Character Rigger @ Spire Animation Studios, Inc. - Los Angeles, CA

Job Overview

6 days ago

Character Rigger

Spire Animation Studios, Inc. - Los Angeles, CA

Our Studio

At Spire Studios we empower world-class and diverse creative and technical talent from all mediums to entertain global audiences through animated feature films with heartfelt storytelling, captivating worlds, and inspiring characters.

Key to our vision is developing a real time enabled pipeline that brings intimacy back to the animation process while pushing the creative envelope. Our team has worked on many of the earliest and most successful 3D animated films, and have experienced firsthand the exponential increase in visual complexity and crew sizes as narrative appetite and audience expectations have grown. GPU accelerated rendering and game engines unlock new workflows that can upend long held assumptions underpinning the assembly line approach of legacy studios.

The Job

Character Riggers create visually appealing character rigs that hold up to the artistic performance needs and technical requirements of a feature-quality animated production. Character riggers are self-motivated problem solvers with the rare combination of artistic skills and solid technical expertise. They must combine a broad range of expertise and collaborate across departments: they work with animation to deliver high-quality, aesthetically pleasing character performances; modeling to create topology that accommodates production design, sculptural, and rig requirements; lookdev to ensure that shading, texture, and lighting maintain feature quality through a full range of motion; and collaborate with Character FX to accommodate animation and simulation needs. Character Riggers maintain rigs throughout production, troubleshoot animation shots, and help debug general production issues. They write scripts and tools that improve and automate the rigging workflow.


  • Create, test, and maintain robust, intuitive, and visually appealing rigs that meet the creative bar and rigor of feature animation.

  • Create clean, high quality deformations via weight painting and hand-sculpted shapes that hold up through a wide range of motion.

  • Bridge technical and creative teams to translate design and animation goals.

  • Collaborate with animators to design intuitive rig interfaces.

  • Support rigs throughout the production process.

  • Ensure that character assets integrate into the production pipeline, and support downstream needs.

  • Collaborate with fellow riggers to design and build modular tools and motion systems that take the consistency and efficiency of a production into consideration.

  • Partner with the engineering team to develop tools and streamline the rigging process.

  • Advise production management on rig budgets and schedules.

  • Stay updated on important industry trends, technologies, and techniques for character rigging, and explore how we can adapt our workflows to take advantage of these (where applicable).


  • Excellent understanding of the principles of animation.

  • Strong knowledge of anatomy.

  • Understanding of design, form, and movement.

  • Understanding of geometry edge flow and its relationship to deformation.

  • Attention to detail.

  • Excellent communication and visual presentation skills.

  • Natural collaborator with the ability to work and solve problems independently as needed.

  • Flexible self-directed learner who thrives with new challenges.

  • Strong, adaptable problem solving abilities.

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent degree in computer science, computer visualization, or computer animation required or equivalent work experience.

  • 5 years minimum experience in character rigging.

  • Expert experience rigging face, body, and prop rigs.

  • Deep knowledge of character setup and rigging in Autodesk Maya.

  • Programming experience with Python.

  • Working knowledge of linear algebra and transformation matrices.


  • Experience with real-time requirements for character rigs.

  • Experience with Unreal Engine.

  • Background in both feature film and games industries.

  • Fine art experience.

  • Experience with Modeling, Animation, or Simulation/CharacterFX.

Application Materials

  • A reel with your best rigging work demonstrating strong visual aesthetics for deformation and technical ability.

    • It must be clearly presented. Please no sped-up ‘wiggle’ reels.

  • A reel breakdown describing what specific elements you were responsible for in each section of your reel.

  • Resume

  • Bonus: A portfolio of other related artwork including: drawing, sculpture, painting, animation, etc. that showcases your visual character sensibilities.

  • Bonus: A technical reel showcasing rigging workflows or tools you have developed, if applicable.


  • Competitive salary.

  • “Go home” (finish work) at a decent time to hang out with your family and friends.

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