Animex Workshops

10 February

Europa Building, Teesside University
Individual workshop ticket holders

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Animex Workshops are a fantastic opportunity for you to learn from and work with some of the foremost animation and game professionals in the business.

Workshop Wednesday is always a huge draw for delegates and most classes usually sell out well in advance of festival week.

Creative visualisation: Ken Wong

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm) | One session (full day) - Fully Booked
Creative visualisation, also known in non-fancy words as 'concept art', is all about coming up with ideas and being able to draw them clearly and awesomely for other people to see. You'll learn techniques for producing bigger, more interesting and more varied ideas and how to get them down on paper clearly and rapidly, through a series of brainstorming exercises, sketch sessions and assignments.

But is it fun?: Alex Trowers

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm) | One session (full day) - 30 places
It may have an epic storyline, use the latest incarnation of the Awesomesauce Omni-Engine and feature voice talent from beyond the world of daytime TV, but is it actually any good to play? Gameplay is the silver bullet. It's what keeps players coming back after the warm, post-purchase glow has subsided, the achievements have all been gathered and the credits have rolled. It's that 'just one more go' feeling that takes you well beyond bedtime and causes you to flunk college. This workshop aims to show how gameplay can be extracted from just about everything around you. It is also really good fun to play.

Alan Gilbey's Animated Writing Workout

9.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm | Two sessions (half day) - 16 places per session
Are your plots feeling flabby or undeveloped? Are your shorts falling down? Then you need this squash and stretch session for your mental muscles, lifting the building blocks of basic screenwriting to build bigger, better films. Join award winning animation writer Alan for this three hour active workshop exploring the secret riffs and rhythms of scripts and stories - plus a really funny cartoon about anvils falling on a cat.

Skeletal Design for Character Designers and Riggers: Stuart Sumida

9.30am - 12.30pm | One session (half day) - More places available
Believable movement of animated characters depends on realistic movements in known animals and believable movements in fantastical animals. The basis and range limitations of all movements are determined by an organism's skeleton, particularly joint placement and function. The biological rules of joint function that influence believable design, rigging, and animation will be reviewed without using undue lingo or nomenclature. You are encouraged to bring characters of your own design, whether traditionally drawn or CG, to subject to skeletal retrofitting and determination of joint placement, movement, and range.

Note: Intermediate to advanced level users.

Digital Crowd Choreography with 3ds Max: Pete Draper

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm) | One session (full day) - 15 places
In this workshop you will work on creating numerous digital crowd simulations that you will build from the ground up, starting out with basic birds flocking around objects and re-grouping, to take-off and landing before having an army of several thousand characters swarming over hills all intuitively arranged through the 'chain of command' and procedurally driven by our own custom systems. This is a workshop for intermediate to advanced level users.

Note: Intermediate to advanced level users.

Engage your left brain - practical maths and physics for digital artists: Hans Rijpkema

9.30am - 12.30pm | One session (half day) - 10 places
Maths and physics formulas might be intimidating and scary for many digital artists. But understanding a little bit of it might actually be quite useful! This workshop explains the mysteries of coordinate systems, the troubles with rotations that cause the locking up of joints, the physics of characters jumping and falling and how to avoid motions that look unnatural, and much more. It's aimed at digital artists without a deep scientific background but who wish to gain an understanding of the technology in order to improve their art.

Playing with shapes: Curtis Jobling

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm) | One session (full day) - 15 places
This workshop will begin with a comprehensive look at Curtis's own portfolio and development as a character designer and concept creator for animation. It will also include character design exercises, concept generation tips and portfolio reviews.

Motion capture and animation production work flow: Jim Gentile

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm) | One session (full day) - 20 places
This workshop will focus on operating a motion capture system to create animation assets for video game or film production. We will go through the entire process of prepping for a motion capture shoot, to creating and editing motion capture data and importing edited motion on to a character model in Autodesk's Motion Builder software. We will also discuss the pros and cons regarding mocap as a production tool, how it can work alongside hand-keyed animation and how to troubleshoot pipeline problems that might arise during production.

Acting for Animators: Ed Hooks

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm) | One session (full day) - Fully Booked
This workshop is specifically for animators. The fact is that animators and stage actors use the same acting theory, but they perceive and apply it differently. Stage actors work 'in the present moment'; animators have 24-frames-make-a-second, ie the illusion of a present moment. Animators do not need to learn how to emotionally stimulate themselves in the present moment. They do not need to practice relaxation exercises or sense memory or emotional recall - all of which are standard for stage actors.

It's all about ergonomics - mastery of made up mechanical madness: Cris Robson

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm) | One session (full day) - 15 places
This one day course will present you with an intense look into the pipeline used to develop mechanical pieces for film and game using the complexity of a machined leg as an example. The development of the leg will be discussed and shown with impetus on the importance of design for animation and on redundancy in effect and its ergonomic benefits and will conclude with the creation of dynamic rigs and animation for the legs.

Crash Course in Digital Art, Colouring and Portfolio Building: Jim Zubkavich

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm) | One session (full day) - 20 places
Jim Zubkavich, Project Manager at UDON Entertainment, talks about some of the basic working methods for digital art that he and his crew use in their work for companies like Capcom, Warner Brothers, Sony, Hasbro and Blizzard. This workshop will include a run through of concept generation, character design exercises and digital colouring/painting fundamentals as well as a block of time for portfolio reviews. A basic understanding of Photoshop and Wacom tablets is required for this session

Who, what, when, why, how? AKA Argh! Here be monsters! Andy Wright

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm) | One session (full day): 20 places
Asking questions is the key to design and the creative process. Andy demos some of the approaches he uses to create his concept designs for projects. Warning: This day long workshop includes intensive exercises to flex the cerebellum. Oh and bring a pencil.

FREE One Day Animation Workshop: Robin Webb

9.30am - 4.30pm (lunch break 12.30pm - 1.30pm) | One session (full day): 12 places (for 11-14 year olds, by invitation only)
A one day animation workshop linked to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. Participants will tell their story using plasticine and professional animation equipment to create a series of short films for the upcoming Olympics.

ALL delegates MUST bring a completed Contributor Release Form with them to workshop (with parental/guardian signatures).

First LightThe workshop is managed by First Light, who provide funding and expertise to enable five to nineteen-year-olds, from all backgrounds throughout the UK, to make their own short digital films and media projects. First Light is supported by the Lottery through the UK Film Council and by DCSF. Since launching in 2001, First Light has funded over 30,000 young people learn technical and creative skills from professionals to create their own work.