Description

Crystal Dynamics is seeking a Lead Animator who will play a pivotal role in defining the animation vision for our upcoming high-fidelity action-adventure titles. As the Lead Animator, you will blend leadership with hands-on contribution, directly influencing the gameplay experience through the execution of top-tier animations. This role offers a unique opportunity to shape the visual and interactive elements of our games, making a substantial impact on our projects. 

As a Lead Animator, you will: 

  • Lead the animation vision in collaboration with the Creative Director and Art Director, ensuring the game’s visual and interactive identity is maintained.
  • Work in close partnership with Department Leads, Animators, and Designers to assess and meet the game’s animation requirements.
  • Develop a team of skilled animators, directing the creation of high-fidelity game animations and systems.
  • Deliver engaging combat and traversal animations in collaboration with combat designers and engineers.
  • Set and manage goals, aligning deliverables with project milestones and deadlines.
  • Conduct and direct motion capture shoots for both gameplay and cinematic performances as needed.
  • Manage, direct, and review co-developers and external vendors in different countries and time zones.
  • Run full pipelines (both internal and external), from narrative / storyboard to fully implemented in-game shippable content.
  • Promote team growth through regular individual meetings, performance reviews, and targeted training.
  • Foster a positive, collaborative team environment that values open communication and constructive feedback.
  • Streamline animation processes to enhance team productivity throughout the game development cycle.
  • Document and manage animation tasks and processes.
  • Guide animators across various styles, ensuring a consistent animation approach throughout the project.

To be considered for this role, we require the following: 

  • Experience in a leadership role within animation (Lead or Principal Animator) in the game development industry, particularly for high-fidelity action-adventure games. 
  • In-depth understanding of gameplay systems, especially in 3rd person perspectives, including weapon, traversal, melee, and ranged combat animations. 
  • Expertise in animation trees, animation blending, and node-based animation editors. 
  • Proficiency in Motion Capture, Motion Matching, Maya, and real-time game engines/editors. 
  • A collaborative mindset, particularly in working with design and engineering teams. 
  • Examples of relevant work (i.e., demo reel, portfolio, or contributions to shipped title). An ideal reel will include: 
    • Up to date examples of realistic animations that clearly demonstrate your skills/expertise 
    • Inclusion of a breakdown sheet detailing your specific contributions to each piece is highly recommended.
    • Note: If you directed others, then we would be looking for a director’s cut. 

Preference will be given to candidates who have: 

  • Experience with cinematic tools in Unreal Engine.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities with a track record of nurturing and developing animation talent. 

It’ll be a bonus if you also have: 

  •  Shipped 2+ AAA titles as a Senior or Lead Animator. 

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