BFX Festival 2015 Roundup
In 2014 and 2015, we had an extensive speakers list which featured some of the best VFX, Animation and Games studios, as well as the most innovative Hardware and Software companies on the planet. It was a great line up – and 2016 is shaping up to be even better!
One of the world’s most highly respected digital production studios, Animal Logic produces and develops award-winning design, animation and visual effects for the film and television industries.
Credits include Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, Happy Feet, LEGO® Star Wars®: The Padawan Menace (TM), 300, House of Flying Daggers, Moulin Rouge, Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Iron Man 3.
Presentation – The Lego Movie
The LEGO Movie is Animal Logic’s most successful Animated Feature to date. In this two part talk FX supervisor Miles Green (FX Supervisor and Lead) will discuss a wide range of Lego Movie topics giving insights into what creative and technical details it takes to produce a brick based film, illustrated with much previously unseen material.
- Discovering how the creative team at Animal Logic developed the story, characters and look of this unique adventure;
- Examples of how various departments built specific tools and technologies to meet the specific needs of the film; and
- An overview of how a unique LEGO Movie pipeline was developed for Animal Logics artists to use.
The presentation includes a large array of behind the scenes videos, images and information.
Animal Logic recently completed production on feature films: Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie, The Great Gatsby, The Rover and The LEGO® Movie. The studio is currently in production on Angelina Jolie’s, Unbroken and Chen Kaige’s, The Monk.
Lego Images provided by Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Village Roadshow Pictures and LEGO System A/S
Renowned for adding visual wonder and creative expertise to the advertising, film and entertainment industries, some of our most famous projects include blockbuster movies such as Godzilla, the Harry Potter franchise, X-Men, Prometheus and Life of Pi, and famous advertising campaigns for brands such as Samsung, Coca Cola, Sony, Three Mobile and Channel 4.
Presentations – ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Maleficent’ and an ‘MPC Retrospective followed by a screening of Maleficent’
Guardians of the Galaxy – Part 1
Greg Fisher, Global Head of Animation will present a talk on Animating the many characters and creatures found in the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Part 2
Jo Plaete, Lead Crowd Simulation Technical Director at MPC will discuss how MPC Created the flying armadas in Guardians of the Galaxy. MPC were required to create an epic space battle spanning hundreds of shots, with tens of thousands of ships dogfighting. Significant effort was spent in designing unique flight and battle characteristics for each type of spaceship. This required improvements to MPC’s technology to allow for quick iterations and compelling results for the bulk of the ships via our crowd and fx tools, while streamlining the process for fine-tuning the motion of any ships to match the director’s vision.
MPC Retrospective followed by a screening of Maleficent
MPC will discuss how the studio was formed, provide a historical context of their work and innovation from the past two decades, and finish by screening Disney’s Maleficent, which they completed 875 shots for. Working closely with director Rob Stromberg and Production VFX Supervisor Carey Villegas, the team created a host of animated creatures and fairy world environments
Guardians of the Galaxy images ©Disney/Marvel 2014. All Rights Reserved
Framestore create extraordinary experiences. Combine award-winning craft and relentless creativity with tomorrow’s technologies. They make the impossible possible.
Presentation – ‘Gravity, From Rivets to Rockets’ and ‘Edge of Tomorrow, VFX Breakdown’
Ben Lambert (CG Supervisor) explores both the technical and aesthetic elements of how Framestore researched, constructed, and managed the large number of complex digital assets for Gravity, winner of 6 BAFTA’s and 7 Oscars.
Edge of Tomorrow
Alexis Wajsbrot (CG Supervisor), will give a breakdown of the VFX work that Framestore completed for the Edge of Tomorrow. Framestore were responsible for the third part of the film; the Paris sequence. We will show how we recreated Paris in very precise CG, whilst integrating aliens and huge effects simulations.
Images courtesy of Framestore
Twenty four years of innovation has established The Mill as a recognised global brand for creating seamless visual effects, but we are also leaders in design, animation, live action content direction, VFX brand accounts, versioning and global adaptations, digital content creation and distribution. Our ability to package multiple services allows us to deliver both schedule and budget efficiencies and to create with the multi-platform world in mind. This helps clients create great looking content for any screen.
