Senior Machine Learning Developer

Research and Development · Toronto, Ontario
Department Research and Development
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced

Company Profile

For over thirty years, SideFX has been providing artists with procedural 3D animation and visual effects tools designed to produce the highest-quality cinematic results. We are passionate about what our customers do because our roots are in production, both as artists and as pioneering technical innovators.

SideFX has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Science multiple times - including with an Oscar® - for the development of our Houdini software, and its breakthrough procedural-based technology.

Houdini is used by the world’s top film, TV, and game studios to create blockbuster movies such as Black Panther and Moana, captivating TV shows like  Spider-Man, The Lion King and Godzilla vs. Kong, TV shows like The Crown, Game of Thrones and S.W.A.T., and video games like Ghost Recon, Far Cry and Age of Empires. Our customers include Disney Feature Animation, Pixar, Sony Pictures, Imageworks, Weta Digital, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Game Studios, and many more.

What We Value Most:

  • Decency: We treat everyone with honesty, kindness and empathy. We give generously of our time and knowledge
  • Relationships: We build collaborative bonds—with our co-workers and clients—based on trust and respect. Our diverse team gives us broader perspectives
  • Dedication:  We take pride and ownership in our work, always trying to do our best. We are devoted to the well-being and success of each other and our clients
  • Excellence: We continually improve ourselves, our work and our company, striving towards excellence in all that we do

Our employees receive: 

  • Hybrid Work option - A great office in Downtown Toronto (right across from Union Station) with the flexibility for most roles to work from home. You can help us test out our Hybrid Pilot Project
  • Generous paid time off, including vacation and floater days to relax and re-energize (starting at 4 weeks)
  • Year-End Company Shutdown and Long Weekend Early departures to add to the excitement
  • Health insurance coverage (including a Health Service Spending Account for Canadian employees), for you and your dependents
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP); because sometimes we need a bit of extra support
  • Retirement Plan with company matched contributions
  • Comprehensive Long Service Award program, providing both a monetary reward and additional days off
  • A highly competitive bonus structure
  • A generous sick time entitlement to care for yourself and your loved ones

Why join SideFX?

  • Because you want to be part of a unique experience and winning team that has won an Oscar and an Emmy (Cool, right?)
  • Because you want to be part of an industry-leading company that is constantly mindfully growing
  • Because you want to work with some of the most talented people in the industry on a ground-breaking product
  • Because you want to  work with people from all around the world
  • Because you want to be part of an exciting and fun industry
  • Because you want to join and add to a positive, supportive and respected company culture
  • Because you want your job to be GREAT!

Position Overview

SideFX is seeking an exceptional software developer to lead its Toronto-based machine learning R&D team. Our 3D procedural solutions are well suited to generate machine learning data and to incorporate trained models into a pipeline.  We seek to provide a platform to create, deploy, and machine learning models to solve the diverse problems that are found in the movie and game industries.  While initial solutions may be focused on one area of Houdini; we see machine learning as a field that could touch on almost every component of Houdini. As a leading member of the machine learning group, you will be working with some of the brightest minds in the industry and interacting with an outstanding artist community. Everyone here shares a drive for excellence and a passion for innovation. Providing digital artists with the most advanced tools for their craft is, and has always been, our single focus.

 Please note that a valid proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination series is an employment requirement.

What you will be working on

  • Develop models to solve problems across the diverse needs of artists, including character motion, physics simulation, environment and terrain creation, and rendering.
  • Integrate machine learning frameworks into Houdini to allow interactive use of trained models.
  • Deploy models to end-users across multiple platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac)
  • Collaborate with other R&D staff, technical directors, and artists to discover the best uses of machine learning across various departments.
  • Other duties as assigned

What you need to be successful

  • Computer Science degree or equivalent industry experience, with a record of academic and professional excellence.
  • Industry experience with machine learning frameworks
  • Strong knowledge of C++ programming in a multi-threaded environment
  • History of delivering innovative, robust and scalable code
  • Ability to learn independently, use solid judgment, and develop at a fast pace
  • Extensive experience in algorithm optimization for memory and performance
  • Uncanny ability to uncover and remove bugs in a large software base
  • Excellent verbal and written communication


Not required but great to have

  • Experience with Houdini
  • Experience deploying models on end-user machines
  • Knowledge of OpenVINO or similar deployment solutions
  • Knowledge of OpenCL or CUDA



Sample R&D Projects

  • Improve output tools to better target training datasets
  • Style transfer of terrain data
  • Visualization of models within Houdini
  • Runtime integration of models into Houdini


Not the right role for you at this time? Take a look at all of our job postings on our Careers page or join our SideFX Talent Community for future career opportunities! 


Our transit-friendly head office location, directly adjacent to Union Station in the heart of downtown Toronto, is open-concept with a relaxed style that includes, casual dress, and wraparound views from the 14th floor. Locations other than Toronto will be considered within our company’s possibilities.


SideFX is committed to inclusion and diversity. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply. Accommodation will be provided to candidates with disabilities, upon request.

Thank You

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  • Location
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Department
    Research and Development
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience