LEAD ANIMATOR – Image Engine, Vancouver, BC
Contract: starting November/December 2015
Project: TBD


Well known for our work on Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, Image Engine has gone on to create numerous incredible creatures, epic environments and extraordinary digital effects for a broad range of feature films! We are an independently owned and operated company, led by a team of creative and passionate individuals who are committed to furthering the art of visual storytelling, and helping our exceptionally talented crew to push the boundaries of artistic and technical achievement at our studio.


The Lead of the Animation team plays a very important role in the quality control and supervision of Animation artists. The Lead will be responsible for ensuring all client notes and briefs are delivered in a constructive manner to all artists. They will build a good rapport with all artists to foster communication and increase inter-department creativity. They will provide support, guidance and feedback to the team through the quality control process. The Lead will be proactive in identifying issues, while developing and implementing creative and technical solutions. As a Lead, they will keep track of all task statuses and manage task workflow with minimal instruction.

The Lead supports the Animation Supervisor to communicate creative and technical notes to artists while maintaining the continuity/integrity of the brief and ensuring quality and standards are achieved. They will use their leadership to maintain a positive attitude in times of high stress and create a work environment of motivated artists.

The Lead will also contribute to the overall operation and improvement of the Animation team by setting and maintaining department standards. This will include, but will not be limited to engaging in cross-department communication, documentation, and participating in the buddy system for new employees. In addition, the Lead will develop new processes and stay up to date on innovative technologies to keep the Animation team on the cutting edge and to execute shots of high levels of difficulty.


Communicate the creative brief from the Director/Animation Supervisor to the Animation Team
Ensure briefs and notes are in line with the Director’s/Animation Supervisor’s vision and creative direction
Apply client notes to all shots with minimal guidance
Assist animators in interpreting the Director/Animation Supervisor’s notes, as needed
Communicate successes and challenges faced by the team to the Animation Supervisor
Manage time and resources to meet weekly targets
Complete all quality control for animation submitted for review for artistic problems (e.g. bad poses, character being off model, crashing, etc.) prior to Animation Supervisor’s review
Coach/train Animation team on existing and new animation tools
Ensure the team has the tools and information they need to carry out their tasks
Assist the Animation team in solving technical problems
Assist Animators who are having trouble working with the animation rig as needed
Work with the rigging department to solve problems with rigs (including requesting new animation tools or revising an animation rig)
Animate dynamic, believable and appealing characters/non-character assets
In the absence of an assigned Animation Supervisor, act as a creative Lead working closely with Supervisors and Clients to execute the story and binding physics involved
Attend dailies, reviews, and team meetings as required
Work with Recruiter to assess and interview artists as needed


10+ years’ of experience animating character and non-character assets for VFX/feature films
Experience leading teams (6+ people) on large projects of 300 + shots
Demonstrated expert knowledge of traditional animation principles, acting, film production and compositional design
Ability to animate multiple types of character/non-character assets from simple to complex with a minimum of supervision
Strong visual storyteller and well-versed in cinematography: camera angles, composition and continuity
Excellent attention to detail when finalizing, approving or quality controlling work
Ability to balance quick turnaround while achieving a high degree of aesthetic quality


Technical skills
Understanding of leadership skills
Ability to train and coach artists in animation techniques and best practice
Expert level knowledge of Maya
A working knowledge of Motion Capture and/or Rigging is a plus

Core skills
Ability to help with bidding; determine the timeframe and scope required for each project
Ability to troubleshoot and deal with competing priorities and projects
Capable of managing a team of artists; setting expectations, and managing their time
Ability to assess artist’s strengths and weaknesses to assign tasks and manage workflow
Ability to adapt quickly to new technologies and applications
Ability to teach new techniques and apply new approaches to push Animation to the next level
Strong leadership skills
Excellent time management and communication skills


E-mail your resume and a link to a reel and breakdown to jobs@image-engine.com. The subject should read “Lead Animator – your name”. Please include your availability.