Michael Shantzis

Pixar Animation Studios Senior Software Engineer

Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics, Brown University, 1984
Master of Science in Computer Science, Brown University, 1986

The Droidworks (A division of Lucasfilm), Audio Software Engineer, 1986-1987
Pixar Animation Studios, Graphics Software Engineer, 1987-Present

“A Model for Efficient and Flexible Image Computing”, Siggraph 1994

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific and Engineering Award for “CAPS,” a computer system to aid in the production of traditional ink and paint animated movies, 1992

  • Talk - How Pixar Makes Movies

    Micheal Shantzis will give a behind-the-scenes peak into Pixar’s animation pipeline.
    From developing a story, to creating a storyreel in editing, to art, modeling,
    animation and simulation. Shantzis will show examples from well-known Pixar
    movies like “Brave”, “Toy Story 3”, “Cars 2” and “Up”.

David Brooks

Aardman Facial Rigging TD

David graduated from Bournemouth University, England in 2008. Following his second year he gained an internship at Framestore CFC in London and worked alongside the rigging team on ‘The Tale of Despereaux’. He was mentored by Nico Sanghrajka, now Character TD at PDI/Dreamworks.

After freelancing in London on mainly commercial and children’s television work, David was invited to work for Aardman Animations on their 2012 feature film ‘Pirates!’. At Aardman he was able to work alongside Victor Vinyals, a passionate and talented Character TD with experience of more than fifteen years.

It was on ‘Pirates!’ David rigged the faces in preparation for the 3D printing process, which were then used on the studio floor as physical models in replacement animation.

Specialties –
Character TD/Rigging
Automated Modular Rigging Scripts

  • Talk - Pirat Mouths – CG Facial Rigging on Aardman’s ‘Pirates!’

    An overview of the process used at Aardman Features for the film ‘Pirates!’. From CG Facial Rigs through to physical 3D printed puppet faces used on set.

Craig Caldwell

University of Utah USTAR Professor

Craig Caldwell, USTAR (Utah Science Technology and Research) Professor, Digital Media Cluster, University of Utah. Industry experience: 3D Technology Specialist, Walt Disney Feature Animation in Burbank, CA (i.e. Tarzan, Dinosaur, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons etc.) and Creative Training at Electronic Arts, Tiburon Studio. Academic background includes Head of the largest FilmSchool in Australia at Griffith University. The Griffith Film school known for its interdisciplinary program in Film, Animation, and Games. Previously was Head of the Media Arts Department at University of Arizona and Associate Director of the Triestman New Media Center. Currently Director of Arts Track, Master Games Studio, UofU; focus on story development. Has presented at conferences such as SIGGRAPH, FMX2012, CCGExpo 2012, View Conference, and Mundos Digitales.

  • Talk - Story for artists, programmers, and game designers

    When studios say “it is about the story!” everyone nods in agreement, but the narrative elements of a story often remains elusive because there just isn’t time to take a full course in screenwriting. This is a course on story structure that has been designed specifically for technical directors, artists, animators, modelers, designers etc. who’s work is critical in making “the story” come to life. This session covers the universal elements of story distinct to screen media, with many clips to illustrate the concepts.

    This session emphasizes story elements (i.e theme, plot, character, setting, conflict etc.) and their relationship to classic story structure (i.e. setup, inciting incident, rising action, climax, resolution etc). It analyzes conflict (i.e. internal, external, environmental), turning points, cause & effect, archetype vs stereotypes, and how choice defines character. In all stories there must be narrative questions raised and “change” to keep the audience engaged. Stories need to have something at stake (i.e. survival, safety, love, esteem, etc.) that motivates the main character (protagonist) to move from their ordinary world to a different world, where the action takes place.

Thiago Da Costa

TeamUp Technologies co-founder / CEO

Thiago Costa is the founder of the critically acclaimed physics platform Lagoa Multi-Physics – Autodesk Award winner, 3D World Magazine Award winner, 2010 #1 on CGSociety Retrospective. He spent close to a decade working as a Digital Artist for creative projects, receiving screen credit for blockbuster films, indie short films and game projects such as Predators, G.I. Joe – Rise of the Cobra and Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed.

