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David Burgess

DreamWorks Animation Head of Character Animation

I grew up loving monster movies and Warner Bros cartoons. Graduated from Emily Carr College in Vancouver. My first job was at the NFB in Montreal; since then have worked in commercials, television and feature films in 2D & 3D. A few of the films I’m proudest of are Aladdin, Tarzan, Madagascar, Over The Hedge & Trolls.

  • Talk - Developing the Characters and Animation Style for DreamWorks’ Trolls

    In terms of art, the pixel is the equivalent of the atom. It’s indivisible, the smallest visual unit. One pixel can be the basis of a digital masterpiece. This session will provide a closer look at “Pixel-art” a digital art form that forces you to think reductive and find interesting solutions in given limitations of size or color.

    Will walk through the process of designing, modeling, rigging an animating the characters from Trolls. Will show a lot inspirational clips, early animation tests as well as final footage from the film.

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Hans-Joerg Keim

Walt Disney Animation Studios Head of Environments

Hans-Joerg Keim studied Graphic Design/Visual Communication at the University of Applied Sciences in Duesseldorf, Germany. After graduating, Keim worked as an Associate Professor at the same University and as a 3D generalist on a variety of projects. Keim moved to Los Angeles in 2003 where he worked as a previs artist. He joined Walt Disney Animation Studios as a lighter on “”Meet the Robinsons”” and then moved between the lighting and look development departments. He served as lighting supervisor and look development environment supervisor for “Frozen” and was the Head of Environments on “Zootopia”.

  • Talk - The World of Zootropolis

    The world of “Zootopia” is a vast, multi-scale, multi-climate city that represents the biomes of the tundra, desert, rainforest, and grasslands. It is also a place where humans never existed and animals have evolved to be anthropomorphic. Walt Disney Animation Studios was challenged to push the artistic boundaries of all aspects of our production process to create vastly different environments. The scale difference of the animals, from a mouse to giraffe (95:1), required us to design and build a world that could be inhabited by characters of all shapes and sizes. This presentation will touch on the artistic and technical breakthroughs required to develop, create, animate, and render the world of “Zootopia” from the Rainforest to Little Rodentia.

Jean-Marie Aubry

Double Negative R&D Programmer

With a PhD and habilitation in mathematics, Jean-Marie Aubry held for 10 years a position of associate professor position at the university of Paris East – Créteil. After a variety of publications in multifractal and functional analysis, he moved to Wellington, New Zealand to work as a visual effects researcher for Weta Digital. Now with Double Negative in London, Jean-Marie pursues research and development with the rendering team.

  • Talk - The maths behind the curtain

    Computer-generated visual effects rely on sophisticated mathematics. In this talk, I will present three case studies where beautiful mathematics were implemented in production software to make beautiful movies. May contain traces of equations.

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Johannes Mücke


Johannes studied Architecture in Aachen, Los Angeles and Vienna, where he received his Master of Architecture in January 2005. After working for FOA in London for a year, Johannes joined Rockstar Vienna as lead concept artist until it was shut down in 2006. After working for Sproing as Head of Art for over four years, Johannes co-founded with his partner Oliver Bertram in 2010 WIDESHOT, an Architecture and Entertainment Design company based in Vienna.

Besides its large Architecture portfolio WIDESHOT focusses on video game art direction and design as well as production design for film. Since WIDESHOT started to work with Roland Emmerich on the movie ‘2012’ in 2008, there have been many colaborations with US American film makers, production houses and studios, with ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ being the latest large scale project. WIDESHOT worked on this film for over 1,5 years partly on-site and in parts remotely, designing all the spaceships, the Alien queen, a large number of sets, the cities, storyboards, motion graphics, the title sequence and many more. WIDESHOT is currently working with Roland Emmerich and Universal Pictures on the pre-design for ‘Moonfall’, Roland’s new blockbuster, that is scheduled to be filmed in early 2017.

  • Talk - Independence Day: Resurgence – Designing the Alien Invasion

    What started with a greenlight presentation painting for the ‘moon tug’, the little, heroic ‘space forklift’ from ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ became a full blown production design gig for the Viennese design company WIDESHOT, including amongst others the whole fleet of human and alien spaceships, the look of the Earthly metropolises after the Alien Invasion in ’96, the title sequence, storyboards and eventually the planning and building of a number of sets on the production sites in Albuquerque and Los Angeles.
    The talk emcompasses how a Viennese design studio came to work for large US productions and outlines the process, the background and the production phase of the design work on the samples of three selected space ships from ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’.

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Paul McMahon

The Rusted Pixel

Paul is a freelance 3D modelling and texturing artist from Ireland. He studied animation at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. He moved back to Ireland where the recession hit pretty hard. Work was difficult to come by and decided the only way to make a living was to enter the scary world of freelancing.

He has been using CINEMA 4D for seven years and has developed a unique retro modelling style and applies painterly textures with the use of BodyPaint and Corel Painter. Where most artists choose to use bright and shiny textures, Paul prefers layered, warm and abstract textures with plenty of hidden easter eggs 🙂

  • Talk - Creating stylized models with Character for Animation.

