R&D Software Developer (Animation/Rigging/CFX) – 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 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.


Your position as an R&D Software Developer is vital to Image Engine! Through your expertise in Animation, Rigging and Creature FX challenges, you will help us create new and innovative VFX art on major productions from around the world. Reporting to the Head of Technical Production and the R&D Lead, you will be responsible for implementing high-end tools to push our capabilities and efficiencies in these departments.

You will work closely with Rigging, CFX, and Animation TDs to build efficient workflows that push our technical capabilities to the next level, building upon the reputation for high-end creature driven VFX work that Image Engine is known for. Projects may include implementing custom solvers for specific hero creature challenges, improving performance of our in-house nodes and deformers, or helping to identify viable 3rd party solutions for muscle simulation or other CFX problems, and integrating those products into our pipeline. Your passion, talent, and ideas will help us bring VFX at Image Engine to the next level of efficiency and performance.


Design, implement, and support a mixture of proprietary, open-source, and third-party software for Animation, Rigging and Creature FX workflows.
Collaborate with artists, technical directors, and supervisors to determine the Animation, Rigging and Creature FX needs for current and future productions.
Identify and optimize bottlenecks in Rigging and Simulation algorithms and workflows
Contribute to Image Engine’s open source initiatives: Cortex and Gaffer
Communicate with third-party software vendors to prioritize Image Engine’s feature requests and bug fixes
Design and implement solutions targeting current production workflows, while ensuring they can be generalized for all productions when possible
Document, test, and debug tools to ensure they meet production requirements
Write clear documentation for tools, scripts, and plug-ins
Provide secondary technical support, training, and tutorials to artists and production staff
Stay up-to-date with industry trends for animating, rigging and simulating muscles, skin, cloth, fur, crowds, and any other Rigging and Creature FX driven topics that may be well suited to procedural or simulated


A university degree in Computer Science, Math, Physics, or a related field
3-5 years experience developing software in a film production environment.
Master’s or PhD in Computer Science or a related field a plus

Technical skills

Solid understanding of rigging, animation, and simulation algorithms
Experience writing software in C++ and Python
Experience developing for Maya in both C++ and Python a must
Experience developing for Houdini in both C++ and Python a plus
Experience developing in a Linux environment
Core skills

Ability to monitor and identify potential inefficiencies in a production pipeline
Excellent troubleshooting and debugging skills
Ability to take direction and feedback from a supervisor or a peer
Team oriented with good communication skills, able to work closely with artists
Ability to work in a high pressure environment
Ability to adapt quickly to new technologies and applications
Excellent time management and communication skills
Proactive with proven ability to work both independently and in a team


E-mail your resume and cover letter to jobs@image-engine.com. The subject should read “R&D Software Developer (Animation/Rigging/CFX) – your name”. Please include your availability.