jobby: Pixar Canada, Lighting TDs, Visual Effects TDs, Linux Render Farm Administrator, Vancouver

By Mike Valiquette

June 15th, 2010

Lighting TDs

About Pixar Canada
Pixar Canada is looking for several Lighting 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. This is an opportunity to be part of a new, diverse and talented team producing world-class digital character animation.

Summary of Position
In Pixar’s production process, the term “TD” means “Technical Artist”. The Lighting TD works with other crew members to create the lighting of the sets & characters in each shot of an animated film. Lighting makes the images look attractive, rich, and interesting, while conveying the mood, directing the viewer’s attention to key story points, and making sure that the important action is visible and easy to understand.

Responsibilities
The Lighting TD is responsible for creation, revision, maintenance and support of master lighting, which sets the overall lighting for a particular environment or scene, and shot lighting, which is specific to the action and characters in each particular shot.
Lighting involves both the placement and adjustment of lights in Pixar’s proprietary lighting system, and the use of compositing tools to further modify and enhance the appearance of the rendered image.

The Lighting TD responds to guidance and review notes from the director as well as other creative and technical supervisors. Lighting TDs work closely with other departments, especially with shading TDs, visual effects TDs, and rendering TDs, to make sure that the lighting integrates properly with other elements and renders properly.

Qualifications
* Must have 3 or more years experience in CG lighting for animation, live-action film, or television.
* Must have a good “eye”, the ability to notice subtle differences in lighting and
rendering, and a good understanding of light, color, contrast, shading, and lighting design
* Must have a good working knowledge of lighting in a 3D package such as Maya or Houdini, and a good knowledge of a compositing program such as Shake or Nuke.
* Must have a good knowledge of how to use a high-quality 3D rendering program, preferably RenderMan.
* Must have strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail and quality.
* Must have good written and verbal communication skills, and be able to communicate clearly and effectively.
* Must be able to work alone and collaboratively, often with multiple tasks and under deadline pressure.
* 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:
* Bachelor’s degree in visual arts or computer science (or a related technical
discipline).
* Skill in painting, photography, drawing, and sketching.

Submission Process
If you are interested in and qualified for this position, please submit your cover letter, resume, and a link that points us directly to your demo reel and reel breakdown/shotlist. Enter your submission on our website www.pixarcanada.com. 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.

Visual Effects TDs

About Pixar Canada
Pixar Canada is looking for two Visual Effects 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. This is an opportunity to be part of a new, diverse and talented team producing world-class digital character animation.

Summary of Position
In Pixar’s production process, the term “TD” means “Technical Artist”. The Visual Effects TD works with other crew members to create visual effects in an animated film. Visual effects work often includes aspects of modeling, simulation and animation, shading, lighting, rendering, and compositing for the visual effects elements of a shot.

General Duties and Responsibilities
The Visual Effects TD is responsible for creation, revision, maintenance and support of the effects elements in a shot, responding to guidance and review notes from the director as well as creative and technical supervisors. Visual Effects TDs work closely with other departments, especially with Lighting and Rendering, to make sure that the effects integrate properly with other elements. TDs use reference footage of real world phenomena or film-library reference to guide their development of a particular effect.

Visual effects work often includes simulation of dynamics and natural phenomena, as well as animation of effects elements, by hand or using procedural techniques. At Pixar, simulation is done using a variety of tools including proprietary in-house software, Maya, Houdini, etc. The Visual Effects artist must be flexible and adaptable, with a wide range of skills from scripting or programming to a good eye and a good sense of weight and timing.

Background and Qualifications
* Must have 3 or more years experience in CG visual effects production for animation, live-action film, or television.
* Must have a good “eye” and a good understanding of light, color, illumination and shading. Must have a good sense of weight and timing, to judge whether motion appears natural and convincing.
* Must have a good working knowledge of Maya or Houdini, and a compositing program such as Shake or Nuke.
* Must have an excellent understanding of 3D computer graphics theory and practice.
* Must have good programming and scripting skills in languages such as C/C++, Python, or Perl, preferably in a Linux/Unix environment.
* Must have strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail and quality.
* Must have good written and verbal communication skills, and be able to communicate clearly and effectively with both technical and non-technical users of the software.
* Must be able to work alone and collaboratively, often with multiple tasks and under deadline pressure.
* 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:
* Bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, physics, or engineering.
* Skill in painting, photography, drawing, and sketching.

Submission Process
If you are interested in and qualified for this position, please submit your cover letter, resume, and a link that points us directly to your demo reel and reel breakdown/shotlist. Enter your submission on our website www.pixarcanada.com. 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.

