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Sumo Digital

Senior Technical Animator

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Sumo Digital
🇬🇧 Newcastle upon Tyne

We build ground-breaking games and content for some of the world’s biggest publishers including Microsoft, Sony, Apple and Sega. Sumo Newcastle joined the Sumo Digital family in January of 2018. As a former CCP Games studio, we have a solid history of cutting-edge development, and now with Sumo, a spectacular future of ‘AAA’ game development for some of the biggest and best publishers in the world.

It’s an exciting time to be part of Sumo, winners of the Develop: Star Awards 2019 Best Studio and GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work; big things are on the horizon and we want you to be part of our continued journey. Join us!

The role @ Sumo

Sumo Newcastle is looking for a Senior Technical Animator, capable of producing polished rigs, writing tools, and building and maintaining world-class character pipelines. You will be well versed in the principles of animation and videogame production pipelines and how Animation as a discipline fits within that process.

With our new IP Hood: Outlaws and Legends and other unannounced games in development, Sumo Newcastle are undertaking some very ambitious projects, so as part of a small and growing animation team it’s an ideal time to join and make your mark on something big!

Reporting to the Lead Animator, you will be a strong voice for the animation team within the studio and will be expected to own the animation tools and technology behind our characters and props. You will be working collaboratively with all disciplines to prototype, implement and maintain pipelines and systems throughout production.

The ideal candidate will enjoy being involved in a friendly, hard-working environment and be able to communicate well within the art team as well as with other development disciplines. If you are looking for a role that provides a huge amount of creative input, ownership, and responsibility for important features within the game, this is the job for you!


  • Develop, manage and maintain a class-leading character pipeline
  • Work closely with animators to provide artist-friendly tools and rigging solutions
  • Provide detailed input during the character creation process, from concept to modelling to final rigging, identifying character performance and functionality requirements
  • Collaborate with Code and Design teams to achieve solid and engaging player experiences
  • Help to streamline performance and optimisation alongside Engine and Tech teams
  • Assist in Lead responsibilities such as mentoring, scheduling and R&D into new features

Key Skills and Experience:

  • Minimum 4 years in a Technical Animation role with at least 1 shipped title
  • Exceptional knowledge of skinning, rigging and character setup in Maya and/or Motionbuilder
  • Deep technical understanding of Unreal Engine, working with animation blueprints, character dynamics, and cloth
  • Thorough understanding of anatomy and deformation, as well as traditional animation fundamentals for human and non-human characters
  • Demonstrate an understanding of pipelines and procedures within the game development process
  • Understanding of character creation process from concept to modelling and final rigging
  • Scripting via Python and/or MEL (Maya API and/or C++ experience is an advantage)
  • Experience with HumanIK, motion capture data, and project asset management is a strong plus
  • A strong demo reel that adequately reflects this experience
  • Meet production schedules and deadlines
  • Communicate effectively with peers
  • Maintain a keen interest in industry trends and developments in technology
  • Be a strong team player with a desire to push the quality of animation in the game

What We Offer:

  • Annual Bonus
  • Share Incentive Plan
  • Competitive Pension
  • Flexible Working
  • 27 Days Holiday, including your birthday. a duvet day and Christmas
  • 5 Learning Days
  • Access to 4,000 Udemy Courses
  • Game & Book Libraries
  • Wrap Parties
  • Alternative Travel Prize Draw
  • The Sumo GameJam
  • Big Family Events
  • Studio clubs, inc. running, board games, film…
  • Life Drawing
  • Yoga Classes
  • Free fruit and drinks
  • Employee Referral Bonus
  • Career Development
  • Competitive Mat/Paternity & Adoption
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Life Assurance 4x Salary
  • Income Protection of 75%
  • Relocation Support to the UK
  • Visa Sponsorship

Where do we stand on diversity?

At Sumo Digital, we know that diversity and inclusivity will make our teams (and the amazing work that they do) better! We encourage and welcome ALL applications.

More About The Sumo Newcastle Studio:

Sumo Digital is one of the UK's most prolific game developers, enjoying over fifteen years of stability and growth. We have UK studios in Sheffield, Newcastle, Nottingham, Leamington Spa, The Chinese Room in Brighton and Red Kite Games in Leeds, along with Sumo Video Games in Pune, India.

We offer a superb benefits package including generous holidays and flexi-time. We care about our people, with an emphasis on the work/life balance and out of office events such as our legendary annual Sumo ‘Big Day Out’, plus epic Christmas parties and much more! Our regular studio Game Jams are a highlight - winning concepts can go on to commercial release, so far including Snake Pass and Spyder for Apple Arcade.

We are proud to be in the North-East of England, in our new, purpose-built, state-of-the-art facilities in Riga. Newcastle was voted the number one place that travellers should visit in 2018 by Rough Guide and has everything that a major European city has to offer; culture, heritage, lively bars and fantastic retail. It is an exciting cosmopolitan city while also boasting plenty of beautiful outdoor space including several beaches less than an hour’s drive away.

Our environment is relaxed, friendly and built on every team member having the opportunity to shine and have real, meaningful input into the games that we create. We pride ourselves on our positive atmosphere and sociable team who regularly partake in shared interest groups, lunchtime and after-work clubs, and charity fundraising events.