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Lead Animator

Sumo Digital


Sumo Sheffield is seeking a Lead Animator with experience in a broad range of animation styles, including hand-keyed and/or motion capture based animation. The ideal candidate should have a strong understanding of game animation production and its idiosyncrasies, and be able to communicate well within the art team as well as with other development disciplines. The role involves creating high-quality hand keyed animation, working with and understanding motion capture data, and adapting to a variety of styles as the projects demand. The position is offered on a fully remote, hybrid or in-studio basis, and requires experience with game engines, strong knowledge of traditional animation principles, and a thorough understanding of animation fundamentals for human and non-human characters. Sumo Sheffield offers a range of benefits, including flexible working, defined annual bonus scheme, salary sacrifice pension, and career development pathway. Sumo Digital is an award-winning international family of studios, with a multi-building campus comprised of industry-leading facilities, an onsite gym, and subsidised canteen.

Job description

With a rich history of developing multiple AAA franchises such as Little Big Planet and Crackdown, as well as contributing to genre-defining titles like the Forza Motorsport and Hitman series, Sumo Sheffield’s vast development experience spans multiple genres and platforms.
As winners of the TIGA Star Employment Award for 2021, recipients of the GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work Award and listed as one of the UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work for in 2021 and 2022, Sumo Digital has enjoyed 20 years of stability and growth since its formation in 2003 and continues to strive for excellence across every single project.
The team have a track record of working on some of the world's biggest and best games and received two BAFTAs for their work on Sackboy: A Big Adventure. As the scale and exclusivity of projects continues to grow, there’s never been a more exciting time to join the Sumo Sheffield family!

The role @ Sumo Sheffield
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.

This position is offered on a fully remote, hybrid or in-studio basis. Any remote working must be located from within the UK.

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, with the ability to direct MoCap talent during character rehearsal and motion 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:

    • Experience with game Engines, such as Unreal 4
    • 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
    • Knowledge or at least one major 3d package (ie Maya or 3DSMax)
    • Experience with Motion Builder
    • Good understanding of the game development process
    • Excellent communication skills
    • Industry Experience: AAA game’s experience

It would be an advantage if you had:

    • An interest in playing games and kept current with 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
What we offer:

. Defined Annual Bonus Scheme
. ULEV car scheme
. Monthly allowance to spend on enhancing benefits        
. Salary Sacrifice Pension
. Flexible Working  
. 21 days free-use holiday
+ your birthday off
+ 5 learning days including 1 volunteer day
+ a duvet day
+ Christmas shutdown from Christmas Eve to New Year
+ Bank Holidays
+ extra allowance accrued for longer service
. Free dental insurance 
. Life Assurance 4x Salary
. Income Protection of 75% for 5 years           
. Enhanced Mat/Paternity & Adoption pay
. Employee Assistance Programme:
. Help at Hand - Remote GP, Mental Health & Physio appointments
. Free financial & home buying support consultations
. Cycle to Work Scheme
. Payroll Giving Scheme
. Access to 4,000 Udemy Courses
. Career Development Pathway  
. Wrap Parties.
. Project Completion Awards
. Game/Creative Jams
. Big Family Events
. Studio social activities, e.g. running, board games, film, yoga, life drawing…
. Prism – Sumo’s employee diversity focus group 
. Free fruit and drinks in our studios
. Employee Referral Bonus     

Where do we stand on diversity?

At Sumo, we want to enable everyone to bring their full, authentic selves to work every single day. We acknowledge that the games industry is far from perfect and a global organisation with people all over the world, from all kinds of backgrounds, we know it’s part of our duty to provide everyone at Sumo with a safe, accepting and affirming working environment.
We encourage and welcome applicants from all backgrounds.
More about Sumo Sheffield
Sumo Sheffield is located just outside the city centre in Sumo Digital’s HQ, just off J34 on the M1 and a stone’s throw from the city’s primary shopping and leisure complex. With a multi-building campus comprised of industry-leading facilities, an onsite gym and subsidised canteen, Sumo Sheffield provides everything needed for all teams to create the world’s best games.
Sheffield is the fifth largest city in the UK and is easily accessible by road and rail from Leeds, Manchester and the Midlands. The city enjoys a wealth of facilities to suit a wide array of interests, including:

o   World-class sports facilities
o   Iconic theatres and galleries
o   Multiple retail and shopping experiences
o   Diverse and renowned restaurants and eateries
o   The award-winning National Video Game Museum

More about Sumo Digital
Sumo Digital is an award-winning international family of studios. Recent releases from Sumo Digital studios include: BAFTA-Award winning Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Hood: Outlaws & Legends, Control Ultimate Edition on Google Stadia, Apple Arcade Award-winning Little Orpheus, Hot Shot Racing, WST Snooker and Spyder.
Apply for this job

Location: Sheffield

Country: United Kingdom

Date found: 2023-03-17

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