Software Engineer

Burbank, CA

At Walt Disney Animation Studios we have a deep commitment to the philosophy that creativity inspires technology, and technology inspires creativity. Engineers on our Production Technology team develop and implement new algorithms to solve challenging problems for all of our animated content. Through constant collaboration with artists and end users, Production Technology creates the tools, environments, and pipelines that our production teams use daily.

We are looking for a Software Engineer to join our Production Technology team, as a member of the team responsible for interactive visualization and real-time renderers at our studio. In this role, you will partner with artists, studio leadership, technical directors, cross-team software engineers, Disney Research, and other stakeholders across the Walt Disney family of Studios. Your work will focus on the design and implementation of innovative workflows, as well as state-of-the-art solutions motivated by our long term vision for Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Projects Include: 

  • Developing Real-Time Interactive GPU Accelerated Renderers for use in Film Making.
  • Working closely with Artists and Technical Directors to support workflows and solutions.
  • Support a spectrum of rendering technologies from high-performance Virtual Production (VR) through to Cinematic Quality.
  • Contributing to development and extension of an Open Source Graphics Engine and associated pipelines.
  • Integration of graphics solutions into various Content Creation Applications.

What does it mean to be a part of Production Technology?

  • Our engineers get the opportunity to work on the full stack of our tools, from developing the underlying algorithms, through to building intuitive & artist-friendly interfaces.
  • We work in a collaborative, cross-site environment in the pursuit of simple and performant solutions to complex problems.
  • The team works hand in hand with artists to make the tools we need for the incredibly complex and rich characters and environments featured in our movies.
  • Develop new artist-centric interaction models using the latest hardware and technologies.

Key Qualifications:

  • 1-5 Years designing and developing complex user facing software, ideally in a studio environment.
  • Proficiency in C/C++, ideally C++11/14, with the ability to quickly produce clear, testable code.
  • Experience with USD or similar data formats as used in real-time applications.
  • Experience writing/debugging multithreaded and SIMD code including the use of intrinsics.
  • Experience with performance measurement, profiling and analysis tools.
  • Strong communication, teamwork and problem solving skills, balancing the timeliness of solutions with their sustainability. Able to prioritize competing demands based on business value.
  • Desire to work closely with in-house artists and engineers to prototype, develop, and support solutions to our filmmaking challenges
  • BS or Masters in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or other related field; or comparable industry experience

Bonus Qualifications:

  • Experience developing in content creation applications such as Maya and Houdini.
  • Experience with underlying real-time graphics engine internals such as those used by Unreal & Unity.
  • Knowledge of real-time animation, graphics techniques and algorithms.
  • Strong mathematical fundamentals, including linear algebra, statistics and numerical methods.
  • Knowledge of Computer System Level Architectures for CPU & GPU
  • Knowledge of Modern GPU programming APIs such as OpenGL, Vulkan or DirectX as related to real-time rendering.
  • Knowledge of shading languages, such as GLSL or HLSL or Cuda.
  • The hiring range for this position is $ 136,038 to $182,490 per year, which factors in various geographic regions. 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 bonus and/or long-term incentive units may be provided as part of the compensation package, in addition to the full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits, dependent on the level and position offered.

About Walt Disney Animation Studios:

Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2019’s Frozen 2, the biggest animated film of all time, to our 60th animated feature, Encanto, releasing November 2021. Among the studio's timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Frozen, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Walt Disney Pictures, which is part of a business we call Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Walt Disney Pictures is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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