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Sr. Software Engineer - Core Software

Burbank, California, United States

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Job ID 790315BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted May. 24, 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 who is able to take novel and complex datasets and present them in familiar, intuitive and performant ways. Someone who can diagnose/debug performance and architectural issues and recommend and implement solutions. Familiarity with patterns and techniques for creating interactive tools that perform at scale and allow for artistic exploration (i.e. efficient UI updates, undo/redo, debugging, customizable user interactions, etc.).

Critical to success in this role is the ability to build trust and relationships with technical and non-technical users, to understand their needs and pain points intimately, and to deliver relevant solutions. It is also important that you bring a sense of co-ownership, team building and positive morale to help foster stronger collaborative teams. We embrace creativity and we seek to maintain a fun and inclusive environment that you and your co-workers would be proud to work in.


Projects Include

  • Designing and implementing core infrastructure to manage our shot, environment, and asset definitions and structures
  • Building new APIs to allow for artist-facing and data management tools to more readily access shot content
  • Supporting our productions by identifying and solving technical obstacles encountered by our artists
  • Extending and improving the core libraries used for end-user tool creation
  • Contributing to major studio initiatives aimed at restructuring our assets and improving artist productivity and show velocity
  • Creating new user interfaces and tools for artists and technical directors to author, edit, access, and inspect shot and asset content
  • Adopting new external DCC’s and integrating them into our pipeline
  • Writing new tools and plugins into 3rd party apps for rough to fine story development
  • Devising artist dashboards for consolidating and managing tasks, encouraging collaboration and visibility into the characters, environments, story and the overall film making process

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

  • Strong experience with C++ (including x11/x14) *
  • Strong experience with Python *
  • Strong experience with Qt (for desktop development) *
  • Experience with developing threaded libraries and applications using TBB
  • At least 5 years’ experience designing and developing interactive tools
  • Good sense of user interface/software design
  • Exemplary communication, teamwork and problem solving skills, balancing the timeliness of solutions with their sustainability. Able to prioritize competing demands based on business value.
  • Effective listener: able to engage with engineers and artists to understand their requirements and infer practical solutions.
  • BS in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or other related field; or comparable industry experience
* Or equivalent experience

Bonus Qualifications

  • Strong experience writing testable code
  • Experience with USD (Universal Scene Description)
  • Experience working with a Product Design/UX Engineering team
  • Experience in the computer animation process (i.e. games/films/visual effects)
  • Master’s degree or higher in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or other related field; or comparable industry experience

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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