    Starting with why stylized models are a fun and easy way to get across your message I will then lead my talk onto my approach of developing ideas. What workflow I find suits me best – the pros and cons of this workflow too.

    From there I’ll move on to what inspires my work. What resources I use to create my artwork. Finally I’ll talk about my approach to modelling in CINEMA 4D and how I used the tools in C4D to create stylized models.

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Manuel Casasola Merkle

AixSponza GmbH Partner / CD

Manuel Casasola Merkle is a Graphic Designer and Technical Director with over 15 years of experience. He likes to dive deep into the ins & outs of contemporary CG research, burrying his desk under piles of Siggraph papers, thus racking up quite diverse software and programming skills. After graduating from the University of Applied Sciences in Nürnberg in 2000, he co-founded Aixsponza, an interdisciplinary design company, based in Munich Germany in 2006.

  • Talk - Making of “Seed”

    3D scanning techniques have started to increasingly influence computer animation recently. The “Seed” movie, is a visual experiment that makes heavy use of scanned data to create a surreal experience. Samples from the ordinary world, that surrounds us, are put into a new and artificial context. The contrasting relationship between formerly unrelated objects encourages the spectator to create an individual interpretation. In this talk Manuel sheds light on the creative and technical process behind the “Seed” project.

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Sascha Geddert

3D Designer

Born in 1984 as son of a fine arts teacher, Sascha first used cameras and real actors to make films but then switched to the computer early in his career. While studying at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, he made critically acclaimed short films, worked on feature films and started exploring interactive media. In 2015 he worked on a graphics research project promising rich interactive graphics on mobile devices. These days he’s exploring storytelling in VR.

  • Talk - Design changing shape – a story world across multiple media

    Developed as a short film project at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, “Globosome” took on a life of it’s own. The award winning short film spawned an iOS game, served as a Trailer for the FMX conference and was recently the basis for a graphics research project in San Francisco. The talk examines how visual design had to change across multiple media and presents a novel method for interactive cinematic experiences based on precomputation.

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Lyudmil Vanev

Chaos Group 3D Artist

Lyudmil is a CG professional with more than 10 years’ experience in the field of architectural visualization, animation and visual effects. Before joining Chaos Group, he worked as a CG specialist and compositor at some of the biggest VFX studios in Bulgaria.  Lyudmil joined the Chaos Group CG team in 2014 and since then he’s focused on helping companies and professionals get the best out of V-Ray rendering engine.

  • Talk - Bulgarian Village – from Concept to VR

    Chaos Group’s CG Specialist team conceived Bulgarian Village as a teambuilding exercise and as a test of the boundaries of V-Ray altogether. Days into execution and the project had already evolved into a full-scale story, which took our artist on a journey through concepting, character and story-building, world creating and the whole nine yards of visual storytelling.

    Join Lyudmil Vanev as he tells the whole experience behind creating this concept piece, which promises to lay the foundations to a whole new range of V-Ray presentations. And while at it – learn how you can transform even a bizarre cartoonish environment into a unique VR experience.

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Alexander Grenus

stillalive studios Projectmanager / Game Designer

Alexander Grenus works as project manager and designer at stillalive studios. He worked on the award winning action-adventure Son of Nor and the recently released Bus Simulator 16. Currently he is the project manager and designer for the upcoming strategy game Drone Swarm.

He released his first game in 2007 and worked as an artist for architecture and product visualization, before he joined stillalive studios in 2012.

  • Talk - Creating a Central European City in Unity3d

    In this talk Alexander Grenus will explain how stillalive studios created a central european city in Unity3d for Bus Simulator 16. The talk covers the whole creation process from the concept phase to the production to the finished product. He will point out the various different artistic and technical challenges and how they managed to overcome them. He will also talk about the learnings and what you should watch out for when creating a city.

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Kim Majkut

Curiscope / Great Guns Creative / Director

Kim is a freelance twice BAFTA nominated, multi award winning Creative and Director currently working in VR and AR content. Specialising in immersive visual storytelling that has captivated audiences over the years. Her portfolio spans across short form, motion graphics, VR and post production for broadcast, advertising and online.

  • Talk - Captivating the Mind

    How we can inspire the next generation through VR and AR content and the importance of entertainment based narrative-led content to engage the young mind. Disucssing how it can be utilised as an educational tool for the younger generations and push beyond the boundaries on how we view education.

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Michael Tisler

Black Cell CEO

Michael has been a Game Designer for half a decade before he and his friend and colleague Stefan decided to found Black Cell, a Gaming Studio which focuses on Virtual Reality.

A short while ago they released the atmospheric puzzle-game Wake Up, which is quickly climbing up the Steam VR charts and is highly acclaimed by the press.

  • Talk - Virtual Reality Game Development

    Virtual Reality transforms game development tremendously. Long trained design rules do not apply anymore. Iteration is more important than ever. Expect no help from the internet because most of the time you are the first one attempting to solve this problem.

    In this lecture you will not be bothered with generic do’s or don’ts. Instead you’ll hear about the specific challenges Black Cell had to face in business- as well as game-development regarding Virtual Reality during the first few months of the companies’ lifetime.

