Job Posted: October 17, 2017

Company Profile

Since 1987, Side Effects Software Inc. (SideFX) has been the global leader in providing artists with procedural 3D animation and visual effects tools designed to create the highest-quality cinematic results.  Privately owned, SideFX has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences three times for its flagship software product Houdini, and its breakthrough procedural based technology.  In addition, Academy Awards have been given to numerous films which relied on Houdini for the creation of their visual effects.  

Position Summary

The Houdini Technical Support Analyst is responsible for providing helpful and timely technical support responses to SideFX’s global install base of users of its sophisticated Houdini software family primarily through e-mail. With many of the users being amongst the best professional CG artists and technical directors working in film and commercials production, and video game development, this position demands outstanding skills in problem-solving, high appreciation for user’s production deliverables, and a balance of visual artistic talent coupled with an aptitude and desire for technical knowledge. Working in a cohesive team environment and constantly dealing with a large volume of diverse inquiries and issues, this role exercises strong skills in both written and verbal communication.

SideFX prides itself on its excellent reputation for technical innovation and customer support. This position contributes directly to that reputation and as such the requirements are very stringent. This position is located at our downtown Toronto office, located at 1401-123 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2M2.

Side Effects offers a competitive total compensation package including potential for variable bonus pay, health and dental benefits, matching contribution retirement plan, loyalty vacation days, and a flexible working environment.

Key Responsibilities

  • Responding professionally and in a timely fashion to our clients’ questions about how to use the Houdini 3D animation software.
  • Creating clear and detailed example files in Houdini tailored to answer each client’s questions where appropriate. 
  • The example files show our clients the best ways to create: fluid effects; rigid body dynamics simulations; cloth and soft body simulations; volume effects of smoke, fire, clouds and water; procedural generation of terrains and large cities.
  • Writing clear and detailed instructional e-mails showing our clients why Houdini works so well to make the movie visual effects and games environments that they need. 
  • Advising clients on how new versions of our software function.
  • Keeping current with our software so that we maintain our ability to serve our customers in a meaningful and helpful manner.
  • Assisting clients in using our proprietary software license generation system.
  • Assisting our clients with the setup of their studio networks and render farms. 
  • Advising clients on how to manage their Houdini files, and all the remote assets.
  • Working with our sales staff to determine what combination of our software products is best suited for our clients’ needs. 
  • Communicating closely with our R&D team to improve areas of the software that are causing our clients difficulties. 
  • Testing and reporting software bugs. 
  • Closing the loop with our customers by giving them a status update as appropriate.
  • Requesting enhancements to the software that are beneficial to our clients and serve to improve our products. 
  • Adhering to our best practices on using our systems to allow us to be able to track support cases, gather statistics for analysis and report on trends.
  • Understanding and following our severity levels and the corresponding practices.
  • Contributing practical ideas on how we might improve our support of our customers.

Job Type:   Full-time permanent

Required Education:   College level or equivalent industry experience

Language Requirement:  English 

Required Experience:  The successful candidate must have at least 5+ years of demonstrated experience in production creating Hollywood-quality visual effects shots for film or for high-end budget CG commercials using Houdini software. He or she needs to be sufficiently well versed in the use of Houdini in production to be able to diagnose problems and to know whether these qualify as a software issue or whether the approach is problematic. 

The candidate’s experience with the software and problem solving skills needs to be at a level of being able to provide meaningful and timely technical assistance to senior CG professionals many of whom are among the best in the industry, worldwide. 

With the tremendous importance of being able to effectively communicate concepts and the use and creation of tools in Houdini in the production pipeline, this person must demonstrate an ability to effectively lead a Houdini training class to junior and intermediate users of recent versions of Houdini.

Salary:  $70K – $85K

How to Apply:  Please submit applications to with the subject "Houdini Technical Support (Toronto)".  Please include a cover letter outlining your interest in this position. Also include a sample Houdini file, or HDA, that contains a complete scene or VFX, with the output ROP included.

Only successful candidates will be contacted for an interview.