Houdini TD/Developer

020 7494 9513

Houdini TD/Developer

We are looking for people with a passion for, and skills in; lighting, rendering, lookdev, and much more in Houdini. We would love to hear from you if you are self-motivated, inquisitive, always looking for new and interesting ways of doing things and have a strong interest in exploring the latest technologies. Previous industry experience is required.

Role Details

The Houdini TD/Developer (HTD) is a key role in researching Houdini workflows as well as implementing and supporting their successful use in our productions to help expand the efficiency, breadth and scope of CG work at Union. They will work closely with the Pipeline team and CG leads and supes to help define the Houdini workflow for FX, Lighting and other disciplines.

They will help troubleshoot technical issues across projects, providing solutions to problems that will improve the production and project efficiency and will work closely with the Technology team (Pipeline & Systems) to ensure an efficient workflow.  

The HTD will have a strong technical background as well as knowledge of complex visual effects and how they fit into the CG pipeline. The role will require strong analytical skills and the ability to translate complex information into practical and efficient solutions. They would ideally have experience in the latest technology, USD, Solaris, PDG, or be prepared to learn, research and utilise it as required.

The HTD will have an in-depth understanding of programming, specifically python, experience of the VFX workflow and software platforms alongside Houdini including Maya, Nuke, Shotgrid, Python, Mel and Deadline. They will have the experience to ensure the different processes interact seamlessly with each other and our existing pipeline.

The HTD will be proactive, detail oriented, good at problem-solving and able to work both independently and as part of wider teams. They will have strong people and communication skills, excellent planning and organisational skills and the ability to prioritise. They will be required to engage, keep informed and manage the expectations of all relevant stakeholders, both internal and external, always remaining calm and professional.


  • Research, develop and implement Houdini workflows for areas including:·          

  • Lighting

  • FX/Crowd/Fur/Cloth

  • Layout

  • Asset building, Env etc

  • Help optimise and set up Houdini templates for shots and sequences

  •  Develop digital assets (HDAs) 

  • Develop, test, implement and maintain scripts, pipeline tools and workflows to enable artist efficiency and meet production demands

  • Provide troubleshooting and technical solutions for day-to-day Houdini production problems and complex or problematic shots, tools and workflows 

  • Utilise current proprietary tools to solve FX/Houdini and pipeline issues and develop new small-scale tools to address project or FX/Houdini issues

  • Support the studio’s infrastructure requests on storage, network, licensing, hardware/software deployment and render farm management

  • Work in conjunction with Head of CG / CG & Technical Supervisor to determine long term strategies and standards

  • Write technical briefs and documentation and communicate to relevant stakeholders 

  • Partner with Head of CG / CG & Technical Supervisor and Pipeline team to identify and schedule tasks

  • Collaborate with Pipeline department & other stakeholders on any required large-scale tools development and implementation

  • Define, communicate and drive coding standards across teams and projects

  • Document workflow, processes and tools that enable technical staff and artists to keep up-to-date and share knowledge

  • Apply best practice and adhere to required protocols and security requirements

  • Stay up-to-date on latest proprietary pipeline tools and workflows and regularly share information on new developments with FX artists

  • Ensure QC standards are met  

  • Attend daily reviews and briefings as appropriate

  • Participate in regular department meetings, provide information on workload and possible issues to HOD

  • In line with Union company values, develop and maintain a positive, inclusive working environment in the department

  • Manage time effectively to deliver to deadline while maintaining the highest levels of quality

Skills, experience and knowledge:

  • Ability to thrive on a varied working day, getting involved in anything and everything to ensure the smooth-running of our business

  • A people person who enjoys a high level of collaboration and contact with a wide range of people and making things happen both independently and by working with others

  • Patient, practical and positive, even when it might be user error

  • Strong planning and prioritising skills

  • An innovative thinker and good problem-solver who loves to try new things

  • Ability to see where you can make improvements and implement them  

  • Keen to learn and are able to assimilate technical knowledge rapidly, taking on new systems to match the demands of the business

  • Strong Cyber-Security awareness and ethics 

  • Experience of remote working practises and technologies

  • Strong knowledge and experience of complex visual effects, CG tools and how they fit into the CG pipeline 

  • An interest in the research and implementation of new technology

  • Able to collaborate with teams and communicate creative and technical thoughts and ideas clearly in both technical and user-friendly language

  • A creative problem solver who is organised and able to multitask and prioritise

  • Able to take direction and feedback positively and maturely and is critical of their own work

  • Knowledge of FX and lighting with rendering in Houdini

  • Experience using Shotgrid or similar project management tool

  • Strong knowledge and experience of coding and coding practices

  • Strong experience using 3D softwares ie. Houdini, Maya, Substance Painter, Substance designer, Zbrush, Nuke

  • Experience of Arnold, Renderman, VRay or similar raytracing renderers

  • Knowledge of Python and/or Mel scripting

  • High standard of quality control

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