International Conference on Animation,
Effects, VR, Games and Transmedia
April 24 - 27, Stuttgart, Germany

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Newsletter #3: Oscar Winner Inside Out, the Avengers VR Experience, Early Bird Reminder


Plus "The Martian," "Mad Max," Michael Pangrazio, Jan Pinkava, Peanuts and a lot of techie stuff.

FMX in excess: Here are our latest program confirmations in effects, animation, vr, games and technology - plus the partner highlights from the Forum. And we have good news for all the nestlings out there: Our Early Bird registration deadline has been extended to March 20. You need more program highlights, before you choose your pick and fly? We've updated our program section on the website - and we'll continue to do so constantly - until the official schedule goes online mid-March. Browse, then purchase your ticket!

Oh Joy! Oscar Winner Inside Out at FMX

Inside Out, which scooped the award for "Best Animated Feature" at the 88th Academy Awards, is the hot topic of two presentations this year. Tanja Krampfert, who's an alumna from the Institute of Animation at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg and a Character TD at Disney Pixar, talks about the creation of the bubbly character Joy, whilst DoP Patrick Lin illuminates the special camera structure set-up that was designed to parallel the main character's emotional journey.

Effects - Did someone say Mad Max, The Walk or The Martian?

Christophe Hery's "Lighting & Rendering" track focuses on blending realities of lighters and renderers (i.e. in a 100% digital environment) with the realities of DoPs and cinematographers (i.e. real light environments). For this, it assembles, among others, presentations on lighting for Oscar-nominee The Martian (Sebastien Gourdal, MPC) and for six-time Oscar-winner Mad Max: Fury Road (Dan Bethell, Iloura). In addition, VFX Producer Camille Cellucci talks about virtual production for Robert Zemeckis' biopic The Walk. Pioneer Michael Pangrazio (Weta Digital) has just wrapped his work on Steven Spielberg's upcoming The BFG. At FMX he talks about his approach to creating concept art. His work goes back to matte paintings on The Empire Strikes Back and includes many interesting milestones like the creation of the Disney film logo.

Yummy animation: Peanuts and Aardman

Sabine Heller (Blue Sky Studios) demonstrates the character development from comic strip to 3D for the cult classic Peanuts as part of "The Art of Animation" track, and Dave-Alex Riddett (Aardman Animation) delves into cinematography for stop motion from a narrative perspective.

VR from the Avengers VR Experience to Google Spotlight Stories

Kim Adams (Source Consulting, e.g. for Google Spotlight Stories) hosts the panel discussion "Storytelling in Virtual Reality." Among the panelists is Jan Pinkava, who came up with Ratatouille for which he shared an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay in 2008, and who is now working as Creative Director of Google Spotlight Stories. Other renowned panelists include Jason Fletcher-Bartholomew and Tim Ruffle (both Aardman Animation), Chris O'Reilly (Nexus Productions) and Jacquie Barnbrook (The VR Company). Andy Cochrane (Mirada Studios) gives a presentation under the headline "Creating Narratives For Virtual Reality," showcasing Mirada's work, whilst Chris O'Reilly explores VR storytelling, using the example of Nexus' 360° VR film project Rain or Shine for Google Spotlight Stories. And Andrew Daffy, former CEO of House of Curves, shares how he directed the popular Avengers VR Experience for Framestore, which is used by Samsung to demo the Gear VR. At FMX, he demonstrates how the 360° previs was realized.

Therapeutic games and Guitar Hero

Chris O'Reilly is also among the speakers for the "Games 4 Change" talk series, discussing the interactive real-time gaming installation Woodland Wiggle, a therapeutic play space for children in hospitals. Frank Vitz (Crytek) dedicates his time to the development of a new VR benchmark that uses CryEngine technology. In addition, Pedro Sabrosa (Framestore) speaks about Framestore's contribution to the rebirth of the PS classic Guitar Hero, which boosts the "live feeling" for a more immersive experience.

Technology: Tools of Tomorrow - Highlights of SIGGRAPH

Dirk van Gelder (Pixar Animation Studios) talks about Pixar's proprietary animation system Presto as part of the "Tools of Tomorrow" track, which is curated by Volker Helzle (Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg). Moreover, Dr. Marco Romeo (MPC) provides an overview of the Thalia R&D project that seeks to improve the quality and performance of digital actors' deformation and simulation, following the work on the digital Arnold Schwarzenegger in Genisys. On top of this, Prof. Michiel van de Panne (University of British Columbia) and Berhard Thomaszewski (Disney Reasearch Zurich) cover a vast tech-terrain from vector graphics animation to dynamic traversal skills as part of the "Highlights of SIGGRAPH" presentations.

Forum Partners FTW!

Say hello to the Main Partners: AMCRS and Crytek support FMX 2016 - thank you for this! School Campus in Action: It's going to be an illustrious crowd at the Haus der Wirtschaft with The Animation Workshop, EON Reality, Escape Studios, Fachhochschule Salzburg, Fachhochschule Oberösterreich Campus Hagenberg, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Filmakademie Wien, Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart, Hochschule Offenburg, Mediadesign Hochschule, Mediencampus der Hochschule Darmstadt, Merz Akademie, Media Design School, Plymouth College of Art, School of Visual Arts, Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, Texas A&M University and the University of South Wales.

FMX is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the City of Stuttgart and the MFG Film Funding, taking place in cooperation with VES Visual Effects Society, ACM SIGGRAPH and the World Building Institute, supported by Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart (AMCRS), AMD, AutodeskBackstage, Epic Games and Mackevision. FMX is an event by the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, organized by the Animationsinstitut, hosting the Animation Production Day (APD), a joint venture with the Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart (ITFS).