Lead Animator

The Chinese Room

Brighton, England, United Kingdom 100% Remote

Full time

UE4 Maya AAA

Aug 17

This job is no longer accepting applications.

The Chinese Room has established a reputation as one of the most creative and exciting studios in the UK. We’re proud to be internationally recognised as pioneers of storytelling with a flair for creating atmospheric, rich and imaginative games.

As a Sumo Digital studio, The Chinese Room is built on passion, on finding amazing people and letting them shine. It’s an exciting time to be part of Sumo, winners of the Develop: Star Awards 2019 Best Studio and GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work; big things are on the horizon and we want you to be part of our continued journey. Join us!

The Chinese Room is made up of a diverse mix of fantastic people, although sometimes, some groups are still under-represented. We are working to remove obstacles that can make it difficult for those groups to progress their careers in the games industry. We welcome applications from under-represented people in the gaming industry, including, but not limited to BAME, LGBQT+, women, people with physical disabilities, neurodiversity or mental health issues, and parents or carers.

The role @ The Chinese Room

The Chinese Room are looking for a talented and experienced Lead Animator, who is skilled in a broad range of animation styles and capable of creating dynamic and compelling animation (including hand-keyed and/or motion capture based) as required by the project. We are looking for someone who understands game animation production and its idiosyncrasies. That person ideally would be an established Lead but we would also consider someone with the right skills who is looking to advance their career and transition into that role. The ideal candidate will enjoy being involved in a friendly, hard working environment and be able to communicate well within the animation team as well as with other development disciplines.

The Chinese Room have several projects in development and for any Animator that means working on something that could vary in style from stylised to realistic and any point in between. We require someone who is flexible in both talent and mindset.

Within this role you will:

Lead by example creating inspirational animation content and leadership for our AAA projects

Work as part of a team of Lead Animators, driving the quality and processes at the Studio.

Collaborate with the Art Director in realising the animation style and direction for the project.

Lead responsibilities such as mentoring, scheduling and R&D into new approaches.

Create clear documentation of approaches, both technical and creative for animation.

Maintain a keen interest in industry wide developments and advancement in technology to ensure project pipelines stay up to date.

Collaborate directly with discipline Leads ensuring that the work of the animation team is created in the most efficient and technically responsible manner.

Have responsibility for the delivery of high quality hand keyed animation, from both yourself and your team.

Work with and understand Motion Capture data.

Have the ability to direct MoCap talent during character rehearsal and motion capture shoots.

Be able to adapt to a variety of styles as the projects demand.

Create and meet production schedules and deadlines, for both yourself and your team.

Provide detailed input during the character creation process, from concept to modelling to final rigging, identifying character performance and functionality requirements.

Communicate effectively with peers.

Demonstrate an understanding of the pipelines and procedures within the project/company.

We need you to have:

A strong understanding of modern video game animation systems.

Strong knowledge of traditional animation principles and how they can be used to enhance gameplay.

Thorough understanding of animation fundamentals for human and non-human characters.

Demonstrable experience in creating animation of a high standard while maintaining visual and functional specifications for game mechanics.

Understanding of Character creation process from concept, to modelling and final rigging.

Excellent knowledge of Maya

Good knowledge of facial animation

Good understanding of the game development process.

Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Industry Experience: 8+ years AAA game’s experience.

A strong demo reel that adequately reflects this experience.

We'd also ideally like you to have (although its not a deal breaker):

Game engine experience (UE4 among others).

Interest in playing games and current technical trends in the medium.

Experience animating for first person games would be beneficial, although not essential.

Experience in using MoCap hardware and software, although not essential.

Experience in motion builder a plus

Our titles include the ground-breaking Dear Esther (2012), cult horror Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (2013), the VR fairy-tale So Let Us Melt (2017) the open-world adventure Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (2015), a PlayStation 4 exclusive that won major awards across the world, and the multi award-winning Little Orpheus (2020). This included an amazing 10 BAFTA nominations and 3 BAFTA wins.

We bring our passion and commitment to creating exciting original games to a network of studios renowned for quality and expertise. Being part of the Sumo team enables us to expand and grow in ambition and confidence, taking our reputation for storytelling into new genres. Our most recently announced game, Little Orpheus, is an Apple Arcade exclusive and we’re working on other unannounced ‘AAA’ titles that will further establish our award-winning style and reputation.

We offer a superb benefits package including generous holidays and flexi-time. We care about our people, with an emphasis on the work/life balance and out of office events such as our legendary Sumo ‘Big Day Out’, plus epic Christmas parties and much more! Our regular studio Game Jams are a highlight - winning concepts can go on to commercial release, so far including Snake Pass and the upcoming Spyder for Apple Arcade.

The Chinese Room is located in Brighton in the south of England, home to an amazingly vibrant game development scene and a cultural hotspot with fantastic food, arts, music, shopping and sports. The studio is in the city centre, near the beach, and close to the South Downs National Park. Gatwick Airport is only half an hour away from train, and you can be in central London in just over an hour. It’s an easy place to love!

Our environment is relaxed, friendly and built upon the basis of every team member having the opportunity to shine and have a realisable input into the games we create. We’re in the amazing position of building a brand-new team, and creating a studio culture that’s all about passion, respect, diversity, fun and togetherness. We’re looking for people that love what they do and love to share their enthusiasm with each other.

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