Instructor, Virtual Environments/ Algorithmic Animation

  • Full Time
  • Tampa, FL
  • 85,000 or commensurate with experience USF / Year

University of South Florida - InEd Studios

Department: School of Art & Art History Dept ID #240400

College/Division: College of The Arts

Salary Plan: Full time Faculty 12 month

Hiring Salary/Salary Range: $85,000 or commensurate with experience


Position Summary:

In a cross-department collaboration, The School of Art & Art History and Innovative Education at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa invites applications for a Faculty Instructor in Residence at InEd Studios for Virtual Environments/ Algorithmic Animation.  Appointment to begin in August 2024.

An essential position in a fast-growing Animation program, the candidate must be able to develop new curricula and teach courses ranging from undergraduate non-majors to art specialization majors as well as work in the mentoring and teaching of graduate students in a multi-disciplinary MFA program. The candidate will assist in organizing the needs of an expanding Animation program, including developing an ambitious curriculum. Service to the School, College and University will be provided through committees and project initiatives.

As an Unreal Engine Artist and Faculty in Residence at InEd Studios, your role encompasses diverse responsibilities including asset creation, level design, and content delivery for INED’s virtual productions within tight timelines. You’ll collaborate with INED’s Virtual Production Supervisor on concept development, sequence blocking, and interactive experiences. Your support extends to on-set virtual production operations and the optimization of virtual sets for real-time rendering. You’ll also enhance visual quality through lighting setups, ensure seamless integration of assets into Unreal Engine, and collaborate with stakeholders to translate artistic vision into virtual environments. Keeping abreast of industry developments, you’ll mentor students, develop course materials, conduct research, and align curriculum with industry standards in collaboration with the College of Arts fast-growing Animation program.

This is a unique opportunity between Innovative Education and the College of the Arts to contribute to cutting-edge virtual production projects while also helping to shape the future of the industry through education and mentorship.

The ideal candidate will have a strong technical and theoretical foundation, as well as an expansive approach that embraces the evolving role of the moving image in a global society. A record of producing, presenting, and exhibiting creative original work at the national/international level. They will have the ability to help shape the future of Animation within the School of Art & Art History and be able to expand the range of the program through interdisciplinary and innovative creative research. In addition, contribute to the virtual production efforts of Innovative Education.


Organizational summary:

As the creative center of the University of South Florida, the College of the Arts provides an enriched, creative, and professional environment for tomorrow’s leaders in architecture, art, art history, music, theatre, dance, and design. The College’s three research centers lead the way, making meaningful contributions to their field in practical ways every day, the most prominent being the university’s world renowned Graphic studio.

USF’s Contemporary Art Museum, Wilson Gallery, three professional theaters and two state of the art concert halls support the production of nearly 400 events each year, including concerts, performances, exhibitions, lectures, conferences, masterclasses, and festivals — all free of charge and open to the entire Tampa Bay community. The USF School of Art & Art History with 500 majors and more than 25 fulltime faculty on two campuses (St. Petersburg & Tampa), is the design and visual arts educational hub in a diverse region of more than 3 million residents.  The Graphic Arts Program is housed in Harbor Hall on the St. Petersburg campus’ beautiful Bayboro Harbor and adjacent to Downtown St. Petersburg.  Harbor Hall has just completed a $1million renovation featuring state-of-the-art studios, classrooms, and research spaces.  The design faculty are nationally and internationally recognized for their high-impact creative research achievements.

The College is an integral engine for socioeconomic progress through research, advocacy, and engagement. The interdisciplinary ecosystem facilitates, prepares, and educates students and faculty to become creative leaders in a global society engaging and collaborating to create lasting positive impact.

Innovative Education (InEd) meets the needs of learners any time and any place through innovative distance learning, continuing education, degree completion, certificate, workforce development, lifelong learning, and pre-college programs. InEd contributes to student success by collaborating with faculty, teaching assistants and academic administrators to strengthen the quality and breadth of USF’s educational offerings, and by providing a variety of academic services, including online teaching workshops, consultations and instructional technology support. InEd aligns with the goals stated in the USF Strategic Plan, including the desire to increase enrollments, improve the university’s degree completion rate, and develop and nurture public-private partnerships designed to generate new revenue and ensure institutional financial security. InEd is committed to contributing to student success, supporting teaching, generating new revenue, and establishing a reputation for innovation and quality that distinguishes USF from its competition.

QUALIFICATIONS (Education & Experience):

Minimum Qualifications:

Terminal degree (MFA) in Animation or MFA in Studio Art, Filmmaking, or relevant field with significant professional experience in Animation.

Proven experience using Epic’s Unreal Engine, with a strong portfolio demonstrating expertise. Including Unreal Engine material editor, lighting system, Blueprints, and particle systems. A solid understanding of real-time rendering principles, shading techniques, and optimization strategies for real-time environments.
Knowledge of current practices, techniques, technology, and issues as related to teaching Animation are essential.

Strong artistic and design sensibilities, with an eye for detail and composition. Excellent communication and teamwork skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively with multidisciplinary teams.
Preferred Qualifications:

Minimum of two years teaching experience after completion of terminal degree.
The candidate should demonstrate relevant areas of expertise in two or more of the following areas: Storyboarding and Visual Storytelling, Character Design, 3D Modeling, Motion Graphics, Digital Illustration/Concept Art, Character, Rigging and Character Animation.

Knowledge of software for 3D content creation, such as Autodesk Maya, Blender, Houdini, or Substance Painter, to complement Unreal Engine workflows.

An awareness of contemporary visual culture, and animation and theory is highly desirable.
Collaboration with Film or Television: Experience collaborating on film or television productions, understanding the unique challenges and workflows involved in integrating virtual production into traditional media.

Scripting and Coding: basic understanding of programming languages commonly used in 3D environment development, such as C++, C#, or Python, to develop custom tools, plugins, or scripts to enhance Unreal Engine workflows.

Advanced Unreal Engine Expertise: Demonstrated experience with advanced Unreal Engine features and tools, such as Niagara for complex particle effects, Sequencer for cinematic storytelling, and Blueprints for automation and customization.

A creative research record.

Applicants must provide the following documents when completing an application:

Letter of interest
Curriculum vitae
Artist’s Statement
Contact information for 3 references.
Links to a curated online portfolio of work examples. If the works require passwords for viewing, please include them. Files that cannot be easily accessed may not be reviewed.
Links to student works must also be accessible online as examples of teaching.

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