Animation Character Rigger Resume Workshop

Surprised GirlHOLLYWOOD, CA (GoshRobin) 2022/7/4 – As a volunteer team leader for the Academy Summer Learning Program, I’m guiding a cadre of diversity university students joining the animation industry.  When honing a resume, we first focus on the Job Description (JD) of the job we want.  I did a quick search of jobs at DreamWorks Animation, one of my employers, looking for both Character Rigger and Pipeline TD roles for my students. In this article I share an edited student resume, two DreamWorks job descriptions for reference, and the Amazon STAR interview format of my most recent position from my resume.

As the late great screenwriter William Goldman famously said, “Nobody knows Anything.” In other words, do not accept Hollywood industry advice blindly, including mine. However, do listen. I’ve been hired by many studios. I’ve often gotten roles that I didn’t have matching experience, but that I got the role anyway. In other cases, I totally nailed it, but didn’t get the job. What hiring managers are buying is not our experience, but our confidence and enthusiasm. Never assume that a lack of experience disqualifies you, even when the JD explicitly demands skills you don’t have.

To get hired, talk about what you offer. NEVER what you imagine others think you lack. Many diversity applicants disqualify themselves, both in the resume and the interview. Diversity candidates often have internalized negative stereotypes and imposter syndrome doubts. This self-destructive internal dialog was instilled by family and peers, who may have meant well by trying to lower your expectations. Self-doubt can eat you up. That rich white males are not generally discouraged this way, are told to expect to succeed and not to fail, is a winning difference.

The first place to overcome systemic discrimination is in one’s self. With calm self-confidence, not arrogant hubris, expect to win. Talk about your wins. People hire winners.

A resume isn’t the only way to get hired. I didn’t present a resume to get hired at DreamWorks. While chatting with the CTO about animation R&D, he said, “We hire the best in the world, if you ever want to come work at DreamWorks, let me know.” Does he mean me?!! I responded immediately, “Ok, thank you, I’m letting you know I accept!” I didn’t volunteer any self-doubts or ask if he meant me.

So, I moved to Glendale and developed software for DreamWorks Shrek III and Over the Hedge. Because I was recruited by the CTO, HR assumed I must be someone important, so I was assigned a nice corner office. An office next to DreamWorks development director, now producer, Karen Foster. Karen is our speaker this week in a speaker series I am hosting.

Returning to the topic of resume writing, the standard lead sections of any  resume are Title, Experience and Education. My student did have her resume organized in exactly that order, so that’s my first change. It’s very important, in my opinion, that the Title have your name followed by the position you want, in this case, “Jane Smith, Character Rigger”. I always match the JD submitting upon exactly, even if it means revising my resume every time.

How we name our resume is important, too. Save it with a file name like, “Character Rigger Jane Smith.docx”. Either format is acceptable, but it will look more professional as PDF than docx. In general, submit resumes as a PDF, not in Word format. Because there are so many files at a studio, that files are named methodically is very important in animation work. How we file name our resume implies how meticulous we will be in naming our pipeline files if hired. Be professional.

For students with no industry experience, I recommend not listing your non-industry experience. A reason for this, we want in the interview to talk about what’s on the resume, experience that will get us hired. It’s ok as a newcomer to have no “Professional Experience” section and to list our “Animation Experience” instead.

I’m going to ask my student to add more a lot more “process-tool description” to her resume, that each role under experience have items like this (from a game producer resume):

  • Brainstorm with Software Engineering to author product roadmaps (PowerPoint), user journey maps (Markdown) and game scripts (Final Draft)
  • Research popular games in the market and capture game play in 3-minute videos for Software Engineering and C-suite competitive review (BlueStacks, TinyTake)
  • Author production chart and track asset creation of UI/UX, artwork, sound effects and music (Excel)
  • Guide development for mobile apps and Oculus (Slack)
  • Create UI/UX game mockups (using JustInMind instead of Adobe XD)
  • Create UI prototypes in Qt Creator (desktop, iOS, Android)
  • Admin Content Management System (GitLab CMS)
  • Track game progress (using GitLab Issue Boards instead of JIRA)
  • Review incremental progress demos by Software Engineering (Qt)
  • Plan promotions and game mechanics to make game more compelling (Word)
  • Design game web page (WordPress)
  • Balance priorities with team resources while also supporting team health, mentor (Airtable)

My student’s resume, after I’ve made edits, still needs more process-tools:

Jane Smith, Character Rigger


Build reliable, flexible, 3D character rigging and code scripts for games, television, or feature animation to produce great collaborative storytelling with technical and artistic minds.