Linux Render Farm Administrator
About Pixar Canada
Pixar Canada is looking for a Linux Render Farm Administrator 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 Position
The Linux Render Farm Administrator will help plan, implement and support the render farm and associated infrastructure required by the studio and will report to the Manager of Information Systems at Pixar Canada. This is a position that requires close collaboration with our technical staff, software engineers, and production users to best align technical solutions with production schedules and creative needs.

Responsibilities
* Serve as a primary administrator for our render farm
* Ensure high performance and availability of rendering infrastructure
* Perform analysis and reporting of performance and throughput statistics
* Debug performance issues and outages
* Manage high performance NFS storage
* Provide technical leadership and/or participate in major systems projects
* Troubleshoot server and network issues
* Oversee and perform general system maintenance, e.g., repair, upgrades, and optimization.
* Produce documentation for administration and systems staff
* Assist other systems staff as required

Qualifications
* Minimum of 5 years in an IS/IT support position
* Extensive working knowledge of RedHat Linux
* In-depth knowledge of server hardware platforms (HP, Dell)
* In-depth knowledge of NAS devices and high performance NFS implementations (Isilon, BluArc, IBRIX)
* Experience managing network switching hardware (HP, Dell)
* Knowledge of programming (python, perl, C, shell scripting)
* Resourceful problem solving
* Self motivation and a strong desire to learn and stay abreast of industry
developments/standards
* Position requires flexibility and being on-call 24×7
* Pleasant, customer service-oriented personality
* Ability to prioritize, respond, and follow through on multiple requests in a dynamic work environment
* Ability to work well with all levels of management
* Ability to work independently and in a team
* Excellent tracking and follow-through ability
* Excellent oral and written communications skills
* Excellent attention to detail.

In addition to these required qualification, any of the following attributes will be considered a plus:
* Prior experience managing high-performance computing environments
* Working knowledge of RenderMan.

Submission Process
If you are interested in and qualified for this position, please submit your cover letter and resume. Enter your submission on our website www.pixarcanada.com.

Previous Pixar Canada job posts here and here.

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2 Responses to “jobby: Pixar Canada, Lighting TDs, Visual Effects TDs, Linux Render Farm Administrator, Vancouver”

  1. T.Crazy

    i wonder if they will need a janitor…

    #2324
  2. Yan Bardock

    I am going to come right out and say it.

    This is BULLSHIT.

    Yes, Pixar Canada. You’re full of shit.

    The reason I say that is because I just saw (and applied for) the same position last month, and another similar one in April. I have an MSc in computer science, I’m very well qualified to work there, and I’ve got a wealth of relevant professional experience. I didn’t even get a call back.

    Now, they’re looking for TD’s, and they’re insisting on 3 years of industry experience. They’ve raised their requirements. Why?

    Speaking as someone who is more than capable of working as a Lighting TD, but who has not yet been employed in the visual effects industry, I think this is ridiculous. They’re handicapping themselves by adding this restriction. After all, in order to get someone with three years of experience, it means they either have to steal someone from another company, or they have to get someone who was canned. That means they’re hiring someone who is either disloyal or incompetent.

    Now, I admit I’m not perfect. I’m quite terrible with interviews. I tend to come across like a schmuck. I’m a bit of an absent-minded professor type, but I also look ten years younger than I am, so people just assume that I’m a brainless kid with no skill at all. None of that is true, though. I’m very good at what I do, and I’m a very effective communicator on the job. I just hate answering questions about myself. What do they expect, though? A place like Pixar should know that brilliant people come in every shape, size, and personality. So what gives?

    In this case, though, I haven’t even gotten as far as an interview. I didn’t even get a call back. I don’t live in BC, so maybe that’s the problem… but again, why are they being so picky? I would move in a heartbeat. What’s the difference? Do they want good people or not?

    Whatever their reasons, they should know they’re neglecting someone who meets all of these qualities:

    * Must have a good “eye” and a good understanding of light, color, illumination and shading. Must have a good sense of weight and timing, to judge whether motion appears natural and convincing.
    * Must have an excellent understanding of 3D computer graphics theory and practice.
    * Must have good programming and scripting skills in languages such as C/C++, Python, or Perl, preferably in a Linux/Unix environment.
    * Must have strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail and quality.
    * Must have good written and verbal communication skills, and be able to communicate clearly and effectively with both technical and non-technical users of the software.
    * Must be able to work alone and collaboratively, often with multiple tasks and under deadline pressure.
    * Must be open to direction and able to embrace change.

    Not only do I “meet” these requirements, but for some of them, I would be “da man.” Some of them come with time, and some of them arguably can’t be taught at all. So, by insisting on industry experience, Pixar Canada, I think you’re shooting yourselves in the foot.

    Way NOT to go.

    #3626
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