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Character Technical Art Director - Sledgehammer Games

Sledgehammer Games
ART0001KN Requisition #
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Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, we’re the video game development team behind Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: WWII. Since our founding in 2009, making AAA games has been our greatest passion. The strength of our teams makes us not only excellent at what we do, but at how we do it. We firmly believe in supporting our talented employees to be the best they can be, whether they are artists, engineers, producers, or designers. Here at Sledgehammer Games, everyone is a gamemaker. We’re a Call of Duty studio that prides itself on innovation and taking risks, which is one of the most rewarding aspects of game development. With world-class audio, design, engineering, and art teams, we’ve been able to achieve some of the highest-quality game execution of any studio in the industry. We love what we do and work hard to make sure that each new game we make is even better than the last. Creativity is key, and we’re looking for all-new talent and game developers for our exciting next project.

At Sledgehammer Games, you’ll interact with any asset that deforms or animates.  From humans to creatures, weapons to vehicles, collapsible buildings to animated props, you will setup (rig/skin), export, and integrate assets into the game. You’ll guide the pipelines for these assets, while reviewing work from your supportive character tech art department. 


Working directly with your customers (animators, level designers), upstream partners (modeling departments) and with the direction of the Character Tech Director, you’ll develop best practices for working within the existing systems, while finding ways to expand and innovate those systems. Your joy of scripting and deep knowledge of Maya lends itself to tools and pipeline authoring, while looking for ways to address issues while troubleshooting problems from art to engine. 


The ideal candidate has a large swath of experience rigging and skinning efficient game assets and has an exceptional knowledge of the inner-workings of Maya. They understand realtime and rigid cloth sim, and they are familiar with blendshape facial rigging and body correctives, tool automation, motion capture integration, procedural rigging, asset scanning, game export and asset integration. They are process driven, quality minded, anti-hack (but balanced by knowing when something ‘just needs to get in’), open to feedback, and continually looking for ways to help better the working environment of those around them.  Always on the lookout for new tech and processes, they’re ready to find practical ways to implement solutions to benefit their customers.   They put their customers first, but always understand the ‘why’ behind their asks to produce the best possible results based upon their expertise.



Your Mission:

  • Supervises character setup across humans, weapons, vehicles, props, etc, while taking direction from the Character Tech Director.
  • Maintains, develops, and improves Python scripts / plugins to support multiple tool suites:  rigging, skinning, mocap, animation, modeling, shading, physics, export.
  • Debugging in-engine problems related to associated assets.
  • Setup of runtime cloth/rigid sim.
  • Rig/skin/export/test a variety of ‘character’ assets required by the game:  Humans, creatures, props, vehicles, destructible sets, weapons.
  • Passionate about character setup, tools authoring, pipeline optimization, and customer service.  Enjoys working with other people to solve their problems, and come up with better solutions to past issues.


Player Profile:

  • Have held a senior role at previous studio.
  • Degree in related CG field.
  • 6+ years in computer graphics.
  • 3+ years in AAA video game development.
  • Extremely proficient in Maya.
  • Extremely proficient in Python programming and the Maya API / commands suite.
  • Understands the technical requirements and quirks of exporting model and anim assets to the game, works within the technical limitations of the system.
  • Has a portfolio of past tools illustrating proficiency in such things as mocap application, procedural rig builders, posing tools, skin saving/loading, batch file modification.
  • Excellent communicator, self-starter, customer service oriented, owns their work.  Should be able to receive direction, but not require it constantly.  Asks questions, solves problems, improves the system.  A constant willingness to learn, and share.


  • Knowledge of other programming languages like C++, Java, C#, C, mel, etc.
  • Knowledge of facial blendshape rigging, scanning, FACS.
  • Knowledge of the motion capture / Motion Builder / cleanup.
  • Knowledge of 3d scanning & cleanup.
  • Shipped a major title in a related genre.

Demo Requirements:

  • Examples of past rigs & skinning.
  • Examples of related tools / UI’s, and their usages.
  • Can articulate how their tools and processes bettered the environment they were in.

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