2016 GDC Animation Bootcamp Speakers and Schedule

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The past three years of the animation bootcamp have been an incredible success, making GDC a place animators NEED to be each year. We have seen talks at the bootcamp rank as some of the highest rated of the conference and become industry touchstones for new approaches and advancements in the field.

And the 2016 GDC Animation Bootcamp is going to continue pushing forward as the most jam packed year yet, with more than 20 speakers presenting!

Bringing together a group of experienced and specialized animation experts, across AAA and Indie, the bootcamp is a daylong gathering to rally developers from all over the industry, with a focus on deeper discussions into the needs of strong character performances and interactivity. There is no better place to learn and talk about game animation approaches, tech, and inspiration than at the bootcamp!

If you want to attend the show this March 14th, sign up before February 3rd for the best price!

And like the previous years, we hope to have an episode of the podcast with presenters about who they are and what the talks are going to be about.

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Animating Big Personalities by David Gibson (Blizzard)/ 60 minutes
Summary:
From Evolve to Overwatch, learn insights into David’s approach to creating larger than life characters.
Bio:
David Gibson has been animating professionally for 12 years. Most recently he shipped Evolve as Supervising Animator before joining Blizzard to animate on Overwatch. Prior to working in games, David animated on Feature and VFX films such as Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Enchanted, Charlotte’s Web, Arthur Christmas, Spider Wick Chronicles, oh…and Beverly Hills Chihuahua! David enjoys the challenge of adding personality to characters that can’t emote through dialogue or a complex face. For this reason animating creatures is David’s favorite as he has to rely on the personality within the motion to create a connection with the viewer. David currently lives in Long Beach California with his beautiful wife, two kids, two dogs, and a very fat cat.

Embracing Animation Complexity in EA UFC 2 Through Procedural Techniques by Geoff Harrower and Jeremy Mathiesen (EA Canada)/ 60 Minutes
Summary:
After an amazing talk last year, join the UFC team again to learn how they are procedurally generating animations, as an alternative to mocap, to fill in an exponentially larger set of move tree requirements.
Bio:
Geoff Harrower is a Senior Software Engineer at Electronic Arts and is currently the lead gameplay engineer on EA Sports UFC.  In his fourteen years at Electronic Arts, Geoff has developed an expertise in animation and gameplay working on such titles as FIFA, NHL, Tennis, NBA, SSX and UFC.  Geoff has also worked in central technology roles helping to drive and develop the animation tools used throughout the company.
Jeremy Mathiesen  is the Lead Gameplay Animator on EA Sports UFC. Jeremy, a seventeen-year veteran of the industry, joined EA in 2012. As well as EA’s UFC, Jeremy has worked on such titles as Punch Out!!, Sleeping Dogs and Prototype 2. When Jeremy’s not creating the virtual world of Mixed Martial Arts, he can be found wrestling his fellow colleagues during their lunchtime Jiu Jitsu class.

Rain World Animation Process by Joar Jakobsson and James Therrien (Video Cult)/ 30 Minutes
Summary:
Rain World’s slugcat is instantly appealing, and the process behind the creation is a unique blend of art and tech that you won’t want to miss.
Bio:
Joar Jakobsson is a Swedish programmer, illustrator and graphic designer who is obsessively interested in every art form there is. He especially enjoys game-making, believing it to be one of the most diverse creative mediums out there. He is currently utilizing all of his talents in a project called Rain World.
James Therrien is a composer for numerous game soundtracks, James Therrien is also one half of Chiptune duo Bright Primate. He can usually be found making music with hacked Gameboys and such, but recently has found himself building the remains of an ancient civilization in Rain World

Skylander’s Cinematics – Creating Narrative Driven Cinematics with a cast of 300 Plus Characters by John Paul Rhinemiller (Vicarious Visions)/ 30 Minutes
Summary:
How do you go about creating cinematics for a cast of characters that number more than 300?! Find out the process and tools used to tackle such a unique feat straight from the Lead Cinematics Animator.
Bios:
John Paul Rhinemiller is a Lead Cinematics Animator at Vicarious Visions, Activision Blizzard. He recently finished work on Skylanders:SuperChargers, where he helped create story driven cinematics from concept to final render. Before VV he was a Lead Animator at Rhythm & Hues and had the chance of working with both creature and character animation. He has previously worked on titles such as Hop, Yogi Bear, Alvin & The Chipmunks 2 and 3, Red Dead Redemption and Skylanders:SwapForce.

