Animation Exchange 2021: PHASE ONE – Prerecorded Talks

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We’re kicking off Animation Exchange 2021 early starting riiiiiiight NOW!

As you may have already heard, we’re doing Animation Exchange 2021 a little differently this year, reflecting the changing times and everyone’s chaotic pandemic schedule. Instead of one long packed day of live stream, we’ve broken up the animation knowledge we’ve collected this year into more easily digestible pieces! Today is PHASE ONE.

Several of our amazing speakers have already been hard at work and have recorded talks that are available right now over on the AnimationExchange YouTube channel! They cover all sorts of amazing topics like breaking into Blender, lessons learned behind the scenes of Destruction AllStars and the challenges of animating for DOTA 2. We’re releasing these talks ahead of our live stream for you to watch at your convenience!

“Now what if I watched those videos and I want to see more from these creators? What if I have questions?? SO MANY QUESTIONS.”

No problem! We have you covered! We’ll have each of the speakers from the prerecorded talks on the Animation Exchange 2021 stream on March 24-26. They’ll all be participating in Q&A sessions so you can interact with them and get answers to all your burning questions. Each talk will also be replayed on Twitch before our stream goes live if you want to tune in a little early and watch it old school! Our 3 day stream includes live talks and panels as well as demo reel reviews with some amazing animators so check out our AnimX 2021 Schedule, head on over to the AnimState Twitch channel and follow us so you’ll be notified when we go live March 24-26 at 11am PST!

Here are the talks that are available to watch today! We’ve linked each of them down below as well as listed the speaker’s Q&A time on the upcoming stream. We’ve also created a playlist for all the talks if you’re someone who wants to watch them all in one go!


Animation in DOTA 2
Dan Rosas Paulsen
 (Animator, Valve)
Christine Phelan (Animator, Valve)
Stream Replay – March 24, 10:00-10:30am PST
DOTA 2 Q&A – March 24, 12:00-12:30pm PST

Dan and Christine take you behind the scenes to look at how animators create content for DOTA 2. They’ll discuss how the team works together to create ready to ship products every 2-3 weeks as well as discuss the challenges of remote work, the flat hierarchy structure of Valve and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.


Why Gameplay Animators Should Be More Technical
Matt Courtois
(Lead Tech Gameplay Animator, Techland)
Stream Replay – March 24, 10:30-11:00am PST
Technical Q&A – March 24, 1:30-2:00pm PST

Being a gameplay animator is more about creating gameplay than creating animations. After analyzing the pros and cons of the most common gameplay animation team structure and the industry evolution, Matt discusses the ever-growing need for more technical profiles, animators able to get involved in the pipeline creation and systems implementation.


Intro to Blender 2.9 – Getting Started: Tips, Pitfalls & Quirks
Christiaan Moleman
(Animator, Indiedev)
Stream Replay – March 25, 8:45-9:25am PST
Blender Q&A – March 25, 12:30-1:00pm PST

Heard about that Blender program and been interested in diving in? Christiaan is here to help with an introduction to Blender covering some basics and made especially for those coming from other popular 3D programs!


The Blender Rosetta Stone
Brad Clar
k (Cofounder, Rigging Dojo)
Stream Replay – March 25, 9:25-10:00am PST
Blender Q&A – March 25, 12:30-1:00pm PST

Ready to level up your Blender knowledge? Brad Clark acts as translator and guide for experienced animators and tech artists wanting to dive deeper into this opensource 3D program.


2D in 3D Space
Marion Fischer
(Lead Animator, Independent Arts Software GmbH)
Stream Replay – March 25, 10:00-11:00am PST
Blender Q&A – March 25, 12:30-1:00pm PST

Watch as Marion shows the possibilities of the grease pencil in Blender! Learn ways 2D artists can make their work easier and how 3D animators can incorporate these tricks for 3D Rigs.


Shoulder Pads are Never a Good Idea: The Technical Animation Pipeline of Destruction AllStars
Matthew Lake
 (Technical Animator, Lucid Games)
Stream Replay – March 26, 9:45-10:30am PST
Destruction AllStars Q&A – March 26, 12:30-1:00pm PST

Matthew takes you on a deep dive into the technical animation pipeline of the PS5 launch window title β€œDestruction AllStars”! Matthew will talk about how they supported the creation of 16 unique characters of different shapes, sizes and style, how their real-time rigging solutions worked, how they future proofed for decisions that hadn’t been made yet and the many hurdles, solutions and lessons of launching a product where a third of the development process occurred in lockdown.


Under the Cat Helmet: Lessons from the Character Creation Process of Destruction AllStars
Hollie Newsham (Animator, Lucid Games)
Stream Replay – March 26, 10:30-11:00am PST
Destruction AllStars Q&A – March 26, 12:30-1:00pm PST

Destruction AllStars may have plenty of cars and explosions, but it is also packed with tons of character and character creation is HARD! Hollie discusses the step by step process of creating 16 unique characters with their own signature personalities, the techniques used to overcome creative blocks and the personal challenges she faced starting the project as a fresh-faced animator.


We hope you enjoy these talks our speakers have worked so hard on! Please make sure you join us on March 24-26 from 11am-3:30pm PST for the Animation Exchange 2021 Live Stream!

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