Character Animator

Microsoft - Redmond, WA (30+ days ago)4.2


Do you aspire to be a pioneer in a, rapidly growing field that will shape the way we work and play? The Mixed-Reality Studio Avatar team is looking for a Character Animator to invent how we are digitally embodied across all Microsoft products, from Xbox through to the Modern Workplace. Together with industry leading artists, technical artists, and engineers, you will be responsible for the motion aesthetic of our avatar rigs in a fast-paced dynamic environment. Our team uses deep customer research, observation, and understanding paired with design thinking to conceive, build, and ship products that will improve the way people get work done every single day and help them break free from the limits of our current work environments. We aspire to use our Mixed-Reality technologies and platform, including HoloLens and VR devices, to augment and enhance the professional lives of workers around the world, empowering them to achieve more. We are seeking a passionate collaborator who wants to live at the intersection of technology and art, with the artistic skills and technical understanding to know what needs to be done, and the skills to make it so. The ideal artist is a passionate, self-directed inventor that adds to Microsoft’s dynamic, inclusive and diverse culture.

Responsibilities
The Character Animator will need to build a positive rapport with the Technical Art team and Art Lead to determine the artistic direction for how avatars move in HoloLens and beyond. This role requires balancing prototyping animation solutions with working in production to deliver well crafted animation clips as part of implementing the final avatar motion system. Provide visually stunning, innovative solutions to improve the creative process in an exciting collaborative environment.

Qualifications
Required

5+ years of production experience within the field of animation.

Degree in Commercial Art, related fields or equivalent experience.

3+ years using one or more 3D asset content production applications (Unity, Unreal, Maya, Motion Builder etc.)

Demo reel showing you have delivered AAA game animation or feature film quality character performances.

Preferred

Foster a positive relationship with character rigging, while giving expert guidance on the behavior of sophisticated character motion and deformation systems.
You understand how to directly use or reference motion capture data to provide realistic and/or stylized character animation.
You are an authority on how to break down the human face into a set of forms that are vital in building a complete face rig, including emotional expression, and speech phonemes.
You have the emotional intelligence to intuitively understand the psychology of how verbal and nonverbal communication plays a vital role in forming positive relationships in the workplace.
You have a wide artistic range, knowing how to craft styles of animation that live anywhere from exaggerated, stylized cartoon, to exact realism.
Understanding of how the interplay of physics simulation, key frame animation an in-game events combine to create stable, compelling character motion.
You are a professional that can facilitate group critiques, where artistic concepts are professionally discussed in a supportive atmosphere.
You can utilize the correct vocabulary to describe how character animation systems should perform to the rigging team.
Experience using in house productivity tools and are comfortable giving useful feedback for how to improve animation workflows.
You enjoy learning the visual graphic design language developed by the art director and can deftly give artistic guidance to rigging so that the character geometry deforms in a way that supports that design language.
Happy writing simple Maya scripts to speed your work.
Experience working in a wide range of conditions, from early production prototyping, all the way to thriving in a highly refined production pipeline.
Exposure working with sensor data from VR/AR devices.
Solid foundation in human anatomy, bio-mechanical physics and expert knowledge of traditional animation principles.

Ideal behaviors:
You thrive and enjoy working in real time environments such as games, and preferably in VR/AR.
You know how to laugh and play while maintaining a friendly, cooperative energy, even when the going gets tough.
Experience collaborating directly with both artists and technical artists.
You see ambiguity as a creative opportunity.
Accustomed to negotiating solutions between artistic and technical partners.
We value diversity at Microsoft.

Improving the contribution of every individual allows us to infuse diverse thought as a natural part of the way we innovate.

Microsoft 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.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.