Lead Animator (Retro Studios)

Posted 09 Apr 2020

Nintendo of America Inc.

Austin IT Jobs (Media & Creative Jobs)

Retro Studios

Founded in 1998, Retro Studios is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo Company, Ltd. Retro is a state-of-the-art game development studio, working in conjunction with Nintendo to bring award-winning games to Nintendo's cutting-edge next-generation platforms. Retro Studios is located in beautiful Austin, Texas. With rolling hills, scenic waterways, abundant wildlife, vibrant music and film scenes, and a laid-back cosmopolitan culture, Austin is a dynamic city with an excellent quality of life. Austin's sunny weather also supports a great range of outdoor activities, providing plenty of venues for top-notch game developers to recharge and unwind.


• Work with the Development Management Team to execute the determined style and tone of animation for the final product

• Responsible, as an individual contributor, for creating high quality exemplar animation that sets the standards for the team for both in-game and cinematic animation

• Champion the project’s goals and inspire the Animation team to achieve the vision, through actionable tasks.

• Collaborate with Design, Engineering and the Technical Animation staff on animation pipeline

• Coordinate with Development Management Team to understand the evolving needs of the studio

• Evaluate and promote the use of appropriate techniques and systems to support animation goals

• Develop and implement quality assurance protocols to review and approve animation work

• Anticipate and recognize potential conflicts or production issues and recommend solutions

• Mentor a team of animators, supporting and promoting a growth mindset amongst the staff.

• Handle performance evaluations, bonus reviews, and any necessary disciplinary plans for direct reports

• Recommend promotions for individuals within the team

• Responsible for having 1-1 meetings to understand the career goals for individuals within the group

*This job description outlines primary duties and requirements and is not intended to identify all tasks that may be performed; individuals occupying the position may be required to perform other duties. The company may modify job duties from time to time, either in practice or in writing.


• Must have a robust portfolio of high-quality hand-keyed animation work in a variety of styles

• Demonstrated ability to use independent judgment and creativity in developing animation to support art direction and theme as defined by Art Director

• Leadership Skills:

o Self-starter with proactive attitude to improve own qualifications

o Passion for sharing insights and ability to coach less experienced people

o Demonstrated leadership in organizing efforts involving multiple collaborators

o Excellent communication, organizational, personal, and problem-solving skills

o Demonstrated ability to build and manage teams, provide leadership, and creatively solve problems

• Knowledge:

o Thorough understanding of animation technical requirements for video game production pipelines

o Able to critique animations by using various techniques like draw-overs, demos, etc,

o Able to problem solve issues that can occur during the various stages of the animation pipeline from creating the animation to implementing in game.

• Technical Experience with Animation for video game software:

o Experience using industry standard tracking and communication software such as Jira, Confluence, etc.

o Experience working with 3D software, Maya preferred.

o Experience working with animation trees or any other node-based animation systems.

o Familiarity with current rigging methods and evaluating rigs for game and cinematic animations.

• Experience with rigging characters is a plus.

• Experience with already established IP is a plus.

• Prior Cinematics experience is a plus.

We are an equal opportunity employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans...valuing diversity…celebrating strengths.

Education: Undergraduate degree in art related subject; or completion of an intensive art training program; or equivalent independent study and experience.

Work Environment: Fast-paced environment with fluctuating production requirements; may be necessary to change specific duties, projects, schedule or direction on short notice; overtime, weekend, holiday work, and minimal travel may be required.

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