NBC Universal Show Programmer (Rides / Attractions) in Orlando, Florida

Show Programmer (Rides / Attractions)

Universal Creative – Design/Studio


Universal Creative is the planning and development division of Universal Parks and Resorts™, which is one of the many businesses within NBCUniversal™. We are ideally situated in Orlando, Florida, which has become widely known as the theme park and resort capital of the world. We are responsible for the design, development, and delivery of all resort and theme park concepts for all of Universal vacation destinations worldwide – Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan, Universal Studios Singapore, as well as a new destination coming in Beijing, China. Join us if you want to collaborate, innovate, develop, and deliver the most compelling entertainment experiences imaginable that drive growth for the Universal brand around the world.

What sets Universal Creative apart?

We rarely wear suits. We think pop culture is fascinating and newsworthy. We are aware that possibilities are not limited by today’s realities. We know that everyone has good ideas (and the occasional bad one as well). We know that the world is large and varied, and that we touch all of it. We know that most high school guidance counselors don’t know our jobs exist. We know that if this were easy, everyone would be doing it. We know that there is an eclectic assortment of talented people from various professional backgrounds at the heart of Universal Creative. In addition, we embrace the power of cultural diversity and inclusion and continuously strive to maintain a team that is a reflection of our global audience. We are a diverse group, but united by a common goal: to dream and deliver the best possible out-of-home entertainment for people from every walk of life. In order to make that happen, Universal Creative relies on collaboration, hard work, synchronicity, a bit of luck, and a bunch of talented, experienced people who do not let ego and turf stand in the way of brilliance. We depend on a team of people who understand the task, the business implications, and refuse to be defeated by the challenge to fuse fantasy with physics. Universal Creative embraces ‘The Universal Way’ by not just meeting guest expectations, but exceeding them, every time.

JOB SUMMARY : The Show Programmer is responsible for conceiving, developing, 3D modeling, animating, and in-field show programming integrated media/ride system attractions, animated figures and show elements at Universal, working in close collaboration with the Attraction Designer, Show Producer, Creative Director, Show Design Director, Project Engineers and Media team (including but not limited to the Media Producer, Media Director and 3rd party media vendors). The Show Programmer works primarily in 3D to associate the mechanical movements of a motion platform, ride system, animated figure or other show element to the visual cues of the attraction’s media (film and audio) in all stages of design and development, to create motions that creatively merge and precisely synchronize the motion of the simulator to the motion cues in the media, maintaining the illusion of reality and the design intent for the attraction.


  • Collaborates closely with attraction design team, media design team, 3rd party media vendors and project engineers to conceive, develop, direct and model integrated ride system/media and/or animated figure based attractions. Works closely with Universal Creative Engineering & Safety to leverage emerging technologies in media delivery, ride systems, show action equipment, animated figures, and special effects to enhance potential guest experiences and expand strategic Universal Parks & Resorts systems I.P.

  • Collaborates with the media design team to direct the pre-production, production and post-production efforts of the 3rd party media vendor(s) to ensure media design and production efforts meet the physical (mechanical) parameters of the ride system/motion base and attraction’s design intent

  • Responsible for programming a motion profile that ensures motion base movements that accurately synchronize with the media’s visual message and design intent.

  • Orchestrates, manages, and tracks the 3D simulation process and the use of simulation data in driving important business decisions, including but not limited to design intent, capacity needs and guest and team member safety. Participates in development and use of simulation and analysis tools designed to assist this process.

  • Responsible for studying the visual and mental cues of the ride media, and interpreting same to move the motion platform in synchronization with the film by programming the platform movements with a computer keyboard or joystick

  • Collaborates with Universal Creative Engineering & Safety team to capture biometric data necessary to test and ensure safe and enjoyable guest ride experience and safe working conditions for team members. Ensures, with Engineering, the compliance of Health and Safety guidelines to ensure physical parameters of the ride fall within American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) limits and that the combined effects of motion control, visual presentation, audio environment, and other sensory stimulations are within acceptable Kinetosis boundaries and honor intellectual property rights.

SCOPE: Responsible for collaborating on the design, production and installation of the ride/show systems.


  • Strong motion sensibilities with an intuitive grasp of spatially diverse and dynamic physical and virtual environments, knowledge of both the capabilities and limitations of optical systems, and a good understanding of kinematics and dynamics, excellent problem solving skills, storyboarding, and the ability to work well in a collaborative team environment

  • Strong creative and technical skills in story direction and competency in all other areas of 3D including modeling, texturing, lighting, effects animation and rendering

  • A good knowledge of standard simulator techniques and confusion thresholds in human motor control, aural and optical centers, as well as knowledge of typical kinetosis boundaries

  • Expert proficiency using 3D Studio Max as a design and simulation tool and creating custom maxscripts to evaluate and export motion data; working knowledge of other 3D animation software such as Maya; Knowledge of working with, exporting to and importing from AutoCad and other computer modeling software

  • Knowledge of new technologies, authoring environments, prototyping and user interface design is preferred

  • Proficiency in using Adobe products: Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash & AfterEffects

  • Ability to design visuals and motion graphics for multimedia programs

EDUCATION: High school degree or GED is required. Bachelor’s degree: Motion Design, Interaction Design, Computer Animation, Computer Programming or related field is preferred.


  • Minimum 5-7 years in show programming development – Must have programmed a variety of attractions with motion simulators, media, show action equipment and/or animated figures.

  • Must be a strong technical and creative communicator with the ability to facilitate communication, design requests and creative direction/intent between the creative team, media team, engineering team and external vendors.

  • Strong proven experience in 3D computer animation and motion design within a collaborative environment required.

  • Must have a basic understanding of velocity, acceleration and the general concept of forces felt by riders on a theme park attraction. Ability to understand and develop/modify show profiles based on engineering calculations. Ability to export motion data from 3D software to data tables and excel documents utilizing scripts and other output devices.

  • Proficiency in using Adobe products: Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash & AfterEffects

Your talent, skills and experience will be rewarded with a competitive compensation package.

Universal is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity. All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Universal Parks & Resorts via-email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written Statement of Work in place for this position from Universal Parks & Resorts HR/Recruitment will be deemed the sole property of Universal Parks & Resorts. No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Universal Parks & Resorts as a result of the referral or through other means.


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