2020 Animation Exchange Schedule & Speakers


We are excited to announce the fourth annual Animation Exchange on Tuesday, March 17th starting at 12pm Pacific Time! Just like the last three years, we will take the knowledge sharing and thriving community of a game development conference and make it free for everyone to enjoy!

And this year we will be streaming on our very own AnimState Twitch channel! So make sure to follow us, so that you will know when we are live!

And while we are talking about new channels, you can now watch all previous years of the Animation Exchange on Youtube! That is nearly 30 hours of animation focused entertainment free and easily accessible! So go back and watch your favorite talks or catch up on any that you missed.

Now, let’s look at what we have in store this year! A big shout out to Ju Li Khaw and Esther Ko for organizing this year’s talks.

Stream Introduction
12:00-12:05 PM Pacific Time
Ju Li Khaw (Senior Animator, Arkane Austin)

LIVE Performance Capture Session
12:05-12:35 PM Pacific Time
Max Murray (Sales Manager, Faceware)
Christopher Adamson (Senior Motion Capture Specialist, Xsens)

Xsens and Faceware join forces to demo their cutting-edge motion capture tech live on stream! Learn how you can now capture both body and facial animation at the same time with an entirely marker free system!

Animation Friend Time
12:35-12:45 PM Pacific Time
Shawn Alexander Allen (President/Game Design Director, NuChallenger)
Mariel Cartwright (Creative Director, Lab Zero Games)

Enjoy a friendly conversation between two animation smarties. Whether they are old chums or new acquaintances, we think these are two people that you will love hearing from.

Scaling for Success: An Evolution of Rockstar’s Animation Team
12:45-1:45 PM Pacific Time
Jim Jagger (Director of Animation, Rockstar Games)

Delve into the history of GTAV and Red Dead Redemption 2 to learn how the growing scope of these games shaped the structure of Rockstar’s animation team. Jim Jagger will discuss how the animation systems developed for GTAV pushed them to be even more ambitious when tackling the world of RDR2.

Animation Friend Time
1:45-1:55 PM Pacific Time
Niraj Desai (Lead Animator, Arkane Austin)

Maya Workflow Tips
1:55-2:10 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.

Animation Friend Time
2:10-2:20 PM Pacific Time
Ilkka Kuusela (Principal Animator, Remedy)

AnimXTREME Hotseat Showdown 3000! RIOT GAMES EDITION
2:20-3:20 PM Pacific Time
Adam Turnbull (Animator, Riot Games)
Matthew Johnson (Senior Animator, Riot Games)
Skylar Surra (Animation Craft Lead, Riot Games)
Hosted by Jake Clark (Studio MDHR) and Lana Bachynski (Senior Animator, Riot Games)

That’s right. The most extreme animation-themed pseudo-game-show is back for round three. Watch as we put the skills of three industry professionals from the one and only Riot Games through the ultimate test of speed, skill, and mental stamina. Will they succeed, or will they succumb to the pressure of the Hot Seat? Tune in to this segment to find out.

Animation Friend Time
3:20-3:30 PM Pacific Time
Ryan Duffin (Gameplay Animation Director, The Initiative)
David Pumpa (Lead Cinematic Animator, Sony Bend Studios)

Animated Moms
3:30-4:30 PM Pacific Time
Katie Better (Animator, Rockstar Games)
Camille Chu (Lead Animator, Monolith)
Sabrina Cecchini (Animator)

Animators already juggle multiple roles, but what happens when the facets of parenthood are added to them? Join our panel of gamedev moms as they share the unique challenges and rewards of starting and raising a family in the current climate of game development.

Animation Friend Time
4:30-4:40 PM Pacific Time
Desiree Cassidy
(Game Developer, Bonfire Studios)
Elyse Gymer
(Animator, Digital Extremes)

Autodesk’s Maya Showcase
4:40-4:55 PM Pacific Time
TJ Galda (Sr. Product Manager, Autodesk Media & Entertainment Team)
Jakob Balslev (CEO & Founder, Rokoko)

TJ is back to show off the latest updates in Maya 2020 (including over 60 new animation features!), and answer your burning questions. He’ll also be joined by CEO & Founder of Rokoko, Jakob Balslev, to discuss the latest on the Rokoko plugin for Maya.

Animation Friend Time
4:55-5:05 PM Pacific Time
Susan Chen
(Animator, Tea Time Animation)
Tina Huang
(Animator, Tea Time Animation)
Recola Li
(3D Artist, Tea Time Animation)

Spice Frontier: Online Premier and Making Of
5:05-5:35 PM Pacific Time
Amanda Renfroe (Co-Head of Animation, Steamroller Studios)

Join us for the exciting premiere of Spice Frontier by Steamroller Studios, followed by a behind-the-scenes look at the making of, presented by Steamroller’s Co-Head of Animation, Amanda Renfroe.

Animation Friend Time
5:35-5:45 PM Pacific Time
Jay Hosfelt (Lead Animator, Epic Games)
Jalil Sadool (Co-Founder & CEO, Steamroller Studios)

Stump a TA
5:45-6:45 PM Pacific Time
Brian Venisky (Senior Technical Animator, Rockstar Games)
Kaye Vassey (Senior Technical Animator, Epic Games)
Elena Tchijakoff (Rigging Lead, Rodeo FX)
Cole O’Brien (Technical Animator, Respawn)

Technical animators are the firefighters of the animation world. The moment there is even a little bit of smoke they try and swoop right in to help contain and solve problems. Sometimes it’s an easy fix but other times they are left downright stumped! In “Stump a TA” we aim to show you the thought process and creative solutions that our TAs come up with to “un-stump” themselves and help put those pesky animation related fires out!

Animation Friend Time
6:45-6:55 PM Pacific Time
Laurent Delayen
(Lead Animation Programmer, Epic Games)

Tea Time’s 48 Hour Jam Judges Panel
6:55-7:55 PM Pacific Time
Lana Bachynski (Senior Animator, Riot Games)
Hosted by Tea Time Animation

Join us as we review our top entries from the 48 hour Animation Jam 3! Feedback for the top submissions will be delivered live from industry professionals, and winners will be selected and announced for our student work, professional level, and people’s choice categories. Details of the Jam and how to sign up can be found HERE!


And none of this would have been possible without the help of our amazing sponsors, so please check out the cool things they make!





See you all on Tuesday, March 17th at Noon!


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