|9:00 AM||State of the Industry2020 was a bumper year for games, but where has that left the UK games industry? What opportunities and challenges lie ahead? And how can we keep the sector growing and thriving across the country? Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, will be sitting down for a fireside chat to discuss this and a whole lot more in a lively half hour conversation.|
|10:00 AM||Playtonic, our story so far……or whatever we can cram into 45 minutes! - Dean Wilson, Chris Sutherland, Daley Eve, Matt Griffin - Playtonic Games - Playtonic games open up about their journey so far. From humble beginnings, expanding the team, releasing two titles featuring Yooka and Laylee, and plans for the future. Playtonic tell all, from the heart, about the challenges of starting a new studio, as well as a little insight into the successes (and blunders!) in the day to day life of its developers|
|12:00 PM||Technical Animation Pipeline of Destruction AllStarsA deep dive into the technical animation pipeline and processes of the PS5 exclusive title Destruction AllStars. Shipping with Unreal Engine, this talk will explain how we solved problems and supported a newly formed animation team in the creation of 16 unique characters of different shapes, sizes and styles. We’ll look at how our real-time rigging solutions work, how we future proofed decisions that hadn’t been made, how we empowered the animators and removed barriers to entry, and highlight the many hurdles, solutions and lessons we worked through during the development process including spending nearly a third of the project in lockdown.|
Design and Programming: Experience, Tips and Collaboration
The difference between Design and Programming can be seen as night and day. However, one cannot function without the other, otherwise you will end up with all the ideas with no functionality or all the functionality with no idea.|
We will be talking about the collaboration between these two disciplines, how they affect one another and how they affect the rest of the team like Art, Audio and VFX to name but a few. Furthermore, we will talk about our own experiences of game development, from university to where we are now, and what advice we would give to all inspiring game developers.
|4:00 PM||Destruction AllStars: Under the Cat HelmetDestruction AllStars may have plenty of cars and explosions, but it is also packed with tons of character and character creation is HARD! So how did we create 16 unique characters, ensuring all of them had their own signature personalities whilst future-proofing ourselves for further additions? Using the “Cat Girl” aka “Tw!nkle R10t” as an example, this talk will discuss our step by step process of creating characters from concept through to launch (and all the fun in between!), the techniques we used to overcome creative blocks and the personal challenges I faced starting the project as an Animator with no experience through to now (4 years on!).|
|6:00 PM||The Animated World of Ratchet and Clank: Rift ApartInsomniac animators Lindsay Thompson and Stephanie Aharonian discuss the process and inspiration for animating the cinematic cutscenes and gameplay animation for Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart.|
|8:00 PM||Living the Legend | Bow Design in Hood: Outlaws & LegendsThe ranged combat design in Hood: Outlaws & Legends posed an interesting creative challenge; how do you envisage a renowned Robin Hood legend in a gritty medieval-inspired world, leveraging established genre norms and accounting for the expectations of the audience? This talk will provide an insight into the design philosophy and development of the bow and arrow mechanics, before delving deeper into specific gameplay examples, such as considerations for competitive multiplayer and how to make a player feel confident that they are going to successfully land a hit when their ammunition is scarce.|
Shining a Light on BMW's New Hybrid Range & Crafting Nike’s ‘Awaken The Phantom’
Shining a Light on BMW's New Hybrid Range & Crafting Nike’s ‘Awaken The Phantom’ - Kate Gabriel - The Mill - The Importance of the Skeleton and Joints: from Model to Rig to Animation - Stuart Sumida - California State UniversityThe Mill’s Kate Gabriel takes us behind the scenes of both projects and guides us through how the team seamlessly integrated an electric glow into live action plates - adding brightness, luminosity and flare to BMW’s 30 second TVC.|
Kate will also delve into the VFX showcased within Nike’s 'Awaken The Phantom', a spot created in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam and Director Matthew Vaughn out of Black Label Productions to support the launch of Nike’s PhantomVSN football boot.
