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Head of Effects Animation

Apply NowApply Later Job ID 10022088 Location Vancouver, Canada Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted Sep. 09, 2022 Flex Type Hybrid Preferred, Remote Possible

- This role is considered hybrid, which means the employee will work a portion of their time on-site from a Company designated location and the remainder of their time remotely. A remote opportunity may be possible for qualified candidates under certain circumstances and, if granted, the employee would work remotely on an ongoing basis.

Job Summary:

The Head of Effects Animation plays an integral role in the production team. They are responsible for supervising and delivering all aspects of Effects Simulations for the production.  The Head of Effects Animation oversees a team of effects artists and works closely with the Production Designer and Visual Effects Supervisor to establish a look for the effects and simulations that fulfill the Director's vision. This is a regular, full time, staff position that will be located at our Vancouver, BC studio. Please note that relocation eligibility may be determined based on role and individual circumstance.

Role Specifics

  • Work with the Director, Production Designer, and VFX Supervisor to realize their vision for the effects animation style and practices of the show.

  • Work with the Effects Animators in executing workflows and procedures for the look and development of computer generated FX (simulations of natural phenomena, particle systems, procedural modeling and animation, hard and soft body dynamics, and other similar effects).

  •  Maintain functional parity between Look Development, Lighting, and FX.

  •  Develop and maintain FX bibles, specifically in relation to the technical implementation of pertinent characteristics.

  • Develop Effects assets for Layout to help visualize effects during early sequence layout.

  • Develop procedural FX rigs and processes to streamline frequently used effects for shot production.

  •  Work closely with the Look Development and Lighting teams to ensure the successful collaboration, hand-off, and execution of materials, light rigs, and effects.


  • Responsible for consumability and efficiency of deliverables into downstream departments. 

  • Drives department processes, bidding, and reviews.

  • Determines resource needs and collaborates with studio, show, and department leadership in finding staffing solutions. 

  • Analyzes and determines cost implications of requests and strategizes on solutions in partnership with show leadership.  

 Leading People

  • Creates an inclusive and safe work environment by carefully managing sensitive information, making rooms feel open and comfortable, creating space for everyone to have a voice, and addressing bias when it occurs.

  • Sets the creative and technical vision/expectations for the supervisors, leads, and department.  Responsible for seeing that vision through. 

  • In tight conjunction with the Production Management and AM, inspires and motivates the supervisors, leads, and department.  Responsible for the tone and morale of the department. 

  • Contributes to the overall craft and leadership development of supervisors, leads, and department through setting expectations, delivering consistent constructive feedback, recognition, and accountability. 


  • Creates, models, and supports a collaborative work environment within their team and between departments on the show. 

    • Identifies solutions and compromises in partnership with other department leaders utilizing a holistic view to meet the show vision.


  • Provides regular updates to show leadership on the progress, health, and direction of the team. 

  • Keeps the team informed with context for show related changes and updates. 

Studio Stewardship

  • Studio Culture- Actively fosters an inclusive, innovative, and collaborative environment so every employee can contribute at the highest levels. 

  • Technology, Tools and Workflow- Engages in the creation and execution of technical standards, pipeline conventions, and workflows to support the department, show, and studio.

  • Department Stewardship- Partners closely with peers and Artist Manager to support an environment of creativity, trust, and innovation.  Actively involved in assessment, casting, hiring, and overall growth of artists. 

Recommended Experiences

  • Minimum 4 years of leadership experience that demonstrates a strong ability to lead and mentor others.

  • Demonstrated history of problem solving and project management skills.

  • Ability to quickly learn and adapt to WDAS standards, pipeline, tools, and workflows as they relate to discipline(s) they would be leading. 

  • Understanding of the disciplines/craft which they would be leading.

  • Bachelor's degree or higher in Art, Illustration, Cinema Studies, Computer Science, Engineering or equivalent experience.

  •  Experience as an Effects Supervisor or similar role in CG Animation and/or Visual Effects production.

  •  Strong understanding of the principles of effects and simulation.

  •  Strong knowledge and technical understanding of digital pipeline issues, optimizing all workflow.

  •  Strong knowledge of each of the following technical areas:

    • SideFX Houdini®

    • Effects and Simulation principles

    • The Unix/Linux environment

    • Python scripting

    • File management systems

  •  Skill in the following areas is desired:

    • Traditional drawing, painting, design and/or sculpture

    • Knowledge of anatomy, kinematics and physical behaviors 

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. 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, to our 60th animated feature, Encanto, releasing November 2021. Among the studio's timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Frozen, 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 Vancouver Inc., which is part of a business we call Walt Disney Animation Studios.

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