2018 Animation Exchange Talks and Speakers!

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We are excited to announce that on Tuesday, March 20th the Animation Exchange is again finding a home on Twitch! And like last year, we will take the knowledge sharing and thriving community of game development conferences and make them accessible to all!

Bringing together developers in both AAA and Indie, and leveraging the open platform of Twitch, this event will again shine a light on different approaches to character animation — From highlighting the most recent tech, to examining traditional animation skills and revisiting classic games, this digital convention will illuminate the animation experience in game development. And most importantly, it is free to watch both live and any time after, making it the most accessible opportunity for anyone to learn more about game animation directly from professionals. The over 8 hour stream is dedicated to providing interactive experiences with animators, programmers and technical artists to both inform and entertain. Whether you are an experienced developer, aspiring student, or simply an avid player wanting to learn more about how life is brought to your favorite characters on screen, this stream is for you!

But that is enough hype speak, let’s get right to the talks and speakers you can look forward to!

The Every Day Life of an Animator in the Mushroom Kingdom
Marco Renso (Animation Director, Ubisoft Milan)
Tommaso Sanguigni (Animation Technical Director, Ubisoft Milan)

This talk will be about the process and workflow of an animator working on Mario+Rabbids. Starting from the concept design and references we’ll show our rigs, tools we use on a daily basis and some of the challenges we had to face

AnimXTREME Hotseat Showdown 3000!
David Gibson (Senior Animator, Blizzard)
Jason Shum (Senior Animator, Amazon Game Studios)
Jalil Sadool (CEO, Steamroller Studios)
Hosted by Jake Clark (Studio MDHR) and Lana Bachynski (Animator, Blizzard)

Three amazing animators will be sat down in front of a computer, given a rig, an action to animate, and are then let loose!

But what they can’t control are the random twists and challenges issued to them LIVE from the hosts and twitch chat! How do they react to “for the next 3 minutes you can’t rotate in X!” or “switch places with the person to your right, and finish their animation!?”

1st Person Animation Discussion
Esther Ko (Animator, Hi-Rez Studios)
James Benson (Animator, Campo Santo)
Ryan Duffin (Lead Animator, DICE LA)
Zach Lowery (Creative Director, Boss Key)

Join four animators as they chat about the inner workings of first person animation, answering common questions and providing tips and tricks.

The Future of Game Animation
Daniel Holden
(Animation Researcher, Ubisoft Montreal)
Dan Lowe (Senior Technical Animator, Motive)
Lina Halper (Senior Animation Engineer, Epic)
Moderated by Tim Borrelli (Animator, Thekla)

Motion Matching! Neural Networks! Deep Learning! Find out how computers are learning to animate and what this means for animators!

Keyframe of the Mind LIVE!
Esther Ko (Animator, Hi-Rez Studios)
Ju Li Khaw (Animator)
Jenny Son (Animator)
Katie Better (Senior Mocap Animator, Rockstar)

Experience a Live conversation by the hosts of the amazing animation podcast A Keyframe of the Mind!

Career Development Panel
John Paul Rhinemiller (Lead Cinematics Animator, Vicarious Visions)
Mike Jungbluth (Senior Animator, Bioware)
Adriana Pucciano (Senior Animator, Rocksteady)
Tasha Sounart (Associate Creative Director Theme Parks/Interactive, Pixar)

Animators are trained to animate. But how do you learn how to advance your skills and career beyond the 12 principles? From becoming lead and transferring disciplines, to managing mental health and workplace communication, the panelists will talk about what they have learned and take questions from the chat.

Animation Flashback: Mark of Kri
Erik Medina (Animation Director, Amazon Game Studios)

Mark of Kri set a new benchmark for fluid and powerful game animation. Watch as the Art and Animation Director plays through a portion of the game and gives insight into the approach and process behind this animation inspiration.

Technical Animator’s Workshop
Brian Venisky (Senior Technical Animator, Avalanche Studios)
Isabella Cheng (Technical Artist, Survios)
Lee Dunham (Lead Technical Animator, Creative Assembly)
Mike Malinowski (Senior Technical Animator, Creative Assembly)
Richard Katz (Senior Technical Artist, Blizzard)

Ever wondered what Technical Animators and Artists do? We are going to show you EXACTLY what they do, by showing off tools and solutions to issues they have encountered as well as crowdsourced questions and problems. Guaranteed to give you a list of tools and approaches to speed up your animation workflow!

The Many Faces Behind A Single Performance in Injustice 2
Dan Weiland (Senior Cinematics Animator, Netherrealm Studios)

Learn about all the different disciplines, tech and processes that went into bringing the amazing performances to life in Injustice 2’s Cinematics.

We’ll Do It LIVE!
Gwen Frey (Co-Founder, The Molasses Flood) and Special Guests

Bringing back the fan favorite from last year, Gwen has again assembled a crew of all star animators to review random animations, as well as judge the entries from the Animation Exchange Animation Jam!

And throughout the day we will be featuring Q&A with all the speakers and and special guest interviews with Camille Chu (Lead Animator, Monolith), Chris Goodall (Principle Animator, We Are Playground), Lyndsey Pendley (Animator, Deep Silver Volition), Richard Lico (Animation Director, Polyarc), Alexis Kwong (Product Owner of ANT, EA) and Richard Oud (Lead Animator, Guerilla Games)!

We will have more information coming soon with details about an Animation Jam leading up to the Exchange, the scheduled times, and more surprise guests along the way! Get ready, because this is going to be a blast!

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