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Associate Software Engineer - Lighting & Render Pipeline

Burbank, California, United States

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Job ID 768509BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted Mar. 11, 2021

Job Summary:

At Walt Disney Animation Studios we have a deep commitment to the philosophy that creativity inspires technology, and technology inspires creativity. Engineers in our Production Technology department are charged with developing and implementing new algorithms to solve unique and challenging problems for all of our animated content. We do this working alongside a user base that shares a collaborative environment with us, and uses the code we develop to make our feature films.

We are looking for an engineer to join our Production Technology team, for tool development in our lighting and rendering pipeline. In this role, you will partner with artists, production and technology leadership, technical directors, cross-team software engineers, and other technologists and researchers across the Walt Disney Studios. You will be responsible for evolving a mature suite of tools to make performance and workflow improvements while maintaining a stable product. This will also include investigating, triaging and resolving issues reported by users.

Projects Include

  • Contributing to our rendering pipeline, which processes data (including from various DCCs like Maya and Houdini) and translates them into consumable formats for our proprietary renderer
  • Supporting the transition to new material representations for interactive authoring and editing, utilizing USD as the persistent data storage
  • Creative approaches to minimizing data duplication and redundant operations within a complex and time-intensive render process
  • Data gathering and analysis to appropriately target performance improvements

What does it mean to be a developer here at WDAS?

  • Our engineers get the opportunity to work on the full stack of our tools, from developing the underlying algorithms through building intuitive artist-friendly interfaces
  • Work hand in hand with artists to make the tools we need for the incredibly complex and rich characters and environments featured in our movies
  • Develop on top of a highly performant, extendable in-house application framework
  • Develop new artist-centric interaction models using the latest hardware and technologies

Key Qualifications

  • Proficiency in C++, ideally C++11/14
  • Experience with scripting languages including Python
  • Familiarity with optimization techniques, including multi-threading
  • Ability to quickly produce maintainable, robust, debuggable code
  • Good problem solving, troubleshooting and debugging skills
  • Ability to collaborate with team members across different disciplines, including directly interfacing with stakeholders to understand requirements
  • Strong communication and teamwork skills
  • BS in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or related field

Bonus Qualifications

  • Understanding of computer graphics foundational concepts and algorithms
  • Knowledge of animation workflows and graphics techniques
  • Strong mathematical fundamentals, including linear algebra and numerical methods
  • Basic understanding of coding process, standards, continuous integration and testing principles
  • Familiarity with USD or Hydra code bases
  • Maya or Houdini development experience
  • Experience building clean interfaces using common UI toolkits, especially Qt

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 2019’s Frozen 2, 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 Pictures, 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 or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. 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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