Full Time Job

Senior Staff R&D Engineer - All Disciplines


Vancouver, BC 05-29-2024
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  • Paid
  • Full Time
  • Executive (10+ years) Experience
Job Description
Who We Are:

Industrial Light & Magic, founded in 1975 by George Lucas, has created some of the most iconic moments in motion picture history. From Star Wars to Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, The Avengers, theme park rides and interactive experiences, ILM continues to expand the possibilities of what visual entertainment can be.

ILM's Research and Development (R&D) group develops the ground-breaking technology that empowers our artists to create dazzling visuals. ILM's innovations have won 34 Scientific and Technical Academy Awards®. Today, we are 70+ visually-minded software engineers, working side-by-side with over a thousand digital artists in a fast-paced, intensely collaborative, creative film production environment, across studios in San Francisco, Vancouver, London, Sydney, and Mumbai.

Summary of the Role:

This role is considered Hybrid, which means the employee will work 2-3 days onsite at a Company designated location and occasionally from home.

We seek engineers to join our R&D team and help us develop tools and production techniques across all areas of visual effects and feature animation production:
Image processing, compositing, and rotoscoping, including depth estimation, image segmentation, generative in-painting, and plate relighting.
Simulating natural phenomena, rigid-body destruction, crowds and procedural animation.
Lighting, texturing, look-development, and layered material definition.
Modeling, rigging, and animation of bodies and faces, including soft-body dynamic simulation of cloth, hair, and flesh.
Tools, structures, and pipeline systems that define how artists assemble and manage massively complex 3D scenes, and user interfaces for authoring, validating, publishing, and tracking 3D and 2D data as it moves through a network of automated batch processes.

We welcome engineers with a passion for applying the latest machine learning technology to these challenges and more!

At ILM, a good idea is a good idea, regardless of where it comes from! Do you thrive in a creative environment? Do you enjoy sharing knowledge and learning from others? If you love art, technology, and movies, then this might be the role you're looking for.

ILM strives to be an inclusive environment, and the R&D group in particular embraces promising individuals with a variety backgrounds and experiences.

What You'll Do:
A little bit of everything! Develop innovative algorithms, craft artist-friendly user interfaces, optimize data management processes, and build special purpose content creation tools that handle large-scale photo-realistic visual effects production. Occasionally, you might work on shots alongside artists. You'll have an opportunity to lead teams and projects and influence our development where appropriate.
Work with engineers across all ILM's studios, splitting time between long-term software development projects and day-to-day artist support, consultation, and problem-solving.
Collaborate with commercial software vendors in developing and deploying the next generation of machine-learning-based tools wherever applicable.

What to Bring:
Proficiency in C++ and Python on Linux.
Knowledge of and/or eagerness to learn principles of visual effects, potentially with a specialty such as modeling, animation, lighting, rendering, image processing, etc.
Experience with Maya, Houdini, Katana, Mari or other commercial software applications is helpful, but a readiness to learn works as well.
Experience with machine learning techniques, processes, and toolsets.
Working knowledge of standard data formats: OpenEXR, OpenVDB, Alembic, USD, etc.
Enthusiasm for designing artist-friendly interfaces using GUI toolkits: Qt, PySide, QML, etc. You don't need to be a professional UX designer, but you should have a keen sense for how creative people use technology to work together in production.
Appreciation of software development principles: object-oriented design, test-driven development, source code management, build and release processes.
Experience leading and mentoring broad multidisciplinary teams and others around you.
Expert level knowledge and substantial experience developing in at least one of the above listed niches within this industry.

Education / Experience:
BS and/or advanced degree in computer science or related field, or similar experience.
Typically 15+ years or demonstrated experience with professional software development and/or VFX production.


The hiring range for this position in Vancouver is C$153,600 to C$196,700 per year. The base pay actually offered will take into account internal equity and also may vary depending on the candidate's geographic region, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience among other factors. A full range of medical, financial, and/or other variable pay or benefits, may be offered dependent on the level and position offered.

This position is with ILM (Vancouver) Inc., which is part of a business we call Industrial Light & Magic.

Jobcode: Reference SBJ-d51zjz-3-233-232-160-42 in your application.

Salary Details
Salary Range: $153,600 to $196,700 Per Year ($ USD)
Company Profile

Lucasfilm is among the world’s leading entertainment service companies, a pioneer in visual effects and sound across multiple mediums, and is home to the legendary Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.