|11:00 AM||ILM Animation from Start to finishJoin senior animator Juan Guiraldes as he introduces you to ILM and the creative process that drives a shot “From start to finish”. He will take us through an overview of how a shot gets made from previs, through to final animation and on through lighting, FX and comp departments but with a particular focus and deep dive into his approach to animation.|
|1:00 PM||Farmageddon: Taking Shaun the Sheep into SpaceA look behind the scenes on the Oscar nominated feature A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon. Will Becher (one half of the directing duo behind the movie) will share the development process and offer an illustrated peek at the stop motion magic that goes on behind closed doors at Aardman Animations in Bristol.|
|2:00 PM||From 2D to 3D - The craft of Tom & JerryTom & Jerry (Warner Bros., 2021) sees two of the world’s most famous cartoon characters tumbling into our own 3D world. Working across 1165 shots, some 600 VFX artists and 100 animators were presented with the challenge of staying true to the classic 2D Hanna-Barbera characters the world knows and loves while enabling them to live, breathe and brawl alongside a human cast. Hear from key animation and VFX talent about the complexities of this unique hybrid feature, which demanded classic 2D animation craftsmanship and cutting edge VFX to allow the two worlds to seamlessly co-exist.|
|3:00 PM||The Making of WolfwalkersJoin Tomm Moore talking about the Making of WolfWalkers at Animex In a time of superstition and magic, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn Goodfellowe, journeys to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumored to have the ability to transform into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the WOLFWALKERS and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.|
A Fluffy Remote Collaboration
A fluffy white cat, wants nothing more than to take her afternoon nap in the most comfortable spot in the universe. Little does she know that someone else has their eye on it too...
Inspired by observations of the bemusing behaviour of her beloved feline friends, India Barnardo directed the playful natured short animation film Cat and Moth. She created it with a team of more than 90+ filmmakers scattered all over the world working on this project entirely online, made possible through the collaborative platform Artella. So let's take a dive into how it was made and how you could make one too!
|5:00 PM||MPC Film presents Godzilla Vs Kong – Animating an epic showdownIn this presentation MPC Film Animation Lead, Lucas Nunes will pull back the curtain on MPC’s work on the epic Hong Kong battle sequence between Godzilla and Kong. He’ll take a deeper dive into how animators at MPC choreographed the fight scene, using references from MMA fights, nature and their love of the Monsterverse.|
|7:00 PM||Evolution of ideas: How a scribble develops into an experienceHow linear, dynamic or chaotic is the process of creating a boss enemy? Where do ideas come from and how are they processed? Who decides how something looks and behaves? How many people are involved, how are they reaching a consensus? And what comes after? In this talk, I show the conceptual evolution of the boss "Little Johnny" from our game "The Surge 2", and how it made its way into the key artwork as well as the game packaging.|
|8:00 PM||The TENET Effect: Unpacking the Collaboration of Special and Visual EffectsThe TENET Effect: Unpacking the Collaboration of Special and Visual Effects - Andrew Jackson, Mike Seymour and Scott Fisher - DNEG - VFX Supervisor Andrew Jackson sits down with Special Effects Supervisor Scott Fisher to discuss the harmonious coupling of special effects and visual effects in Christopher Nolan's latest film, 'TENET' for which DNEG took home an Oscar win. Moderator Mike Seymour leads the two BAFTA-winners to dissect the creative processes and unique collaboration that ultimately brought Nolan's vision from script to screen. Along with teasing out the film's critical concepts — for example, the scientific differences between 'backwards' and 'inverted' — this talk touches on the recent resurgence of in-camera practical effects, the iconic 747 crash scene, and much more. Don't miss this deep dive into one of this year's most innovative cinematic achievements.|
|9:00 AM||Neurodiversity - 9am Benefits of a Neurodiverse WorkforceEmma will provide a brief overview of auticon before talking about the cognitive profile and strengths of neurodivergent individuals and the benefits of having a neurodiverse workforce|
|9:20 AM||Neurodiversity - Neuro Diversity in the VFX industry with Industrial Light and MagicAn Informal discussion about ILM’s approach to celebrating Neuro Diversity. ILM's Amy Backwell, Mandy Mok and Fleur Willis talk with Teesside’s Penny Holton about their Enabled support group and reflect on their personal experiences.|
|9:40 AM||Neurodiversity - Why you should Employ AutismUnderstand about the benefits of recruiting and retaining autistic talent in your organisation and the talents and skill sets that they offer. Hear more about our national Employ Autism programme, where we are supporting employers to offer paid internships to autistic people as well as some practical changes you can make now to access this untapped talent pool.|