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Matthias Hürbe

Black Cell Programmer

Matthias has been a Game Developer for as long as he can remember. With a background in electrical engineering, computer science, 3d modeling and visual effects he is uniquely qualified for virtual reality development. He has over 2 years of tools, gameplay and engine programming experience and specialized in game development with Unreal Engine 4, the very technology that powers some of the best VR experiences out now.

  • Talk - Building a VR Roller Coaster using Unreal Engine 4

    In this talk Matthias will explain the challenges he had to face and the lessons he learned during the development of the virtual reality roller coaster, accomplished with Unreal Engine 4. He will talk about which tools he used for building the experience and what was necessary for creating an enjoyable ride for virtual reality. A segment of the talk will focus on optimization to achieve the best possible performance for virtual reality.

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Matthias Maschek

Lost in the Garden Co Founder

Matthias is co founder and developer at Lost in the Garden (http://lostinthegarden.com), a small independent games studio in Vienna. He is currently working on a hyperfuturistic, omnidirectional racing game that blends classical arcade racing with flying, complemented by an abstract art style and driving IDM music. Matthias has a background in computer science and builds alternative game concepts as a hobby.

  • Talk - How we got Lost in the Garden

    A brief history how we bootstraped a small indiestudio from scratch. Including how we decided on our platform on consoles and how we got the funding to bring our first project to life.

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Markus Lipp

Esri Sr. Software Engineer

Markus Lipp is a senior software engineer and researcher at Esri, mainly focused on advancing procedural modeling. He holds a PhD in computer science from the Vienna University of Technology.

  • Talk - CityEngine 2016: The Future of 3D City Modeling

    Esri CityEngine is a procedural modeling tool for creating 3D cities in feature films, commercials or TV productions. In this workshop we will present how CityEngine can be successfully integrated into pre- and post-production pipelines for the efficient design and streamlined modeling of 3D city backgrounds and digital sets.

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Stefan Srb

Mipumi Games / leafthief Game Designer

Stefan “leafthief” Srb has been professionally making games since 2011 (that’s the official date) at Viennese game development studio Mi’pu’mi Games. There he worked on titles like Hitman HD: Trilogy, Anno: Build and Empire and most recently their very first own, independently published, IP: The Lion’s Song, which originated in one of Stefan’s privately developed games.

By night he becomes “leafthief”, maker of independent games, partaker in game jams and Créateur du pixel art. As “leafthief” he creates character-driven, mostly narrative, games. Among them experiences about inspiration, beauty and dementia that have won two Vienna Content Awards in the past. When not working on games he likes to talk about working on games and did so at the A MAZE Berlin, Quo Vadis, Develop Brighton or as guest lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.

  • Talk - From Pixel to Person

    In terms of art, the pixel is the equivalent of the atom. It’s indivisible, the smallest visual unit. One pixel can be the basis of a digital masterpiece. This session will provide a closer look at “Pixel-art” a digital art form that forces you to think reductive and find interesting solutions in given limitations of size or color.

    This is a live-demo/workshop that will introduce listeners to the basics of creating pixel art from an idea to a finished pixel-art game sprite.
    Stefan will show various pixel-art techniques and examples of how very little can convey a whole lot as he creates a character in under 100x100px.

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Bas Korsmit

Guerrilla Games Senior Technical Animator

After finishing my Bachelor of Animation at Academy of Arts St. Joost in Breda, I started at Guerrilla Games as Cinematics Animator. Gradually the tasks started shifting towards the technical spectrum of animation. Soon enough, I became responsible for development and maintenance of a major portion of the animation tools and pipeline.

My free time was (and is) largely spent doing side projects ranging from visual effects to programming custom applications for interactive installations.

  • Talk - The Tech Side of Animation at Guerrilla

    In this talk, I’d like to give you an overview of the shadowy (and at times slightly messy) side of animation and cinematics production in games like Killzone and Horizon.

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Zdravko Pavlov

Unity Technologies VFX artist

I’m currently working as a visual effects artist. My previous work experience includes 7 years as a motion graphics and compositing artist for TV productions. 3D modeling, lighting and rendering, as well as 4 years as a VFX artist in Crytek Black Sea (Sofia). I joined Unity demo in the beginning of 2016.

  • Talk - Using Caronte FX in Unity Adam

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John Polidora

Blizzard Entertainment Character Designer

I am an Illustrator, a character designer, and a concept artist working at Blizzard Entertainment for 10 years, who is currently working as a character designer and concept artist on Overwatch.

  • Talk - The Cohesive Character Design of Overwatch

    I plan to discuss the process and art direction of developing heroes and skins for Overwatch, and how we approached the creation of an entirely new IP for Blizzard.

Stefan Malzner

Bloodirony Games Creative Director

Stefan Malzner is a vienna based graphic designer, burger lover and creative director at Bloodirony Games.
Stefan started his career at the young age of 14 by founding his first startup Global Artists, a community for digital designers and photographers. After his graphic design apprenticeship he worked as a digital designer for companies like Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Shell, Volkswagen and on the weekends he toured as a DJ and VJ all over Europe. For the last couple of years he has been on a mission to find the best burger recipe and founded Horst, Grete and now Bloodirony Games.