Added by on 2014-07-01

Disney Animation Studios Recruiting Senior Software Engineer, Research Scientist & Production Supervisor

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Senior Software Engineer

Walt Disney Animation Studios has been combining the best in artistry and storytelling with cutting-edge technology to bring wonderful new characters and adventures to the big screen for audiences around the world. We currently have exciting opportunities for Senior Software Engineers with a specialty / keen interest in optimization and performance tuning to join the Production Pipeline Team located in Burbank, CA.
This is a unique opportunity to join a small and highly innovative team working on our new rendering project. We are seeking a senior software engineer with strong software engineering skills, a proven ability to analyze and performance tune software.
You will be expected to excel in a highly collaborative environment, with minimal supervision. You must be comfortable supporting your peers by bringing fresh insight for shared problem solving, and value team success as much as individual excellence. You will work directly with production users to understand their requirements, and appreciate how their success is influenced by the technology we deliver.
Senior Software Engineers are responsible for analyzing production procedures and problems, evaluating the effectiveness of existing solutions, making recommendations to improve quality, efficiency, and workflow, and developing software tools for animation production. In this specific role, you will be working with artists, technical directors, and other software engineers to identify software slowness, analyze causes, and recommend/implement solutions, initially focused on our new global illumination rendering technology.

Specific Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or other related field
Master’s degree or PhD preferred
Five+ years experience optimizing C++ code; experience with C++ 11 on Linux strongly desired
Multi-threaded programming experience strongly desired
Strong mathematical fundamentals, including linear algebra and numerical methods
Experience in the development of 3D graphics applications and OpenGL is desirable
Parallel programming experience an advantage
Proven performance optimization experience on the CPUs (SSE/MMX/multi-core) and GPUs (heterogeneous computing, GPGPU).
Experience with TBB, Boost and lock-free programming a plus
Knowledge of multi-core CPU/GPGPU programming
Knowledge of animation, graphics techniques and algorithms is preferred
The Walt Disney Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Research Scientist

As a Research Scientist you will identify and innovate novel ways for the Walt Disney company to leverage high performance computing. The possibilities for exploration include but are not limited to faster image making processes that provide more interactive artist experiences, and innovative systems for increasing complexity that allows creation of more beautiful, more cost effective, and more entertaining stories for an audience of millions.
The ideal candidate will have recently completed post doctorate work and/or a PhD thesis in science, engineering, or mathematics with research experience and a strong publication record in one or more of the following areas:

High performance computing
Massively parallel systems (multicore, many core or distributed systems)
Computer architecture
Large-scale numerical simulation


Proactively identify greatest opportunities for innovation and set goals to drive initiatives to proof of concept or prototype demonstrations.
Collaborate with Production Teams, Engineers, Interns, and Consultants.
Desire to work with demanding challenges in visual computing (animation, rendering, and image processing)
Participate in the global R&D community through publication of results, collaboration with universities, and participation in professional service activities and top-tier research conferences
Set goals, drive initiatives, and deliver results with minimal supervision
PhD earned in area of specialization
Prior experience in visual computing is a plus
Strong record of achievement in applied research, excellent academic credentials
Disney Research provides a research foundation for the many business units within the Walt Disney Company including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, Parks and Resorts, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Disney Interactive Media Group, ESPN, and Pixar Animation Studios. It is a network of research facilities offering the best attributes of academia and the industry with sibling labs located in Pittsburgh, Zurich, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco.
We highly encourage publication; it is our principal mechanism for quality control. The Disney Research Scientist will engage the global research community through world-wide university collaborations and leadership service in top-tier research conferences as well as collaborations within the Walt Disney Company. Disney Research works actively with business units of the Walt Disney Company at all stages of research, from conception to commercialization – and the results are enjoyed by millions of global spectators.

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Production Supervisor

The Production Supervisor (PS) is responsible for managing the day­to­day production within a specific department(s). In all duties below, the PS must work in collaboration with the department head. The success of their partnership will be a primary factor in the department’s success on the film.
In addition, the PS is a leadership role in the studio and, as such, must accept the responsibility of supporting and representing the directives of the studio and the production leadership.


Work with PM and/or AP to meet overall production scheduling and man week requirements; help ensure the man weeks and schedule are updated as changes are made to the film’s production flow and/or staffing plans
Understand how changes may affect the work week, scheduling, and overtime
Look ahead to ensure weekly quotas, department milestones and inventory expectations are met. Strategize with Department Head, film’s upper management, and other PSs to resolve productivity or inventory issues
Collaborate with Department Head to ensure complexity of work is consistent with department budget and schedule
Strategize with Department Head and film’s upper management on how to resolve overages
Collaborate with Department Head to develop and manage department workflow processes
Develop and manage internal department schedules and staffing requirements.
Create a list of critical assumptions and highlight any vulnerability
Create and maintain reports that clearly illustrate department and individual artist productivity
Collaborate with Department Head to cast assignments and issue deadlines to artists
Perform walk­arounds to check in with the crew
Drive dailies for the department and any other opportunities for director approval
Act as the primary production person within the department; supervise and mentor any Production Assistants in that department
Partner with Department Head to coach, mentor, and give performance feedback to all department members on the film. In partnership with Artist Management, drive the feedback process and deliver feedback
Partner with Department Head to manage conflict within the department and report to Artist Management, HR, and production leadership when necessary
In partnership with the Department Head, develop a plan for training crew in the department tasks and collaborate with the training department as needed
Manage, motivate, and create an environment conducive to achieving quotas and artistic achievements
Represent the department in weekly production meetings. Report department progress and discuss solutions to issues impeding the department
Ensure all production data is tracked via the film’s production­tracking database
Trouble­shoot wherever necessary to ensure timely delivery of sequences; determine, with the Associate Producer and Production Manager, when schedules will be modified to meet efficiency or inventory demandsManage day­to­day department planning issues, such as overtime and vacation; review time sheets of the department crew


4 years minimum industry experience
Bachelor’s degree in film / TV production or equivalent experience
Strong organization skills
Must have the ability to prioritize tasks at hand, assisting on all phases of production
Strong understanding of CG animation processes
Clear understanding of the principles of animation production
Computer database skills a plus
Demonstrated success engaging in problem­solving techniques

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