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Physics Aware Grooming Solutions Intern, Summer 2020

Burbank, CA - US

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Job ID 714520BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted 19/11/2019

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, shading, effects, look, and/or rendering by applying experience in graphics technology, mathematics, and research. Software engineers on the hair and cloth team are responsible for developing solutions affecting the full end-to-end hair and cloth pipelines, all the way from look development and grooming, to simulation rig setup, to technical animation and shot work.


Both hair grooming and simulation are heavily art-directed processes at our studio. Our artists utilize a set of in-house interactive grooming tools to create the wide variety of hair styles for our characters. Hair motion is subsequently driven by our simulation tool set. The grooms therefore need to be suitable for simulation, and at the same time the simulation needs to maintain the art-directed groom.

The focus of this project is to investigate ways to improve workflows between these toolsets and could involve exploration in a number of potential areas, such as generating clean intersection-free grooms, using gravity preloading to maintain art directed-shapes, and designing physics-aware hair manipulation/authoring methods.

Main responsibilities include:
  • Reviewing state of the art publications on the subject
  • Collaborating with artists and engineers towards effective solutions
  • Integrating quasi-static simulation with user interaction for grooming
  • Exploring artist-friendly interfaces and interaction techniques
  • Implement prototypes for artist evaluation

Basic Qualifications:

  • C++ and Python coding experience
  • General computer graphics background
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of physics, mathematics, and simulation techniques (in particular with hair)
  • Experience designing and implementing interactive user interfaces
  • Familiarity with Maya or other animation and modeling toolkits

Required Education

Senior level undergraduate student or Graduate level student pursuing a Bachelor's, 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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