Animation Exchange 2021: PHASE TWO – Live Stream Schedule

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As previously announced, Animation Exchange is coming at you March 24th-26th, revised and heartier than ever for 2021! We have an exciting schedule of talks and, as always, we’re streaming FREE for everyone to tune in and enjoy!

As you can see, we’re doing things a little differently this year and the fun starts today! We’ve released several prerecorded talks over on our YouTube Channel that you can watch at your convenience. To see a full list of these talks, please go here. Each talk will also be played before the live stream starts and each speaker will be participating in a Q&A on stream!

Now for the fun, interactive part! We’ll be going live on the AnimState Twitch Channel on March 24-26th starting at 11am Pacific time for 3 days of animation fun! We’ll be streaming all three days for an easily digestible 3-4 hours of talks, panels, Q&As and Reel Reviews, so make sure to mark your calendars and follow us on Twitch to get notified when we go live.


Wednesday, March 24th

Stream Replay of Animation in DOTA 2
10:00-10:30 AM Pacific Time

Stream Replay of Why Gameplay Animators Should be More Technical
10:30-11:00 AM Pacific Time

Animation Exchange 2021 Day One Intro
11:00ish AM Pacific Time
Lana Bachynski (Senior Animator, Riot), Ju Li Khaw (Senior Animator, Arkane Austin) and Mike Jungbluth (Animation Director, Bioware)

The Animation of Miles Morales Spider-Man
11:00-12:00 PM Pacific Time
Mike Yosh (Lead Animator, Insomniac Games)

Mike Yosh takes us behind the scenes on the web-swinging production of Miles Morales Spider-man to learn about what sets Miles apart, how they tackled cinematic workflow and how the team embraced representation and overcame the insane challenges of 2020.

DOTA 2 Q&A
12:00-12:30 PM Pacific Time
Dan Rosas Paulsen (Animator, Valve) and Christine Phelan (Animator, Valve)

Watch Animation in DOTA 2
Join us for a live Q&A to talk about what it’s like to work on DOTA 2 with Valve Animators, Dan Rosas Paulsen and Christine Phelan!

Animated Moms
12:30-1:30 PM Pacific Time
Katie Better (Animator, Rockstar Games), Camille Chu (Lead Animator, Monolith), Sabrina Cecchini (Animator), Lianne Cruz (Principal Animator, Polyarc), and Marianne Hayden (Animator, Naughty Dog)

Animators already juggle multiple roles, but what happens when parenthood is added to them? Join our panel of gamedev moms as they share the challenges and rewards of raising a family in the current climate of game development. And bonus; a global pandemic.

Technical Q&A
1:30-2:00 PM Pacific Time
Matt Courtois (Lead Tech Gameplay Animator, Techland) and Christian Mendoza (Technical Animation Director, Electronic Arts)

Watch Why Gameplay Animators Should Be More Technical by Matt Courtois
Join us for a live Q&A to talk about the technical aspects of being a gameplay animator with Matt Courtois and Christian Mendoza!

Reel Reviews: The Original
2:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time
Melissa Shim (Senior Animator, Sony Santa Monica), Lyndsey Pendley (Lead Animator, Volition), and Carlos Ahumada (Animator, Blizzard)

A good demo-reel is worth its weight in job offers, so we’re here to help! We’ve gathered some of the top animation talent in the industry to give your demo reels the STEELY GAZE and helpful feedback!
To submit your demo reel for review, please upload your reel to SyncSketch and fill out our form.


Thursday, March 25th

Stream Replay of Intro to Blender 2.9 – Getting Started: Tips, Pitfalls & Quirks
8:45-9:25 AM Pacific Time

Stream Replay of The Blender Rosetta Stone
9:25-10:00 AM Pacific Time

Stream Replay of 2D in 3D Space
10:00-11:00 AM Pacific Time

Animation Exchange 2021 Day Two Intro
11:00ish AM Pacific Time
Lana Bachynski (Senior Animator, Riot), Ju Li Khaw (Senior Animator, Arkane Austin) and Mike Jungbluth (Animation Director, Bioware)

When Will the Attack Land
11:00-11:45 AM Pacific Time
Nathan Dunlap (Lead Animator, Respawn)

Every animator knows the animation principle of anti- ….cipation. But in video games, even a slight delay from button press to melee attack can ruin the responsiveness of gameplay. Nathan Dunlap breaks down how to walk the fine line between creating a frustrating experience and a fun but challenging one for the player.

Maya Workflow Tips
11:45-12:00 PM Pacific Time
Chris Goodall (Principal Animator, Playground Games)

Does this Viewcube bring you joy? Chris Goodall shows you how to clean up that messy viewport and streamline your Maya workflow.

Creative Feedback for Building Up Teams
12:00-12:30 PM Pacific Time
Hector Antunez (Lead Animator, Firaxis)

Hector Antunez shares what he’s learned over the years about best practices on giving and receiving feedback, suggestions on how to run feedback sessions and how to use feedback as a tool for growth!

