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Lindsey Crummett

Weta Workshop Concept Artist/Digital Sculptor

Lindsey has been drawing, painting and sculpting from a very young age, and continued her exploration of the arts throughout Highshcool. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Concentration in Illustration and Character Design at California State University at Fullerton. During her time at University she also took many courses in Biology and Anthropology, which fueled her determination to work in Concept Design for Film by stoking her interest in Creature Design and World Building. An underlying lifetime love of Film cemented her decision to move from California to New Zealand to work with the legendary Weta Workshop. During her time at Weta Workshop since 2007, she has worked on numerous film projects and created many Collectible Sculptures for Weta Collectibles. She has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with many film giants such as Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Richard Taylor, Guillermo del Toro, and Neill Blomkamp to name a few.

  • Workshop - Sculpt and Print an expressive Collectible

    Sat - 15:45 - room2
  • Talk - From Practical to Digital; 10 Years of Creating at Weta Workshop

    Fri - 14:15 - room1

    From Practical to Digtal, 10 Years Creating at Weta Workshop. I’ll be discussing the world of concept design for film pre-production, and my personal path of beginning that journey in the practical realm of model-making and sculpting in plasteline clay. As the film industry evolves and incorporates more digital effects, many film workers, including myself, transitioned to more digital techniques. I’ll share how knowledge of practical effects can actually support digital concept design. I’ll also discuss how I use Z-Brush, Photoshop, and Keyshot regularly in the design pipeline. From my experiences working on such films as The Hobbit Trilogy, Avatar, District 9, and recently on Power Rangers (2017) I’ll discuss how important it is to have an over-arching passion for the creative process. Aside from film work, I’ll also touch on using digital sculpting for Collectibles, creating digital assets for video games and tabletop games, and even Public Art Sculpture.

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Dale Mayeda

Walt Disney Animation Studios Head of Effects Animation

He leads the effects department in both creative and technical direction alongside fellow head of effects Marlon West. “Vaiana” has an enormous scope of effects, including water and lava at an epic scale. “This is definitely our most complex and pervasive effects film we have been challenged with at the studio,” says Mayeda. “Our effects also need to perform as characters in an anthropomorphic way to convey emotion and excitement.”

Mayeda joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1999 as an effects animator and later head of effects animation. His credits include “Chicken Little” and “Bolt” and “Tangled,” as well as Oscar® winners “Paperman,” “Frozen” and “Big Hero 6.”

Prior to joining Disney, Mayeda got his start in live action at Sidley Wright Motionworks, The Post Group and Rainmaker Digital Pictures handling movie trailer graphics, commercials and live action visual effects. His credits include “Steel,” “Flubber” and “Armageddon.”

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Huntington Beach, Calif., Mayeda was drawn to the visual effects industry after seeing “The Lion King”—specifically the scene with the wildebeest stampede. He later served as a sequence supervisor on the 3D conversion of “The Lion King.” Mayeda earned his Bachelor of Science degree from UC Irvine in information and computer science. He minored in management.

  • Talk - Vaiana - Design and Collaboration of Effects

    Sat - 15:45 - room1

    The ocean in “Vaiana” played a pivotal role in the film, yet other effects challenges lied ahead. Creating a character made of water, a character made of lava, a character made of foliage, and an epic parting of the seas required a tight collaboration across departments and exploration in design and composition to bring the Director’s vision to life.

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Henry South

Industrial Light & Magic Senior Artist

Started in the industry in about 2008 after finishing my studies in plymouth and a masters in Vancouver. I was first introduced into it by bumping into someone by accident in a phone shop who went on to get me my first job. Through a steadily accelerating series of accidents, mistakes, and being in the right place at the right time I now work on Star Wars.

  • Talk - I shouldn't be here: a short discussion on imposter syndrome

    Sat - 14:15 - room2

    How I got into the industry, what I feel has been most beneficial to staying in it, and dealing with contract extensions and imposter syndrome. I would like to keep it quite informal, so more Q&A than speech.

