Indiegames made in Austria

The austrian indiegamedev community is on fire! New studios pop up on every corner, meetups and usergroups have been established and there is almost no day without a gamedev related event. If this isn’t proof enough, take a look at the amazing indie titles from the last couple of years and there will be no doubt left about how much creative talent Austria has to offer. But still, there are developers out there, looking for the right people to connect to. is here to guide young talents into the scene and answer their first questions – How do you pitch your game to media outlets, platform holders or opinion leaders? How do you connect with other gamedevs? How do you get important insights and learn to successfully launch your game? is a one stop shop for gamedev insights. is a non profit network of, by and for the austrian gamedev community to strenghten it’s ecosystem, increase its visibility and connect creative talent.

Alexander Amon (sproing) and Stefan Malzner (Bloodirony Games) will present the initiative, the network and what’s about to happen in the near future. And since it’s all about supporting the local scene – Alexander Grenus (stillalive studios), Mateusz Gorecki (Rarebyte) and Stefan Srb (leafthief) are invited to talk about their upcoming games.

The Majesty of Pixel Art and the Beauty of Minimalism (for Gamedevs)

Stefan Srb – Leafthief
This talk will focus on the opportunities and challenges of using pixel art for indie game development and how it can help creators find their voice. Using the observations about realism and abstractions Scott McCloud highlighted in his book “Understanding Comics” the talk will show how low -resolution art can be beneficial for starting out. A short and lightweight talk full of examples, best practices and war stories.

Who is stillalive?

Alexander Grenus – stillalive studios
Alexander Grenus from stillalive studios will give a short presentation of their studio, their first game Son of Nor and their upcoming game Drone Swarm.

Rarebyte or How To Survive Struggles

Mateusz Gorecki – Rarebyte
Mateusz Gorecki, co-founder of Rarebyte, will talk not only about projects the company made in the past, but also about obstacles, struggles and common mistakes they experienced during the years and how to avoid them.

Connect 2 Science – Short Talks about CG Research

Michelangelo – Cloud-based Procedural Modeling

Martin Ilcik – TU Vienna
Most of the procedural modeling tools are still single-user oriented. The goal of our research project is to stimulate collaboration between the artists working with shape grammars. We introduce Michelangelo, a novel platform which stores all designs ever created in an intelligent cloud. While working on a scene, relevant components can be queried from the cloud. Michelangelo is able to combine and adapt the assets from the cloud automatically to match the query. It follows that the author can fully focus on the own creative contribution without wasting time for background elements or details which were already designed by someone else.

Smart Cutaways: Occlusion-aware user-guided cuts on arbitrary 3D shapes

Mohamed Radwan – TU Vienna
Cutaways are an illustrative tool to show parts of interest which are occluded in an object. In state of the art methods, the cut boundary is either drawn by the user, restricted onto primitive shapes, or it is generated as parameterized curves. Neither approach is flexible enough to cut out user-drawn curves in arbitrary and self-occluding 3d shapes. In this paper, we propose “”smart cutaways””: curves drawn by the user in screen space, which adapt to the object surface such that occlusions are handled automatically in the intent of the user. In case the cut boundary needs to be completed in parts not visible to the user, our algorithm optimizes the remaining curve part to best match the user’s intention. The algorithm shows robust results when applied on several models of different complexities.

Consumer-Level Computational Design

Przemyslaw Musialski – TU Vienna
Digital fabrication is currently a rapidly emerging field in several science and engineering fields. Especially the technique of additive manufacturing (AM), commonly referred to as 3d printing, is a fast growing area. While this technology is in essence not new, the recent expiration of key patents for 3d-printing technology led to a break-through, which already also arrived at the consumer-level 3d-printers market. This development brings about novel requirements on digital model design. Traditional fields used to deal with digital manufacturing, like rapid prototyping, material sciences, or industrial engineering learned to deal with existing CAD-software in order to create digital content. However, the expansion of the digital fabrication technology into everybody’s homes and offices brings about the demand for novel paradigms of consumer-level computational design. This novel personal fabrication aims at bridging the gap between the still advancing digital domain and the “good old” physical world. In this talk I will give an overview of current development of such computational design in the field of computer graphics and provide details on an example application.

Training according to the studio system:
computer animation in the degree program MultiMediaArt

Michael Großauer – FH Salzburg
The MultiMediaArt study program at the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg offers project oriented education in multimedia design and content creation. Specializing in design, animation, film and audio the program focuses on project work to qualify students for their future creative careers.
The training is modeled on great animation and game studios. Computer games, full CG films or feature films with a high VFX amount are created. In collaboration with the technical degree program Multimedia Technology any position can be held. Whether 3D Animation, Screen & Character Design, Sound Design, or Tool and Game Programming – students are enabled to cover every role.
In the field of computer animation, there are two priorities. Students can focus on either VFX or Game-Art and participate in film- or in games projects. Traditionally film projects of MultiMediaArt have a particularly high proportion of VFX.
The talk explains the concept of 3D training at MultiMediaArt and shows a selection of the best works in recent years. The Making-Of of a current work completes the presentation.