|11:00 AM||Culture & Ethnicity - Launching an international game jam in a pandemicLaura Martin (Digital Schoolhouse) and Bukola Akingbade (Kucheza Gaming) talk about the lessons they learnt launching the inaugural Mobo Game Jam, an international game-making challenge designed to facilitate a rich cultural exchange between students in the UK and Nigeria. Learn about how they managed to receive over 1000 public votes it’s first ever final, plus the challenges they encountered along the way.|
|11:30 AM||Culture and Ethnicity - My Personal Insights into the Video Games IndustryWith several years of experience as a Character artist for companies such as Rare, Mediatonic and Natural motion, Zakia shares her journey and some honest truths about what it means to be both an artist and a person.|
|12:00 PM||Sexual Identity (LGBTQ+) - Why LGBTQ+ inclusion matters at workAn inclusive workplace is one where everyone can achieve their potential. However, for many LGBTQ+ people being unable to bring their full selves to work creates barriers to staying and progressing in some organisations. In this session we’ll introduce Stonewall and our work, talk a little more about how to create a more inclusive workplace and provide you with some practical things you can implement right away.|
|12:20 PM||Sexual Identity (LGBTQ+) - LGBT+ Inclusion in the Workplace - Building a more inclusive environment at workInclusion specialist Jack Williams shares his experiences of inclusion in the workplace and, through a mixture of best practice and action-focused tips, shares how you can make a difference in your workplace to develop a more welcoming and open environment for everyone.|
|12:40 PM||Sexual Identity (LGBTQ+) - Advocacy and Visibility in GamesBecca (Pride Co-founder, Square Enix) and Kat (Admin, London Gaymers) talk about advocacy in games. They will discuss how to use an internal ERG like a pride group to increase diversity in your games and amplify the voices of those it represents. Whether you're a member of an underrepresented group or an ally, this segment will provide insight into how and when ERGs are best utilised, how they can be an invaluable tool to adding genuine diversity to your games, and how to make sure they're heard effectively.|
|2:00 PM||Mental Health and Wellbeing - On Mental Health in the Games Business, and Technical RolesThe games landscape is restless and still emerging, and often irresistibly absorbing with it, but it’s also relentless and exhausting in ways that can test our mental health. This talk will look at topics like anxiety and impostor syndrome, from the perspective of technical and business-related roles in games, with the hopeful aim of better equipping you to face such challenges in your own lives.|
|2:20 PM||Mental Health and Wellbeing - Burnout: Too exhausted to carry onBurnout is characterised by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal achievement within the workplace. It affects a significant proportion of people in the community secondary to work related stress. This talk would look at how it presents and what needs to be done to address it.|
|2:40 PM||Mental Health and Wellbeing - Mental health and the games industrySafe in our world is a mental health charity focusing on the games industry and utilise a passion for playing games as a platform to talk about mental health and to destigmatise it. Although a relatively new charity Safe in our world has already had an impressive impact starting a moderated safer together discord server, an industry wide pledge programme working with some of the best-known publishers and developers to creative more supportive workplaces focusing on wellbeing; a website of useful resources and specific job role training focusing on mental health for customer facing roles.|
|3:00 PM||Gender Inclusivity - Diversity on the creative team; unheard stories and animationLesley-Anne talks about through her journey of working as a stop motion animator in the North East, from getting her first commission through to working on her current BFI project 'Type' and the experiences that influenced her decision to work with an all-female lead creative team.|
|3:15 PM||Gender Inclusivity - Busting myths and misconceptionsEmma will be sharing her experience of setting up Motion Capture Experience sessions with students as a way to bust the myths and misconceptions held about the Games Industry. By taking a practical and experience-led approach, the sessions challenged the students’ career choices and gave their educators a more well-rounded view of our often misunderstood profession (plus they had a whole load of fun along the way!)|
|3:30 PM||Gender Inclusivity - Building a Game Studio and Advocacy Organisation from ScratchSally Blake, CEO of Silent Games, discusses how she built the foundations of her career which led to the creation of her own studio Silent Games, and advocacy organisation, Women Making Games. Sally runs through each of the key decision points in her 10 year games industry career and talks about her experiences in AAA game development at Ubisoft, and independent studio experiences at Dimension and No More Robots.|
Gender Inclusivity - The Grimoire of Gender - Code Coven's quest to dispel inequality
Karla Reyes - Code Coven - |
Code Coven is the first global games industry accelerator for underrepresented talent. This talk will highlight the need for diversity in the games industry especially in regards to gender and race, as well as featuring the work that Code Coven is doing to dispel inequality.
