Hardsuit Labs, located in Seattle, was founded in 2015 with the same goal as every other game development studio that has ever existed – to make great games. What sets us apart is the way we make that happen:
It’s all about our people.
It takes talented, driven people to make great games. Here at the Lab, we work hard to create and to maintain an environment that not only attracts those people and keeps them here, but that allows them to thrive and to do what they do best – to make great games. It’s not always as easy as it sounds, but it really is that simple.
We might as well admit it: we’re obsessive about our people and our culture here at the Lab. We believe in hiring a mix of seasoned industry veterans and talented young upstarts, but talent and shipped titles aren’t enough; we’re looking for people who bring a variety of experiences and perspectives – people who we can spend time with, and people who can navigate the unpredictable waters of modern game development as a tight-knit group.
We believe in low turnover, and take steps to guard against the “staff-up and lay-off” cycle that is so common in this industry. When we hire, we hire for the long term, and we’re unapologetically picky about it.
About the Job
Hardsuit Labs is seeking a Lead Animator. You will work closely with the Art Director and will lead a team of animators. Day-to-day responsibilities include overseeing the animation production pipeline, interfacing with outsources, establishing and maintaining a high-quality bar for animations, both for gameplay and in-engine cinematics. The candidate is expected to create and deliver animation content at a senior level.
You should be: a gamer who is passionate about your craft, and ready to inspire your coworkers by bringing fresh ideas and creativity to the table. You are a skilled animator with a deep knowledge of animation principles and body mechanics. You have broad experience when it comes to animating character models in a realistic game. You can pretty much handle key frame animations and facial/lip sync animations in your sleep. You are a mentor at heart and welcome every opportunity to train less experienced members of your team. Teamwork is key here and you must enjoy working in a team-focused environment.
- Create high-quality animation based on motion capture performances and keyframe animation to meet visual expectations.
- Unreal Engine 4 experience including use of animation blueprints, state machines, and matinee.
- Experience creating realistic animation for human and non-human characters with an emphasis on acting performance.
- Strong understanding and knowledge of character rigs, game animation pipelines, animation integration into game engines, and animation tools.
- Experience with motion capture data and the mocap pipeline.
- Must have shipped at least one game in a senior or lead animation position.
- 5 years game animation experience or related entertainment industry experience.
- Experience with facial animation and a strong understanding of character emotion and performance.
- Preferably experienced with outsourcing assets and providing feedback.
- Must be proficient in one or more types of 3D software but Primarily Maya.
- Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
- Ability to work well under pressure and deadlines.
- Takes initiative in pursuing new assignments.
- Ability to give and take direction well.
- Strong technical problem-solving skills.
- Ability to learn new tools quickly.
- Strong interest in Video Games, storytelling, and Movies.
- Brings a cinematic eye to convey emotion, weight, and momentum in gameplay and cinematics.
- Appreciates all styles of animation and the desire to pitch in and learn new styles and skills.
- Enjoys collaborating with design and art teams to deliver great gameplay and storytelling experiences.
- Drives technical innovation.
- Experience in developing first-person action games.
- Mesh Skinning Vertex weighting experience a plus.
- A degree with an emphasis on animation desired.
- Facial Rigging and Animation Pipeline.
- Understanding of MEL/Python.
- Understanding of cinematography.
- Knowledgeable about game industry trends and animation techniques.
- Demo Reel
- Must be willing to complete an animation test if requested to do so
We take our commitment to our people seriously, and we make sure that our benefits directly reflect that commitment; we’re always looking to improve quality of life for our people in any way we can.
- Medical / Dental / Vision
- Life and STD/LTD Insurance
- 401K Program
- Unlimited Vacation Time
- 9 Sick Days / 9 Holidays
- Company Events and Outings
- Drinks and Snacks