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Job Details

Lead Artist - The Initiative - Xbox Game Studios

Company name
Microsoft Corporation

Santa Monica, CA, United States

Employment Type


Posted on
Oct 16, 2021

Valid Through
Jan 29, 2022

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The Initiative, located in Santa Monica and part of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios, is the development team creating Perfect Dark. Our studio is about craft, creating story, innovating, and looking ahead to the next big thing.

At The Initiative, we are looking for collaborative problem solvers who want to dive into something new and create groundbreaking experiences for our players. Join us for this once in a career opportunity to help build the studio, define our culture, and create an environment to attract world-class talent.

The Initiative has an immediate opening for a Lead Artist to create high caliber environment artwork to help us define the artistic vision, development pipeline, and content creation methods. In this Lead Artist role, you will display artistic and technical expertise, including an ability to collaborate, develop, and execute around pipeline.

As Lead Artist, you will execute Art Director’s vision through leading the team, including establish strategy and best practices for art production. You will help develop pipeline and process focused with strong technical knowledge and problem solving. You are experienced at leading the pipeline development as a hands-on contributor, with a deep understanding of the latest industry techniques and the passion, drive and vision to help pioneer the future of visual techniques & technology.

As an experienced hands-on Lead Artist, you have a strong understanding of entire art pipeline from concept to completion, including modeling, sculpting, baking maps, textures, shaders, materials, lighting. You are versatile, have strong development and production-sense, and the expertise to inspire and mentor others to do their best work.


As an experienced Lead Artist, you will work directly with the Art and Design team and other key stakeholders across disciplines to deliver the following:

Estimate workload, suggest planning, and set priorities for the Art team.

Collaborate with the Art, Design, and Engineering teams to understand and deliver against Art pipeline and workflows.

Task distribution, based on people skills, development wishes and overall planning.

Provide actionable qualitative feedback to the environment team based on art direction.

Partner closely with key stakeholdersand leads to establish artistic style and ensure unified look and consistent quality across game environments.

Visualize environments from concept to completion with minimal direction.

Demonstrate a willingness to give and receive feedback, collaborate with others to share techniques, ideas, and contribute to a positive working environments.

Know the technical and artistic constraints to properly direct/coach the team.

Develop technical and artistic pipeline, documentation, and constraints.

Work with the Art Manger in supporting career growth and development for the art team, through feedback and training.

Create a work environment that is motivating for team members and which fosters development and creation.

Work alongside production to set goals and tasks that ensure quality milestone deliverables.

Know the game’s storyline and gameplay (game design documents) and adjust the work to reflect these elements.

Guarantee the quality of the models and ensure that they are produced on time.

Conduct and be responsible for the reviews of art.

Assist in providing outscoring feedback as needed.


8 years of experience in designing, developing, and shipping major game systems in a published game or entertainment with market or critical acclaim.

Expertise in Maya, ZBrush, and Photoshop or equivalent software

Strong 2D and 3D artistic skills, with demonstrated excellence in compositional and visual storytelling skills.

Demonstrated exceptional visual and technical understanding in Sculpting, 3D Modeling, Texturing, Materials creation, baking maps, Lighting, and VFX.

Bachelor's Degree or equivalent practical experience.


Technical knowledge to ensure assets are optimal for performance and memory.

Strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.

In-depth knowledge of material/shader development and experience with Substance Designer/Painter or equivalent software.

Technical experience, profiling, scripting knowledge.

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form ( .

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.


Company info

Microsoft Corporation
Website :

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