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Sam Rowan

Framestore Concept Artist

Sam is a Concept Artist originally from Scotland, now based in London. For the past 10 years he has been working on feature films including Guardians of the Galaxy, Edge of Tomorrow, X-Men – Days of Future Past, Prometheus, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Clash of the Titans. He started as a Character Modeller working for studios such as Weta Digital, MPC and The Mill.
After 6 years as in VFX he was invited to join Framestore’s Visual Development team as a Concept Artist.

  • Talk - Creature Design in Film

    Sat - 17:15 - room1

    I will talk through how we designed creature for Fantastic Beasts and King Kong Skull Island.

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Francesco Siddi

Blender Animation Studio Production Manager

Francesco Siddi is the Production Manager and Pipeline TD at the Blender Animation Studio. He joined the team in Amsterdam as VFX artist for the Tears of Steel short film, and was involved with the Blender software project for several years. Since then, he has worked on the development of the studio pipeline and the Blender Cloud platform, which has allowed the funding and production of several shorts such as the Caminandes series, the award-winning Cosmos Laundromat and Agent 327: Operation Barbershop.

  • Talk - The Blender Open Movie Pipeline

    Sat - 11:15 - room1

    For more than 10 years, Blender’s popularity has grown alongside the Open Movies created at Blender Institute. In this presentation, Francesco Siddi will illustrate the unique blend of art and technology that made the latest production, Agent 327: Operation Barbershop, an online success.

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Mikkel Mainz

Sun Creature Director

With a degree from The Animation Workshop in Denmark, Mikkel directs, writes and works within animation. He directed “The Reward” as his Bachelor film and the sequels ”The First Hero”, “Travelling Deity” and “Wilhelm’s Curse” all part of the animated universe called “Tales of Alethrion” which was made possible thanks to crowdfunding and traditional funding. His interest for creating stories on different platforms and medias has resulted in many different kinds of awesome projects, like roleplaying books, comics, webseries, feature films, etc.

  • Talk - The animated universe of "The Reward - Tales of Alethrion" and more

    Sat - 10:00 - room1

    The journey of how the indie animation studio, Sun Creature, made the fantasy webseries, Tales of Alethrion, by using and exploring the possibilities of crossmedia and crowdfunding campaigns. Since then, the studio has grown bigger and is now making feature films, series, and more, and has become well established.

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Nicolas Matji

Lightbox animation Studios CEO

Nicolás Matji comes from a family of filmmakers and soon he developed a strong passion for animation projects.

As Film producer he has garnered 7 Goya Awards (Spanish Film Academy Awards), 2 for feature films and 5 for shortfilms, including the Guinness record to the most awarded Animation short film.

He is Cofounder of Lightbox Animation Studios and Lightbox Academy, School of Digital Arts.

TAD, THE LOST EXPLORER , AND THE SECRET OF KING MIDAS (Tadeo Jones 2, el secreto del Rey Midas – 2017), Directed by Enrique Gato & David Alonso, recently released in spain is his last production. At the present date is about to cross the 2 million moviegoers in Spain and it has to be released in the rest of the world.

In 2015 Lightbox released “CAPTURE THE FLAG” (Atrapa la bandera) , directed by Enrique Gato, it became the first Spanish animation film who got a worldwide distribution agreement with a Hollywood Major.

“TAD, THE LOST EXPLORER” (Las aventuras de Tadeo Jones, 2012) (Tad ,the lost explorer) , was the first movie produced by Lightbox. It became a great success in the history of Spanish animation, achieving more tan 2, 7 million moviegoers in Spain, becoming the second most watched film in Spain in 2012 and was distributed in more than 54 countries) , achieving a box office of an estimated 60 million USD and being the first Spanish movie ever to have a wide release in China.

Nicolas has also produced the animation TV Series DISCOVER WITH TAD (Descubre con Tadeo) for MEDIASET SPAIN. An Educational TV content about Spanish Research and Development in a 26X2 format

  • Talk - Challenges of Producing Animation Films in Europe

    Fri - 17:15 - room1

    Nicolas will take you on a journey through their 17 years of experience in the film industry. How they started, their failures, their sucesses, how they made it and what they did get.