Presentation – ‘Capturing the romance and the aesthetic of fairy tales’
Michael Greenwood, CG Lead Artist at The Mill, will be discussing the commercials Cif – Ghostly Streaks and Cif – Sleeping Beauty and their creation. He will be talking us through the incredible character and environment design, right the way through to the animation and finally the finessing of both adverts.
Michael Greenwood started at The Mill in 2013 as a CG lead after a successful career as a CG Supervisor for Nexus Productions.
Michael’s most noted projects include Burberry “London in Shanghai” and Comfort “Blossom”.
Founded in 1996 by CEO Hector Macleod, Glassworks was launched as a modern post-production facility supplying high-end digital animation and visual effects expertise for the production of creative content, from award-winning commercials to film, promos and digital material. Based in Soho, London, our expertise is built around a core team of specialists in computer animation, digital effects, telecine and compositing. Our reputation is under-pinned by our passion for quality, innovation and personalised service.
Presentation – ‘Romance and the Amphibian – Tips and Tricks’
Duncan Malcolm and Hector Macleod will present VFX work involved on their projects Freeview Love and Freeview Pondview
Images courtesy of glassworks.co.uk
Next Limit Technologies is a software development company founded in 1998, with corporate headquarters in Madrid, Spain. They lead an ever-growing team of the best professionals in the industry and the company has gained a worldwide reputation for the quality and power of its simulation software.
Presentation – Realflow and Maxwell features and production workflow
RealFlow is an industry-standard, out-of-the-box fluid simulation software used in both film and TV by an array of clients including: The Mill, MPC, Double Negative, Framestore and many more!
Maxwell Render is a standalone render engine for making perfect images, films and animations from 3D models. It is the complete solution for anyone who demands immaculate results on a deadline. Maxwell Render offers maximum quality, speed, and compatibility for architects, designers and visual effects artists.
DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranks #12 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 27 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots and The Croods.
Presentation – DreamWorks Animation and Eye Candy Show
Shelley Page is Head of International Outreach at DreamWorks Animation – she will open this session with a brief overview of DWA projects currently in production.
Shelley sits on many international animation festival and graduation awards juries every year and, in the course of these events, she collects her personal favourites into a special screening – the ‘Eye Candy Show’ – which represents some of the brightest young talents emerging on the international animation scene as well as award-winning work from renowned independent studios around the world.
Shelley’s selection is constantly evolving as she discovers wonderful new films during the year’s festivals and other events.
Chaos Group creates physically-based rendering and simulation software for artists and designers. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group has devoted the last 16 years to helping artists advance the speed and quality of one of their most important tools. Today, Chaos Group’s photorealistic rendering software, V-Ray, has become the rendering engine of choice for many high- profile companies and innovators in the visual effects, and design industries.
Presentation – ‘V-Ray 3.0 for Maya in VFX and Animation’ and ‘A sneak preview of V-Ray for NUKE and V-Ray for MODO’
V-Ray 3.0 for Maya in VFX and Animation (Wednesday)
VFX and animation production proven workflows based on the latest advancements in V-Ray 3.0 for Maya, including the new render mask, probabilistic lights and the improved V-Ray RT.
A sneak preview of V-Ray for NUKE and V-Ray for MODO (Thursday)
See in action the flexibility and production-proven rendering capabilities in V-Ray for The Foundry’s tools.
Realise Studios are an award-winning full-service post production studio, taking ideas from inception through to delivery. Storyboard development, production design, VFX, animation, compositing, grading and the creation of complementary assets, their team of leading artists work at the cutting-edge, making the technology work harder and making stories sing.
Their projects range in scale from TV commercials, to feature films and art installations.
Presentation – ”Simon the Ogre : Story oriented technology deployment to build an ogre”
Creative Director Jordi bares discusses the creation of this advert for Thompson.
Bringing a character to life in CGI is always challenging. Creating one audiences empathise with, who acts as the centre point of a truly emotive story is the pinnacle of visual effects. In this spot, Thomson Holidays reminds us of the power a vacation can have on us. It was critical for success that viewers identify themselves or a loved one in our ogre and follow his journey restoring himself. Our goal was to make this character live seamlessly in the world filmed by director Fredrik Bond. Through careful use of prosthetics and CGI we helped Thomson Holidays make Simon a little less horny.