He has worked on more than 100 advertising pieces in the US, Canada and Brazil, and been on both sides of the table as a Content Creator and Software Developer.

In 2011 Thiago co-founded TeamUp technologies, with the goal of making content creation tools available to everyone, everywhere.

  • Talk - TeamUP: Multi-Optics Rendering and Collaboration Platform for the 3D Community

    TeamUP’s co-Founder Thiago Costa will talk about content creation as it transitions to the cloud, and the new types of workflows that are being designed at TeamUP that will accelerate the process of start and develop creative projects.

    The presenter will demonstrate the Rendering features of the new ultra fast Multi-Optics render engine and demonstrate how to handle complex materials and the Realtime collaboration platform.

Damien Fagnou

MPC Stereographer

After finishing University with a Masters in Computer Science, Damien worked for an animated series implementing tools and technology to speed up the motion capture pipeline and rendering. He later accepted a job to help set up the initial workflow at the newly formed Attitude studios and then, with his sights set on moving overseas, Damien took on the role of Tools and Workflow Programmer at Climax in the UK where he worked on the Xbox title, Sudeky. In 2003, Damien transferred his skills to the film industry and started at leading global VFX post production company MPC to work on Troy implementing preview tools and City Rendering scripts. In 2005, Damien became R&D lead on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 10,000 BC and Narnia. Damien is currently MPC’s Stereographer completed full stereo VFX shots on a number of high profile movies including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated return to Sci Fi, Prometheus.

  • Talk - MPC’s Stereo VFX work on Prometheus

    In this presentation MPC Stereographer Damien Fagnou will explain the important concepts behind Stereo Visual FX in movies, followed by examples of MPC’s workflow and the complex shots the team created for Ridley Scott’s return to Sci Fi, Prometheus.

Fabio Ilacqua

Forge Studios CEO

Fabio Ilacqua started his career in the games industry in 2005 when, after completing his master degree in computer and software engineering, he moved to Amsterdam to work as a 3D artist at Streamline Studios in the Netherlands. During the following years he became lead artist and then art director at the studio being responsible of managing and directing the team and art production. Some of the projects he worked on are: Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 3, Overlord and Terminator Salvation.

In 2010 he co-founded Forge Studios; an outsourcing company based in Rome specialized in providing high quality art content for games. Since then has been directing and supervising the art production of the studio’s projects that include among others F.E.A.R. 3 and Crysis 2.

  • Talk - Hard surface modeling workflow

    From concept to in-game model the talk will give insights on how to create high quality hard surface models. Best practices, meshflow, tools available and common mistakes to avoid.

Jarek Kolar

2K Czech Game Designer

Work experience – developing games for 19 years 1992-1995 Pterodon Software- worked on Czech local graphic adventure games as designer, artist and animator. 1996-1997 Virtual X-citement- worked in Germany based studio on RTS game as designer and artist 1998 – 2005 Pterodon- worked on several titles as lead designer, producer and co-owner of the studio 2005-2010 Illusion Softworks/2K Czech – worked as senior development manager and gameplay producer on various unfinished titles, Mafia II and DLCs 2010-2012 2K Czech – works as senior designer on unannounced AAA game Education Faculty of architecture on Brno technical university (2 years only, without a degree) Theory of Interactive media on Masaryk’s university in Brno (bachelor’s degree)

  • Talk - Mafia II Postmortem

    After success of original Mafia in 2002, the team wanted to do a sequel in a fast and efficient way. On the end it was neither quick nor easy. The session is a postmortem on 8 years of Mafia II development from inception to release in 2010 and also focuses on how the local development team Illusion Softworks has changed into a premium international development house 2K Czech.

Jochen Kranzer

ovos Managing Partner

Jochen Kranzer started turning his passion into a career while studying architecture at the Vienna University of Technology. Using his many identities (a magician in World of Warcraft, a ruler of entire empires in Civilization or a fearless sailor and merchant in Anno 1404) he has been roaming virtual worlds for decades. He has worked with ovos since 2005 and became a partner in 2007. At ovos, Jochen is responsible for game concepts, game design and production management. Both Jochen und ovos are increasingly concentrating on games where players not only win points but gain knowledge. He already held lectures at the University of Applied Sciences Hagenberg and at the Vienna University of Technology. In addition to his work, he is currently attending the master course MediaGameEducation (MedienSpielPädagogik) at the Danube University Krems.

  • Talk - Serious Game Production in Austria

    Serious games are a tough business: Publishers keep their hands off them, because they don’t sell, game designer look at them with a skeptical gaze, players don’t like them because they’re boring and teachers don´t like them because they’re too complicated. Still, in 2012, after more than 3 years production, ovos released Ludiwg, a physics adventure for adventurers from 12-14 years. Meanwhile, more than 10.000 licenses are distributed to schools all over Austria. Ludwig has been published as a retail product in Austria and in the near future, Ludwig will even go abroad to Asia and South America. Jochen Kranzer, managing partner of ovos will share a glimpse behind the scenes with you and talk about what it takes to make a serious and yet fun-to-play game, find the money to do so and how Austrian schools are using Ludwig to teach Physics.

Ben Long

NoiseBuffet Composer & Sound Designer

Ben Long is a music composer and sound designer. His sonic signature can be heard in over 100 video games and across every major TV network. Ben is a frequent guest speaker with recent talks at SXSW Interactive and GDC Europe.

Hear his work at www.noisebuffet.com and learn more about game audio at www.gameaudio101.com

  • Talk - A Brief History of Sound in Video Games

    The video game industry and the computer animation industry are practically joined at the hip. It wasn’t always this way though. Throughout history, video game development has struggled to catch up with linear media. Join Ben Long as he shares the audio side of the story. Learn what it takes to make a game look and sound great

Fraser MacLean

Fraser’s animation career began when he was hired by Disney in 1987 to work in the London Special Effects Department on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, after which he went on to work for many different studios on both sides of the Atlantic, from Passion Pictures and Telemagination in London to Warner Bros. and Disney Feature in Los Angeles. In recent years Fraser has taught on many different degree-level animation courses at colleges and universities from London and Edinburgh to Salzburg, Innsbruck and Beirut.

  • Talk - Setting The Scene

    “If you’re writing a book about Animation Layout, you have to begin by talking to Roy Naisbitt…!”. With these wise words ringing in his ears and with eager support from renowned American publisher, Chronicle Books, Fraser began work in late 2007 on the daunting process of interviewing over 100 different layout artists, camera operators and scene planners. Finally published 4 years later, “Setting The Scene: The Art & Evolution of Animation Layout” went on to be short listed for the 2012 Kraszna-Krausz Moving Image Book Award and was described by Total Film magazine, in a 5-star review, as “..a museum, a film school and an art gallery all in one”. In this presentation Fraser and Roy take the audience on a guided tour of the first 100 years of animation layout design and technique.

Roy Naisbitt

Following early apprenticeships in commercial design and animation with the H.K. Henrion and W.M. Larkins studios in London, Roy Naisbitt went on to work for Stanley Kubrick on “2001, A Space Oddyssey” before joining Richard Williams’ studio in Soho Square where his skills as a draftsman and layout designer flourished. In addition to his ground-breaking work on Williams’s legendary “Thief & The Cobbler” feature, Roy was responsible for the stunning layout designs and dizzying perspectives on “Somethin’s Cookin’”, the ‘Maroon Cartoon’ which opens “Roger Rabbit”. Most recently he designed the layouts for the London Underground sequence in Neil Boyle’s award-winning hand-animated short, “The Last Belle”.

  • Talk - Setting The Scene

    “If you’re writing a book about Animation Layout, you have to begin by talking to Roy Naisbitt…!”. With these wise words ringing in his ears and with eager support from renowned American publisher, Chronicle Books, Fraser began work in late 2007 on the daunting process of interviewing over 100 different layout artists, camera operators and scene planners. Finally published 4 years later, “Setting The Scene: The Art & Evolution of Animation Layout” went on to be short listed for the 2012 Kraszna-Krausz Moving Image Book Award and was described by Total Film magazine, in a 5-star review, as “..a museum, a film school and an art gallery all in one”. In this presentation Fraser and Roy take the audience on a guided tour of the first 100 years of animation layout design and technique.

Oliver Reischl

Bongfish GmbH Lead Asset Artist

Traditional art education, started 2000 to work professionally in game development at companies like Rockstar, Rabcat and Bongfish. Did graphics on games like GTA Vice City XBox, Manhunt 2 and Harms Way.

  • Talk - How to achieve Triple-A-rated graphics in a small-sized game company

    Thanks to the popularity of various game download services there is a new demand for games that don’t necessarily need bigscale game development team sizes. Still the expectations of the consumer are visuals that match the quality of large scale Triple-A titles.

    This presentation explains various ways and techniques how the artists at Bongfish manage to deliver such quality with just the fracture of the expected teamsize. From global strategies like automatizations, asset management and outsourcing to pro-advice and -techniques on next-gen-shader, photoshop-effeciency and general work-shortcuts the artist reveals his tricks how deliver Triple-A graphics for downloadable games.

Gernot Ziegler

NVIDIA UK Ltd. DevTech-Compute Engineer

Dr Gernot Ziegler is an Austrian engineer with a PhD in Computer Science from University of Saarbrücken, Germany, and an MSc degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Linköping University, Sweden. He pursued his PhD studies at the Max-Planck-Institute for Computer Science, where he specialized in GPU algorithms for computer vision and data-parallel algorithms for spatial data structures. As a member of NVIDIA’s Developer Technology (Compute) team, Gernot consults in high-performance scientific computing on graphics processors.

  • Talk - Summed Area Mipmaps / Intro to CUDA C

    The introduction contains a quick intro to CUDA, the computing aspect of NVIDIA graphics hardware platforms.

    The main presentation demonstrates how ripmaps (an extension of mipmaps) can replace Summed Area Tables (SATs) for the purpose of computing a large number of spatially varying box filter kernels throughout the input data, providing both higher accuracy and higher speed for typical use cases. For this purpose, we demonstrate an implementation of ripmap generation in CUDA C (accelerated by shared memory usage), and a texture-cache based box filter for spatially varying kernel sizes, which can be implemented in both CUDA C and graphics-based APIs (e.g. OpenGL and DirectX).

    (An overview over the new OpenGL compute shaders will be added if time permits.)

Michael Paeck


Michael has been active within the games industry for over 15 years, both in the areas of development as well as publishing. In 2006 he founded Cliffhanger Productions, a company focusing on multi-platform online games for mid-core gamers. Last year Cliffhanger successfully closed a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for their upcoming project “Shadowrun Online”, resulting in the highest funded Austrian Kickstarter project. Besides “Shadowrun Online” he also worked on “Jagged Alliance Online”, the “Gothic” and “Risen” series and “Die Völker”.

  • Talk - Crowdfunding on Kickstarter – Do’s and Don’ts

    Do’s and Don’ts for Kickstarter campaigns.

Paha Schulz

Crytek GmBH Director of Business Development, Games-As-Service

With over a decade of experience in the games industry – the majority of it centered on the online market – Paha assumed his role at Crytek following stints in both Asia and Europe with Electronic Arts and NCsoft. Responsible for international publishing of all Crytek’s Games-as-Service titles (Online free-to-play, mobile, social) including Crytek’s free-to-play online shooter, Warface, Paha is based at the company’s Frankfurt office and bolsters his cross-cultural business experience with fluency in spoken and written English, German and Korean.

  • Talk - East to West: Global Online Gaming Trends

    With the practicalities of how games are distributed and consumed in an exciting transitional phase, Crytek’s Paha Schulz looks east to examine the vibrant online gaming market in Asia and the growing influence of the publishers driving it. With those publishers now moving to extend their reach into the West, Paha will explore the reasons behind the explosive growth of freemium gaming in Asia and consider the likely effects of Eastern and Western markets becoming increasingly integrated in the near future.

Bruno Bozzetto

Studio Bozzetto & Co Director

Born in Milan, Italy, in 1938.
He made three animated feature films “West&Soda”, “Vip my brother superman”, “Allegro non troppo” and numberless animation shorts awarded with many noteworthy prizes among which the Golden Bear to “Mister Tao” at the Berlin Film Festival in 1990 and the Oscar nomination to “Grasshoppers” in 1991.
He also received five Career Awards and one Honorary Degree.
Together with renowned science journalist Piero Angela, he has also directed a hundred animated shorts of educational scientific matter.
Bruno Bozzetto’s best known character is Mister Rossi, starring in three animated feature films and several animation shorts.
Bruno Bozzetto created several Tv series for RAI and for the Italian swiss Television TSI, such as “Lilliput-put”, “Mr Hiccup”, “Stripy”, “The Spaghetti Family”, “Things” and “Psicovip”.
Since 2000 he has been devoting his time to Flash animations, gaining great success since the making of his first Flash-animated short “Europe and Italy”.
Today, Bruno Bozzetto with the full support of his new Studio of production, Studio Bozzetto&Co., based in Milan, has been working on new 2D and 3D animated series for the Television.

  • Talk - Different Styles

    I’ll talk with Florian Satzinger, answering to his questions about my work. During the speech I’ll show three different shorts, made with completely different styles:
    – Flash animation
    – 2D Limited animation
    – 2D Full animation.

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Toni Weiss


Toni Weiss is a live action & animation director, screenwriter and story consultant with a career of more than 30 years.
He has directed on feature films, tv- and web series, documentaries, short films, and hundreds of music videos and commercials. As a story expert, his consulting clients range from international brands to entertainment projects to games, novels and apps. He has worked for clients as diverse as the Walt Disney Company, Studio Babelsberg, Arx Anima, Vienna Tourism Board, SKY Germany and brands like Nestlé, Ferrero, Mazda, Nissan or Pampers.
As the founder of STORY INC. – a high impact story academy and consulting company – Toni is on a mission to train & teach creatives, brands and entertainment companies to tell their story with maximum emotional clarity.

In his workshop Toni will help you master the basic elements of story with complete clarity: Theme, plot and character arc.
In today’s world, those who can tell great stories unstoppable. We need storytelling skills to define our own brand, to change the world we live in, to create entertainment that matters und to get our own story straight.

As digital artists, we need to understand story profoundly to contribute our best work to the projects we choose.
This workshop is for you if you have ever struggled to understand theme, plot and character in clear, workable terms. It is especially for you if you want to write screenplays, novels or any story-driven IP and have struggled with getting your story straight.

My seminar will give you tools that you can actually use in your projects, in your work and for your own life story. Story can be learned. There are a few things professional writers do to differentiate themselves. And there are a things amateur storytellers do that cost them respect. Understand story like a pro, not an amateur.
Know how to tell a story with impact, and join professional storytellers who are changing the world.

  • Talk - Camera Blocking for Emotional Impact

    In my 20 years of directing, I have storyboarded every single project I have ever worked on, and I have placed cameras for every scene I have ever shot.

    This staple of the director’s craft – working with cameras – is one of the most neglected domains in the field of computer graphics. Your shot flow, camera placement and camera movement can boost and intensify the emotional impact of your animated shot, your cut scene, your vfx shot and even you CGI still. It can make your audience read your character’s minds. It can make your shot flow invisible. It can save you thousands of dollars in rendering time.

    How to best stage a shot? What messages do different point of views and cuts convey? When is a camera move a creative option and not just eye candy? A fascinating journey into the craft of guiding your audience’s eye, directing emotional expectations with a lens and creating the visual clarity of a feature film look.

Oscar Grillo

The Human Race Capo di tutti capi

After watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the 5 year old Oscar Grillo knew what he wanted to be. “No one explained it was animation, but I knew they were moving drawings and I knew I wanted to be an artist”. When he was 16 years old, Oscar spotted an advertisement for trainee animators and within weeks he was working in a studio making commercials. Having moved to Europe, Oscar received a call in the early 1970’s to work in london for a couple of weeks – he has stayed for 31 years! By 1980 Oscar had spent 7 years working for Dragon Productions and received the Golden Palm award for best short film, “Seaside Woman”. Oscar and Ted joined forces in 1981, and Klacto was born. Oscar has been described as “among the top three animators in the county”.

  • Talk - “without formula” the life and work of Oscar Grillo

    Oscar Grillo will talk about his life and work, directing and animating numerous TV series and short animation films.