Music and Sound Design in CG Environments

Sound is key to control the emotions of an audience. Therefore a proper Sound Design is essential for a CG environment where there is no location sound. The presentation will cover basic psychological issues regarding sound perception, and the linked emotions according to a picture (movie, game, etc.). Different approaches in the use of music and sound in general will be presented in order to gain realism or to create an aesthetic surreal environment.

The Art of Ori

In “The Art of Ori”, Johannes will talk about the art direction for “Ori and the Blind forest” and some of it’s biggest challenges. He will also talk about the process of creating the art and bringing it to life in the game.

Workshop: How to Shade

The goal of this workshop is to improve your confidence in shading your drawings/paintings. It is filled with practical insights that complement Dorian’s Harnessing the Magic of Light talk. We’ll be drawing, bring your tools of choice! (Digital and traditional.)

Harnessing the Magic of Light

Understanding light is a Superpower. It allows you to see things you’ve never seen before and to create visually convincing images. Dorian’s unique perspective cross-pollinates computer graphics and insights from the Old Masters.

Pssst! Join Dorian on his workshop on avoiding three common shading mistakes.

Visual Effects in “Ace Ferrara And The Dino Menace”

A common conception about shaders is that they define material properties for in-game 3D objects, but shaders can be employed to create a wide range of visual effects, both two- and three-dimensional. In his talk, Philipp Seifried will show a variety of visual effects from his game “Ace Ferrara And The Dino Menace” and explain how they are created, from animated skyboxes to wobbly dialogue text. The talk will be aimed at both game artists and graphics programmers.

Animating Austria

“Neuer Österreichischer Trickfilm” will offer a sneak peek of their work on documentaries, visual effects, commercials and animated feature films. Find out how the Viennese Animation Studio got Tobias Moretti credited and Tom Hanks moving…

How much VFX is enough?

» Severin Fiala
» Veronika Franz
» Thomas Kiennast
» Dominik Hartl

Valentin Struklec & Martin Stegmayer

Big Ambitions and Small Budgets

It’s always about the good story for me. 2D, 3D and mixed media, are all just tools to get the story across. A limited budget, is not necessarily a limitation, it forces us to think about new ways creatively and technologically.

From ANALOGUE to DIGITAL – and back again…

Stuart Sewell will explore past experiences over his twenty five years in the film industry and will talk about how the industry has changed and is now embracing past methods again. Knowing how special effects where done in the past will help you do visual effects in the future.

The Changing World of Previs and Virtual Production

The line between filmmaking and ‘post’ production continues to grow smaller this year with the arrival of VR/AR. Previz and Layout began the change by letting directors and studios see key parts of their movies before they even set foot on a film set. Avatar blurred the line even more by ‘filming’ the entire movie in Virtual Production. Now computer graphics are key parts of the projects from concept, to filming, to post production. So what is the next goal? To be able to shoot finished VFX shots live on the set?

The VFX of Star Trek Voyager, 20 years on

A look back at the earlier days of CGI on Television.
Star Trek Voyager first aired in 1995 using mostly miniatures with a few very select (and very expensive) CGI shots created for the intro sequence. During it’s 7 year run to show slowly transitioned to an all CG VFX show. While simple when compared to today’s huge budgeted shows, the VFX team was still pressed hard to produce many ground breaking and award winning shots.

EA Cloth, art and technology of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Cloth Simulation

A presentation of the EA Cloth technology and the related authoring workflow used during the development of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst for the creation of awesome cloth and drapery simulation.

Reasons to attend:
– Knowing more about the state of the art of the clothing simulation
– Having a sneak peek about what happen behind the scenes of AAA development
– Learning some basic principles to make your life easier when it comes to cloth simulation

– Animators and technical animators
– Technology geeks
– Gamers and Mirror’s Edge Fans
– EA products and technology enthusiasts.
– … Anybody who is simply curious is more than welcome.

The Dragons are growing – Coping with the increasing vfx challenges for HBO’s “Game of Thrones”

The visual effects designs for “Game of Thrones” (HBO) are amongst KARAKTER’s most popular recent work. VFX concept designer Tobias shares a look behind the scenes, showing how the VFX team adapts and grows from season to season, to cope with the ever increasing expectations.

The talk will answer frequently asked questions and provide anecdotes and works beyond the usual VFX breakdows found online.

Path tracing in production with Hyperion

For Disney’s Big Hero 6, we were challenged to produce a world significantly more complex along with richer, more realistic lighting than our previous films. To achieve this, we developed a new path-traced renderer, Hyperion, based on a new streaming framework. The key innovation is that we use large, sorted ray batches along with deferred shading to improve performance in ray intersection and shading, enabling multi-bounce path-tracing with full material responses and textures calculated on every bounce. This presentation will provide the motivation for writing the new renderer, will describe it’s key technical aspects in detail, and will recount its experience in its use on Big Hero 6.

The Evolution of Matte Painting: Supporting the Story, Past and Present

How the techniques of matte painting from the past, has helped digital matte painting in the present age to help ground the world of an envisioned story. David Luong will talk about how he got to where he is today, and what he does at Blizzard Entertainment. He will present old matte painting techniques, how it started, how it went through a renaissance through Star Wars. He will explain how digital matte painting came to be an how it is used today to help support and tell a story for the characters and the visions of a director. David will give insights on techniques used for digital matte painting today and will show examples from recent cinematics and films.