of-the-art approaches to rigging photorealistic faces for film or games; of FACS, how it relates to facial anatomy, and ability to identify primary action units on sight; Understands current approaches to facial performance capture & solving; of modern approaches to scanning including lightstage and 4D scanning

  • Expert understanding of facial skeletal and muscle anatomy; Passion for achieving highest quality detail through iteration and refinement. Ability to think outside the box to achieve more realistic solutions or optimize runtime performance. Passion for collaborating and sharing knowledge across teams.

Please refer to our Candidate Privacy Notice for more information about how we process your personal information, and your data protection rights.

At SIE, we consider several factors when setting each role’s base pay range, including the competitive benchmarking data for the market and geographic location. Please note that the base pay range may vary in line with our hybrid working policy and individual base pay will be determined based on job-related factors which may include knowledge, skills, experience, and location. In addition, this role is eligible for SIE’s top-tier benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, matching 401(k), paid time off, wellness program and coveted employee discounts for Sony products. This role also may be eligible for a bonus package. Click here to learn more.

This is a flexible role that can be remote, with varying pay ranges based on geographic location. For example, if you are based out of Seattle, the estimated base pay range for this role is listed below.

$125,700—$188,500 USD