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Peter Jacob Hausner

Wil Film ApS Supervising Director

I have been working with 2D as well as 3D, in short art films, commercials, games, feature films and mostly in TV series, covering the range from low-budget local (Denmark) TV-shows, and all the way to the high-end, global phenomenon; “Ninjago; Masters of Spinjitzu”, where I presently serve as Supervising Director.
For my work on “Ninjago” I was nominated for The Annie Award in 2012, in the category “Directing in a Television Production”.
I entered animation in the mid-eighties, and have been unable to escape ever since. I have been involved in animation, story boarding, producing, project development, yet directing seem to be the place I always gravitate towards.
Recently I have participated in a trans-media project, a so-called 360 development, where we have examined how to make a core that can apply to all aspects of the animation expressions today; VR, AR, TV series, gaming etc.
However; at heart, I am basically a story teller.

  • Talk - Directing pixels, pencils - and people.

    Fri - 11:15 - room1

    In my talk, I will briefly go through the variety of projects that I have been a part of over the years; from 2D to 3D, from art shorts to international TV-series.
    I will devote the better part to the recent years working with the LEGO “Ninjago” TV-series for Wil Film, and how we have made virtual plastic bricks with yellow faces come to life; from a pipeline perspective, production-wise – and especially in my job as a director on the show, from the very first season up until now, as we are creating Season 8 at full throttle.
    In that context, I will speak about how I execute my job, when the task at hand is to create strong emotions, believability and passion in that strange, artificial universe, build on pixels and paper: Animation.

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Wolf Matzl, Moana Rom, Eric Chen

ÖD – Österreichisches Daumenkino Animator & Comic Artist

ÖD – Österreichisches Daumenkino is an Austrian flip book anthology that showcases the work of 8 comic and animation artists. Now in its second run it is produced and published by Wolf Matzl, Moana Rom and Eric Chen. You can find more about this project by visiting www.tisch14.at/oed

Wolf Matzl runs a small animation studio in Vienna with his partner Moana Rom. They work in a variety of styles and – preferably handmade – techniques like paper cut-out and puppet animation.
Eric Chen is a comic artist and graphic designer in Vienna.

  • Workshop - Flipbook Workshop

    Sat - 10:00 - room2

    After a brief introduction participants are invited to create and draw their own flip books.

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Niek Neervens

Guerilla Games Senior Animator

Hey I’m Niek, I’m responsible for some of the in game animations for Aloy on our awesome game Horizon: Zero Dawn! I also worked on Killzone: Shadowfall, and done some VFX work at a studio in Amsterdam. For a long time I didn’t know what I wanted as a profession. I didn’t even realise that being an animator or a game developer was something you could do as a job. Looking back I do realise that my love for movies, video games, and drawing were a constant presence in my life. I guess I just had to walk down a few different paths before I finally chose to pursue the things that I loved and made the decision to be an animator. And when I did, I just felt this was the right thing for me, and I haven’t regretted this decision a single day of my life!

  • Talk - Animating Aloy in Horizon: Zero Dawn

    Fri - 15:45 - room1

    I want to talk about the in game animation process for Aloy on Horizon Zero Dawn.
    Talk a little on how it all begun and how we built something from scratch.
    I want to focus on Aloys in game movement and how we found her animation style.
    Ill also walk you trough my personal animation process when I was animating Aloy.
    We’ll also go into the animation systems we used and how and why we made them. Sounds fun?
    Ill see you at my talk!

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Felix Bohatsch

Broken Rules CEO

Felix is CEO of the Broken Rules. Indie at his heart, he co-founded Broken Rules right after finishing his studies at Vienna University of Technology and Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Utrecht. His area of expertise includes game and level design and gameplay programming which he has done on all games of the studio. Additional he has been responsible for ensur­ing project quality and handling all organizational activity of Broken Rules.

