Virtual Material Designer I, Footwear

Job description

Become a Part of the NIKE, Inc. Team

NIKE, Inc. does more than outfit the world’s best athletes. It is a place to explore potential, obliterate boundaries and push out the edges of what can be. The company looks for people who can grow, think, dream and create. Its culture thrives by embracing diversity and rewarding imagination. The brand seeks achievers, leaders and visionaries. At NIKE, Inc. it’s about each person bringing skills and passion to a challenging and constantly evolving game.

The first spark of a product idea sets the NIKE, Inc. Product team into motion. The team of developers, testers, engineers, designers and managers obsess over Nike’s iconic silhouettes and create groundbreaking new styles. They collaborate, ideate and refine products’ construction, fit and materials. They maintain a keen understanding of consumer and market trends. They skillfully operate at the intersection of buyer needs, technical feasibility and business objectives. And they work lockstep with Merchandising, Design, Manufacturing and others to produce the final result: products that reflect the soul of sport and inspire athletes to reach new levels of performance.


We are looking for a Virtual Material Designer I to partner with material design at Nike to create and visualize innovative virtual material concepts using 3D tools such as Substance Designer. This candidate will combine their experience, problem solving abilities, and creativity to build the future of Nike Footwear materials. This role sits in the Digital Product Creation group, a team focusing on igniting the digital and virtual revolution at Nike.

The ideal candidate needs to be a highly creative problem solver who works well individually and in a team environment. This person is also proactive, has excellent communication skills, and has a basic understanding of a variety of 3D software and virtual material creation tools. The candidate also needs to have a basic understanding of shading models, material capture solutions, rendering technology, and has experience in real-time and offline rendering applications. This individual is passionate about designing new materials and developing the look of a scene to tell a story.


If this is you, you’ll be working in Digital Product Creation, where you will be part of a team of virtual material designers. Your responsibilities will include exploring, iterating, and visualizing new material concepts. You will achieve this through creating procedural materials that can be parameterized and shared with design. You will play a key role in redefining our digital landscape, ushering us into the metaverse, and growing our team’s capabilities

A day in the life of a virtual material designer includes collaborating with a wide variety of teams to bring to life new visions and designs. You will create new materials, apply them to new forms, and light the scene in a visually compelling way. You will help craft the story, communicate the intent, and present to leadership. You will also document new takeaways and share them with the rest of the team so we can grow together.


You will be partnering with Nike Material, Color, Graphic, Industrial, and 3D Design teams to bring to life the seasonal creative direction through Footwear Materials Design and Innovation. You will be shadowing a Virtual Material Designer II, absorbing and learning complex virtual material authoring techniques.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Design/Art, 3D Art, Game Design, or related field
  • At least 2 years’ experience creating virtual materials in a production or creative environment
  • Ability to create concepts and explore new material innovation, technologies, and ideas
  • Highly organized, proactive, and self-sufficient
  • Intermediate level proficiency in Adobe’s Substance Suite
  • Intermediate level proficiency in standard 3D software such as Maya, Modo, Blender etc.…
  • Intermediate level proficiency in offline and real-time render applications such as Vray, Octane, Unreal & Unity
  • Passion for 3D

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