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GDC 2017 Videos

posted by Mike Jungbluth March 14, 2017 1 Comment

All of the 2017 GDC Talks have been added to the GDCVault and 6 of the #GDCAnim talks have been made free!

Animating ‘Dauntless’: Slaying AAA Animation on the Indie Scale
Animation Microtalks
Animation Tricks of the Trade
Cuphead Process and Philosophy
First Person Animation of ‘Overwatch’
Realistic Performances in Games

I have updated the 2017 GDC Animation Bootcamp Talks post to have each talk listed link directly to their video, to make that an easy one stop shop for everything animation related!

And on top of that, all of the 2015 GDC talks are now also free! So relive all of the amazing talks that year or catch them for the first time if you missed them before!

Between GDC and the Animation Exchange, 2017 is going to go down as one of the best years on record for animation sharing! Here is to an even bigger and better 2018!

Events

Animation Exchange 2017 Recording & Feedback

posted by Mike Jungbluth March 7, 2017 2 Comments

The first Animation Exchange is on the books and what an absolute blast it was! My mind is still racing with all of the ways we can grow and adapt the experience to best serve the entire community.

If you missed the stream, or want to watch it again, below are the times and links to each segment. And if you would like to give feedback (PLEASE DO!) you can let us know your thoughts on the forum or anonymously on the question form. And if you would like to see some shots from behind the scenes and general good times had by everyone on the stream, #AnimX is your place to go.

Thank you so much to Twitch, everyone on the stream, everyone on the chat and everyone watching it now that it is recorded. This feels like the future of knowledge sharing and wider community involvement for the animation industry, and it is just getting started!

Time Type Title Link
00:02:53 Panel Live Q&A https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=2m53s         
00:33:08 Interview Jeremy Yates (Naughty Dog) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=33m08s    
00:41:42 Presentation What Schools Aren’t Teaching You https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=41m42s    
01:12:40 Interview Gabriela Aveiro-Ojeda (Dames Making Games) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=1h12m40s
01:19:17 Presentation World to the West Animation Process https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=1h19m17s
01:53:19 Interview Young Vo (Sparky Pants) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=1h53m19s
02:09:17 Panel Animation Flashback: Spider-Man 2 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=2h09m17s
02:37:07 Interview Almudena Soria (Naughty Dog) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=2h37m07s
02:47:10 Presentation An Intro to Animation in Unreal Engine 4 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=2h47m10s
03:32:29 Interview Matthew Russell (Amazon) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=3h32m29s
03:40:09 Presentation Animation Flashback: Assassin’s Creed Combat https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=3h40m09s
04:13:41 Interview Jake Clark (Studio MDHR) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=4h13m41s
04:26:00 Panel MOBA Animation: LoL, HotS, Paragon https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=4h26m00s
05:21:40 Interview Jeremy Collins (Blizzard) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=5h21m40s
05:30:49 Presentation Back to Basics: 2D Animation for Games https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=5h30m49s
06:00:13 Interview Steven Dickinson (The Coalition) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=6h00m13s
06:06:20 Panel Animation Programming in 2017 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=6h06m20s
06:53:06 Interview Zach Lowery (Boss Key) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=6h53m06s
07:02:56 Presentation Interactive Cinematic Sequences in Uncharted 4 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=7h02m56s
07:30:56 Interview David Gibson (Blizzard) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=7h30m56s
07:41:10 Panel Fine, god-dammit! We’ll review it live! https://www.twitch.tv/videos/125470703?t=7h41m10s
Events

Animation Exchange Schedule

posted by Mike Jungbluth February 23, 2017 0 comments

Here is the full Animation Exchange Schedule! On Tuesday, February 28th, from 2-10 PM Pacific, you can join in on the fun at https://www.twitch.tv/twitchoffice. The entire event will be free to watch and the recordings will be available on the same channel! As you can see, there isn’t a moment throughout where we won’t have animators, technical animators, animation programmers and designers talking shop and sharing their process. And throughout it all, we will have people manning the chat to take your questions. You can find descriptions of each talk here.

