Leidos is in search of an experienced Character Animator to join our studio with an existing team of artists, programmers, and designers in creating “cutting edge” Virtual Reality (VR) and PC advanced training for the United States Air Force. Our client is a visionary leader that is bringing VR and digital training to the forefront of Air Force technical and specialty training for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) analyst and operators around the world. This is a unique opportunity to leverage your proven AAA industry experience to create stunning photorealistic digital art for the U.S. Air Force.
As a Character Animator, you will create life-like character animations using traditional key frame and motion capture techniques. You will support a digital art team focused on photorealistic environments and characters for both PC and VR. This is a unique opportunity where your knowledge and expertise will enhance our team’s capabilities each day while also serving as a subject matter expert in techniques, methods, and best practices pioneered by Epic Games and the Unreal Engine. We are looking for your creativity, experience, and positive energy to create the Defense industries most immersive and comprehensive virtual training. Projects include building “digital twins” of military aircraft, vehicles, military hardware and replicating physical environments.
· Create realistic, full body character performances, including facial and lip sync using a combination of motion capture and key frame animation.
· Technical setup, integration, and performance optimization of animation assets within Unreal Engine.
· 4+ years of experience as an Animator in games, films or related industries.
· Bachelor’s degree or (4 years of equivalent industry experience and training in lieu of degree).
· Provide online portfolio showcasing high quality, life-like animations of characters and objects.
· Portfolio must include examples of facial animation with an emphasis on lip sync, performance, and emotions.
· Strong understanding of animation principles such as timing, weight, appeal, overlap, secondary actions, etc.
· Highly skilled in the art of cinematography, camera composition, and staging for immersive simulations. The role is less about creating animation loops and cycles and more about creating believable performances for cinematic sequences.
· Extensive knowledge of Unreal’s animation tools including Control Rig, Skeleton Editor, Skeletal Mesh Editor, Animation Editor, Physics Editor, and the Animation Blueprint system for building animation trees, state machines, blend spaces, offsets, dynamics, etc.
· Experience with Unreal’s Sequencer for the creation of cinematics and scripted events.
· Experience with Maya for animation, rigging, skin weighting and mocap cleanup/retargeting.
· Experience using facial animation capture software such as FaceFX, Faceware, or Live Link.
· Credit as an Animator on at least one shipped product using Unreal Engine.
· Ability to take creative direction and implement feedback.
· Experience working in an iterative, agile environment.
· Good communication, organizational, time management and interpersonal skills.
· Motivated, self-directed, personable with strong verbal communication skills.
· Experience using Perforce for source control and JIRA for task management.
· Strong work ethic that strives for continuous process improvement and production efficiency.
· Ability to obtain security clearance (requires US citizenship).
· Ability to work in a dynamic cross-functional environment in a 100% teleworking environment.
· Passionate interest in MetaHumans as the future of real-time character development.
· We are looking for multi-talented artists (generalists) who are comfortable shifting skillsets as project priorities change. Additional skills in VFX, 3D Modeling, PBR Texturing, Materials, or Lighting are a huge plus.