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Animex Workshops

6 February

Venues TBA

Frankenstein's Cat © Mackinnon & Saunders / Kayenta Production 2007

Get your pencils sharpened and your mice at the ready!

The ever popular Animex Workshops give you the chance to work closely with some of the most respected artists in the world.

Animex Workshops are hugely popular and sell out very quickly, so book your tickets as early as possible.

Workshops that are currently on offer are listed below. To book your place simply download the booking form, fill it out making sure to note the title of the workshop you want to attend, and return the form to us.

You will be notified as soon as possible if you application is successful.

Any tickets that remain for sale on the day will be available from the Animex registration desk.


Character Animation - Mark Walsh

1.30pm - 4.30pm
One session (half day) - Fully Booked

Fresh from his role as Directing Animator on Ratatouille, Pixar's Mark Walsh is back at Animex to give you an insight into what it takes to produce breathtakingly believable character animation.


Acting for Animators - Ed Hooks

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm)
One session (full day) - 30 places

This class is specifically for character animators. The focus is on the connections between thinking, emotion and physical action and scene structure, characterisation, differences between comedy and drama, and an introduction to the theories of Paul Ekman (The Expression of Emotion in the Human Face). The workshop comprises a lecture and deconstruction of scenes from animated and liveaction film. Some of you will participate in a few simple improvisations that are designed to illustrate acting principles. Film clips will be included from Charlie Chaplin's Gold Rush, A Streetcar Named Desire, Pinnochio, The Emperor's New Groove and The Iron Giant, and more.


Writing Workout - Alan Gilbey

9.30am - 12.30pm
One session (half day) - 15 places

Are your films feeling flabby? Are your scripts out of shape? No matter how buff your animation looks it will still end up getting sand kicked in its face if it has a wimpy story. So why not join award-winning animation writer Alan for an animated exercise which will squash and stretch your mental muscles so they make better movies? In this active session Alan will use group activities, silly games and the occasional cartoon to get you laughing and creating in a fun, informal atmosphere. Oh, and he'll teach the basics of story structure too.


Character Sculpting - Nick Roberson

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm)
One session (full day) - Fully Booked

Join Nick a sculptor with the world renowned Mackinnon & Saunders puppet makers, and sculpt a maquette (or make a sculpture) in this intense, but fun workshop.


Character Development - Rick Villeneuve

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm)
One session (full day) - 10 places

This workshop provides a practical analysis of how to create original animated characters from concept to final design. Rick will present methods on how to get started, develop ideas, build a profile and flesh out characters incorporating practical writing and thumbnail drawing exercises. Influencers on the types of character development such as the production process, genre, design, technique, story structure, environment and different animated medias from television series to theatrical features, independent short film to interactive games will be analysed and supported with a professional case study.


Character Design - Curtis Jobling

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm)
One session (full day) - Fully Booked

This workshop will look at the development of animation ideas from the page to the screen, covering initial concept, pitch presentation, storyline generation and character design. You are invited to bring along your own work in development, be they short films, interstitial or long form animation shows for discussion and suggestion. Curtis will also be providing a portfolio review service for artists, animators and designers alike.


Animation Writing 101 - Eric Shaw

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm)
One session (full day) - 10 places

Eric has been a writer for two seasons on SpongeBob SquarePants. In this workshop you will collectively conceive, break, write, discuss, and rewrite a premise, outline and additional scenes using, as a template, one of the hit shows Eric has written for. You'll also learn proper story structure, character arcs, dialogue structure, timing, uses of visual gags and comedic values and so much more. Eric will discuss the dos and don'ts of animation writing, the animation studio system, the different forms of animation writing (board driven versus script driven) how to solicit literary representation and how to 'stay in the door once it's opened'.


Creative Visualisation - Ken Wong

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm)
One session (full day) - Fully Booked

The creation of concept art is hugely important in determining a game's look and visual style, and also critical to communicating ideas to an entire game development team. This workshop teaches techniques on dealing with design briefs, where to get ideas, how to present them, and what it's like creating concept art for a real game.


Things wot make games fun - Alex Trowers

9.30pm - 12.30pm
One session (half day) - 30 places

Alex, founder of Weirdwood Games, shares stories and advice on all aspects of gameplay drawing on his 17 years of experience working on series including Syndicate, Populous, Dungeon Keeper and Theme Park.


MEL Scripting a Character Rig in Maya - Chris Maraffi

1.30pm - 4.30pm
One session (half day) - 10 places

This workshop will give you an overview of how to approach MEL scripting a complex biped character rig in Maya to automate and streamline the character rigging process. It will show you the advantages of scripting an entire rig, and will give you a sneak peak of the content of Chris' new book on the subject due out this summer.


Digital Lighting with 3ds Max - Pete Draper

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm)
One session (full day) - Fully Booked

Lighting dictates mood and can make or break a scene so it's important even to know the fundamentals of how and why we light a scene a certain way. In this workshop, Pete will analyse different lighting examples from stage lighting through to feature films and how to produce cleaner images and better rendertimes when working with 3ds max's own kit.


Motion Capture - Jim Gentile

1.30pm - 4.30pm
One session (half day) - Fully Booked

In this workshop you will look at the entire motion capture pipeline from setup and calibration of motion system motion to motion file edit and import into Autodesk's Motion Builder software. The workshop will illustrate how to shoot motion captured data that will work for both video games and film. After we capture motion, Jim will edit the captured data and export the files for use in an animation software package. You will also go through the character/actor setup process in Motion Builder and apply edited motion files to the set file.


All workshop attendees should assemble at the Registration Desk at 9.00am on Wednesday 6 February to be directed to their class.

Those booked for an afternoon session should assemble at the Registration Desk at 1.00pm.