And during the stream, we will be accepting donations for the IGDA Foundation. Their dedication to empowering future game devs across all disciplines and backgrounds made them a no brainer to partner up with. Sharing knowledge and opportunities, with a focus on diverse participants, is core to what #AnimX and the IGDA foundation is all about.

So make sure to watch the stream, and engage through the chat and #AnimX. See you there!

30 mins Live Q&A Tim Borrelli (First Strike), Gwen Frey (Molasses Flood), Mariel Cartwright (Lab Zero), Matt Boehm (Blizzard)
5 mins Mike Interviews Jeremy Yates (Naughty Dog)
30 mins What Schools Aren’t Teaching You Lana Bachynski (Blizzard), Simon Unger (Phoenix Labs)
5 mins Tim Interviews Gabriela Aveiro-Ojeda (Dames Making Games)
30 mins World to the West Animation Process Aslak Helgesen (Rain)
5 mins Mike Interviews Young Vo (Sparky Pants)
30 mins Animation Flashback: Spider-Man 2 James Zachary (Zynga), Ryan Duffin (EA DICE), Yoshitomo Morowaki (Hyperkinetic Studios)
5 mins Tim Interviews Almudena Soria (Naughty Dog)
60 mins An Intro to Animation in Unreal Engine 4 Jay Hosfelt and Laurent Delayen (Epic)
5 mins Mike Interviews Jeremy Collins (Blizzard)
30 mins Animation Flashback: Assassin’s Creed Combat Kristjan Zadziuk (Ubisoft)
5 mins Tim Interviews Jake Clark (Studio MDHR)
60 mins MOBA Animation: LoL, HotS, Paragon Alex Lehmann (Riot), Lana Bachynski (Blizzard), Jay Hosfelt (Epic)
5 mins Mike Interviews Matthew Russell (Amazon)
30 mins Back to Basics: 2D Animation for Games Mariel Cartwright (Lab Zero)
5 mins Tim Interviews Steven Dickinson (Coalition)
60 mins Animation Programming in 2017 Bobby Angeulov (WB Montreal), Laurent Delayen (Epic), Geoff Harrower (EA Vancouver), Dan Lowe (Visceral), Brett Pascal (EA), JC Delannoy (EA)
5 mins Mike Interviews Zach Lowery (Boss Key)
30 mins Interactive Cinematic Sequences in Uncharted 4 Jonathan Cooper (Naughty Dog)
5 mins Tim Interviews David Gibson (Blizzard)
30 mins Fine, god-dammit! We’ll review it live! Gwen Frey (The Molasses Flood), Kristjan Zadziuk (Ubisoft), Dan Lowe (Visceral), Jalil Sadool (Steamroller)
10 mins Wrap Up Mike Jungbluth (Volition), Lana Bachynski (Blizzard), Tim Borrelli (First Strike)

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Events

Animation Exchange Twitch Stream

posted by Mike Jungbluth January 16, 2017 13 Comments

I am super excited to announce that on Tuesday, February 28th from 2-10 PM PST, Animation is taking over Twitch!

The Animation Exchange takes the knowledge sharing and powerful community of art and development conferences and makes it accessible to all. Bringing together developers in both AAA and Indie, and leveraging the open platform of Twitch, this event will 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. For 8 hours, our stream will be dedicated to interactive experiences with animators, programmers and technical artists. This event will have talks to inform and to 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.AnimXBanners_07

This is something we have been building towards for a couple of years now in our effort to further democratize the sharing of knowledge across the industry. And with Twitch sponsoring us on their official channel, this free event is about as open and available as we could ever dream! So make sure to mark your calendars and spread the word, because this is the next step in how we grow and make knowledge available to the entire animation community.

And here your #AnimX Lineup with animators and devs from Blizzard, DICE, Epic, Naughty Dog, Riot, Ubisoft and more!

