Lead Animator

We build ground-breaking games and content for some of the world’s biggest publishers including Microsoft, Sony, Apple and Sega. Sheffield is our largest studio and headquarters, situated just north-east of the city centre, where we’ve built and contributed to some of the world’s best-loved game franchises.

It’s an exciting time to be part of Sumo, winners of the Develop: Star Awards 2019 Best Studio and GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work; big things are on the horizon and we want you to be part of our continued journey. Join us!

The role @ Sumo
 
Sumo Sheffield are looking for a talented and experienced Lead Animator, who is skilled in a broad range of animation styles and capable of creating dynamic and compelling animation (including hand-keyed and/or motion capture based) as required by the project. We are looking for someone who understands game animation production and its idiosyncrasies. That person ideally would be an established Lead but we would also consider someone with the right skills who is looking to advance their career and transition into that role. The ideal candidate will enjoy being involved in a friendly, hard working environment and be able to communicate well within the art team as well as with other development disciplines.
 
Sumo has a wide variety of projects in development and for any Animator that means working on something that could vary in style from stylised to realistic and any point in between. We require someone who is flexible in both talent and mindset.

Within this role you will:

  • Lead by example creating inspirational animation content and leadership for our AAA projects
  • Work as part of a team of Lead Animators, driving the quality and processes at the Studio.
  • Collaborate with the Animation Director in realising the animation style and direction for the project.
  • Lead responsibilities such as mentoring, scheduling and R&D into new approaches.
  • Create clear documentation of approaches, both technical and creative for animation.
  • Maintain a keen interest in industry wide developments and advancement in technology to ensure project pipelines stay up to date.
  • Collaborate directly with discipline Leads ensuring that the work of the animation team is created in the most efficient and technically responsible manner.
  • Have responsibility for the delivery of high quality hand keyed animation, from both yourself and your team.
  • Work with and understand Motion Capture data.
  • Have the ability to direct MoCap talent during character rehearsal and motion capture shoots.
  • Be able to adapt to a variety of styles as the projects demand.
  • Create and meet production schedules and deadlines, for both yourself and your team.
  • Provide detailed input during the character creation process, from concept to modelling to final rigging, identifying character performance and functionality requirements.
  • Communicate effectively with peers.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the pipelines and procedures within the project/company.
  • We need you to have:

  • A strong understanding of modern video game animation systems.
  • Strong knowledge of traditional animation principles and how they can be used to enhance gameplay.
  • Thorough understanding of animation fundamentals for human and non-human characters.
  • Demonstrable experience in creating animation of a high standard while maintaining visual and functional specifications for game mechanics.
  • Understanding of Character creation process from concept, to modelling and final rigging.
  • Excellent knowledge or at least one major 3d package (ie Maya or 3DSMax).
  • Basic knowledge of Maya and Max essential.
  • Good understanding of the game development process.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Industry Experience: 8+ years AAA game’s experience.
  • A strong demo reel that adequately reflects this experience.

  • We'd also ideally like you to have (although its not a deal breaker):

  • Game engine experience (UE4 among others).
  • Interest in playing games and current technical trends in the medium.
  • Experience animating for first person games would be beneficial, although not essential.
  • Experience in using MoCap hardware and software, although not essential.
  • Experience in motion builder a plus

  • What We Offer:
    ·         Annual Bonus 
    ·         Share Incentive Plan       
    ·         Competitive Pension
    ·         Flexible Working   
    ·         27 Days Holiday, including your birthday. a duvet day and Christmas
    ·         5 Learning Days
    ·         Access to 4,000 Udemy Courses
    ·         Game & Book Libraries
    ·         Wrap Parties      
    ·         Alternative Travel Prize Draw
    ·         The Sumo GameJam
    ·         Big Family Events
    ·         Studio clubs, inc. running, board games, film…
    ·         Life Drawing
    ·         Yoga Classes
    ·         Free fruit and drinks
    ·         Employee Referral Bonus        
    ·         Career Development    
    ·         Competitive Mat/Paternity & Adoption 
    ·         Employee Assistance Programme
    ·         Life Assurance 4x Salary
    ·         Income Protection of 75%            
    ·         Relocation Support to the UK
    ·         Visa Sponsorship

    Where do we stand on diversity?
    At Sumo Digital, we know that diversity and inclusivity will make our teams (and the amazing work that they do) better! We encourage and welcome ALL applications.

    More About The Sumo Sheffield Studio:
    Our environment is relaxed, friendly and built upon the basis of every team member having the opportunity to shine and have a realisable input into the games we create. We are a very happy ship with lots of incredibly nice people that partake in shared interest groups, lunchtime clubs, charity fundraising events and lots of socialising.

    We are proud to be located in Sheffield, just off J34 of the M1 offering easy road and rail access from Leeds, Manchester and the Midlands. Sheffield itself enjoys wealth of facilities including world class sporting facilities, stunning theatres and galleries, the National Video Game Museum, shopping, restaurants and incredible parks and green spaces - all on the doorstep of the beautiful Peak District National Park. We love it here.

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