Selected to join cohort of 20 artists with diverse backgrounds and goals
• Guided by industry professionals from Disney and DreamWorks Animation to hone career skills
Responsible for expanding technical skills through Distance Learning (DL) courses

Create rigs in Maya
Develop custom artist-friendly UI for scripts (Qt PySide2)
Coordinating with animators to QA test rigs and tools, and acting on feedback




3D Rigging in Maya
Python Scripting
Qt PySide2
3D Modeling in Blender
Unreal Engine
Unity URP
Adobe CS Suite
Digital Illustration


• Open Source developer and github Python project maintainer Discord Messenger bot for MSU students (since 2021)
Co-founder MSU Art Society, an official SGA backed organization, served as secretary in 2019
• Founder online community forum for C.S. majors, connecting 180+ students and grads (since 2018)
ACM SIGGRAPH member (since 2018)
Volunteer history

JD: DreamWorks TV – Character Rigger


Animation Production

Filmed Entertainment Group


At DreamWorks Animation Television, our Character Rigger works closely with the Rigging Supervisor and HUB CG Supervisors to build rigs for characters and complex props.  The Character Rigger ensures that all deliverables align with the production’s schedule, technical specifications, and creative vision of the series.

DreamWorks Animation Television has an exciting new opportunity for a Character Rigger to join its team based in Glendale, CA.

What would you say you do here?

  • Responsible for character and prop setup including rigging, weighting and skinning
  • Work with Partner Studio(s) to create and implement assets
  • Utilize Python scripting to implement new tools, and update and support existing pipeline tools
  • Work closely with Partner Studio(s) to ensure all character TD work adheres to the creative and technical specifications of the production while ensuring scheduled deadlines are met
  • Provide recommendations and suggestions for designs and animatics, making sure they align with the production’s schedule
  • Document workflows and processes using Camtasia video and Publisher software
  • Review and provide noted direction on assets created by our Partner Studio(s)
  • Create and troubleshoot simplified crowd rigs for use with Golaem crowd software
  • Collaborate with the Leads and Artists in other CG disciplines to help establish processes and pipeline integration during the course of RnD, prebuild for new shows and existing show production


● Extensive Maya knowledge
● Strong knowledge of IK and FK systems
● Experience with skin weights
● Strong aesthetic ability
● Strong Python scripting ability
● Ability to troubleshoot and resolve unexpected technical problems
● Prior experience working in a fast paced production environment
● Strong attention to detail and outstanding organizational skills
● Excellent verbal and written communication skills and enjoys working in a team environment
● Must submit an attestation disclosing your COVID-19 vaccination status and, if partially or fully vaccinated, submitting your vaccination record no later than 7 days following commencement of employment.
● Must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the commencement of employment or adhere to enhanced protocols if Company determines your job position requires accessing an NBCUniversal/DreamWorks Animation worksite.
● Must be willing to adhere to all Company COVID-19 workplace safety policies and protocols.

Desired Characteristics

● At least 3 years of experience in television animation, feature animation, VFX, and/or video games
● Experience with asset management software, ShotGrid preferred
● Knowledge of Golaem preferred
● Interest in custom tool creation
● Experience working with international Partner Studio(s) is a plus
● Bachelor’s degree preferred


DreamWorks Animation TV Production

JD: DreamWorks TV – Animation Pipeline TD


Art & Design

Filmed Entertainment Group


Reports To: HUB Line Producer and Animation Pipeline Supervisor

The Animation Pipeline TD works closely with the Animation Pipeline Supervisor to develop new tools and processes as well as support existing tools and processes. They also ensure that all work they produce adheres to the studio policies and guidelines.

DreamWorks Animation Television has an exciting new opportunity for an Animation Pipeline TD to join its team based in Glendale, CA. This position is covered by the Animation Guild.

If you are part of the fandom and believe teamwork makes the dream work, join us in #livingthedream and #doingyourdreamwork!

“What would you say you do here?”

