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Appearance Modeling and Rendering Graduate Intern, Summer 2020

Burbank, CA - US

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Job ID 714519BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted 01/11/2019

Job Summary:

The Walt Disney Animation Studios Technology Department develops software for our animated films. Software engineers work closely with production users to create tools for modeling, rigging, animation, dynamics, effects, look, lighting, and rendering while leveraging experience in graphics technology, mathematics, and research. Software engineers on the rendering team work on Disney's proprietary production renderer Hyperion, which has been used to render all of the studio's films since Big Hero 6.


The intern will help improve the current appearance models used in production. This will include exploring multiple scattering effects or layered structures that have previously been modeled in an ad-hoc way or often overlooked. This might also include simplifying and improving our BRDF models and their sampling schemes for interactive applications.

Responsibilities include:
  • Become familiar with existing rendering codebase and workflows
  • Gather requirements and input from production artists and software engineers
  • Take direction but also work independently with support and mentoring
  • Conduct self-guided research and exploration of relevant existing rendering techniques
  • Experiment with production assets to evaluate capabilities, effectiveness, and limitations of applicable algorithms
  • Integrate prototypes into existing production workflows
  • Demonstrate products to stakeholders
  • Document progress, results, and code throughout the internship with a final presentation at the end

Basic Qualifications:

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong C++ programming skills
  • Experience or relevant coursework in computer graphics
  • Experience in writing a ray tracer

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in physically based rendering
  • Familiarity with classical Monte-Carlo and Markov-chain based path tracing integrators
  • Experience in modeling the appearance of materials, microfacet theory, and stochastic shading processes
  • Experience with developing complex open source renderers, such as Mitsuba or PBRT

Required Education

  • Graduate level student pursuing a Master's or PhD from an accredited college or university in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Computer Graphics, or related field.

Additional Information:

Internship Eligibility:
  • Must be enrolled in an accredited college/university taking at least one class in the semester/quarter (spring/fall) prior to participation in the internship program OR must have graduated from a college/university within the past 6 months OR currently participating in a Disney College Program or Disney Professional Internship
  • Must not have completed one year of continual employment on a Disney internship or program.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must possess unrestricted work authorization
  • Must provide full work availability
  • Must provide own transportation to/from work
  • Current Active Disney cast members must meet Professional Internship transfer guidelines (for Walt Disney World cast members this is no more than four points and one reprimand in the last six months; for Disneyland cast members this is six months of consecutive service and a performance record clear of any disciplinary issues (warnings, suspensions, etc.) for at least six months)
Program Length:
The approximate dates of this internship are May/June 2020 - August/September 2020. Interns must be available to work full-time for the duration of the internship.

About Walt Disney Animation Studios:

Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. Located in Burbank, WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2013's Academy Award®-winning Frozen, the biggest animated film of all time. Among the studio's timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Walt Disney Animation Studios, which is part of a business segment we call Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Walt Disney Pictures is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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