#Uncategorized

Unity Developer

Job Type: Permanent / full time

Location: Teesside / Remote Working

We are looking for an experienced UNITY developer, with a focus on VR, to become an integral part of our immersive development team delivering projects across the real-time spectrum including VR, AR & more. The ideal applicant would be highly motivated and proactive, with minimal requirement for supervision and eagerness to stay up to date with the latest software and hardware trends.

  • Collaborate with artistic and technical team leads to deliver real time interactive projects to a very high standard.
  • Help define, implement, and troubleshoot our technical VR development pipeline with guidance from our technical team lead.
  • Work with our other UNITY developers to continually improve and optimise our existing internal frameworks and tooling for creating first class interactive content.
  • Keep on the pulse of new immersive technology and contribute to R&D projects.
  • Work directly with clients and the Animmersion team to deliver quality in everything we do.
  • Be able to showcase excellent planning and prototyping skills, with the ability to manage time constraints and work to a fixed budget.

Qualifications & Experience

The role would suit an experienced and confident UNITY developer with great communication and organisational skills, a passion for optimising and enhancing development pipelines and an eye for technical and creative detail.

  • minimum 3 years Unity3D work
  • minimum 3 years C# programming
  • good understanding of shaders and lighting
  • Experience using git
  • A strong portfolio demonstrating previous UNITY experience.
  • A passion for real-time graphics
  • Experience with the UNITY XR interaction toolkit and cross platform VR development (META/OCULUS/PICO/HTC)
  • Experience with 3rd party plugins: Playmaker & VR interaction framework
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and collaboration skills.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving ability.
  • An obsession for great user experience.

Great to have

  • Experience of WEBGL UNITY deployments
  • Experience of AR/MR/XR
  • Experience with real-time raytraced rendering.
  • Experience with VR specific optimisation
  • Experience with basic 3D modelling (to prototype)
  • Experience with Unreal Engine and other similar platforms
  • Are we missing anything? What else have you got that would impress us?

Drop us a line

If you think this role is for you get in touch and send your CV. Please make sure you include examples/links to your portfolio and past experience.

Technical Artist – Unreal Engine

Job Type: Permanent / full time

Location: Teesside / Remote Working

We are looking for an experienced technical artist to become an integral part of our immersive development team delivering projects across the real-time spectrum including AR, VR & more.

  • Collaborate with Artistic and Technical Leads to deliver projects to a very high standard.
  • Design workflows of art production specific to the needs of individual projects, supporting junior team members and assuring quality.
  • Develop great content yourself for a variety of XR and interactive experiences.
  • Keep on the pulse of new immersive technology and contribute to R&D projects.
  • Help define, implement, and troubleshoot our technical and 3D asset development pipeline.
  • Work directly with clients and the Animmersion team to deliver quality in everything we do.

Qualifications & Experience

The role would suit an experienced developer with great communication and organisational skills, a passion for optimising and enhancing development pipelines and an eye for technical and creative detail. The ideal applicant would be highly motivated and proactive, with minimal requirement for supervision and eagerness to stay up-to-date with the latest software and hardware trends.

  • Several years of experience operating at a high level in an equivalent role.
  • A strong portfolio demonstrating previous commercial experience.
  • A passion for real-time graphics with an excellent demonstrable understanding of Unreal Engine and Blueprints.
  • Strong 3D modelling skills.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and collaboration skills.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving ability.
  • An obsession for great user experience.

Great to have

  • Experience of game development
  • Experience of VR/AR/MR/XR development
  • Experience with the Substance software suite.
  • Experience developing in Unity or C# scripting.
  • C++ coding skills.
  • Experience with real-time raytraced rendering.
  • Shader creation.
  • Are we missing anything? What else have you got that would impress us?

Drop us a line

If you think this role is for you get in touch.

Please make sure you include examples/links to your portfolio and past experience.

Animmersion UK delivers new interactive educational games for Skills Development Scotland

SDS MARY RUSSELL SCHOOL PAISLEY 19.11.21

Animmersion UK is continuing its long association with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) by creating an exciting multiplayer interactive quiz, complete with seven new mini games, to promote critical careers across Scotland.

The interactive quiz, Classroom Clash, is an addition to SDS’ My World of Work Live Programme. With fun, interactive activities delivered through live events in schools and online through virtual sessions, My World of Work Live aims to inspire young people, helping them understand future careers and opportunities.

Classroom Clash is delivered by expert My World of Work Live advisers to pupils in schools across Scotland who compete in team-based quizzes on a variety of career sectors, interspersed with bonus rounds where players aim to get the highest score for their team in an exciting mini game.

The interactive mini games are designed to engage and inspire students to consider a future career within key sectors for economic growth in Scotland, including computing and ICT, construction and building, engineering, healthcare, social work and caring services. They add to an expanding catalogue of My World of Work Live activities which provide SDS advisors and teachers an inspiring foundation for other classroom careers guidance.

The Middlesbrough-based company has worked closely with SDS during the pandemic to provide ways to deliver Classroom Clash face to face, on tablet devices in classrooms, and through a variety of remote online sessions on Windows’s PCs.

SDS aims to improve the response of education, training, and careers services to the needs of employers and ensure young people have the best chance of succeeding in the world of work by exploring their options and helping them understand the wide range of future careers and opportunities available.

Each game is designed to encourage students to consider the skills they possess and how these relate to each career, while introducing some of the tasks and opportunities within these sectors.