Live Q&A
We start the day with a panel of animators taking questions live from the Twitch chat. If you have a question about game animation, these are the people and this is the time to ask.
Speakers:
Tim Borrelli Animation Director at First Strike Games
Gwen Frey Co-Founder of The Molasses Flood
Mariel Cartwright Art Director, Lead Animator and Head of Story at Lab Zero Games
Matt Boehm Animator at Blizzard


What Schools Aren’t Teaching You
Schools are great for teaching the fundamentals of animation theory and workflow, but what about the stuff they DON’T teach?

Working in the industry takes much more than just animation chops. Get some insider info from two unique perspectives on the skills you can only pick up from spending time in the highly-competitive and fast-paced world of game development.
Speakers:
Lana Bachynski Animator at Blizzard Entertainment
Simon Unger Senior Animator at Phoenix Labs


Grim and Whimsy – Animating World to the West
This talk covers our effort to animate characters and creatures with contrasting moods and emotions, working within the tight constraints of a top down action game.
Speaker:
Aslak Helgesen Animator at Rain Games


Animation Flashback: Spider-Man 2
Spider-man 2 The Movie Game was the first in the franchise to emphasis the web-slinger’s unique methods of locomotion as well as one of the earlier open world superhero games. After it’s release in 2004, Spider-man 2 went on to become one of Playstation 2 Magazines “Top 100 PS2 Games of all time”, one of ScrewAttacks “Top 10 Movie Based Games” and one of the titles in the book “1001 Video Games to Play Before You Die”. During this Animation Flash Back Session, two of the animators from the team, James Zachary (Animation Lead) and Ryan Duffin (Animator) will reunite to dust off an old PS2, boot up the game and discuss the time they spent developing Spider-man and give a behinds the scenes look at what was needed to bring to life our beloved web-slinger.
Speakers:
James Zachary Animation Director at Zynga
Ryan Duffin Senior Animator at DICE LA


An Intro to Animation in Unreal Engine 4

Have you ever wondered how animators get their animations in game and make them part of an interactive character?  Have you heard about “state machines” or “blend spaces” but aren’t quite sure what it all means?   Watch Jay and Laurent setup an animated character in Unreal where they will cover these topics and more.
Speakers:
Jay Hosfelt Lead Animator at Epic Games
Laurent Delayen Senior Gameplay/Animation Programmer at Epic Games


Animation Flashback: Assassin’s Creed Combat
Assassin’s Creed has become one of the best known franchises in video game history since it’s original release in 2007, but very little is known how it became that. 10 years on, this flashback sheds light on a particular part of that development. As the Lead Combat Animator on the Original Assassins Creed, I will offer a unique insight into how the Combat System was developed.  By sharing the thought process, inspiration, conception, challenges and goals of the system that will appeal to fans of AC and developers alike.
Speaker:
Kristjan Zadziuk Animation Director at Ubisoft Reflections


MOBA Animation: LoL, HotS & Paragon

Do you like MOBAs? So do these three animators working on “Heroes of the Storm” (Blizzard, Lana Bachynski), “Paragon” (Epic Games, Jay Hosfelt), and “League of Legends” (Riot Games, Alex M. Lehmann). In this talk the three of them will chat about animating a few of the iconic characters in these popular games. Expect to hear some the behind-the-scenes “war-stories” from a couple of years of development on these titles. Oh, did we mention they’ll play their games while chatting about it? Grab a drink, prepare a question or two, and join us for an hour with your favorite MOBAs.
Speakers:
Alex M. Lehmann
Art Director at Riot Games
Lana Bachynski Animator at Blizzard Entertainment
Jay Hosfelt Lead Animator at Epic Games


Back to Basics: 2D Animation for Games
For both new and experienced animators, it’s always helpful to revisit the basics. This talk covers the founding principles of animation and in what ways they apply and work in games.
Speaker:
Mariel Cartwright Art Director, Lead Animator and Head of Story at Lab Zero Games