  • Complete short term and long term tool and software development tasks on schedule
  • Coordinate with Production while gathering information that will be used in the development of new tools or new features on existing tools for individual production needs
  • Work closely with the Animation Pipeline Supervisor and the Global Visual Effects Supervisor to develop file structure solutions that can be applied across CG shows
  • Collaborate with CG department TDs and the Animation Pipeline Supervisor to develop centralized and sustainable pipeline tool solutions
  • Provide support to discipline specific TDs. e.g. Lighting, FX, Rigging
  • Ensure that software development follows studio policies and guidelines
  • Extensive documentation of all tools and processes in the DWTV Pipeline Wiki
  • Work closely with the Animation Technology and Software vendors to troubleshoot bugs and feature requests
  • Participate and provide feedback in the Biweekly DWTV TD meeting
  • Prioritize and manage an extensive list of bugs and feature requests for existing tools and processes
  • Provide feedback and progress reports on all assigned tasks during the tasking meeting
  • Ability to troubleshoot bugs/error messages reported by our Partner Studios. Bugs from the Partner Studios can be show stopping and require reshuffling your task schedule on a moment’s notice
  • Work closely with the department Lead and Supervisor to determine long term strategies and standards for the department


“What do I need to have in order to do this job?”

• Advanced background in Maya or equivalent software package
• Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Python
• Familiarity with the Adobe Suite
• Knowledge of Windows and Linux operating systems
• Knowledge of C or C++ preferred
• Excellent organizational skills
• Strong verbal and written communication skills and enjoys working in a team environment
• Flexible to changes and able to prioritize and follow through on requests
• Committed to providing great service and support to our in-house and Partner Studio Teams
• Ability to work independently with minimal supervision

Desired Characteristics

“What can I offer?”

• At least 2 years of experience in the television, feature film or gaming industries
• Experience with asset management software, Shotgun preferred
• Experience working with international Partner Studio(s) is a plus
• B.S or M.S. in Computer Science, Engineering or equivalent preferred


DreamWorks Animation TV Production

Amazon STAR format example from my resume:

Professional Experience

United Nations World Health Organization (UN WHO) May 2021 to June 2022

Augmented Reality Group Manager Los Angeles

  • Situation: WHO Academy educates and certifies doctors worldwide to save lives by sending skilled M.D. instructors to train doctors in their own hospitals with local disaster simulations

  • Task: With worldwide travel disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, transform the existing WHO Mass Casualy Disaster Management training program into a remote AR/VR experience

  • Action Design: Defined hardware platform to be Magic Leap, HoloLens, Oculus and mobile (iOS, Android). Authored MCARE (Mass Casualty Augmented Reality Experience) roadmap (PowerPoint) and engineering specifications (github Markdown). UI/UX design.

  • Action Recruiting: From large personal network of Hollywood industry contacts, recruited MCARE development team, including an Academy Award-winning sound producer to create 3D sound assets. However, due to a WHO budget reallocation (Ukraine humanitarian crisis) unable to hire Emmy-nominated 3D art director recruited. Pivoted to outsource 3D model development through a generous contribution of six months of 3D modeling development provided by a FAANG company. For 3D programmers, pivoted to recruit AR/VR developers internationally, instead of more costly Hollywood veterans. Answering call made on the floor of the UN to increase diversity at UN HQ, led highly progressive DEI diversity recruiting program, selecting candidates from many underrepresented countries, such as Mozambique, Bangladesh and Iran.

  • Action Leadership: Wrote Statement of Work (MS Word), set up 3D production pipeline (cloud), created production chart (MS Excel list of hundreds of 3D assets to be produced by artists), created Look Book portfolio of 2D art and photos ( as style guide for 3D artists and guided outsourced 3D artists based in Turkey with weekly design and progress review meetings (Sketchfab, MS Teams). Managed cross-matrix international collaboration between WHO learning designers (Geneva and Lyon), MCARE developers (Lisbon, Los Angeles and New York), WHO Communications Group (London), Queen Elizabeth Hospital Branch (QEHB hospital surgeon Subject Matter Expert and HoloLens test site in Bristol, UK) and WHO Quality & Standards Group (USA and EU). Authored MCARE Q&S Quality Assurance plan (MS Word) to meet WHO medical QA standard that is similar to ISO 9001. Produced video (DaVinci) for presentation to WHO Academy patron, French President Macron, at WHO Academy HQ groundbreaking in Lyon. Initiated technology collaborations with Intel and Amazon.

  • Results: Recruited and managed international 3D development team. Produced 3D models (Reallusion, Blender). Open sourced AR/VR software (Javascript WebXR client, C++ game server). Development in OpenAI GPT-2 Machine Learning (Tensorflow, Python, Bash). Through the UN Volunteer Network (UNV), recruited developers to continue open source development.