  • Talk - A game for your reading nook. Design, Development and Reception of Old Man's Journey

    Fri - 17:15 - room2

    Old Man’s Journey, our fourth game, was special from its kick-start from Indie Fund to winning an Apple Design Award shortly after launch. After 10 years of developing games with small teams, we used all our experience to produce a game that is close to our hearts and was able to find an audience in the currently crowded market. We used clear constraints and an iterative development cycle to produce a touching and personal experience for our players. From the beginning, we had the games market presence and PR strategy in mind and were able to reach players, journalists, and store editors through development. Now, almost one year after its launch, I will look back and share our experience, knowledge, and numbers from Old Man’s Journey.

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Manuel Thomasser

DIGIC Pictures Previz Artist

As a Graphic Designer and Motion Artist of 15 he started to increase his special fields by doing 3D Animation. After his Highschool Degree he worked as a junior Art Director and later moved to Salzburg to extend his knowledge in Fine Arts. While doing his studies at the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg he raised his own agency in 2015, working on projects for RedBull, Ogilvy&Mather, FreshFX, Funke&Glanz, Tyrolia, Semperit, Promotion Software, Paylife, Lightshape, … After his Master Degree graduation in spring 2016 he moved to Stuttgart to work for Studio Soi on the international Cartoon Network Series “The Amazing World of Gumball” – Season 5. In autumn 2016 he started his career as a Previz Artist at Digic Pictures in Budapest.

  • Talk - Beyond Vision - DIGIC's approach in cinematic storytelling

    Sat - 14:15 - room1

    The presentation will be about realizing visions in and with cinematic trailers, how to improve and outdo expectations and combine all aspects of storytelling and visuals into top-notch trailers. With examples from projects as Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, Final Fantasy XV and a very special project not released yet this speech will not only give insights into the technical creation, but also directors intentions, meaning and explanation of our own style of visual storytelling, creating the personalities of characters, and many more in an understandable and instructive way. We will give you a glimpse into the world of creating high quality, technical as artistic, cinematic trailers.

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Michael Schreiber

Black-Cell Sound Designer

Michael is a Sound Designer with 8 years of experience in sound designing and mixing for short and long format productions like commercials, television series and motion pictures. He has worked with production companies in Austria and done work for international clients.

As a next logical step however, Michael discovered his interest in interactive non-linear media and started working for gaming companies on traditional console games and immersive VR experiences. Besides his work in Audio Postproduction and Game Audio, Michael teaches Audio Design at the HTL Spengergasse in Vienna.

  • Talk - Auditory Icons and Earcons in Game Audio

    Fri - 10:00 - room2

    Despite spatialisation being essential for an overall VR audio experience, the way a sound designer actually designs sounds for giving proper feedback is even more important. This talk covers how a sound designer can bridge the semantic gap between the actual sound that can be measured and the sound being perceived and interpreted by human beings and how this relates to VR. It covers how to universally create a language in sound that everybody can understand, despite cultural differences and different backgrounds and make that work for your game.

    This talk shows methods of a sound designer to create sounds to be universally understood by a game audience.

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Jaroslav Křivánek

Charles University, Prague & Render Legion, a.s. Associate Professor / CSO

Jaroslav Křivánek is an associate professor of Computer Science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University, Prague, and a co-founder of and the Chief Science Officer at Render Legion a.s., the company behind the realistic rendering software Corona Renderer. Previously, he was a Marie Curie research fellow at Cornell University, and a researcher at Czech Technical University in Prague, as well as at University of Central Florida. Jaroslav received his Ph.D. from INRIA Rennes. His primary research interest is in realistic rendering, especially Monte Carlo methods for light transport simulation. The technologies he has co-developed have been adopted, among other, by Weta Digital, PIXAR, Allegorithmic, Chaos Group, and they are of course used also in Corona Renderer. In 2014, Jaroslav was selected for the New Europe 100 list, “a list of outstanding challengers who are leading world-class innovation from Central and Eastern Europe”.