Animation Programming in 2017
This panel of animation programmers will discuss their relationship to animation and design, their impact on the responsive vs realistic debate and what their thoughts are on the newest animation technology making a buzz in the industry.
Speakers:
Laurent Delayen Senior Gameplay/Animation Programmer at Epic Games
Bobby Anguelov Animation Technical Lead at WB Games Montreal
Geoff Harrower Senior Gameplay/Animation Engineer at EA Vancouver
Dan Lowe Senior Technical Animator at Visceral Games


Interactive Cinematic Sequences in Uncharted 4
From initial idea to final polish, animation and design at Naughty Dog work in lockstep to pre-vis, prototype then assemble memorable and cinematic story sequences with the aim to keep the action as “on-the-stick” interactive and exciting as possible.
Speaker:
Jonathan Cooper Animator at Naughty Dog


Fine, God-Dammit! We’ll Review it Live!
 
Gwen and three other unfortunate animators are strapped to a couch. They are forced to drink cold beverages and chat about animation in games while watching a series of curated animation clips. Some clips will be from high profile games that have recently released, and some clips will be damning examples of game animation gone wrong. Gwen will be curating, and she will be the only animator with prior knowledge of what is being shown. The other animators are going in blind. Towards the end of the show we will invite the audience to link other clips for us to respond to. You can link us your demo reel (god help you), a clip of your favorite moment in a video game, or whatever else you would like us to talk about.
Speakers:
Gwen Frey Co-Founder of The Molasses Flood
Dan Lowe
 Senior Technical Animator at Visceral Games
Kristjan Zadziuk Animation Director at Ubisoft Reflections
Jalil Sadool CEO/Co-Founder at Steamroller Studios and Co-Founder of CGTarian Online Animation School


Final Thoughts

Thank you and parting words.
Speakers:
Mike Jungbluth Lead Animator at Volition
Lana Bachynski Animator at Blizzard Entertainment
Tim Borrelli Animation Director of First Strike Games
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Events

2017 GDC Animation Bootcamp Talks

posted by Mike Jungbluth January 9, 2017 1 Comment

Monday, February 27th will mark the Fifth Annual Animation Bootcamp at GDC!

What started five years ago to fill the void of animation knowledge sharing has grown into THE place to speak about all things game animation. And this year is no different! From Indie to AAA, we have the people working on some of the best animated games out there, breaking down the specifics of their animation processes. Be it communicating personality or design, if you love talking about what make interactive characters come to life, you won’t want to miss it.

We hope to see you there!

And without further ado, the talks and presenters are:

Animation Microtalks
After the success of last year’s microtalks, kick off GDC with their specific brand of fast-paced, high-energy talks. 1 hour, 10 professionals, all dedicated to educate, entertain and inspire with rants, raves, observations and wild musings on animation and the industry as a whole.
Speakers:
Lana Bachynski Animator at Blizzard Entertainment
Tim Borrelli Animation Director of First Strike Games
Gwen Frey Co-Founder of The Molasses Flood
Matt Conn CEO of MidBoss and Executive Producer for GaymerX
Gabriela Aveiro-Ojeda, Freelance Animator and Co-Director at Dames Making Games
Matthew Russell Senior Animator and Designer at Amazon Game Studios
Mariel Cartwright Art Director, Lead Animator and Head of Story at Lab Zero Games
Matt Majers Animator at Pixar
Shahbaz Shah Senior Animator at Telltale
Mike Jungbluth Lead Animator at Volition


Animating Uncharted 4 – A window into Naughty Dog’s animation workflow

This presentation uncovers the methodologies used by Naughty Dog to bring the characters of Uncharted to life. We will delve into the unique culture of Naughty Dog as well as uncover the animation pipeline from concept to console, including previs, our motion capture process, achieving seamless transitions, tracking assets, and communicating feedback.
Speaker:
Jeremy Yates Lead Animator at Naughty Dog


Animation Prototyping in Uncharted 4

This talk will show how animation prototyping can play a very important role in development. Instead of waiting for design or programming  to make decisions about a feature, we, as animators, can help to make those decisions easier by creating prototypes that help visualizing features. Prototypes from “Uncharted 4” will be showcased.
Speaker:

