Animex AVFX

Monday 8 - Tuesday 9 February

Teesside University, Middlesbrough

Now in its seventeenth year, Animex AVFX will be packed with insights into the year's major releases and the lowdown on the projects that are grabbing the headlines.

Animex AVFX is an exciting two day programme of talks from world class animation and VFX studios and experts including an evening event for you to network with the creators of some of this year's blockbuster titles.

Animex talks, networking events and workshops are not suitable for anyone under 16 years old.


OL1 Europa Building, Teesside University

Monday 08 February
Time Talk/Event
9:50am Welcome
Gabrielle Kent Animex festival director, Teesside University
Chris Wyatt Animex AVFX, Teesside University
Opening of the 2016 Animex Festival, with welcome by Teesside University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Croney.
10:00am Physiogamy, facial anatomy and eye movement for believable digital characters
Elizabeth Rega Professor of Anatomy, Western University of Health Sciences, California

The “uncanny valley” is often invoked to explain shortcomings in animated facial and eye movement, resulting in creepy characters. However, close attention to anatomical principles can help animators avoid some of the more common pitfalls to create more believable characters. This lecture is an introduction to the anatomical basis of facial expression, emphasizing both eye and mouth movement. Examples from the dissection table, live action and from animation in communicating character with facial expression are presented to illustrate basic principles which should inform modelling, rigging and animation, even in situations where procedural complexity must be rigorously minimized.
11:00am Facial Animation: Creating Digital Doubles
David Barton Senior Producer, Cubic Motion
Steven Caulkin Head of Research, Cubic Motion
Cubic Motion, courtesy of Dr Steven Caulkin (CTO) and David Barton (Senior Producer), will be delving into their proprietary facial animation technologies and pipeline to demonstrate how they work with leading acting talent to create digital doubles for projects like Cloud Imperium's "Squadron 42" starring Gary Oldman and Mark Hamill. This talk will give an overview of the facial scanning process, facial rigging techniques, and facial animation solving using head-camera video data, including stereo (3d) data reconstructed from a dual-camera head unit, as they are currently deploying on the "Hellblade" project developed by Ninja Theory.
12:00pm Lunch
1:30pm Series Direction
Jez Hall Director, Brown Bag Films

As a director on a range of long running children's shows from Wibbly Pig at Wish Films, to Wanda and the Alien at MacKinnon and Saunders, Jez Hall joins us to discuss the development of one of his latest series at Brown Bag Films, a new show for Nickelodeon U.S.
2:30pm Break
3:00pm Animation for Film: A breakdown of the concepts and practises of VFX animation
Liam Russell Senior Animator, Framestore
What do VFX animators need to know? In this talk Liam examines the difference between CG feature animation and VFX with examples and breakdowns from some of Framestore's most exciting projects over the years.
4:00pm Aria for a Cow: a peek inside a production barn
Stephanie Dominguez Background Artist, Global Barn
Dan Lund Effects Animator, Walt Disney Animation Studios

This talk uses the new animated short, "Aria for a cow", based on a never before heard song by Oscar winners Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, to illustrate how working globally can unleash creative power in independent productions. Director, Dan Lund, and Background Artist Stephanie Dominguez discuss the innovative approach to development on this award winning animated short. "It's time to stop talking and begin doing" ~ Walt Disney
5:00pm Close

See AVFX Lounge for tonight's exciting networking event from 7.30pm!
Tuesday 09 February
Time Talk/Event
10:00am MPC present: The out of this world VFX of The Martian
Pascal Etangsale Environment Lead, The Moving Picture Company

In this presentation, The Moving Picture Company Lead Environment Artist, Pascal Etangsale will discuss the creative and technical challenges behind creating the planet Mars for Ridley Scott’s The Martian. Led by Production VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers and MPC VFX Supervisors Anders Langlands, MPC were lead visual effects studio on The Martian. The team joined the project during pre-production, working closely with Ridley Scott to develop the look of the Martian surface. The team was responsible for all of the scenes that took place on Mars, including shots of Watney working around the Hab, travelling across the Martian surface in his rover, storm sequence and shuttle launch sequences.
11:00am More human than human: the making of Ava, Ex Machina’s incredible robot
Andrew Whitehurst VFX supervisor, Double Negative
Andrew Whitehurst joins us to discuss bringing Ava to life as a mechanically plausible machine with the nuances of Alicia Vikander’s performance.
12:00pm Lunch
1:30pm Sick VR
Daffy VFX Supervisor / Director, DAFFY London

On his long term journey to bring his own VR projects to life, Daffy was thrown into the deep end last Spring at FRAMESTORE NEW YORK by directing the AVENGERS VR EXPERIENCE for the new Samsung GearVR headsets. Armed with tales of reckless rule breaking, 360 previsualisation and a lot of nausea along the way, he recounts his experiences in this very new unchartered territory. As well as discussing the rendering and technical aspects of making VR, his focus is on story, 360 previz and the psychological importance of defining the VR ‘self’. AVENGERS VR is chart topper in the Oculus Store and is currently used by Samsung to demo the Gear VR in their stores worldwide. It will be available to see by finding Daffy in and around the festival.
2:30pm Love is a Rebellious Bird
Lauren Indovina Director / Designer, PSYOP

Director Lauren Indovina will offer a glimpse into the passionate chaos that ensues during the creative process at the production studio PSYOP; The flock with the bird that couldn't fly.The singular voice and the supportive chorus; It’s about wanton lovers and carnal enemies. It’s about reviving the story of broken souls. The visuals will twist the minds of our audience, spark a visual high. It’s high brow and rampant, symphonically fused by emotionally evocative visuals.
3:30pm Break
4:00pm The Nature of Character Design on Puffin Rock
Louise Bagnall Director / Creative Director, Cartoon Saloon
Louise Bagnall talks about designing characters on Netflix animation series Puffin Rock, and the balance between realism and personality. The challenge to create appealing designs while staying true to their real life counterparts in the natural world
Renato Dos Anjos Head of Animation, Disney

How slow are sloths? How does a giraffe run? How does a tiger dance? Head of Animation Renato dos Anjos will share how he, and the talented artists of the animation team, merged animal and human behavior to create the unique and varied performances of the animals of Zootropolis.
6:00pm Close

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