|5:00 PM||Social Mobility - Making That Social Mobility LeapWhat Making The Leap does and how we contribute to creating a more inclusive and fairer society for all, Why social mobility should be a key part of every organisation’s strategy, How the Games, Animation and VFX sector can start or expand their social mobility activity by partnering with us and being directly involved in our project activity and the SOMOs.|
|6:00 PM||Disability & Accessibility - A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Bringing animation alive with Audio DescriptionDr Amy Kavanagh is a blind cinema fan, but she is often excluded by tv shows or films which don't include Audio Description tracks. This talk will explore what Audio Description brings to your work, the audiences that rely on it and the artistry of describing the moving image.|
Disability & Accessibility - Digital diversity as a bonus
Digital artist Simon McKeown and former Head of 3D and Animation at Reflections Interactive (makers of the Driver Series) in Newcastle discusses his background in computer games, digital art, disability, diversity and deafness.|
McKeown showcases how he has embedded diversity as a central creative resource in his work (including games, exhibitions, projection mapping events), empowering storytelling, gameplay and artistic endeavour to create new creative projects and audiences.
Disability & Accessibility - Accessibility within the Design of Gaming Headphones
Disability & Accessibility - Accessibility within the Design of Gaming Headphones - Nickie Harper-Williams - |
Accessibility Advocate & Streamer - In this talk, I will be looking at the design of gaming headphones and how it affects disabled gamers.
The Growth mindset in videogames, iterative development and decision-making tools
The Growth Mindset is a free tool that people can use every single day in order to help themselves, and their teams, improve.
Carol Dweck, the author of the book 'Mindset', has done talks at TED and Google on the subject, and here I aim to look into how it can be interpreted more specifically for individuals, teams, and companies looking to succeed in games.
|11:00 AM||A Story of CG Environments for VFX: An Elephant in the RoomVFX/CG Supervisor Alonso Varela will be discussing how the creation of CG environments has evolved along his career in the VFX industry. He will be giving examples from his previous work in Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2, War for the Planets of the Apes and The Jungle Book.|
|1:00 PM||The End of the Disney Era — The Beginning of More Adult-Theme AnimationWalt Disney made movies for children, and he charmed adults into seeing them also, on the grounds that “There is a child in all of us.” That is why, when you watch “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, you regress to about ten years old. This is why he called Disneyland “The Magic Kingdom”. Children are magical thinkers. The Disney Company was historically successful, as we all know, but animation as an art form was not developed as far as it might go, especially for grown-ups. Today, we are seeing more adult-theme animation, new forms of exhibition (Netflix, HBO, Hulu, etc), less big-budget Hollywood-centric films and more international productions. After COVID restrictions, we are also seeing a surge in Virtual Animation Studios, with artists in different countries collaborating in cyberspace. Isao Takahata, back in 1988, pointed the way for today’s storytellers, with “Grave of the Fireflies”, from Studio Ghibli. In 2021, artists are poised for an entirely new and different creative universe.|
|2:00 PM||A Place for ProceduralisimIn this presentation we will explore procedural workflows and learn how taking advantage of them can greatly enhance your creativity and productivity.|
|3:00 PM||Character Design for Film Production - Three Hour MasterclassCharacter designers are sought after throughout the industry. In film, the designs need to be completed to a high quality finish in the quickest time possible. This workshop is designed to demonstrate the tools and tricks used to overcome the day-to-day challenges facing a character designer and create great looking results in the most efficient way possible.|
|6:00 PM||Product lighting - mimicking the real world and where to break the rules - Advanced techniquesWhen lighting products in a 3D environment you have all the benefits of being able to mimic traditional lighting setups from real world photography but also the complete flexibility to be able to break the rules and create setup which would be either very hard to achieve or not be possible in a physical shoot.|
|7:00 PM||Real-time beyond gamesSenior 3D Artist/Virtual Production - We are going to explore the use of game engines outside of the game production, how the same technology that runs our games can ignite other forms of creativity. From virtual production in films to visualization of any creative idea.|
|8:00 PM||The Importance of the Skeleton and Joints: from Model to Rig to AnimationStuart will review major anatomical concepts of use to animators when working on animals and animal-inspired creatures. Specifically, the importance of an internal skeleton, not just as a basis for a rig or joint placement, for for whole-character design, construction, and movement. Artists are welcomed to get together with him for questions afterwards about animals, people, and creatures more generally, or just to play ‘stump the scientist’.|