Episode 41 – Meet the GDC Bootcampers


TOPIC: GDC 2013 Animation Bootcamp
GUESTS: Animation Bootcamp Presenters

The GDC 2013 Animation Bootcamp hype train barrels forward! But instead of just listening to the conductor, we have all the on board entertainers getting into the specifics of their talks.

With this episode you will get to know what each presenter and their talk is all about in preparation for the bootcamp in March.

So join the conversation and spread the word!

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GDC 2013 Animation Bootcamp
SanFrancisco, CA
Monday, March 25

Speakers & Topics

Welcome & Introduction
Mike Jungbluth, Senior Animator, Zenimax Online
Tim Borrelli, Lead Animator, 5th Cell
Nate Walpole, Senior Animator, Halo Series and Elder Scrolls Online

Making an Audience Believe
Jalil Sadool, Senior Animator, Dreamworks

The Animation Industry is moving and changing faster than we ever expected. The number of
good animators is increasing every year and finding a stable job in this competitive field is much
harder compared to just a decade ago. What therefore gives an animator this extra edge? We often misunderstand good animation for simply good motion and forget that our main focus as an animator is to fool an audience into believing. Over the course of this talk we will discuss the “Thinking Character” and the little things that we tend to forget but that is incredibly essential for a character to come to life.

It’s Alive! Developing Animal/Creature Movement, Personality and Presentation
Amy Drobeck, Senior Animator, WB Seattle

The purpose of this session is to outline the process of bringing a creature/animal to life from the skeleton up. It will begin with an overview of anatomy, continue with a breakdown of movement that includes character/personality development and end with the realization of these assets in cinematic and in-game formats.

From Stage to Screen: How to Get the Most Out of Your Mocap
Simon Unger, Animation Director, Hitman:Absolution

As commonplace in game development as overtime, motion capture is often one of the largest, most inefficient expenses on a production.The goal of this talk is to give attendees better tools and practices to squeeze more performance and value out of their mocap. We will cover all the stages; from initial planning and casting to final implementation in game. We’ll also have a look at some not-so-common uses of this often misunderstood tool.

Animating the 3rd Assassin
Jonathan Cooper, Animation Director, Ubisoft Montreal

Assassin’s Creed III’s new-world organic environments presented an opportunity to update the animation throughout the game with revised systems of navigation, combat and crowdlife, as well as new additions like animal wildlife, moving ships and tree-running. This presentation covers the decision-making behind these various improvements, making Assassin’s Creed III’s new protagonist Connor even more fluid in motion than previous entries while maintaining the series trademark sense of weight and connection to the environment.

Giving Purpose to 1st Person Animation
Ryan Duffin, Senior Animator, EA/Danger Close

First person games have been around for decades and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon! Arguably, no perspective is better to immerse a player in your world but how can you make your character feel like more than a camera on a stick , immersing them in their environment without sacrificing responsive player controls or making them vomit from motion sickness? This talk will focus on the particular animation needs of hands, bodies and weapons to better immerse your player in their avatar.

Designing a Performance
Ed Hooks, Acting for Animators
Mike Jungbluth, Senior Animator, Zenimax Online

Character animation in games can not rely solely on the methods used in film. Creating emotionally engaging and empathetic characters in a video game doesn’t stop when you finalize the animation. If you want to fully apply the principles of animation and acting into your game, you need to be aware of how and when your animations are being used by both the game and the player. This talk will show how you can approach your animations and game design in a more holistic way.

Q&A Roundtable
Tim Borrelli, Lead Animator, 5th Cell
A catch all for any questions attendees may have concerning all topics covered. Also a primer for the conversations that will continue at the Animation and Character Roundtable during the rest of GDC.


  1. Great idea. Wish I could attend. Good episode except for the fact that I was tempted to stab myself in the next from hearing the words “umm” and “uhh” so much for a couple of them. Lol. My dad is an English professor and ever since he introduced me to clutter, it gives me a headache. 😛

  2. These recordings were kept pretty casual, without any real preparation on the speakers part, so I wouldn’t hold any verbal clutter against them moving into their talks.

    For anyone that can’t make it to the bootcamp, the hope is that these will be recorded and added to the GDCVault for your viewing pleasure.

    Though I don’t want anyone to use THAT an excuse not to go 🙂


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