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Software Engineer - Interactive Visualization

Burbank, CA - US

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Job ID 764188BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted Aug. 03, 2020

Job Summary:

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

Projects Include

  • Developing Real-Time Interactive GPU Accelerated Renderers for use in Film Making

  • Working closely with Artists and Technical Directors to support workflows and solutions

  • Support a spectrum of rendering technologies from high-performance Virtual Production (VR) through to Cinematic Quality.

  • Contributing to development and extension of an Open Source Graphics Engine and associated pipelines.

  • Integration of graphics solutions into various Content Creation Applications.


We are looking for a Software Engineer to join our Production Technology team, as a member of the team responsible for interactive visualization and real-time renderers at our studio. In this role, you will partner with artists, studio leadership, technical directors, cross-team software engineers, Disney Research, and other stakeholders across the Walt Disney family of Studios. Your work will focus on the design and implementation of innovative workflows, as well as state-of-the-art solutions motivated by our long term vision for Walt Disney Animation Studios.

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/C++, ideally C++11/14.

  • Knowledge of Computer System Level Architectures for CPU & GPU

  • Experience with performance measurement, profiling and analysis, both on CPUs and GPUs

  • The ability to quickly produce clear, testable code.

  • Strong communication, teamwork and problem solving skills, balancing the timeliness of solutions with their sustainability. Able to prioritize competing demands based on business value.

  • Desire to work closely with in-house artists and engineers to prototype, develop, and support solutions to our filmmaking challenges

  • BS or Masters in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or other related field; or comparable industry experience.

Bonus Qualifications

  • Experience writing/debugging multithreaded and SIMD code including the use of intrinsics

  • Knowledge of shading languages, such as GLSL or HLSL or Cuda

  • Knowledge of animation, graphics techniques and algorithms.

  • Strong mathematical fundamentals, including linear algebra, statistics and numerical methods.

  • Experience with Modern GPU programming APIs such as OpenGL, Vulkan or DirectX

  • Experience with real-time graphics engine internals, such as those used by Unreal, Unity, Lumberyard.

  • Experience with USD and Hydra

  • Ability to read, profile and debug using CPU/GPU assembly languages.

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 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. 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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