Software Engineer, Character/Crowds

$150,000 yearly
  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Emeryville, CA, USA
  • Sep 08, 2020
Full time Engineering

Job Description

Pixar's Software R&D Team develops and maintains the suite of in-house movie production software used to build and animate our characters. With several movies and short projects in production at any given time, Pixar is an exciting and dynamic environment where adaptable and motivated individuals thrive. At Pixar, the world's best storytellers and artists are constantly seeking to extend our creative and technological reach, and everyone has a chance to contribute!

We are seeking an experienced engineer to join the team that provides the software used by our Characters and Crowds artists. This includes algorithms for high-performance geometry deformation and graphical visualization, the UX used by the artists to author and control these behaviors, and pipeline tools to enable efficient collaboration and information transfer in the digital moviemaking process. This is a front-line engineering position that requires the ability to communicate effectively with artists on a spectrum of technical experience, as well as coordinate with project management and engineers from other Pixar Software R&D teams.


  • Work directly with technical and non-technical artists to support their use of Pixar's proprietary filmmaking software

  • Maintain and improve the software individually and collaboratively with a team of peer engineers

  • Identify, triage, debug, and resolve high-priority issues affecting production artists

  • Work with users and technical leadership to propose, plan, implement, and deploy new features

  • Work comfortably with complex, multi-layered technology pipeline


  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or equivalent formal training

  • Strong C++ skills with at least 3 years of professional experience

  • Solid understanding of practical software performance concerns

  • Excellent debugging and problem-solving skills with high attention to detail

  • Familiarity with the fundamental mathematics of computer graphics

  • Appreciation for the importance of long-term code health, peer review, automated testing, and documentation

  • Ability to be comfortable and successful in an environment with constantly evolving priorities

  • Ability to balance rapid delivery of critical solutions with long-term product quality


  • Experience developing in a UNIX / Linux environment

  • Experience with parallel computing and GPU programming

  • Familiarity with Python as a scripting language

  • Knowledge of 3D content applications and their APIs (e.g. Maya, Houdini)

  • Experience working closely with both technical and non-technical clients

  • Detail oriented and organized with excellent communication skills

  • Ability to build positive and effective working relationships with diverse groups of colleagues and coworkers

Pixar is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We know our storytelling is at its best when we include, celebrate and embrace difference. We strive to be a diverse workforce that is representative of our audiences, and where all can thrive and belong. We are committed to building a team that includes and respects a variety of voices, identities, backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. | Follow us on Twitter @PixarRecruiting.