3D Principal Groom Artist - ON

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 VP Creative Technology and/or the Show CG Supervisor, the Principal Groom Artist is responsible for leading the development of the 'look' and "groom" of the hair and fur for characters for the various projects in the studio while exploring efficient and streamlined options to generate the desired visual styles. The Principal Groom Artist is also responsible for leading the development of the Groom tools when used on environments in situations such as grass/flowers.

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Under the guidance of the VP Creative Technology and/or the Show Director, Art Director/Production Designer, devises and innovates the hair/fur surfacing and grooming of assets using hair/grooming tools, digital painting and image mapping.
  • Establishes projects' standards of performance complexity and creative/technical requirements and supports the teams towards their fulfillment.
  • Collaborates with the Principal Surfacing Artist, Principal Lighting Artist and Simulation Supervisor to ensure techniques are being achieved and processes are followed.
  • Works with the show's Surfacing Supervisor and Simulation Supervisor to achieve the agreed look within the pipeline.
  • Collaborates with modeling, lighting, rigging and simulation teams to troubleshoot creative and technical issues.
  • Gives direction to the groom artists to make sure the shows needs are met for both visual and time management.
  • Working with the Production Technology Department and under the guidance of the VP Creative Technology, devises and innovates methods of working with groom/surfacing tools that meet production requirements.
  • Quality checks elements to ensure they are working in the correct manner within the pipeline.
  • Collaborates with the supervisors in order to manage render time required and final delivery.
  • Mentors and trains the artists to consistently strive towards excellence. Provides vision, feedback, motivation and encouragement to the team.
  • Interprets and implements notes and feedback from Director, Art Director/Production Designer, CG Supervisor, Dept. Supervisor or Leads in a timely and qualitatively acceptable way.
  • Generates Hair/Fur grooms with the goal of optimal performance, while being mindful of effective and efficient use of production resources.
  • Adheres to digital file management protocols.
  • Aligns and engages with the values of Mainframe: a culture of community, connectivity, creativity and collaboration.
  • Interacts respectfully and professionally with colleagues, staff members and clients.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Degree and/or diploma in fine arts and animation or equivalent experience required.
  • 8+ years' of industry (animation/VFX/digital media) experience. Exceptions can be possible in some cases, with the right experience.
  • Experience with Yeti, Shave and Haircut or Xgen is required.
  • Expertise in UV mapping and texture layout using Maya.
  • Exceptional painting skills in Photoshop and Substance Painter.
  • Proficiency using a variety of rendering tools including Red Shift, Renderman, Arnold, and Maya.
  • Knowledge and experience with lighting practices is extremely beneficial.
  • Ability to manage and decipher complex shading network in Maya and material network in Substance Designer.
  • Exceptional painting skills with a superior understanding of colour theory and application.
  • Outstanding sense of design and a keen eye for detail.
  • Exceptional experience in advanced surfacing techniques such as global illumination and subsurface scattering.
  • Identifies emerging talent in the department for development into leadership roles, identifying these artists to both the VP Creative Technology and the HR department.
  • Ability to collaborate and facilitate feedback requested by executives and/or clients as required.
  • Ability to communicate ideas clearly and concisely both verbally and visually. Practices attentive and active listening.
  • Ability to inspire, mentor and support crew. Open to and encourages feedback and new initiatives. Shares information and techniques with team members.
  • Highly motivated, solid work ethic, solutions-oriented, and positive attitude. Ability to work well under pressure. Self-motivated and pro-active. Consistently strives to expand knowledge base.
  • Fosters a commitment to quality and effective work from not only themselves, but from all artists in the surfacing department.
  • Ability to deliver assignments on time and meet or exceed performance objects within the production budget and scheduled parameters.
  • Efficient and detail oriented. Ability to complete work with minimal supervision.
  • Makes decisions in a timely manner. Accepts accountability for own actions.
  • Creatively solves problems, eliminates roadblocks and focuses on issue at hand.


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. Should you require accommodation throughout the recruitment process, please let us know your requirements when contacted.