Senior Technical Animator

Technical Art · Seattle, Washington
Department Technical Art
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced

Undead Labs is looking for a Senior Technical Animator to develop industry leading runtime performances and upgrade the gameplay and narrative experience for our next big title. As an individual contributor, you’ll collaborate with a handful of others to ensure our runtime character animation quality is outstanding. If you bring state of the industry technical animation experience and the passion to deliver highly engaging and believable runtime performances, we want to talk to you. You will co-design processes from the ground up and build in game animation systems that enhance the work of animators and raise the bar for animation quality at runtime. This is a high-impact opportunity to work in a first-party XGS studio building the infrastructure to support an emerging global franchise.

Reporting to the Senior Technical Art Manager, this role will collaborate closely with our Technical Art Director, Animation Director, Technical Animation Team, Animators, Gameplay Designers, and Gameplay Engineers.

At Undead Labs, we work in highly collaborative, cross-discipline teams because we understand that the best ideas are ones we generate together. We are creators of hit survival-fantasy franchise State of Decay played by millions, and we operate independently as part of a network of studios now owned by Microsoft. We have a rich history of entrepreneurship and empowerment that will carry us forward as we reach new levels of quality, ambition, and polish.

Core Responsibilities & Objectives: 

  • Guide the vision for state machine, blueprint, and animation workflows
  • Evaluate and advocate for animation technology advances
  • Design, implement, and debug animation state machines and blend trees
  • Collaborate on development of our end to end motion capture workflow
  • Collaborate with designers, animators, and engineers to maintain the style and raise the quality bar for animations in game
  • Drive new solutions to improve animation workflow efficiency
  • Develop lip sync and motion transfer techniques
  • Bring best in class process, knowledge, and artistic vision in your work and the work of others to deliver inspiring player experiences
  • Balance quality with character performance optimization and animation memory budget considerations
  • Identify, diagnose, and solve runtime animation related technical challenges

Core Traits (Skills, Knowledge, Experience) 

  • Strong understanding of animation principles and runtime animation techniques
  • Expertise creating animation blueprints and state machines in Unreal 4 or similar environments
  • Broad familiarity with character animation techniques related to runtime rigging, skeleton optimization, ragdoll, inverse kinematics, motion matching, and animation syncing
  • Proficiency with DCC tools such as Maya, Motionbuilder, etc.
  • Familiarity with Python or other relevant scripting languages
  • Aptitude for understanding artistic and technical requirements and turning ideas into user friendly workflows
  • Excellent collaborator that acts as a positive difference maker for the teams success
  • Passion for mentoring other developers
  • Disciplined  in creating and maintaining documentation, standards, and best practices
  • A strong customer focus with the ability to balance artist requests with the needs for quality, efficiency, and stability for production
  • Ideally brings 5-8 years of progressively complex related experience

Bonus Traits

  • Experience with Unreal 4 Sequencer
  • Background in animation for film or games
  • Experience with FACS based facial rigs 
  • Development of advanced performance capture technologies

Physical Requirements

Close vision to monitors and screens, consistently working on computer equipment such as keyboards and monitors, long periods of sitting. Noise levels are low to moderate in the work environment. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

Undead Labs is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances.

We look forward to hearing from you!


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  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Department
    Technical Art
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience