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Digital Domain

Los Angeles, California - United States
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Lighting Developer/TD


Purpose of the job:

In addition to creating photorealistic CG Look Development and Lighting, Lighting TDs write and/or support tools to facilitate different lighting and rendering techniques such as HDRI, SSS, and Global Illumination. Their focus is ensuring shots can be delivered efficiently, at the very highest standard. TDs must have a strong knowledge of look development, shaders, lighting, and layer management as well as a thorough understanding of the AOVs/frame buffers that the Compositing Department may need.

Essential Functions/Responsibilities: 

  • Be able to troubleshoot common rendering and lighting technical issues, including ray tracing render optimization
  • Develops tools to optimize texturing, shading, and lighting workflow and pipeline 
  • Craft and update documentation for the tools, techniques and workflows 
  • Create photorealistic CG lighting that meets all technical and aesthetic standards for the project 
  • Guide development of facility shaders by actual implementation, or where appropriate, delegating implementation to dedicated facility shader TD 
  • Establish best practices for the most common shader techniques for Prmn, VRay and Arnold
  • Guide development of a default shader library 
  • Create a default material library that texture painters can use as a basis for their work 
  • Work with Shader TDs and Look Dev artists to establish a facility procedure for evaluation and accountability of shaders to ensure uniformity across shows whenever possible 
  • Develop and maintain a proper repository for coding shaders in SVN
  • Develop best practices of for shading specific problems (i.e. AOVs, Projection, SSS, etc)
  • Manage Shadeops 
  • Act as single point of contact on implementation of shader tools from the facility level 
  • Aid show shader leads in communication and problem solving with texture and look dev teams 
  • With the assistance of the Global Production Technology Producer set development priorities and ensure high quality shader solutions are available
  • Promote open dialogue on techniques to avoid people “reinventing the wheel” 
  • Keep Pipeline Producer and Pipeline Supervisor aware of any nonstandard shader techniques in use so Pipeline Producer and Pipeline Supervisor can investigate and enforce established techniques or approve the requested innovation 
  • Solicit feedback from shader teams on all shows to determine shader features that need to be supported at the facility level
  • Attend, report on, and present to relevant Pipeline Councils 
  • Keep up to date on current industry technologies and techniques
  • Be involved in outside discussions with 3rd party vendors as these discussions relate to department initiatives
  • Review shader training curriculum to ensure best practices are presented

Education and/or Experience Required:
  • 3+ years experience as a Technical Director 
  • Extensive experience in a wide range of CG Look Development, Shader and Lighting techniques and technical methods 
  • Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics or equivalent work experience 
  • Practical knowledge of Python required, knowledge of PyQt a plus 
  • Experience with C/C++ strongly desired 
  • Proficiency in one or more professional graphics package C++/Python APIs, including the Maya, Houdini, SDK, HDK, Nuke SDK, Mental Ray SDK, and Prman SDK preferred 
  • Proficiency in applicable domain specific programming language(s) including Mel, Hscript, RSL, MetaSL 
  • Ability to troubleshoot and debug common rendering issues 
  • Strong working knowledge of large scale, production level pipelines a necessity 
  • Ability to balance technical and aesthetic concerns

Working Conditions and Environment/Physical Demands:
  • Office working environment
  • Hours for this position are based on normal working hours but will require extra hours pending production needs
  • Walking/bending/sitting

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