LEAD MODELER (ORGANIC) – Image Engine, Vancouver, BC
Contract: Starting May 2016
Project: Various

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 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 plays a very important role in the quality control and leadership of the Modeling team. The lead is responsible for communicating client notes and feedback to artists in a constructive manner. They will provide leadership to the rest of the modelers, and handle the most senior work. The will provide guidance, support and training through the quality control process. As a lead they will delegate tasks and manage individual task workload with minimal instruction. They will mentor artists and set the quality standards for completed work.

The Lead will also contribute to the overall operation and improvement of the Modeling team. This will include but will not be limited to engaging in cross-department communication, flagging/providing solutions to critical path issues, documentation, participating in interviews and participating in the buddy system for new employees. In addition, the Lead will develop new process and innovative solutions to bring the modeling team to the next level.

The Lead will be responsible for executing their own shots as well as take on difficult shots for team members in the event they need assistance.


  • Communicate the creative brief and practical references from the VFX Supervisor and Director to the Modeling team
  • Apply client notes to all assets with minimal guidance
  • Identify solutions and approaches to solve difficult assets without guidance
  • Communicate successes and challenges faced by the team to the Asset Supervisor
  • Process requests from other departments within the pipeline
  • Use time management skills to schedule meetings and tasks effectively
  • Manage time and resources to meet weekly targets
  • Create complex 3D organic models to be used in production
  • Occasionally required to work on hard surface model assets
  • Determine the broad technical and creative approach, in conjunction with the Asset Supervisor
  • Overcome technical issues (day to day problem solving) in conjunction with R&D and the Asset Supervisor
  • Work with the Asset Supervisor team to most effectively schedule the work, including casting the work to the strengths of the individuals in the Modeling team
  • Participate in bidding new projects
  • Mentor and help train other artists within the department
  • Assist members of the Modeling team to learn and grow their skills to meet their career aspirations
  • Receive creative feedback from the VFX Supervisor and Director, and translate those into more specific and technical notes for the Modeling team
  • Communicate well with all members of the Modeling, Production and Supervision teams
  • Promote interdepartmental collaboration
  • Ensure all email correspondence and scheduling is up today; responding to emails in a timely manner
  • Work with Modeling team, as required, to maintain continuity; as well as, support other departments (Texturing, Look Dev, etc) to ensure information is communicated up and down the pipeline
  • Work with R&D and the leads and supervisors of other shows to guide the overall approach to Modeling work at Image Engine
  • Utilize multitasking ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously


  • 5+ years’ experience creating high quality models for visual effects in film
  • Lead experience is a plus
  • Demonstrated proficiency in creating photo-realistic organic assets
  • Thorough understanding of traditional art skills (Form, architecture, anatomy, topology, color theory) and how to apply those skills in a digital medium
  • Strong understanding of other department’s model requirements such as texturing, look development, animation and effects
  • Excellent attention to detail when finalizing, approving or quality controlling assets
  • Ability to balance quick turnaround while achieving a high degree of aesthetic quality

Technical skills

  • Understanding of supervisory best practices
  • Ability to train and coach artists in organic modeling techniques and best practice
  • Expert level experience in Maya
  • Experience with UV Mapping
  • Proficiency in Zbrush
  • Mari and Mudbox is preferred
  • Experience with LINUX/UNIX is an asset
  • Photoshop is desirable

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 assets to the next level
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Excellent time management and communication skills