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Digital Domain

Los Angeles, California - United States
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Shader Artist


Purpose of the job:

Digital Domain is one of the largest and most influential visual effects studios in the world. We produce top tier visual effects for movies, television, commercials, along with virtual production, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) development services for clients and internally created content.  The virtual production team is leading the industry with an advanced real-time visualization pipeline tightly integrated with motion capture, game engine, and interactive VR/AR technologies. We are looking to expand this team for work on key feature film and immersive storytelling experiences. 

We are seeking experienced shader artists to work on feature film and virtual reality projects that utilize game engines for visualization. As a shader artist you will deploy your excellent understanding of Unity3D and/or Unreal and Substance Designer to create and optimize shaders for all assets across multiple movie and virtual reality projects. This role is important for look development and for optimization of shaders for performance.          

Essential Functions/Responsibilities:

To work closely with the virtual art department supervisor and Virtual Art Department (VAD) team to develop shaders for all assets as part of the vital look development phase for virtual production and virtual reality projects.

Shader development will cover a wide range of styles from stylistic to photorealistic.

Shader and texture development will be based heavily on reference artwork, paint overs and look development target imagery.

To help create photorealistic shaders for human characters as well as fantasy.

Maintain quality and continuity while developing shaders that support art direction.

Apply knowledge of shader optimization for memory and frame rate budgets.

Work with virtual production and virtual reality team to understand technical requirements.

Research into new shader development techniques and apply to production.

Active participation in technical and artistic discussions and problem solving. 

Maintains a consistent style under director of production designers, art directors and creative directors.

Work closely with TD’s to ensure the pipeline is as efficient as possible. 


Education and/or Experience Required:

2+ years shader development experience in games industry with at least one AAA game shipped on PC or console.

2 + years of experience using Maya, Photoshop, Z-Brush, Mudbox or equivalent.

2+ years of shader development for Unity and/or Unreal.

Skills, Abilities, Special Licenses or Certificate: 

Strong experience with developing and compiling shaders within Unity and/or Unreal essential. 

Good visual and technical understanding of shading, texturing and look development.

Experience with subsurface shaders (skin) advantageous.

Experience with developing shaders in Shaderlab for Unity and/or ShaderFX for Maya essential.

Strong experience of lighting both from a technical and artistic perspective within Unity and/or Unreal. 

Fast, organized, take direction well, and can deal with high profile directors, vfx supervisors and production designers.

Good understanding of modeling, rigging, animation, UV mapping, texturing and rendering is advantageous.

Experience with VR shader limitations and ways to compensate for it advantageous.

Good knowledge of matrix algebra and trigonometry.

Knowledge of computational geometry a plus.

Mental ray/ Vray software skills a plus.

Knowledge of Substance advantageous.

Knowledge of scripting (Python, Mel, C# scripting in Unity, and/or Unreal Blueprint) useful.

C++ knowledge is advantageous.

Experience with OpenGL GLSL/HLSL advantageous.

Experience with FX shader work advantageous.

2D Illustration, set design, 2D compositing, or film/tv background a plus.

Having a good eye for lighting and a passion for generating both photo real and stylized looks extremely advantageous.

Strong organizational and communications skills along with understanding production values, deadlines and priorities

Willing to take direction and be a team player.

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.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by people assigned to this work.  This is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities associated with it.  Digital Domain 3.0, Inc management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet business and organizational needs.

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