Blender Q&A
12:30 – 1:00 PM Pacific Time
Marion Fischer (Lead Animator, Independent Arts Softwhere GmbH), Christiaan Moleman (Animator, Indiedev), and Brad Clark (Cofounder, Rigging Dojo)

Watch 2D in 3D Space by Marion Fischer
Watch Intro to Blender 2.9 – Getting Started: Tips, Pitfalls & Quirks by Christiaan Moleman
Watch The Blender Rosetta Stone by Brad Clark
Join us for TRIPLE the Blender knowledge with our experts, Marion Fischer, Christiaan Moleman, and Brad Clark!

We Don’t Need No Interpolation: Character Animation with Dense Animation Data
1:00-2:00 PM Pacific Time
Brad Clark (Cofounder, Rigging Dojo), Raf Anzovin (Creator, Ephemeral Rig), and Richard Lico (Animation Director, Polyarc Games)

Will the future of character animation for games be dense? In animation data, I mean! The super team of Brad Clark, Raf Anzovin and Richard Lico believe it will and are here to make life easier by sharing techniques to give the animator more direct control in a discussion on the practical alternatives to traditional rigging and keyframe animation.

Who Did What and How Now?! AnimState Survey Results
2:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time
Mike Jungbluth (Animation Director, BioWare)

Mike Jungbluth’s feedback every AnimX is “not enough pie charts” so he’s here to remedy that with a deeper look into AnimState’s industry wide survey of animation teams! He promises an illuminating talk about salary/compensation, job satisfaction, remote work policies as well as GRAPHS. LOTS AND LOTS OF GRAPHS!

Master Pose Study
3:00-3:15 PM Pacific Time
Kurtis Paddock (Senior Test Analyst, Blizzard Entertainment)

Flex those animation skills with Kurtis Paddock by doing some animation exercises! Follow along as Kurtis demonstrate how to do a study of classic 2D pose and how to translate it onto a 3D character.


Friday, March 26th

Stream Replay of Shoulder Pads are Never a Good Idea: The Technical Animation Pipeline of Destruction AllStars
9:45-10:30 AM Pacific Time

Stream Replay of Under the Cat Helmet: Lessons from the Character Creation Process of Destruction AllStars
10:30-11:00 AM Pacific Time

Animation Exchange 2021 Day Three Intro
11:00ish AM Pacific Time
Lana Bachynski (Senior Animator, Riot), Ju Li Khaw (Senior Animator, Arkane Austin) and Mike Jungbluth (Animation Director, Bioware)

Whose RAT Is It Anyway? With host Shrew Carey (Senior Animator, Riot)
11:00-12:30 PM Pacific Time
the RAT (Rodents, Riot Games)

Watch as the Riot Animation Team competes in a series of game-show like segments meant to test their wits, their skill, and their sanity.

Destruction AllStars Q&A
12:30-1:00 PM Pacific Time
Hollie Newsham (Animator, Lucid Games) and Matthew Lake (Technical Animator, Lucid Games)

Watch Under the Cat Helmet by Hollie Newsham
Watch Shoulder Pads are Never a Good Idea by Matthew Lake
Join us to find out more about the challenges behind the scenes of Destruction AllStars with gamedevs Hollie Newsham and Matthew Lake!

Embracing Failure in Animation: A Topic About Leadership
1:00-2:00 PM Pacific Time
Amanda Renfroe (Co-Head of Animation, Steamroller Studios)

From being hired at Steamroller Studios as a Production Coordinator to advancing to Head of the Animation Department, Amanda Renfroe shares the valuable lessons she learned along the way. Using examples from projects like Fortnite, Anthem, Spice Frontier, and Destruction All-Stars, Amanda will explore how making mistakes and learning from failures can be the most valuable tools for any leader.

Three Inventories of a DemoReel/Portfolio
2:00-2:30 PM Pacific Time
Nate Walpole (Assistant Professor, Camplain College)

Nate Walpole is here to take the stress out of building your demo reel by breaking it down into three inventories – what you have, what you want, and what you need. Whether you’re starting out or mid-career, Nate’s top-level gameplan can help you ramp up your demo reel!

Reel Reviews: THE SEQUEL
2:30-3:30 PM Pacific Time
Hector Antunez (Lead Animator, Firaxis), Rico Flores (Lead Animator, Archetype Entertainment) , and Careena Kingdom (Lead Animator, Diablo IV, Blizzard Entertainment)

You thought we were done, but we’re BACK with another group of hugely talented animators to get those PROFESSIONAL eyeballs all over your reels in Reel Reviews: THE SEQUEL! Now we go to the moon! (Disclaimer: going to the moon might not actually be a part of this reel review.)
To submit your demo reel for review, please upload your reel to SyncSketch and fill out our form.


We can’t wait to hang out with all of you on our Twitch Stream March 24th-26th starting at 11 AM PT!

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