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ILMxLAB Character Art Manager

Apply NowApply Later Job ID 10008040 Location San Francisco, California, United States Business Industrial Light & Magic Date posted Dec. 22, 2022

Job Summary:

ILMxLAB builds immersive experiences for Virtual and Augmented Reality and other emerging platforms. Our mission is to tell stories in new ways that leverage real-time graphics on ultra high-end hardware. We combine techniques from film VFX production with techniques from the video game industry to produce real-time experiences of the highest fidelity.

We are looking for a real-time Character Art Department Supervisor to supervise a team of exceptional artists by both personally setting the bar in terms of skill-level, providing mentorship, and managing each artist’s individual performance. This role is responsible for leading a team of Character Artists in creating visually stunning and technically performant characters that support the storytelling, animation and interactivity that make our experiences feel truly immersive.

What You’ll Do

  • Lead a team of Character Artists to create stunning, high fidelity characters
  • Set the discipline’s standard for artistic and technical excellence, efficiency, and performance by creating exemplary character assets that meet project goals
  • Develop and hone the team’s skills to continuously raise the quality bar
  • Engage in regular conversations with artists to give performance feedback, gauge individuals’ interests, and support their career aspirations/growth
  • Work with studio leadership to define, set, and embody the culture within your group and the ILMxLAB studio as a whole
  • Establish process and workflow for the discipline, and collaborate with other discipline supervisors to establish cross-functional workflows
  • Establish standards for managing how art direction and detailed feedback are given to external art vendors, and own quality control of incoming assets
  • Keep abreast of the needs of other departments (rigging, animation, design, tech art, etc.) to ensure that character art assets move efficiently through the pipeline
  • Partner with the Production Resource Manager on casting artists to project assignments, identifying future recruiting/hiring needs, and evaluating/directing external art vendors
  • Collaborate with Production to schedule/manage the character art team’s current workload and estimate future work
  • Champion new tools, technology, and processes for the character art team

What We’re Looking For

  • 8+ years professional experience as a Character Artist in games, film, feature animation, or related fields
  • Credited on feature films or shipped AAA game titles as a Senior Character Artist/Modeler or higher
  • Experience leading artists to meet deadlines and mentoring artists to help them grow their skills
  • Previous management experience with Character Artists/Modelers is preferred
  • Demonstrated success leading a team of artists on projects
  • Highly proficient in Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, Substance Designer/Painter, Mari, and Unreal Engine
  • Strives for high quality and visual fidelity, but also is pragmatic about real-time rendering limitations and schedule constraints
  • Collaborative, team-player attitude: open & receptive to new ideas, constructive criticism, artistic direction and changes
  • Strategic and analytical thinker with exceptional execution and problem-solving capabilities
  • Excellent organization and communication skills, especially with regards to illustrating technical processes
  • Passion for real-time graphics and emerging platforms (VR, AR, etc)
  • Experience holding responsibility for outsourced work

Solid Portfolio Showing The Following

  • Excellent understanding of human and animal anatomy, with examples of character and costume designs across multiple styles or genres
  • Strong aesthetic appreciation for composition, proportion, mass and volume, light, lighting and color
  • 3D sculpting and modeling abilities interpreting 2D concepts
  • Strong paint skills, multi-layered materials and effective texture layout
  • Clear examples of how to emulate real-world materials in CG while considering hardware performance
  • An understanding of garment tailoring, cloth simulation and mesh construction built to deform in a realistic manner in real-time
  • Examples of additional relevant techniques a bonus (Including facial blendshapes and correctives, pose space deformation shapes, animated wrinkles and normal maps, hair and fur, body kits and accessories)


The hiring range for this position in San Francisco is $160,100 to $200,100 per year. The base pay actually offered will take into account internal equity and also may vary depending on the candidate’s geographic region, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience among other factors. A bonus and/or long-term incentive units may be provided as part of the compensation package, in addition to the full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits, dependent on the level and position offered.

About Industrial Light & Magic:

Founded in 1975 by George Lucas, ILM is the leading effects facility in the world, serving the motion picture, commercial production, and attraction industries. ILM has created visual effects for over 325 feature films and has played a key role in seven of the top 10 worldwide box-office hits of all time and has contributed to 25 of the top 50. ILM has set the standard for visual effects, creating some of the most stunning images in the history of film. At the forefront of the digital revolution, the company continues to break new ground in visual effects, VR, AR, and Immersive Cinema.

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 Lucasfilm Ent Co Ltd, LLC Payroll Svc, which is part of a business we call Industrial Light & Magic.

Lucasfilm Ent Co Ltd, LLC Payroll Svc 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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