For example, those playing the childcare game earn points by considering children’s moods and selecting an activity that makes them happy, while the cyber security game involves selecting the correct anti-virus tools capable of deflecting incoming viruses.

In the advanced manufacturing game, players build a Mars rover in an advanced manufacturing facility by attaching the correct components at exactly the right time to speed up a conveyor belt, while the object of the green energy game is to lower your carbon footprint by installing a range of energy saving measures to a house.

Teachers can learn more about My World of Work Live and access a wide range of learning resources to support career education on My World of Work.

A spokesperson for SDS said: “The sectors represented in our latest My World of Work Live activity, Classroom Clash, offer exciting career opportunities and our work with Animmersion has provided a fun and engaging way to bring the world of work to life for pupils as they pupils explore them.”

Samuel Harrison, managing director of Animmersion UK, said: “We are proud to have worked with SDS since 2016 on a variety of projects, all designed to underpin its immersive digital careers experience.

“Animmersion UK continues to develop innovative and responsive methods that allow SDS to fully engage with young people through the delivery of key educational messages and information about career options and opportunities against the background of a rapidly changing world of work.”

In 2017, SDS won the UK Development Award for Best Use of Technology in Career Development for three-mini games developed by Animmersion UK which used Virtual Reality to highlight career opportunities within the construction industry.

Deep learning animates water

Animating water isn’t easy.

Firstly, it’s a liquid so it can move multi-directionally. Secondly, it’s mainly transparent, so it needs to be clear (yet not entirely), and it refracts light. Thirdly it has a reflective surface which moves.

Because of the many different elements which need to be skilfully executed, and the significant computational processing requirements necessary to make a high quality simulation, animating water is a time-consuming and difficult challenge.

Recently however, researchers at Washington University have used deep learning to develop a system which shows water moving in a waterfall from just one still picture.

By using thousands of videos with fluid motion including seas, waterfalls and rivers, the process teaches a neural network to predict and animate how the moving water would appear from a single photograph. The neural network views the videos and then guesses the motion based on the first frame.

It was able to learn, based on the image’s context clues, what the motion was supposed to look like. Then, when its output was compared with the actual video, the network slowly learned what to expect from different states of flowing matter.

And the same method – which uses a seamlessly looping short video to give the impression of continuous movement – can be used to animate clouds, smoke, or any other material that flows.

The advantage of the method is that no extra information or user input is necessary. It simply needs the picture from which it uses the information gained by predicting the movement in the photograph when it was taken. This enables the system to determine the movement of each pixel and create the animation.

The team used the term ‘symmetric splatting’ to describe the movement of each pixel according to its predicted motion both past and future. Firstly, the researchers tried ‘splatting’ but that meant that as the pixels travelled down the waterfall, they disappeared from the top.

By predicting the past and future of the image, the predictions could be combined into one animation on a single loop which left no pixel gaps and allowed the endless movement of the animated image.

Because as yet the process has difficulty predicting the distorted appearance of an object under water, or the reflections on moving water, it works best for objects with predictable fluid motion. Nevertheless, it appears to have achieved a more realistic representation of moving water than many other software tools. 

Into the uncanny valley.

According to MacDorman & Ishiguro, 2006,

‘The uncanny valley can be described as the hypothesized relationship between the extent to which a humanoid entity resembles an actual human being and the emotional response such an entity evokes.’

Which actually means that when we experience humanoids on screen: 3D animations, virtual reality, photorealistic animation, robotics and lifelike dolls that are particularly realistic, we can find it inexplicably unsettling.

Somehow, observing a lifelike digital being that has been meticulously rendered can be simultaneously both disturbing and captivating. Though technology enables digital humans to appear virtually indistinguishable from an actual human, it’s the virtually indistinguishable part that causes the disquiet.

Because to many people, they actually look quite creepy, eerie, or even revolting.

Masahiro Mori first introduced the concept of the uncanny valley in the 1970s when he was a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He hypothesised that the more resemblance to an actual human a robot had, the more positive and empathetic was the emotional response from the observer – but only up to a certain point.

It appeared that at this point, the observer’s response becomes extremely negative, even to the point of revulsion.

However, as the robot’s appearance continues to become even more human, the levels of empathy and positive emotional response from the observer return – hence the analogy of moving first down then up the sides of a valley.

It is this disturbing in-between place which is known as the uncanny valley – the area in which our affinity with what we are viewing descends into feelings of unease or even fear.

But why do people have this response?

One explanation may be that we judge non-human objects by human standards which cannot be met. When the object is clearly non-human, we easily accept it as such but when it appears almost human, we focus more on its shortcomings.

In 2016, research suggested that that the further down in the uncanny valley a face is, the longer it takes to determine whether the face is human or not, eliciting a greater cognitive challenge. Prior to this, other research had suggested that it is this cognitive challenge which is associated with the negative emotions elicited.

If realism is the goal, and increasingly sophisticated technology enables the increasingly human-like appearance of virtual characters – which viewers are nevertheless still able to discern as virtual – then building a bridge over the uncanny valley is the challenge.

However, it could be argued that the eeriness and disquiet to be found in the uncanny valley is part of the appeal.

Animmersion Management Buyout

We are pleased to announce that on 16th February 2022 a management buyout was concluded for the Animmersion Group of companies lead by Sam Harrison and supported by its excellent management team and partners. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the exiting investors, and founding partner Dominic Lusardi, for their tremendous support and help in growing the business, and wish them all the very best in their future activities. 

Animmersion has exciting plans for the future. Watch this space!