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Imageworks Reviews

Updated 18 September 2018
128 reviews

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3.5
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Imageworks President Robert M. Osher
Robert M. Osher
38 Ratings

128 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "There were long hours at times, but great people" (in 13 reviews)

  • "Good pay, great location, good benefits" (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • "Your true performance is kept on a tight leash and shrouded to upper management" (in 5 reviews)

  • "Moved most of staff to Vancouver" (in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great studio to work at"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Imageworks full-time

    Pros

    Very friendly people
    Awesome projects to work on

    Cons

    You never know if they will renew your contract until the last second.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Lead Artist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Artist in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Lead Artist in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Imageworks full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Imageworks has outstanding top-notch talent. The pipeline is one of the best in the industry. Sometimes the studio gets some decent VFX projects, and the CG feature work is very large and diverse. Being able to switch between the two film types can be very fun and rewarding, also can break up the monotony of doing one type of thing day-in-day-out. The large size of the company provides very good benefits, including vacation, sick days, extended health care, and the option to have matched RRSP. The upper level artist supervisors are very calm, collected, professional and respectful, making you feel at ease and not too stressed or unhappy.

    Cons

    The VFX projects are lacking, and are always slipping through their fingers in the bidding process. It has been very hard for the company to secure hero creature and character work in VFX, as they have not been proven yet in the eyes of large Hollywood studios.

    The corporate culture can feel stifling and like you're walking on egg shells sometimes. Employees have to take Sony corporate training for all sorts of topics, such as sexual harassment, bribery, social conduct, security etc. This can sometimes take up 2 hours in your busy schedule and ultimately makes you feel like you're being treated like a child about the most common sense of subjects.

    It is very difficult to get access to windows only software, as most of the companies machines are offsite linux boxes, but to be fair it is for security reasons.

    Once you become a lead, you aren't really given much room to grow for very long, even if you can prove that you're adding a lot of extra value to the company and taking on a lot more responsibility. Ultimately this is why some of the most talented people leave. The company has hard lines drawn for titles, and if you enter a certain pay scale, your only option is to be happy with 2-5 percent raises, no exception, or go elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Put more top talent on sizzle/demo pieces to push for more cutting-edge VFX character work. Often people are sitting around in training or put on unpaid hiatus, when they could be put to productive work for the good of the whole studio.

    Make exceptions for raises for your top talent and really examine and find out what sort of things they've been contributing to , and find out how much added value they're bringing than other artists with similar titles. The company attracts the top talent but they won't stay for long with this policy.

    Management is very distant and non-involved in artist's affairs, get to know your artists better, find out what they've accomplished. There are many diamonds in the rough at the company who go unsung, reach out to them!

  3. "Old testament"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Imageworks full-time

    Pros

    Salary and benefits are great.
    A lot of cool animated features and some vfx work.
    Some good people/talents. Reasonable overtimes.

    Occassional training classes from other departments and interests (mostly lunch time)

    Free movies

    Cons

    The environment feels like elementary school and less professional. Any experienced individual would be swallowing pride each day just to follow the "way". Your true performance is kept on a tight leash and shrouded to upper management.
      Tasks are distributed like circus crazy. That leads to losing track from mixed artists involved, wasting massive time and effort, and Frustration.

    quality is behind quantity.

    The goal is, do everything in Maya.

    Factory.

    Obvious Politics/circle

    Advice to Management

    For years, What are the parting interviews for?


  4. "iCAD Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Imageworks full-time

    Pros

    The environment is always positive and the training department is supportive and honest

    Cons

    Not always the most exciting projects


  5. "Good but short term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at Imageworks full-time

    Pros

    Great people. Interesting project. Plenty of food and events happening if that is important.

    Cons

    Short term hiring. Ramp up with alot of artist and then "until next time". Again, for some people, this may be a pro.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Culture to keep cheaper junior's and let go talented seniors"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - FX Technical Director in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - FX Technical Director in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Imageworks full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    R&D Team
    Salary is OK for Vancouver
    Pipeline seems more mature then other's in the industry

    Cons

    - Very unstable almost like MPC
    - Senior Talent's are let go, Junior's are kept.
    - Not the best place to learn from people around, as bunch of kid's are in the shows
    - Anim pipeline is very slow and bad, FX keeps covering anim
    - HR promises indefinet contract's, but it's a scam
    - Artist Manager's won't tell you that you are being let go till the last moment, even they know for 90% that there is no show. They are saying "it's looking good", but they are just saying that, so you are not frustrated.
    - No room for growth, a lot of gatekeepers in the departments
    - No room for innovation, maybe 1-2 project's that are innovative, the rest ist 30 year anchient tools

    Advice to Management

    Don't let go your talent's, movies are done currently by kids with no experience.
    Don't offer ice-cream when you announce your billion dollar grosses.
    Get more talented people and support them rather then going for cheap people.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "lead animator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Imageworks full-time

    Pros

    -talented people come in and leave. it's a sign of what the environment is like poisonous and unhealthy.

    Cons

    -stressful environment with depressing wages biz model to always bring in younger and cheaper artists to replace.
    -old pipeline and workflow, once models are sent down the pipe, changes are very reluctant to be made in surfacing and rigging. hence a lot of busy work is created in modeling to preserve work. Consider what game companies are doing to have real iteration in improving the quality of work. Surfacing programs allow the use of re-baking so use it instead of trying to reuse old work. artists tend to try to be cheap because everything is so tightly scheduled for no error. Art is subjective and hence needs some room for error planned.
    -alot of heavy lifting is done in animation instead of proper facial rigs or topology in models. stop reusing old meshes and rigs. innovate, innovate.
    -stop making year 2000 rigs. This is 2018.
    -a few of the departments micromanage artists, pushing out assets with animation department not having any real use for it
    -supervisors get bonuses for savings in their departments due to artists working hours out of their own free time.
    - have a real pipeline for character and creature work, instead of throwing man hours at it.
    -little communication among team members due to the stressful environment created. It is proof of the communication level from top- down in the company.
    -everyone is so prideful at every level, it's difficult to make real friends or enjoy what you love to do but walk on egg shells daily.

    Advice to Management

    -Shut down your facility after hours and you will realize how much work is not done for free. ie many people are working free hours just so that you guys can sleep fat with cash in your pockets.

  8. "Great work environment and culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Imageworks full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Getting to be a part of some of the biggest movies that come out each year
    Lots of fun social activities
    Learning and developing new skills very much encouraged

    Cons

    Vancouver is very expensive to live in
    Not all of the projects are huge hits
    There can be lots of OT during crunch times (both a pro and a con)


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Disqualified people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lighting in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Lighting in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Imageworks full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    ok salary
    good location
    good R&D team

    Cons

    Many leads / sups are not qualified for their role. Either they don't care about work or micro-manage everything with huge egos. Artistic direction going nowhere, opposite feedbacks from different people. Blaming artist for pipeline issues. (like what the h***)Intense politics, no communications, very cold work environment. inefficient daily schedules.
    Unstable contract (on this, Sony is the worst among these vfx houses around Vancouver), garbage projects. The best possible project you can get is Spiderman franchise. The list is endless.

    There was glorious era for Sony many years ago. Now it became worse than average studio around here.

    It's not sinking ship. This ship had already sunken.

    Advice to Management

    You'll keep losing good talented people with this environment. SPI's reputation is rapidly going down among CG artists. (not that I assume upper management care about this). If you ever wanna be a tier-1 production like Pixar or Weta, you need to change pretty much everything from higher management to PA levels.


  10. "good environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Imageworks full-time

    Pros

    good environment with talented people

    Cons

    the position is not very stable


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