Lead Animator

Retro Studios
Austin, TX, USA
Job type: Permanent

View all Retro Studios jobs

Job Description


  • Work with the Development Management Team to execute the determined style and tone of animation for the final product
  • Responsible, as an individual contributor, for creating high quality exemplar animation that sets the standards for the team for both in-game and cinematic animation
  • Champion the project’s goals and inspire the Animation team to achieve the vision, through actionable tasks. 
  • Collaborate with Design, Engineering and the Technical Animation staff on animation pipeline
  • Coordinate with Development Management Team to understand the evolving needs of the studio
  • Evaluate and promote the use of appropriate techniques and systems to support animation goals
  • Develop and implement quality assurance protocols to review and approve animation work
  • Anticipate and recognize potential conflicts or production issues and recommend solutions
  • Mentor a team of animators, supporting and promoting a growth mindset amongst the staff.
  • Handle performance evaluations, bonus reviews, and any necessary disciplinary plans for direct reports
  • Recommend promotions for individuals within the team 
  • Responsible for having 1-1 meetings to understand the career goals for individuals within the group

*This job description outlines primary duties and requirements and is not intended to identify all tasks that may be performed; individuals occupying the position may be required to perform other duties.  The company may modify job duties from time to time, either in practice or in writing.

Skills & Requirements


  • Must have a robust portfolio of high-quality hand-keyed animation work in a variety of styles
  • Demonstrated ability to use independent judgment and creativity in developing animation to support art direction and theme as defined by Art Director
  • Leadership Skills:
  • Self-starter with proactive attitude to improve own qualifications
    • Passion for sharing insights and ability to coach less experienced people
    • Demonstrated leadership in organizing efforts involving multiple collaborators
    • Excellent communication, organizational, personal, and problem-solving skills
    • Demonstrated ability to build and manage teams, provide leadership, and creatively solve problems
  • Knowledge:
  • Thorough understanding of animation technical requirements for video game production pipelines
    • Able to critique animations by using various techniques like draw-overs, demos, etc,
    • Able to problem solve issues that can occur during the various stages of the animation pipeline from creating the animation to implementing in game.  
  • Technical Experience with Animation for video game software:
  • Experience using industry standard tracking and communication software such as Jira, Confluence, etc.
    • Experience working with 3D software, Maya preferred. 
    • Experience working with animation trees or any other node-based animation systems. 
    • Familiarity with current rigging methods and evaluating rigs for game and cinematic animations.
  • Experience with rigging characters is a plus. 
  • Experience with already established IP is a plus.
  • Prior Cinematics experience is a plus.
  • Education:
  • Undergraduate degree in art related subject; or completion of an intensive art training program; or equivalent independent study and experience.

We are an equal opportunity employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans....valuing diversity…celebrating strengths.

Additional Information

  • Relocation assistance is offered

How to Apply

About the Company

Founded in 1998, Retro Studios is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo Company, Ltd.  Retro is a state-of-the-art game development studio, working in conjunction with Nintendo to bring award-winning games to Nintendo's cutting-edge next-generation platforms.  Retro Studios is in beautiful Austin, Texas. With rolling hills, scenic waterways, abundant wildlife, vibrant music and film scenes, and a laid-back cosmopolitan culture, Austin is a dynamic city with an excellent quality of life.  Austin's sunny weather also supports a great range of outdoor activities, providing plenty of venues for top-notch game developers to recharge and unwind.