LEAD LAYOUT ARTIST: Image Engine, Vancouver, BC
CONTRACT: Starting January 2016

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 Layout team. The Lead is responsible for communicating VFX Supervisor and client notes/feedback to artists in a constructive manner. They will work with the VFX Supervisor to translate previs or storyboards into usable 3D shots or sequences. This will include but will not be limited to camera set up, rough animation, environments, and asset blocking. The Layout Lead will complete all setup in such a way that works most effectively with the pipeline.
They will be able to make creative decisions and work with the VFX Supervisor to ensure that the creative vision is realized. They will provide leadership, training, guidance, and support to the rest of the Layout team. The Lead will also contribute to the overall operation and improvement of the Layout team by setting and maintaining department standards. This will include, but will not be limited to engaging in cross-department communication, flagging/providing solutions to critical issues, documentation, taking part in interviews 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 Layout team on the cutting edge.

  • Communicate the creative brief and real-world references from the VFX Supervisor and Director to the Layout team
  • Apply client notes to all layouts with minimal guidance
  • Determine the broad creative approach, in conjunction with the VFX Supervisor
  • Communicate with downstream departments to ensure the setup enables artists to complete their work in the most effective manner
  • Breakdown previs or 2D story board into 3D shots or sequences
  • Stage all shots in line with the VFX Supervisor/Directors creative vision
  • Overcome technical issues (day to day problem solving), in conjunction with R&D and the CG Supervisor
  • Set up data to maximize throughput
  • Work with R&D to develop and suggest tools
  • Evaluate artists work to set and maintain quality standards
  • Assist members of the Layout team to learn and grow their skills to meet their career aspirations
  • Work with Layout team, as required, to maintain continuity; as well as, support other departments to ensure information is communicated down the pipeline


  • 5+ years’ of Layout experience with high end film
  • Experience leading teams (6+ people) on large projects of 300 + shots
  • Experience managing large datasets
  • Thorough understanding of traditional art skills (Form, architecture, anatomy, topology, color theory) and how to apply those skills in a digital medium
  • Excellent attention to detail when finalizing, approving or quality controlling layouts
  • Ability to balance quick turnaround while achieving a high degree of aesthetic quality

Technical skills

  • Understanding of Lead best practices
  • Ability to train and coach artists in layout techniques and best practice
  • Ability to communicate with downstream departments to assess needs
  • Senior level knowledge in Maya and Nuke 
  • Knowledge of Houdini is a plus
  • Experience with LINUX/UNIX
  • Strong understanding of sequences versus shots
  • Ability to learn pipeline and workflow quickly

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

Please apply via our website: http://chc.tbe.taleo.net/chc02/ats/careers/jobSearch.jsp?cws=1&org=IMAGEENGINE