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jobby: Sets and Characters Technical Artists, Pixar Canada, Vancouver

Pixar Canada Logo for WebPixar Canada is looking for several Sets & Characters Technical Artists (“TDs”) for its new studio in Vancouver.  Pixar Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pixar Animation Studios, the world leader in animated films.  The Vancouver studio will produce short-form animation focusing on legacy Pixar characters from films such as Toy Story and Cars.  As a key early hire, this position is critical to the long-term success of the studio.  This is an opportunity to help build a world-class organization from the ground-up and to be part of a diverse and talented team.

Summary of Job

The Sets & Characters TD creates and modifies digital sets, props, and characters to suit the needs of a particular animation production project.

Takes direction from the project’s creative leadership: the Director, the Production Designer, and the Creative Director.

Reports to the Supervising Technical Director/CTO.

General Duties and Responsibilities

Each Sets & Characters TD will work in one or more of the following areas.  You don’t need to be skilled in all three areas to apply.

  1. Character Modeling: Constructing the shapes of digital character models in a 3D modeling system such as Maya.  Converting such models for use in our proprietary animation system (Menv).

  2. Character Rigging: Adding controls to digital characters.  These controls are used to position, move, and pose the models.  Rigging requires an understanding of anatomy and expression, and riggers work closely with animators to design a set of controls that support all of the desired range of poses and behaviors.  Scripting is often used to construct more sophisticated rigs, so it is valuable for a rigger to have good programming skills.

  3. Set Modeling and Dressing: Modeling the geometry of sets and props, and assembling these models into fully dressed sets.  As well as expertise with 3D modeling software, the ideal set modeler has a knowledge of architectural styles and is skilled in procedural modeling.  Set dressing requires strong visual skills to produce a pleasing composition of objects as seen through the camera view.

In all of these tasks, the TD is responsible for creation, revision, maintenance and support of the digital assets, responding to guidance and review notes from the director as well as creative and technical supervisors.  Digital assets must meet standards and specifications with respect to appearance and aesthetics, user interface, performance, and robustness.  Characters and Sets TDs must support users (other TDs and animators) who make use of the digital assets.


  1. Must have 5 or more years experience in CG animation production for television, film, games or visual effects.  Skill and experience is required in at least one of the three areas described above.

  1. Must have experience with a high-end 3D modeling and animation system (such as Maya, Modo, XSI, Houdini or 3D Studio Max).  Skill and experience in the use of subdivision surfaces is highly desirable.

  1. Must have a good understanding of 3D computer graphics theory and practice.

  1. Must have good understanding of shape, composition, physical motion, weight and balance.

  1. Must have good written and verbal communication skills.

  1. Must be able to work alone and collaboratively, often with multiple tasks and under deadline pressure.

  1. Must be open to direction and able to embrace change.

In addition to these required qualifications, any of the following attributes will be considered a plus:

  1. Degree in computer science, art, architecture, or engineering.

  2. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Mel or Python.

  3. Skill in drawing, sketching, or sculpting.

Submission Process

If you are interested in and qualified for this position, please submit a cover letter, resume, link that points us directly to your portfolio or demo reel, along with an itemized list of the portfolio/reel contents, to with the subject line “Sets & Characters”.  PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL DEMO REELS. If you don’t have a website to showcase your work, you may be able to use a free service like Dropbox.

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