Student and Graduate Publishing

Engineering Case Study

Friday, 25 October 2013 12:47


- Andreea is a 24-year-old research and development (R&D) programmer at Double Negative – one of the world’s leading film visual effects houses

Originally from Romania, Andreea joined Double Negative’s R&D Department in 2011 after gaining a Bsc in Joint Mathematics and Computing at Imperial College London, a mathematical course oriented to computing science, focussing on software programming, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

She now works in a team of nearly 100 engineers maintaining and developing 2D and 3D software to help create world-beating film visual effects for the likes of The World’s End, Man of Steel, Fast & Furious 6 and Bourne Legacy. Andreea is currently helping develop Double Negative’s new inhouse crowd simulation software.

In her spare time, Andreea volunteers as a STEM Ambassador (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with STEMNET, which aims to encourage young people to develop their creativity, problem-solving and employability skills and help them realise the different career opportunities available to them.

Andreea says: “The primary goal of the R&D department is to develop software that works and can be used in production to creative breath taking visual effects. For most of the time, my job is about writing good, structured code that allows our artists and compositors the creative freedom they need. It involves knowledge of C++ and Python amongst other programming languages and good software design skills are essential.

“The project I'm currently involved with is our in house crowd simulation tool. Its purpose is to layout and animate crowds by applying forces and switching between animation states in order to allow actors to move around in the scene. It requires a good understanding of Physics, Maths and algorithms, and ultimately good coding skills as the system is expanding fast with new features being implemented all the time. It's an interesting software engineering job in the sense that what you write will get used in production and you get to see the results on the silver screen, which is very satisfying.”

Andreea is also an ambassador for Tomorrow’s Engineers – a programme that helps schools to incorporate engineering into the current curriculum and plant the seeds needed to grow local engineering talent needed by businesses. As part of this, she recently supported the campaign Tomorrow’s Engineer’s Week in a bid to get more young people interested in pursuing a career in engineering.