< Back to Jobs

Lead Animator

This job has now expired
Sumo Digital Sheffield
Employer Sumo Digital Sheffield
Category Animation
Salary Competitive
Type Permanent
Location UK - North

About Sumo

Sumo Digital is one of the UK's most prolific and secure independent game developers with a talented team of over 260 staff currently based in Sheffield. A second UK studio in Nottingham has recently opened with many fantastic new opportunities on the horizon.


Since our inception in 2003 we have had a had a string of successful titles across all gaming platforms for partners that include Microsoft, SEGA, Sony, Disney and many more.


Our most recent successes include Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox 360), LittleBigPlanet 3 (PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3) and Disney Infinity 3.0 Toy Box Speedway (multi-platform). We are also incredibly proud to be working on the highly anticipated Crackdown 3 (Xbox One) and Dead Island 2 (multi-platform) plus several other exciting but yet unannounced projects.


2016 is Sumo’s biggest and best year ever. Come and be part of it.


Role and Purpose

Sumo Digital are looking to hire an experienced Lead Animator to help develop the highest quality in-game and cinematic content.

You’ll be a personable, pro-active, self-starter who can motivate and lead the animation team by example.

You will work with the Senior Creative Team to realise their vision and ensure the standard and quality of the animation is consistently high.

Prior Lead experience is a must, as is an ability to troubleshoot technical problems.

A good understanding of the animation pipeline including pre-production, production and post-production is also necessary.

Candidates must be willing and able to work onsite in Sheffield.



  • Oversee and direct the technical implementation and pipeline for all animation assets in the title
  • Provide feedback and solutions to technical challenges faced on the project working alongside the project leadership team to resolve these
  • Organise, Plan/Structure and manage the animation team’s work load
  • Manage the animation team keeping them motivated and on track with the project milestone objectives
  • Quality control of the animation teams output
  • Liaise with production on task assignment and scheduling of the animation team
  • Oversee, plan and direct the production of motion capture sessions and assets
  • Work closely with the character modelling team

Skills Experience and Qualifications

  • An accomplished Animator able to set the quality bar for the animation team and lead by example (both in keyframe and motion capture animation)
  • Thorough knowledge of Autodesk Maya and Motion Builder
  • Good communication skills and an ability to work interactively with production and other departments to solve production challenges
  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to confidently lead a team
  • Ability to feedback on rigging and pipeline and direct any technical changes
  • Strong understanding of the principles of animation, with a keen eye for character pose and staging
  • Good knowledge of cinematography
  • Extensive experience working and editing mocap data
  • Experience working with Unreal 4 and state based animation blending systems
  • Proven production experience within a team min. 5 years
  • Extensive experience of facial animation
  • Passion for games and in general for animation

What We Offer

We offer a super benefits package including generous holidays, flexitime and excellent employee benefits. Further perks include our legendary annual Sumo Big Day Out, plus epic Christmas parties, money on your birthday, on site free gym and free fruit for everyone! Our new, regular studio Game Jams are a highlight - staff spend a full day developing and pitching their own game ideas for possible development by Sumo.


Our environment is relaxed, friendly and built upon the basis of every team member having the opportunity to shine and have a realisable input into the games we create. We are a very happy ship with lots of incredibly nice people that partake in shared interest groups, lunchtime clubs, charity fundraising events and lots of socialising.


We are proud to be located in Sheffield, just off J34 of the M1 offering easy road and rail access from Leeds, Manchester and the Midlands. Sheffield itself enjoys wealth of facilities including world class sporting facilities, stunning theatres and galleries, shopping, restaurants and incredible parks and green spaces - all on the doorstep of the beautiful Peak District National Park. We love it here.


Please apply at http://www.sumo-digital.com


For a confidential chat about this role please call our Recruiter Rebecca Askham on +44 (0)114 2426766 or email raskham@sumo-digital.com