Almudena Soria
 
Lead Animator at Naughty Dog

 

Cuphead Process and Philosophy
An artist on the upcoming hand-drawn indie game ‘Cuphead’ explains his design and animation processes, as well as some practical ideas and tips.
Speaker:
Jake Clark Animator at Studio MDHR


The First Person Animation of Overwatch

Each member of Overwatch’s diverse cast of heroes has a lovingly crafted visual design and a distinct personality. How does one maintain this sense of character in a game primarily experienced through the first person? This talk dives into the artistic and technical challenges of creating personality in first person animation while staying true to the designer’s intent for gameplay. How would McCree reload a revolver and can you do it in 45 frames?
Speaker:
Matt Boehm Animator at Blizzard


Pushing Boundaries: Animating Expansion Packs for the Witcher 3 Wild Hunt
Sebastian will talk about the most important upgrades in our pipeline and workflow based on a few cool examples we did in the last year of the Witcher 3 production. He will explain how they delivered so many animations in the year with better quality and why he put so much weight on improving planning, communication between departments, character motivation and why “being the rebel” is the lifestyle.
Speaker:
Sebastian Kalemba Animation Director / Head of Animation at CD Projekt RED


Motion Capture Performance: An Actor’s Approach

Actors are learning motion capture performance on the fly and on the job which leads to wasted time and lack of communication.  This talk sheds light on how actors are trained and a technique I have developed over time that is specific to motion capture performance.  With the hope that it will better prepare the actor and help open lines of communication with animators to achieve the common goal of bringing a character to life.
Speaker:
Andrew Ray Certified Stage Combat Instructor with the Society of American Fight Directors 


Animation Tricks of the Trade

After being last year’s #1 rated talk, the rapid fire set of talks returns to give you a bunch of bite sized tips to take away and start applying to your work immediately.
Speakers:
Kristjan Zadziuk Animation Director at Ubisoft
Young Vo Animation Lead at Sparkypants
Mariel Cartwright Art director, Lead Animator, and Head of Story at Lab Zero Games
John Paul Rhinemiller Lead Cinematics Animator at Vicarious Visions
Zach Lowery Senior Animator and Designer at Boss Key Productions
Almudena Soria Lead animator at Naughty Dog


A Study of Creature Animation in Film and Games
From VFX to Feature Animated Films to Games, the craft of animation itself is exactly the same. What is different though are the limitations and rules that each category carries. Achieving a similar end result in your animation can require a completely different workflow. During this presentation, we will study a few pieces of creature animation from films and games and share the variety of workflows behind creating each animation.
Speaker:
Jalil Sadool CEO/Co-Founder at Steamroller Studios and Co-Founder of CGTarian Online Animation School


And beyond the bootcamp on Monday, GDC has a bunch of other great talks lined up for the main conference!

2017 GDC Main Conference Animation Talks
Tuesday
Bringing Hell to Life: AI and Full Body Animation in ‘Doom’
Wednesday
Animating an Agent of Mayhem
Motion Warping in ‘Gears of War 4’: Doing More with Less”
Animation Roundtable 1
Huddle up! Making the [SPOILER] of ‘Inside’
Simple and Powerful Animation Compression
Realistic Performances in Games
EA Presents N-teract: Next Generation Multi-Character Interactions
Thursday
Physics Animation in ‘Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’
Animation Roundtable Day 2
Player Traversal Mechanics in the Vast World of ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’
Animation Pipeline of ‘Overwatch’
Friday
Animating ‘Dauntless’: Slaying AAA Animation at an Indie Scale
Animation Roundtable 3
Cozmo: Animation Pipeline for a Physical Robot
‘Bound’: Emotions Through Ballet and Modern Art

And that won’t be all the animation sharing to happen during the week. Make sure you join us for the Animation Exchange on the following day, free and live on Twitch! February 27th – March 3rd is going to be an amazing and inspiring week!

And while we wait for the conference, why not go back and watch all of the 2013 and 2014 Bootcamps, which are free to view on the GDC Vault!

