Senior Technical Animator

Cambridge
Games Development – RuneScape
Full Time
Company Overview:

A leader in creating deep and engaging experiences on PC and mobile, Jagex was founded in 2001 and is today one of the UK’s biggest and most respected video game developers and publishers.

Famed for its flagship MMOs RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, Jagex has welcomed more than 260million player accounts to its world and created a $1bn lifetime franchise revenue. Today the RuneScape franchise exists beyond running games in live operations; our titles are living games that connect and inspire millions of players, with content and experiences both inside and outside of inexhaustible game worlds.

Both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, on PC and mobile, offer ever-evolving, highly-active worlds and our community-focussed development ethos empowers players to have a real say in how each game is shaped.

Jagex is expanding and extending its portfolio with fresh franchise titles, new IP and, in 2018 launched Jagex Partners, delivering third-party publishing and operational services exclusively for the living games of the future.

Jagex employs more 360 people at its Cambridge headquarters and is on the hunt for talented people to work across the business to help the company to achieve yet another year of record growth and player satisfaction.

Job Overview:

This is a fantastic opportunity for a Senior Technical Animator looking for a varied and challenging role that encourages creative input and technical direction. 
 
The successful applicant will join an experienced team of technical artists working on our flagship title, RuneScape.

RuneScape is an evolving product on PC and new Mobile platforms with players that have an insatiable thirst for content, meaning there’s always a need to evolve and modernise our pipeline and tools to keep up with their demand.  Your role would involve collaborating with our artists & animators to develop, maintain and improve those tools.

Key Duties:

    • Design and implement complex skeletons, control rigs, secondary animation (fat, jiggle, smears), and skin deformations, including facial rigging solutions for creatures and humans
    • Implement techniques and process to solve character and animation and deformation challenges
    • Recognise inefficiencies and problems in existing pipelines and identify solutions
    • Design, develop, deploy, and maintain animation tools, workflows and pipelines to improve animation quality and production efficiency
    • Work with engine and tools teams to contribute to development of new game technology
    • Document tools and processes required to educate artists on new tools or workflows
    • Help mentor and develop more junior members of the team across the studio

Essential Skills:

    • Excellent communication skills with an innate ability to liaise across art and tech disciplines
    • Good eye for animation is a must, with a thorough understanding of animation principles, weighting, and skinning
    • Good knowledge of anatomy and a thorough understanding of biomechanics, kinesiology for humanoid and animals and figure and facial anatomy
    • Strong background in rigging and skinning complex characters/objects in a realistic or exaggerated manner
    • Expert working knowledge of Motion Builder/Motive or equivalent software
    • In-depth knowledge of Maya, and experience with Python, Qt Frameworks (PySide, PyQt), and familiarity with the Maya API (MotionBuilder API experience a plus)
    • Working evidence of previous AAA development cycles, their pipelines and workflows, completed whilst in a technical animation role
    • A strong demo reel that adequately reflects this experience

Desirable Skills:

    • Knowledge of other languages which are helpful to broader tools beyond Maya, such as JavaScript, PHP, SQL, C# or C++ and so on
    • In-depth knowledge of a broad range of game technologies such as rendering, game systems and data management
    • Experience with cloth, muscles and dynamics
    • Experience solving, cleaning and implementing motion capture data within a game engine
    • Degree in visual effects or technical subject area is highly preferred
    • Traditional 2D art skills
Company Benefits:

- Flexible Working
- Bonus Scheme
- Private Health Care
- Gym Membership
- Generous Pension Contributions
- Life Insurance
- Free Cycle Repair
- Income Protection
- Dental Plan
- Free Fruit and Drinks
- Subsidised Canteen

Feel like you fit this role, but don’t meet all the requirements? We strive for fresh perspectives, so as long as you can demonstrate how your attitude and other abilities might make up for any gaps we would welcome your application!
 
Jagex are an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, religion or belief.