The ‘Animate’ Button – Mocap Automation Techniques at Ubisoft Montreal by Dan Lowe (Ubisoft Montreal)/ 30 Minutes
Summary:
We’ve all used tools and scripts to help make our jobs easier, but what if we took this to the extreme? Find out about new techniques from Ubisoft Montreal that offer potentially huge productivity benefits for motion editing.
Bios:
Dan Lowe is a Senior Technical Animator at Ubisoft Montreal with over 10 years experience in gameplay animation and motion capture. His previous titles include Far Cry 3, Watch_Dogs and Far Cry Primal. Prior to joining Ubisoft, Dan worked as a Gameplay Animator and briefly as a Game Designer at Bizarre Creations, where he helped ship Blur, James Bond: Blood Stone and The Club. As well as his day-to-day work animating system for games, Dan works with programmers and TDs at Ubisoft focusing on tools and processes to improve mocap pipeline efficiency. He has a BA in Games Design from Teesside University.

Animator’s Approach to Motion Fields by Kristjan Zadziuk(Ubisoft Toronto)/ 30 Minutes
Summary:
Motion Fields are the latest approach at creating smooth and responsive animation sets. Find out what this means for animators and how Ubisoft Toronto is approaching the technology.
Bio:
Kristjan Zadziuk has been animating games for 16 years, including lead and senior roles at Hothouse Creations, Pivotal Games, Bizarre Creations in the UK as well as Ubisoft Montreal.  His work on the original Assassins Creed helped the award winning animation team establish itself as a pinnacle of games animation in 2007. Kristjan joined the newly formed Ubisoft Toronto studio in 2011 as the Animation Director for Splinter Cell Blacklist.  He brought with him his passion for animation, a detailed approach to character creation and extensive experience working with motion capture.  He helped define the basis of the game play animation team and has begun laying the ground work for pushing the animation quality of Ubisoft Toronto in the future.

Tricks of the Trade by Alex M. Lehmann (Riot), Simon Unger (Phoenix Labs), Jay Hosfelt(Epic), Billy Harper (SucketPunch), Jean-Denis Haas (ILM), Amy Drobeck (5th Cell)/ 30 Minutes
Summary:
Six incredible animators sharing their top three tricks of the trade! Walking away from this talk you will have no shortage of new ways to tackle your next animation.
Bio:
Amy Drobeck is a Senior Character Animator with 20 years experience working successfully in both Feature Film and Game industries. She specializes in both 2D and 3D mediums with special interest in creature/animal animation, dramatic acting and dialogue.
Billy Harper is an eMOTIONalist at Sucker Punch Productions. That means that he gets to pester a bunch of different folks involved in character art, animation, and cinematics. Prior to that, he co-founded The Dreamhive where he worked with incredibly talented artists, studios, directors, and entertainers like Joe Madeuiria, Jason Rubin, David Fincher, Madonna, Ready at Dawn, SCEA, and EA to help them bring their visions to life. Over his career he’s worked on a wide range of games. He’s contributed his character art, rigging, and animation skills to action adventure titles like Mark of Kri, The Jak and Daxter Series, and the inFAMOUS series. As well as sports titles like NFL Street and Madden. Also online MMO and casual games like Warhammer:Age of Reckoning and Snood. Along the way, he’s learned the importance of working with folks you love and trust…and most of all remembering that working on games should be FUN!
Jay Hosfelt has been at Epic Games for the last ten years, and was lead animator on Gears of War 2, 3, and Gears of War Judgment.  He is currently working on an unannounced title at Epic Games.  He has been in the video game industry for over 20 years and has specialized strictly in animation for the last ten years.
Alex M. Lehmann has been working in the industry for 14 years. He started his career as an all-rounder rigging, modeling, and animating characters for commercials. Later he specialized in animation and worked first at Microsoft and then Sony Imageworks (“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”). Alex found his true calling by joining the games industry when he came to Riot in 2009 to work on “League of Legends.” He helped create champions, different game modes, as well as the creatures for the game. Alex currently serves as an art director, where he focuses on team growth and individual career development for a team of 35+ artists. Alex currently lives in Valencia, CA, with his wonderful wife and three young children.
Simon Unger has been animating in games for over 15 years and is currently an animator at Phoenix Labs in Vancouver. Before that he worked on Hitman: Absolution for Square Enix in the role of Animation Director. He also spent nearly nine years at Electronic Arts, most of which in the role of Lead Cinematic Animator. Simon has previously spoken at GDC and is an instructor at iAnimate.

