Technical Animator

About Sumo Nottingham

Sumo Nottingham develops action and racing games for console and PC, bringing character and innovation to everything we do.
Sumo Nottingham develops multiple AAA projects with some of the world’s biggest publishers, with games such as Team Sonic Racing and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. As well as contributing to genre-defining titles like the Forza Motorsport, Horizons and Hogwarts Legacy; Sumo Nottingham's vast development experience spans multiple genres and platforms.
The team at Sumo Nottingham is growing, and we are looking for talented people to help bring a series of incredible projects to life.
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, Sumo Digital has enjoyed 18 years of stability and growth since its formation in 2003 and continues to strive for excellence across every single project.
Sumo Nottingham is made up of a diverse mix of talented people, who want to come, to develop and do their best work. Our studio culture is one that drives performance by putting people first. If you are looking for somewhere that is a little bit special and unique, come and join us. We welcome applications from all qualified applicants, without regard to race, colour, religion, disability, or age. 

The Role @ Sumo Nottingham
We are in the early stages of prototyping an innovative multiplayer action title based on a new IP, and are looking for talented developers to join the team. This is a unique opportunity to help shape an ambitious new game from the very earliest stages, work with the latest technologies (e.g. Unreal Engine 5) and to play a crucial role delivering on the game vision! 

In the role of Technical Animator, you’ll work with the animation and engineering teams to devise solutions and workflows, creating rigs for animators and high-fidelity deformation for assets. Your analytical ability and planning skills will help the studio develop tools for the future to support character and animation production.  You’ll also be responsible for our motion pipeline from creating custom rigs, optimising workflows with scripts to keyframe animation. 
As a Technical Animator, you will be supporting the needs of the animators by ensuring they have the tools they need to do their jobs. As well as pushing the animation fidelity, you will be controlling the animation pipelines on our games to help us achieve stunning results, whilst keeping efficiency at its peak. The Technical Animator works with both in-house animators and external partners, as well as our engineers.
We're open to this person being based in-studio, hybrid or fully remote (in the UK).

Skills and experience:

  • To act as a bridge between both the Technical and Creative disciplines. 
  • Expert knowledge of 3D animation packages such as Maya, with a technical focus on rigging, skinning and tools scripting.
  • Strong knowledge and experience of rigging methods and deformation in Maya and Unreal, related to video game rigs.
  • Ability to code with Python or PyMel. Creating tools and scripts to increase productivity of the art team or other asset creators.
  • Experience helping to maintain animations in Unreal Engine 4 or Unreal Engine 5 (or other game engines).
  • Good understanding of Unreal’s runtime animation systems such as state-machines and animation blueprints.
  • Motivated, creative and able to utilise own initiative to implement solutions and improvements to internal processes.
  • Solid understanding of Character deformation techniques and dynamics. Be it cloth, bones, blend shapes or displacement maps.
  • A strong portfolio demonstrating your animation rigs and rigging tool development for games.
  • Solid understanding of facial animation methodologies.
  • Foreseeing potential issues and communicating effectively to department leads.
  • Critiquing assets on an ongoing basis to drive continual improvement and ensure quality across the game within defined budgets.
  • It'd also be great if you have:

  • Knowledge of the Maya API and lower level programming languages such as C++
  • Production experience developing a AAA quality game.
  • Some experience or understand of Facial Capture technology and Facial Analysis software.
  • 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
    . Paid membership to any one Pure Gym location          
    . 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     

    Your career development:
    ·         Career development support through recognised discipline pathways
    ·         5 learning and development days to use as you choose
    ·         Regular game jams and creative jams
    ·         Access to a wealth of training materials from leading content providers such as Udemy, Epic, Gnomon Workshop and the GDC Vault
    ·         Internal project showcases for knowledge sharing across Sumo Digital
    ·         Take advantage of a big selection of titles within our Game & Book Libraries
    Perks and Extras:
    ·         Long service and game completion awards
    ·         Studio tuck shop
    ·         Free fruit and drinks
    ·         Cake and savoury buffets on Friday mornings
    ·         Last Friday of the month drinks and games
    ·         Awesome Christmas party
    ·         Summer Family Big Day Out
    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.
    Who are Sumo Nottingham?
    We are a studio with a friendly, fun vibe, committed to maintaining our family feel culture with strong team relationships both inside and outside of work.  For this reason, we call ourselves Sumo Nottingham Family or SNF for short.  We genuinely care about each other and support each other through our successes and failures, through our good times and bad.  When we celebrate success, we are proud to shout about it.
    We take huge pride in our inclusive working environment and in making our teams happy and comfortable at work.
    We thrive on our Studio traditions, including our Friday treats, our birthday celebrations, our milestone celebrations and our socials.
    Everybody in the Nottingham family has a voice and all ideas are encouraged and listened to. 
    Where are we?
    We’re just a mile outside the City Centre, ten minutes walk from the train station, with good tram and bus links.  The Nottingham Cycle Superhighway is also on our doorstep as is PureGym, where we offer a free membership to staff.  We also have two big supermarkets located close by, together with some fast food options, very handy for a lunchtime treat.
    Nottingham is bustling, busy city of nightlife, culture, sport and stories.  For the seventh year in a row, Nottingham has been awarded a Purple Flag as being recognised as one of the best nights out in the UK.   It has a diverse offering of bars hidden down alleyways, under pavements, indie hotspots, cosy pubs and cocktail bars.
    Visit England awarded Nottingham the Home of Sport title in 2015 and Trent Bridge International Cricket ground, the National Ice Centre, the National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham Forest and Notts County football grounds are all within walking distance of the studio.
    We’re a cultured lot and we like to get our fix at the Theatre Royal, Royal Concert Hall and the world renowed Nottingham Playhouse where some of our greatest actors got their starts.   The Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery has some incredible exhibits and, if you’re a history buff, take a trip to the newly refurbished hilltop Nottingham Castle and visit the Robin Hood statue whilst there.
    Further afield, Wollaton Hall and Park is an amazing venue to visit and was used as a filming location for Wayne Manor in Warner Bros’ ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ film. We also have Sherwood Forest around 15 miles away from the city centre where you can visit the Robin Hood visitors centre and see the Major Oak.
    We are so lucky that Nottingham is surrounded by glorious countryside.   To the North, we are only and quick journey away from the majestic Peak District and the beautiful Vale of Belvoir sits to the East of the City.
    We are confident that you’ll love not only our studio but the city and its surrounding areas.
    Who are 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.
    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, Sumo Digital has enjoyed 18 years of stability and growth since its formation in 2003 and continues to strive for excellence across every single project. 

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