Cinematic Technical Artist

  • San Rafael, CA
  • Full Time
  • Art
  • Experienced

Ascendant Studios is looking for the help of a cinematic designer to implement realtime cinematic content in collaboration with our animation and level design teams. This person will have a strong technical background and excellent communication skills, as well as an artistic eye for cinematics.

This position can be remote or in-person. Our new office, set in an old bank (yes, we kept the vault, aka our game room), has just opened after a 2 year renovation, steps away from shops, restaurants, and San Rafael’s vibrant downtown. 

Founded by industry veterans, Ascendant Studios is a fully independent AAA game studio committed to making richly detailed, visceral, narrative-driven action games of the highest quality that players will never forget. We are currently working on our first title, an imaginative and original new IP, which we have complete ownership and creative control of. 

What you’ll do:

  • Lead initial setup of cinematics in sequencer, implementing animations, cameras, including creating level instances, triggers, and actors.
  • Own transitions between gameplay and cinematics
  • Author cameras and actor performances for interactive dialog
  • Collaborate with level design to manage actors inside cinematics that transition to/from gameplay
  • Be the go-to person for Animation, Audio, VFX, and Lighting to assist them in creating great scenes in game.
  • Communicate closely with Level Design and Art to ensure that cinematic staging needs are accommodated.
  • Work with the Art Director and Lead Animator to faithfully execute the Director’s vision for each cinematic.
  • Identify and fix bugs in cinematics, propose workflows and methodologies to speed up and bulletproof the production process.

Who you are:

  • Shipped at least one videogame title in a cinematic implementation, design, or related role
  • Previous work implementing real time cinematics in interactive applications using a game engine (Unreal, Unity, Frostbite, etc.)
  • Experience working with Sequencer, Matinee, Timeline/Cinemachine, or similar multitrack editors
  • Awareness of and experience with real-time workflows and their limitations.
  • Ability to work independently, problem solve on the fly, and collaborate efficiently across disciplines in a small, fast moving team. Great time management as well as written and verbal communication skills.

Bonus Points:

  • Prior experience with Unreal Engine 4 (or 5) Sequencer and Blueprints
  • Background in animation, level design, or gameplay engineering

More About Ascendant:

Located in beautiful San Rafael, California, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay area, Ascendant is founded by Bret Robbins, creative director and visionary behind the original Dead Space, as well as the campaigns for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, Advanced Warfare, and WWII. The studio’s leadership has assembled a team of industry veterans with more than 600 combined years of BAFTA and Game of the Year award-winning experience on beloved franchises such as Telltale's The Walking Dead, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Borderlands, The Wolf Among Us, Mafia, Tomb Raider, Gears of War, Metal Gear Solid, The Elder Scrolls, Call of Duty, Dead Space and Bioshock. 

At Ascendant, everyone on our dispersed, 90+ person team is encouraged to contribute ideas to our new IP. We value creativity, inclusivity, equality, collaboration and professionalism, and we are fostering a fun, mature and ego-less studio culture built on a foundation of respect and an earnest top-down belief in a healthy work/life balance. 

We believe that teams with varied backgrounds and life experiences make better games. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of age, disability status, gender expression or identity, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, race, religion, veteran status, or any other category protected by law. 

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