Animation Microtalks by Lana Bachynski (Blizzard), Mark Pullyblank(THEIA Interactive), Jake Clark(Cuphead), Gwen Frey(The Molasses Flood), Billy Harper(Sucker Punch), Jeet Shroff(Avalanche), Simon Unger(Phoenix Labs), Ryan Duffin(DICE LA), Mike Jungbluth(Volition),  Danielle Riendeau(Polygon)/ 60 Minutes
Summary:
Buckle up as ten speakers get just over five minutes to speak on the topic of “Perception”

From reflections to rants, these rapid fire talks will be the extra nudge, from a day of continued inspiration, to go out and make a difference with your animations.
Bio:
Lana Bachynski is an Animator at Blizzard Entertainment for Heroes of the Storm, co-creator of Tea Time Animation, and yoyo aficionado. Find her anywhere @Latienie.
Jake Clark is a Canadian animator that has worked on several TV series in Vancouver, before joining Studio MDHR to work on the up-and-coming indie game Cuphead as a traditional paper animator. He grew up in rural British Columbia, and has been passionate about both games and animation from a young age.
Ryan Duffin is a 14 year year veteran of the games industry, animating on such titles as BATTLEFIELD 3 and 4, MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER, ALAN WAKE, KILLZONE 2, SPIDERMAN 2 and others, as well as the GREEN LANTERN feature film.  He is currently a Senior Animator at DICE LA.
Gwen Frey is an experienced Technical Animator with specialties in rigging, animation state set up, and character scripting. She is best known for crafting all of the background characters in BioShock Infinite and the BioShock Infinite DLC. More recently, Gwen and five other ex-Irrational developers have founded The Molasses Flood and Kickstarted the rogue-lite game “The Flame in The Flood.”
Billy Harper is an eMOTIONalist at Sucker Punch Productions. That means that he gets to pester a bunch of different folks involved in character art, animation, and cinematics. Prior to that, he co-founded The Dreamhive where he worked with incredibly talented artists, studios, directors, and entertainers like Joe Madeuiria, Jason Rubin, David Fincher, Madonna, Ready at Dawn, SCEA, and EA to help them bring their visions to life. Over his career he’s worked on a wide range of games. He’s contributed his character art, rigging, and animation skills to action adventure titles like Mark of Kri, The Jak and Daxter Series, and the inFAMOUS series. As well as sports titles like NFL Street and Madden. Also online MMO and casual games like Warhammer:Age of Reckoning and Snood. Along the way, he’s learned the importance of working with folks you love and trust…and most of all remembering that working on games should be FUN!
Mike Jungbluth is the Lead Animator at Volition and Co-Organizer of the GDC Animation Bootcamp. Past games include Shadow of Mordor, Elder Scrolls Online, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Singularity, and Wolfenstein. He has talked at various conferences and universities about advancing animation by embracing game design, has been featured on Gamasutra and is a co-host of the ReAnimators Podcast.
Mark Pullyblank began his animation career animating talking animals on the first Garfield movie. He has been an animation supervisor at Rainmaker Digital and Frantic Films, a senior animator at Sony Imageworks, and has worked in various departments at Weta Digital and a former mentor at Animation Mentor.com. His films include Avatar, The Hobbit,The Adventures of Tintin, The Smurfs, Night at the Museum, and many others. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of THEIA Interactive,  the Animation Department head of CG Spectrum, and a lecturer at California State University in Chico California.
Danielle Riendeau is an editorial video producer at Polygon, a lecturer at Northeastern University and a podcast host on the Idle Thumbs network. She’s also a hobbyist game developer, with such *hits* under her belt as “The Wonderful World of Dad Jokes” and a fitness/boxing enthusiast.
Jeet Shroff comes from a background in animation, AI  and gameplay, where he has worked as a director and engineer on game titles across multiple genres for over ten years. Currently he is a lead programmer at Avalanche Studios, where he is responsible for the development of player mechanics, AI and animation technology for Just Cause 3. His other industry experience includes working at Ubisoft Montreal and Electronic Arts where he has worked on successfully shipped titles for major franchises such as Far Cry 3 and FIFA. He is an active presenter at the Game Developer Conference and a contributing author of Game AI Pro 2: Collected Wisdom of Game AI Professionals. Jeet holds a Bachelor of Mathematics in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.
Simon Unger has been animating in games for over 15 years and is currently an animator at Phoenix Labs in Vancouver. Before that he worked on Hitman: Absolution for Square Enix in the role of Animation Director. He also spent nearly nine years at Electronic Arts, most of which in the role of Lead Cinematic Animator. Simon has previously spoken at GDC and is an instructor at iAnimate.

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