Technical Director, Model/Rigging at DISNEY Skip to main content

Technical Director, Model/Rigging

Apply NowApply Later Job ID R-03528 Location Emeryville, California, United States Business Pixar Animation Studios Date posted Nov. 02, 2022

Job Summary:

A Characters Technical Director is responsible for working with Art Designers and Animators to realize a character in digital form. This includes both shaping the character's 3D geometry and the delivery of a well-designed set of animation controls for manipulating that geometry.

The three main disciplines are modeling, rigging and rig building:

  • Modeling covers the spectrum of being able to build humans, robots, cars or toys

  • Rigging is the process of giving a character controls for movement, therein "articulating" its ranges of motion, we like to think of it as bringing the character to life

  • Rig building is the process of building and supporting rigs that a group of riggers can apply to a set of characters.

A qualified applicant for this position will have demonstrated experience in at least two of these areas. If you have strong artistic skills your two areas of focus might be modeling and rigging. To be qualified in rig construction, you’d have a degree in Computer Graphics and have experience in programming and math along with a good eye for modeling and motion.



  • Using modeling software, like ZBrush, to sculpt and refine a neutral 3D model to fit the aesthetic needs of Character Designers

  • Designing and maintaining a modeling topology conducive to the storyboarded range of deformations

  • Working closely with Animators to provide and refine an articulation of the full range of expressions and body movement needed to support a character's acting range in the film

  • A truth to materials/anatomy and animation principles is emphasized, as is patience and a willingness to experiment

  • Creative use of deformers to achieve a specific deformation called for by Animation with a concise set of animation controls

  • Designing and maintaining Master Rigs that can be re-used as a basis for articulating similar characters, or applying existing Rigs to newly created character sculpts

  • Writing scripts in Python or MEL to facilitate workflow improvements  Brainstorming new techniques and ideas for user interfaces, deformation tools, and character specific rigging solutions

  • Troubleshooting technical issues inherent in maintaining a clean file structure and pipelines for both in-house and 3rd party software

  • Having proficiency in a programming language and math is important



Modeling Reel

Examples of digital sculpting of organic forms such as faces or bodies as well as a variety of works and styles

  • Include a turntable showing the final result and a turntable with the mesh

  • Include examples of drawings or clay sculpts demonstrating your artistic ability

  • Bonus for including cloth and/or hair modeling

Rigging Reel

Examples of rigging that support the type of character that is being attempted

  • A realistic character will have been true to the materials it is made out of

  • A cartoon type character might have extra exaggeration

  • Bonus for including examples of animation

Rig Build Reel

Provide examples of systems that can be used to make faces or bodies

  • Showing how the controls work and the interface for the animators is important

  • Descriptive text for the technical designs/tools shown on the reel should be provided on a separate breakdown sheet included with your reel/resume

About Pixar Animation Studios:

Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renoinswned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. The Northern California studio has created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL•E,” “Up,” “Toy Story 3,” “Brave,” “Inside Out,” and “Coco.” Its movies have won 35 Academy Awards® and have grossed more than $13 billion at the worldwide box office to date.

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 Pixar Inc., which is part of a business segment we call Pixar Animation Studios.

Pixar Inc. 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.

Apply NowApply Later

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