Added by on 2013-04-22

Disney Animation Recruiting Shading/Lighting Technical Directors

We are seeking Shading/Lighting Technical Directors (S/L TDs) for upcoming projects at our Burbank, CA studio.

S/L TDs are responsible for providing support to our Look Development and Lighting teams in a variety of areas including scripting, shader development, and writing tools to facilitate the CG animation process.

S/L TDs should have a strong desire to be close to the filmmaking process. They function as an integral part of the department, designing or optimizing processes and tools to best fit production needs. They should look at production systems holistically and have the ability to visualize the larger pipeline, understanding the impact of their actions, and how to optimize processes and tools. S/L TDs also have an important role in our ongoing efforts to push the boundaries of what we’re capable of producing in our rendering toolsets.


Provide support to our Look Development and Lighting artists in a variety of areas including scripting, shader development, and writing tools to facilitate the CG animation process

Design and optimize processes and tools to fit production needs
View production systems holistically and have the ability to visualize the larger pipeline while understanding the impact of their actions
Act as a collaborator with the larger Technical Director team
Active engagement with artistic and technical leadership in the ongoing evolution of the production process
Become involved in mentoring apprentices and other Technical Directors in Shading/Lighting tools and processes
Active engagement with the Technology Department in the research and development of rendering methodologies
Involvement in the positive representation of Walt Disney Animation Studios in the larger filmmaking and computer graphics community


PhD in Computer Science, a related field or equivalent work experience (6+ years experience in CG animation, visual effects or video games production, or graphics research environment)
Strong scripting and programming skills including Python and C++
Ability to write and apply innovative shaders and a deep understanding of rendering techniques and methodologies
Software development experience on production systems
Advanced Maya experience and in-depth knowledge of Linux
Renderman or similar experience along with solid understanding of node-based compositing packages (i.e. Shake, Nuke, or similar)
Understanding of color, shading, and lighting techniques
Strong problem solving skills
Ability to work in a collaborative environment, offer mentorship, and take direction from department and show leadership
Understanding of environmental effects simulation techniques and Houdini a plus

Apply here for this position


Thank you for your interest in opportunities with Walt Disney Animation Studios.

In order to apply, please fill out our online application to create a profile. Once your account has been activated you will be able to submit your resume, portfolio/reel (if applicable) and apply for open positions.

You should submit a portfolio/reel that demonstrates your artistic ability. Your samples will be evaluated by members of our artistic staff. From their conclusions, we are able to determine if your knowledge, skills and experience apply to Walt Disney Animation Studios.

You should include the following, if applicable:



Breakdown List

Reel and Portfolio Formats

Your demo reel should be between 3 and 5 minutes. The following formats are accepted:


Files will only be accepted as .jpg, .pdf., .doc, .mov and .mp4 format, .jpg and .pdf files must be RGB color format – minimum size 11″ X 8.5″ (1553 X1200 pixels) at 150 dpi and follow the naming format: Firstname_Lastname_#.jpg (john_smith_01.jpg). Do not use spaces or any special characters (&%}$#@(!*=+:>?~\|,;) in the file names. A single PDF file can be presented as a booklet form containing multiple files. Each file is limited to a maximum size of 100MB.


Indicate your URL on the Website page in your profile. Please note, if we call you in the future, we may need a physical portfolio and/or DVD/CD media for playback and further review.
Portfolio and/or DVD/CD

If you are submitting a portfolio, please send copies of your work only (do not send originals). We are unable to return any material. We recommend that you present your best work and limit your items accordingly.

All DVDs must be NTSC with a Region Code 1 (USA, Canada) or Region Code 0 (Region Free). Digital files will only be accepted as a .pdf, .jpg, .tiff, .eps, .mov and .mp4 format. QuickTime movies will be accepted on CD or DVD provided they adhere to the following desired format: DVD/video, Apple Sorenson codec with a “.mov” extension. This format may require QuickTime Pro or other video editing software for execution. For more information on QuickTime and QuickTime Pro please see

After creating your profile, print the mail in receipt and attach it to your portfolio/reel. Send all material to:

Walt Disney Animation Studios
Attn: Animation Resources
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-4854
Reel and Portfolio Formats

Your submission should represent your skill set and representative process samples such as sketches, gray scale models and/or works in progress.

Modelers should include wire frames and turnarounds.

Riggers should display tool sets.

Animators should include a variety of physical movements and actions, but must include facial animation.

Look Development should include texture paints, maps and the final look, if applicable.

Story and Visual Development Artists should present sketchbook samples as well as finished compositions.

Life drawings are not required, but preferred for all submissions. We ask that you not show work currently in production and/or under confidential guidelines at other studios or companies. We understand that this may limit the showcase of your capabilities. If this is your situation, we recommend that your submission display only the work available to the public with an indication that a later submission will be provided once approved or released.
Reel Breakdown List

All media submitted should include a Breakdown List (see sample). This list explains what work you were responsible for and, if applicable, what technique/software was used. Example: Shot 1, The City, Maya 6.0, I animated the people walking down the street. Buildings and trees modeled by Jane Doe; Shot 2, Ocean, Maya 6.0, I modeled, rigged and animated the fish; Shot 3, Woodland, Acrylic Paint, I painted all of the backgrounds. Some artists list their responsibilities directly onto their reels as each segment is playing or list it in their portfolio. It is helpful to describe your role in the media/portfolio you are sharing with us.
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