Events

2016 GDC Animation Bootcamp Speakers and Schedule

posted by simonunger January 1, 2016 0 comments

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.

Continue Reading

Events

2015 GDC Animation Bootcamp Schedule

posted by Mike Jungbluth November 3, 2014 0 comments

Here are the speakers and talk summaries for the 2015 GDC Animation Bootcamp! I hope to have an episode of the podcast interviewing each presenter like the previous years at the beginning of the year.

As you can see, it is even more varied in content and disciplines than years past, which I believe speaks to the evolution of the skills required for game animation compared to other forms of the craft. Our goal is to enable people to share the craft of game animation in a way that hasn’t been available before the bootcamp, as well as shine a spotlight on the animators themselves, giving them a voice and connection to the industry. And this lineup definitely delivers on that goal!

If you want to attend the show this March, sign up before January 21st for the best price! We hope to see you there!

__________________________

Live 2D Demo by Mariel Cartwright (Lab Zero Games)
Summary:
Animating is tough as it is, but game animation has its own set of rules to adhere to. How do you approach and execute an animation intended for a game? Join and watch a live 2D traditional animation demo that will demonstrate the way the fighting game Skullgirls is animated, and learn not only about the thought processes behind its animation, but also watch it get animated!
Bio:
Mariel Cartwright is an illustrator and animator based in Los Angeles. She is lead animator at Lab Zero Games, working on the 2D fighting game Skullgirls, and also works regularly with Wayforward on a number of titles.

The Animation Process of Ori by James Benson (Camp Santo)
Summary:
Tasked with creating hundreds of character animations that would would blend seamlessly into a painted 2d world, but without any ability to illustrate, what technical and creative tricks could you employ to succeed? An exercise in using your constraints to your advantage, this 30 minute talk tracks the (hopefully) successful attempt to create thousands of Ghibli­style frames of animation with limited time, people and personal skillset. Focusing almost exclusively on specific technical takeaways and the pros and cons of every decision that was made.
Bio:
James Benson is an animator and game designer from the UK. He started his career at Lionhead on FABLE 3 and MILO and KATE. After leaving Lionhead he created the animation for ORI AND THE BLIND FOREST. With that project wrapped up he is now working at Campo Santo on FIREWATCH.

Locomotion of Sunset Overdrive by Elliot Grossman (Insomniac Games)
Summary:
Sunset Overdrive pushes velocity while fluidly traversing through the dangerous world of the awesomepocalypse.  But while the hero’s locomotion allows players to quickly move from point A to B, Insomniac’s development process was not always straightforward.  We’ll take a look at the many unexpected discoveries we made while searching for Sunset Overdrive’s animation style, and how diving head first into the unknown helped us create something new.
Bio:
Elliot Grossman is a senior animator at Insomniac Games currently working on the hero character for Sunset Overdrive DLC.  Past games include Sunset Overdrive (Gameplay Animator) Fuse (responsible for hero stealth takedown system), Family Guy:  Back to the Multiverse, Spongebob: Truth or Squared, Up:  The Video Game, WALL-E:  The Video Game,  and Ratatouille: The Video Game.

