Surfacing Lead - Unannounced Project

At Mainframe Studios, we’re creators first. We eat creative and technical challenges for breakfast and come back for more. We’ve been doing this for 25+ years, and we’re still going strong. We’re lucky enough to have the best team in the business. From our artists to our technical and production folks, everyone is passionate about collaborating on some kickass projects. We’ve partnered with the biggest names in the business to create a huge library of content. With partners like Mattel, Netflix, DreamWorks, Sony, Silvergate, and Nickelodeon, it's no wonder we’ve established ourselves as a creative force to be reckoned with.

WE WANT YOU (and your mad skills)! 

Under the guidance of the Director, Visual Effects Supervisor, Art Director and Surfacing Supervisor, on a CG animated film, the Lead develops the 'look' and surface qualities for characters, props and environments while exploring efficient and streamlined options to generate the desired visual style.

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Under the leadership of the Surfacing Supervisor and/or Surfacing Principal, the Lead Surfacing Artist establishes the visual style of the project. He/she designs, creates and implements textures by using digital painting, image mapping or photographic techniques.
  • Collaborates with the lighting and shading teams to ensure techniques are being achieved and processes are followed.
  • Collaborates with modeling, lighting, rigging and effects teams to troubleshoot creative and technical issues. 
  • Quality checks that all elements are final, approved and ready for lighting department.
  • Collaborates with compositing artists in order to manage render time required and final delivery. 
  • Establishes the project's standard of performance complexity and creative/technical requirements.  Support the team towards its fulfillment.
  • Mentors and trains the artist to consistently strive towards excellence.
  • Collaborates with Surfacing Supervisor in casting artists to create and apply textures based on their skill set.
  • Generates and applies textures with the goal of optimal performance while being mindful of effective and efficient use of production resources.
  • Provides input on artist's performance review as needed.
  • Collaborates with the production management team to prioritize assignments pending production schedule.  
  • Provides vision, feedback, motivation and encouragement to the team.
  • Collaborates with the Surfacing Supervisor or Surfacing Principal to manage the workflow within the Surfacing Dept. in order to fulfill production schedule requirements on a weekly basis.
  • Interprets and implements notes and feedback from Director(s) and/or Surfacing Supervisor in a timely and qualitatively acceptable way.
  • Adheres to digital file management protocols.
  • Supports and integrates the values of Mainframe: which include a commitment to innovation, creativity, professionalism and inspiration.
  • Interacts respectfully and professionally with colleagues, staff members and clients. 
  • Additional duties as requested.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Degree and/or diploma in fine arts or animation or equivalent experience preferred.
  • 2-3+ years of experience working in a professional environment within their discipline.
  • Superior expertise in UV mapping and texture layout using Maya.
  • Advanced proficiency using a variety of rendering tools including Maya, Redshift, Renderman, Substance Painter/Designer, ZBrush, Mudbox, Katana, and Nuke is required.
  • Excellent painting skills with an in-depth understanding of color theory and application.
  • Excellent sense of design and a keen eye for detail.
  • Advanced experience in advanced surfacing techniques such as global illumination and subsurface scattering.
  • Ability to collaborate and facilitate feedback requested by executives and/or clients as required.
  • Excellent ability to communicate ideas clearly and concisely both verbally and visually. Practices attentive and active listening.  Incorporates feedback and direction received from the Director/Supervisor.
  • Ability to inspire, mentor and support crew both technically and creatively. Open to and encourages feedback and new initiatives. Shares information and techniques with team members.
  • Collaborates with Dept. Supervisor and production management team to organize workflow and completion.
  • Adaptable and able to change course of action quickly per production needs. Highly motivated, pro-active, solutions-oriented, solid work ethic and positive attitude. Ability to work well under pressure. Consistently strives to expand knowledge base.
  • Efficient and detail oriented. Ability to prioritize duties in order to fulfill both personal quota and team quota requirements.
  • Excellent problem solving skills and ability to work collaboratively. Ability to quickly assimilate new information and adapt as needed.
  • Makes decisions in a timely manner. Accepts accountability for own actions. Creatively solves problems, eliminates roadblocks and focuses on issue at hand.
  • Ability to deliver assignments on time and meet or exceed performance objectives within the production budget and scheduled parameters.


Mainframe Studios is an Equal Opportunity Employer, which means we will not discriminate against any individual based on race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military or veteran status, disability, or any factors prohibited by applicable law. This policy applies to every aspect of employment at Mainframe Studios, including recruitment, hiring, training, advancement, and termination. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and partners.