Lead Cinematic Animator

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Date: Jun 21, 2024

Location: Austin, Texas, US

Company: Hasbro

At Wizards of the Coast, we connect people around the world through play and imagination. From our genre defining games like Magic: The Gathering® and Dungeons & Dragons® to our growing multiverse, we continue to innovate and build new ways to foster friendship and connection. That’s where you come in!

Skeleton Key is a game development studio and division of Wizards of the Coast. We are a group of industry veterans who are guided by the belief that empowering our teams and providing the proper time, tools, and support we can foster a creative culture where everyone can do their best work.


Our studio is located in Austin, TX, and we are looking for a passionate and dedicated Lead Cinematic Animator to join us and bring our first AAA game to life. We offer fully remote, hybrid, or in-office options for day-to-day work.


Reporting to the Animation Director you will play a meaningful role as we continue development in pre-production. You will be empowered to author spectacular cinematic content, collaborate closely with others to achieve goals, and deliver outstanding and varied cinematics that flow into and out of gameplay seamlessly. You will support building a cohesive cinematic vision, and work alongside key members of the team to establish the foundation for high-quality scenes.


The ideal candidate for this position is passionate about video games, especially game cinematics; has a strong strive to grow and improve; brings honed interpersonal skills; loves cinema and cinematography and demonstrates animation prowess.



  • Lead team of cinematic animators to create hyper-realistic cinematics, ensuring alignment with artistic vision.
  • Collaborate with creative leads to translate narrative and gameplay requirements into captivating cinematic sequences.
  • Collaborate with Tech Animators to develop and maintain animation pipelines, tools, and workflows for efficient, high-quality cinematic production.
  • Provide mentorship and guidance to cinematic animators, fostering skill development and maintaining a collaborative environment.
  • Own cinematic animation sequences from initial edit through final polish.
  • Stay updated on industry trends and technologies to enhance cinematic quality, tools and pipelines, and the player experience.
  • Coordinate with other departments to ensure seamless integration of cinematics to and from gameplay and environments.
  • Serve as liaison between cinematic animation team and other departments, facilitating communication and issue resolution.



  • Proven expertise in cinematic animation with a focus on hyper-realistic motion, showcased through a strong portfolio of both motion capture and hand-keyed animation.
  • Proficiency in animation software like Maya, 3ds Max, or Blender, including motion capture tools like MotionBuilder.
  • Detailed understanding of cinematic storytelling principles for creating immersive horror experiences, including camera work and pacing.
  • Sophisticated skills in both body and facial animation to enhance character performances.
  • Familiarity with character rigging and skinning pipelines, and ability to provide feedback as needed
  • Proficiency with real-time rendering engines such as Unreal Engine, optimizing assets for performance and visual fidelity.
  • Proven ability to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to seamlessly integrate cinematics into gameplay.
  • Strong leadership and communication skills to mentor other animators and drive the team towards high-quality cinematic execution.
  • Passion for horror genre with a creative mindset to innovate and push boundaries in cinematic storytelling for games.


Compensation Range, Currency USD:

  • Starting Pay Range: $134,080
  • Pay Range End: $228,960


We are an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer

The above is intended to describe the general content of and the requirements for satisfactory performance in this position. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of the duties, responsibilities, or requirements of the position.

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

Job Segment: Animation, Creative

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