Women Are Not Too Hard To Animate by Brianna Wu (Giant Spacekat) Mariel Cartwright (Lab Zero Games) Jonathan Cooper (Naughty Dog) Tim Borrelli (5th Cell)
Summary:
Diversity in game characters has been a controversial subject, especially over the past year. From claims that “women are too hard to animate” to supposed limitations in tech and resources, the fact is that there are many genders, races and orientations that are sorely under-represented in games. This panel will use its expertise in game planning & tech (Brianna Wu), large-scale animation direction (Jonathan Cooper) and independent, diverse animation creation (Mariel Cartwright) to discuss how game teams can plan for diverse characters and performances from an animation standpoint. It’s time we stop relying on the age-old excuses.
Bios:
Brianna Wu is a founder of Giant Spacekat, an indie development studio in Boston, Massachusetts. She is also known as a blogger and co-host of the weekly Isometric podcast on the 5by5 network. She has also written high-profile essays and opinion pieces about issues related to feminism and antagonistic attitudes toward women in game development.
Mariel Cartwright is an illustrator and animator based in Los Angeles. She is lead animator at Lab Zero Games, working on the 2D fighting game Skullgirls, and also works regularly with Wayforward on a number of titles.
Jonathan Cooper is an animator on Uncharted 4 at Naughty Dog, previously directing the animation for Assassin’s Creed III and leading animation teams on Mass Effect 1 & 2 among others. Originally from Scotland, he has truly been spoiled working on some of the more progressive story and character-heavy games in the last decade across Canada and the US. His goal is to bring video games kicking and screaming into the public consciousness as the most formidable cultural art-form of our time.
Tim Borrelli has worked in the games industry for over 16 years, currently for 5th Cell as a Lead Animator and previously for Volition, both as a Lead Animator and as the company’s first Technical Animator. His work has included animation creation & direction, mocap direction & cleanup, and technical animation on game series such as Freespace, Summoner, Red Faction, and Saints Row, as well as the Scribblenauts franchise and Hybrid, 5th Cell’s Summer Of Arcade title in 2012. His speaking experience includes running the Technical Animation Roundtable, Animation & Character Performance Roundtable, and speaking on animation related panels and talks at GDC and PAXDev.

UFC Animation System by Lee Dowsett and Geoff Harrower (EA Canada)
Summary:
Creating the animation system for a UFC game from the ground up presented us with some unique and interesting challenges.  With a roster of over 100 fighters all with unique styles, personalities and proportions we were tasked with delivering quality and breadth of animation that surpassed that of the previous generation of consoles.  From a close quarters grappling system heavy on two man animation content to procedural animation solutions, we will present to you the technology, workflows, tricks and sleight of hand we used in developing EA Sports UFC.
Bios:
Lee Dowsett is the Animation Director for EA sports UFC and has been at the EA Canada studio for over ten years.  During his decade at EA, Lee has been the Animation Director for Fight Night series and has also worked on everything from Facebreaker to FIFA.  Previously to EAC, Lee worked at a number of games and animation studios in the UK, including Hothouse Creations and Sony.
Geoff Harrower is a Senior Software Engineer at Electronic Arts and is currently the lead gameplay engineer on EA Sports UFC.  In his thirteen 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.

The Missing Link – Technical Designers in Animation by Jami Jeffcoat (Bungie)
Summary:
The design team wants this, but the animators need that, and the engineers haven’t even heard of the feature you’re talking about! Sound like a familiar scenario? From implementing run-time code, to building tools, to rapid bug fixing – this talk overviews what Technical Designers in Animation mean to the Bungie studio, and how our position is utilized to build a bridge across the Animation, Animation Engineering, and Design teams. Listeners will walk away from this talk with information to help implement or evolve this kind of position at their own studio.
Bio:
Jami Jeffcoat has been working as a Technical Designer in Animation since her graduation from The Guildhall at SMU in 2012.  She likes to utilize her mixed education – a Bachelors in Computer Science and Masters of Interactive Technology in Art Creation – at Bungie to help bring the world of Destiny to life, and strives to create harmony between engineers, animators, and designers on the daily.

Refining A Mechanic’s Personality by Mike Bithell (Mike Bithell Games)
Summary:
Animation is often thought of as an art task, a layer of polish. In the low budget and indie sectors, it’s often one of the first areas to be cut down for financial reasons. This talk focuses on the way in which design, code, VO and mechanical context can be used in tandem with animation to create character and performance, and allow for budget to be spent where it counts – creating unique characters. Thomas Was Alone will be used as an initial case study, before moving on to the ways in which MoCap, animation and design have been combined to tell stories and convey personality in Volume.
Bio:
Mike Bithell is the creator of the award winning Thomas Was Alone, and its upcoming follow up, Volume. Having worked in industry as a designer on a number of console and social games, a hobby game spun him off into starting his own studio to make games focused on game feel and storytelling. His next game, Volume, will release shortly after GDC.

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