ABOUT IMAGE ENGINE
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 FX TD will assist production regarding any questions related to FX work; both ongoing and upcoming. They will advise the FX Supervisors regarding issues, current status, and complexity. They keep track of workflow progress, shot and FX work status to provide updates to the FX Supervisors as needed.
Lead FX TDs will work with the FX Supervisor and other Leads to develop creative solutions and ensure continuity. Equally they will be responsible for the implementation of FX solutions for the show. Leads may be required to balance multiple shows. They will communicate with other Leads and artists that are assigned to the show to make sure that the work done on the show is consistent. From the internal workflows, integration with other departments, tools and techniques, the FX Supervisor will identify areas for improvement, and will work with other department supervisors and R&D to develop a pipeline and team to tackle the next challenges.
The Lead will also contribute to the overall operation and improvement of the FX TD team by setting and maintaining department standards. This will include, but will not be limited to advising on FX TD best practices, engaging in cross-department communication, flagging/providing solutions to critical issues, and documentation.
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Engage in the performance management process such as performance reviews, daily feedback, and mentoring
Review scope of work and assign tasks based on artist skills/abilities
Communicate artist surplus or deficits to the FX Supervisor ensure profit and loss margins are maximized
Communicate successes and challenges faced by the team to the FX Supervisor
Play a key role in improving the FX pipeline
Responsible for the integration of FX into the show pipeline
Build and maintain photo-real FX rigs of varying complexity, pushing the capabilities of FX at Image Engine
Work closely with R&D to spec new tools, facilitate testing, integration and provide timely input for ongoing development projects
Create technical prototypes for proposed FX tools in order to demonstrate desired workflows to R&D prior to full C++ implementation
Define and enforce standards and working practices within the FX team across all projects
Responsible for achieving high quality work within the time constraints given
Responsible for the clear communication of FX goals and working processes between all departments
Provide guidance on how to best achieve a certain effect within the available show pipeline
Estimate the time required for tasks and provide accurate progress reports
Mentor junior artists
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
5 years+ of feature film/TV production experience
The FX Lead should have experience leading medium to large size teams (i.e. 6+ people) on large projects (300+ shots)
Proficient in Houdini
Strong understanding of natural phenomenon and how to replicate them using FX techniques, good knowledge of the underlying mathematical principles and a desire to learn more depending on the requirements of each project.
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Ability to train and coach artists in Houdini
Experience with other FX packages and solvers (Naiad, Realflow, Thinking Particles, Fume, Nucleus etc.) a plus
Experience with Linux based OS
Deep understanding of the Houdini FX tool sets and comfortable learning and contributing to the development of proprietary tools and pipelines
Ability to prototype FX elements fast in order to be able to visually communicate the vision
Working knowledge of at least one scripting language (python preferred)
Excellent eye for detail for quality control
Ability to assist with bids
Ability to troubleshoot and deal with competing priorities
Capable of managing a team of artists; setting expectations, and managing their time
The ability to work alongside, communicate with, and understand the requirements of Animators, CG and VFX Supervisors, Assets Department, Creature FX, Lighting, Comp, R&D and Pipeline developers
Strong leadership skills
Excellent time management and communication skills