  • Talk - From nuclear reactors to pretty pictures and attractive 3D prints

    Fri - 11:15 - room2

    Computer generated images have become a natural part of our lives and, at the same time, 3D printing technology is maturing and enables producing prints using various materials with a wide range of appearances. In this talk, I summarize some of my research on the tech behind generating photorealistic images and controlling appearance of 3D prints. I show that these two seemingly different topics share the same basis: accurate simulation of the behavior of light. Origins of this computational problem can be traced back to the development of first nuclear weapons in the Manhattan project, and to names like von Neumann, Fermi, or Ulam. I will show how some of the lessons learned from the very origins have been used to boost performance of production renderers.

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Kirstie Shepherd

Curio & Co. Content Director

Kirstie Shepherd has written for comic books, magazines, and advertising campaigns in Europe and the US. She has created communication projects that lift the story off the page and bring it to life, including developing shows for schoolchildren and serving as a spokesperson for radio and TV broadcasting.

Together with Cesare Asaro, they bring the fictional worlds of Curio & Co. to life, producing entertainment collectibles from this alternate history. This includes the Eisner-nominated Finding Frank and His Friend and the Gadabout Time Machine User’s Manual, recently optioned to Hollywood for a feature film. From heartstring-tugging nostalgia to fictional environments so believable you could almost walk right in, their work reveals an extraordinary world that’s lurking just under the surface of our own humdrum lives.

  • Workshop - Stripped-down Storytelling: Creating a 3-Panel Gag

    Fri - 14:15 - room2

    In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn the basics to create a complete narrative from start to finish – in only three panels. Cesare Asaro (artist, Finding Frank and His Friend) and Kirstie Shepherd (writer, Spaceman Jax: Through the Mantagon Minefield) will guide you through the mechanics of visual storytelling so you can make an immediate connection with your audience, get right to the heart of your narrative, and create stories that appeal to a wide audience. Working with your own digital equipment – or paper and pen – by the end of the workshop you’ll have a final product that you can share right away.

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Cesare Asaro

Curio & Co. Illustrator

Designer and illustrator Cesare Asaro has one foot in Europe and one in the US. He has worked on both continents in the animation industry on projects like Disney’s Princess and the Frog, Sesame Street’s stop-motion Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures, and the upcoming Deix feature film Rotzbub.

Together with Kirstie Shepherd, they bring the fictional worlds of Curio & Co. to life, producing entertainment collectibles from this alternate history. This includes the Eisner-nominated Finding Frank and His Friend and the Gadabout Time Machine User’s Manual, recently optioned to Hollywood for a feature film. From heartstring-tugging nostalgia to fictional environments so believable you could almost walk right in, their work reveals an extraordinary world that’s lurking just under the surface of our own humdrum lives.

  • Workshop - Stripped-down Storytelling: Creating a 3-Panel Gag

    Fri - 14:15 - room2

    In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn the basics to create a complete narrative from start to finish – in only three panels. Cesare Asaro (artist, Finding Frank and His Friend) and Kirstie Shepherd (writer, Spaceman Jax: Through the Mantagon Minefield) will guide you through the mechanics of visual storytelling so you can make an immediate connection with your audience, get right to the heart of your narrative, and create stories that appeal to a wide audience. Working with your own digital equipment – or paper and pen – by the end of the workshop you’ll have a final product that you can share right away.

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Brian Main

Artist & Animator

Brian is a native of Detroit living in Vienna, where he’s been living and working for the past 17 years. In that time he’s been freelancing for an extensive list of clients in Europe and North America. In his capacity as an illustrator, designer, and animator he has worked on numerous game projects as well as advertising campaigns. He most recently contributed assets to the award winning
“Old Man’s Journey” for Broken Rules and “Path Out” with Causa Creations. He has also self-published “Lil’ Red – An Interactive Story”, an acclaimed storytelling app.

Brian also teaches painting and composition at Illuskills – Vienna’s illustration academy.

  • Talk - The DNA of Character Design

    Fri - 10:00 - room1

    After showing some of his professional work, Brian will take his audience through a character design development as well as share insights into his design process.