Position at Industrial Light & Magic
The Matchmove (MM)/Layout Artist is responsible for creating camera moves and rough blocking animation within a digital environment. MM/Layout Artists work closely with the Animation Director and Visual Effects Supervisor to establish composition, timing, and continuity for each shot. When live-action photography is involved, the MM/Layout Artist accurately recreates the set, camera moves, and actor performances to allow for seamless effects integration.
In the CG MM/Layout process, Camera matchmoves and original CG camera moves are integrated to create the framework of each sequence (matchmoving is the replication of the real set, camera and camera move within the computer for later use by animators and technical directors). Often this includes manipulating both 2d and 3d elements, while maintaining accurate camera perspective.
In some cases a sequence might be entirely Computer Generated with no live action background elements. The MM/Layout Artist works as part of the larger layout team which acts as a central hub for all shot preparation to ensure continuity and camera accuracy in CG Elements. While matchmoving is one requirement of the position, ILM MM/Layout Artists perform many tasks outside of matchmoving.
• Performs matchmoving duties such as camera tracking, character matching (matchanim), solving lens distortion, deformation matching of surfaces, solving native stereo plates
• Responsible for multi-plate splicing and stitching, adding creative plate post-moves, creative stereo (i.e. Technical layout)
• Responsible for Previz, postviz and techviz (prep for location shooting or ride development); Process inbound/outbound moco data
• Photomodels, performs environment/scene setup verifying correct assets are being used, edit ranges are correct, and generating initial data for downstream artists including animation/TDs/comp, lidar processing, set dressing (i.e. Scene setup)
• Creates creative camera work for non-plate shots and camera takeover shots; originate entirely CG camera animation (i.e. CG camera work)
• Solve facial animation from face cams (i.e. face-capture)
• Under the direction of the project Supervisors, setup the technical and aesthetic approaches of the matchmove work for a shot, sequence, or an entire aspect of a show
• Convert background plates to various formats to use with specific software to create digital motion files that match the plate photography; animate any live action character or relative object in the scene
• Model the set geometry used to create the matchmove and environment for Animators and Technical Directors
• Light, render and composite files with the background to judge the move
Education / Experience
• At least three years of relevant professional VFX experience and at least a college level diploma or higher in computer graphics, fine arts, design, or photography, or related field; OR at least five years of relevant professional VFX experience in lieu of education.
Required Skills / Competencies
• Ability to reproduce exact camera moves within a computer environment.
• Understanding of photography and the effects of different lenses on perspectives.
• Good written and oral communication skills including strong interpersonal skills.
• Excellent problem solving skills including the ability to work under tight deadlines.
Preferred Skills / Competencies
• Advanced knowledge of Linux, Maya, 3dEqualizer (or other tracking software).
• Willingness to learn new tools, proven ability to be detail-oriented and to work efficiently within a production environment.
• Location and/or Stage experience including matchmove set ups; data wrangling; hdr/digimatte/texture/pmodel photography; lidar scanning; lens grid filming; on-stage (real-time) camera capture/assistance.
• Knowledge of Nuke is a plus
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