Struggling [to be] a[n] artist

{1 January 2011}   Animation Job Description

I was looking through and saw the one for “Concept Artist”, but since I’ve moved to “Animator” I thought I would go find one for that.

More from Bioware, some from  Bethesda, and Activision.

Art Director from Bioware:
Key responsibilities include:
– Expert understanding of the principles of animation
Expert knowledge of the human anatomy, form and weight
– Vast experience in rigging a wide range of characters and creatures, both biped and quadraped
– Ability to create animation and interpret from various reference material including storyboards and video clips, with speed and quality
– Strong ability to express emotion and exaggerate movement through animation techniques
– Expert level proficiency animating, weighting and rigging within Maya and Motion Builder
– Excellent conceptual, illustration and design skills
– High level of English and Mandarin proficiency  (wait… Chinese??? Shit.. been studying the wrong language!)
– 3-5 years+ for animation in games or related field
– Strong problem solving skills and the ability to produce with minimal supervision
– Ability to communicate clearly and produce workflow documentation
– Past experience in leading and managing a small team of animators
– Ability to provide feedback to animators to improve quality
– Ability to troubleshoot and Quality Control work
– Previous knowledge of game pipelines and production processes
– Previous experience with Asset Control tools, such as Perforce and Devtrack
– Detail oriented, organized and able to meet project requirements

What skills does EA look for??

An EA Lead CG Artist is expected to possess:
– Strong technical and communication skills
– 3-5 years+ games production experience
– Strong management and production abilities
– Excellent conceptual, illustration and design skills
– Detail oriented, organized and able to meet project requirements
– Solid understanding of asset management practices
– Good aptitude for problem solving and self-starting with the ability to work with minimal direction
– Expert proficiency in Maya and Motion Builder
– Strong understanding of animation principles
– Degree in formal traditional art training

The Chinese requirement threw me off. Another language well learned is important apparently.

Animator Requirements at Bethesda

  • Excellent 3d animation skills.
  • Excellent fine art skills (sketch work and/or 3D concept work).
  • Ability to rig models for animation.
  • Modeling and texturing skills a plus.
  • Experience with 3D Studio Max and Photoshop.
  • MotionBuilder experience a plus.
  • ZBrush experience a plus.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, Graphic Arts, or 3D Design a plus.
  • Experience with The Elder Scrolls Construction Set or GECK a plus.
  • Experience playing previous Bethesda Games Studios games.
  • Game industry experience a plus.

Different Bethesda Animation Job:

  • Advanced Maya animation tools skills are required
  • 3+ years of experience in the industry
  • Strong knowledge of basic principles of animation: timing, dynamics & body mechanics
  • Strong acting and staging skills
  • Must be able to adapt to new technologies
  • Good sense of communication and team working
  • Passion for video games and especially for first-person immersive games

From the Activision Website

Temp Animator

Sledgehammer Games was founded with the singular purpose of making great action games. We have a brand new state of the art studio facility and an industry leading development team working on a world class franchise – this is an opportunity of a lifetime. We are actively recruiting top talent for our Call of Duty First Person Shooter development team. If you have a desire to work on the most successful FPS franchise in the history of video games, apply online.
We are in search of a Temporary Character Animator to create in-game and cinematic animations of the absolute highest quality. We’re only interested in the best of the best character animators – if you’re creating the most complex, believable, human animations in a timely manner, then we want you.
Applicants must have at least two years experience in character animation for games and a strong understanding of traditional animation fundamentals, with a focus on realistic human animation.  Experience with Maya and animation editing through the “Graph Editor” is a requirement. Past experience with motion capture editing and cleanup is preferred.  Applicant must also have a strong understanding of camera animation, cinematic framing as well shot continuity and facial animation.
An understanding of character creation (modeling, texturing and rigging) is a bonus.   Applicants should respond well to feedback and be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the polish level we require to deliver only AAA titles.
Exclusively “Cartoony,” and “Pose to Pose” animation style reels should not be submitted.
  • 2 years professional animation experience, knowledge of Cinematics and Motion Capture Editing
  • 2+ years experience as a game animator (required)
  • Strong animation fundamentals with a focus on REALISTIC human animation
  • Though this is an animation position, the team values well-rounded artists. A portfolio that shows strong character drawing, modeling and texturing skills, in addition to OUTSTANDING animation will be fully appreciated.

Senior Animator

Vicarious Visions is looking for talented and creative Senior Animator to join our studio in creating the next generation of award-winning games for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii platforms
Job duties include
  • Work closely with the Animation Lead developing, defining and maintaining high-end animation.
  • Seek out guidance from lead and other experienced artists to provide the best quality artwork and most efficient methodologies.
  • Proactive in creating solutions and solving problems.
  • Participate in peer reviews, giving and receiving team feedback.
  • Able to work with team members of other disciplines. Such as, communicating with game-play programmers for implementing character mechanics.
  • Collaborate in generating and presenting ideas for Artist development and Studio growth.
  • Counsel and provide advice for Studio direction within the Steering Committee.
  • Contribute documentation on processes and task tracking throughout development cycle.
  • Recruit, review portfolios and interview applicants.
  • Associates degree in Fine Art, Computer Graphics or Animation. Bachelor’s degree preferred.
  • 5 plus years computer animation experience shipping at least 2 titles with emphasis on animation.
  • Expertise within the Principles of Animation with high quality timing, weight, and acting skills.
  • Expert understanding of character motion in a range of styles.
  • Experience animating in 3D Software, such as 3DSMax and Character Studio.
  • Must have a passion to create the best quality artwork possible for any game genre or platform that is assigned (Xbox360, PS3, Wii, NDS handheld).
  • Task driven, self-motivated & proactive.
  • Adept to changing requirements.
  • Must have a positive attitude and be a team player.
  • Provide Samples of your animation on DVD, CD, or online with a clear explanation of what you did.  You must have traditional art training and skills. Include samples of your 2D work, especially Figure Drawing.
Pluses for the ideal Candidate
  • Experience as an Animation Lead, Teacher or Mentor.
  • Experience with cinematic production.
  • Experience with motion capture.
  • Character modeling.
  • Max-scripting.
  • Havok rigging.
  • Passion for Video Games.
  • Pre-production skills such as Storyboarding and Animatics.
  • Rigging and Point Weighting character meshes.
  • Work with facial animation.

So learning Maya seems to be worthwhile, even to just get some experience in the program, to not be totally lost if I need to throughly learn it. However, the ultimate thing is to become skilled in weighting, rigging and animating.

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