AMD FirePro™ professional graphics deliver industry-leading graphics quality and exceptional app responsiveness to media and entertainment professionals using locally installed software for their creative designs, animations and video editing projects.
Presentation – AMD FirePro demo
Rob Jamieson, will present the latest hardware and software iterations of its cutting edge technologies, and how they can help you work and play faster.
Sony Computer Entertainment London Studio
London Studio was established in 2001 with the amalgamation of the Soho Studio and the Psygnosis Camden Studio, and is Sony Computer Entertainment（SCE)’s largest internal development studio in Europe. Located in the heart of the capital’s creative Soho district, London Studio is made up of over 300 staff working in a purpose-designed six-storey building.
Presentation – ‘Environment Art Direction Theory and its Application to Virtual Reality’ presented by Jason Hickey
The talk is intended to illustrate the principals of Art Direction in respect to Environment Art creation and explore which aspects become increasingly important when creating a virtual reality game experience. Although the industry is still learning when it comes to what makes a successful high quality VR experience we have already identified that it’s the old principals that remain important when it comes to the creation of environments. Using examples and a case study of making The Deep for Project Morpheus, Jason will aim to highlight what is important when considering environment creation for games and what we have learnt with the application to virtual reality.
Frontier’s founder David Braben’s work in games started way back in 1982 when David co-authored the seminal game “Elite”. Frontier has built a uniquely diverse track record comprising games that have defined genres, been critically acclaimed and sold many millions of copies.
Presentation – ‘The Technology, Art and Science of Elite: Dangerous’
Elite: Dangerous is the spectacular new online multiplayer space epic that allows you to experience the 400 billion star systems of the Milky Way galaxy. It’s an awe inspiring, beautiful, vast place with breath-taking scope and freedom that creates an epic multiplayer experience with you at the centre of the action.
The talk will discuss how we are using technology, art and science to deliver death, stealth, money and power in the Milky Way circa 3300.
Founded in 1998 with a team of just 30, Double Negative (DNeg) has grown to become one of the industry’s success stories and is now Europe’s largest provider of visual effects for Film (operating from locations in both London and Singapore). They collaborate with film makers from the first stages of projects; producing ideas and concept imagery and developing previs and vfx production plans. Meanwhile, their VFX R&D team (Europe’s largest) create the tools for their artists to produce ground breaking digital environments, creatures, digital characters and effects from the real (water, smoke and fire) to the magical.
Their most recent works include Man of Steel, Rush, Captain Phillips, The World’s End, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Thor: The Dark World, Transcendence, Godzilla and Jupiter Ascending. Shows currently in production include Interstellar, Ex Machina, In The Heart of the Sea, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Book of Exodus, Hercules, Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Terminator: Genesis, Insurgent, Grimsby, Ant-Man and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Presentations – tbc
Double Negative will presenting two talks, based on their most recent work. Its going to be BIG!
Their software solutions are anything but ordinary. The workflows they create serve multiple industries and generally make doing creative things a walk in the park.
They know that tools in VFX are also relevant to designers and vice versa. It’s that understanding that helps them to develop flexible, open products that solve problems.
Presentation – ‘To specialise or generalise – that is the question!’
Should young artists specialise or generalise? Leandro from Time Based Arts in London (http://www.time-based-arts.com) will be showcasing some projects that have utilised The Foundry’s Nuke as well as discussing why developing a broader, more generalised skillset can improve your employability and lead to greater opportunities when starting a career in the creative industries
Media Molecule are a video game development studio based in Guildford in the UK, and a proud member of the PlayStation Worldwide Studios. They are the creators of the multi-award winning gamesLittleBigPlanet, LittleBigPlanet 2, Tearaway and currently building the next generation of Play, Create and Share for PlayStation 4.
Presentation – ‘Animation on Tearaway’
Have you ever wondered what is like to animate CG paper? Wonder no more! In this talk We are going to cover the amazing animation journey that was bringing to life the world and the creatures of Tearaway.
Nvizible launched in 2009 as an exciting, alternative visual effects house, established primarily for producing high-end CGI and VFX for feature film.
As privately held company formed by its Directors, we are one of the fastest growing facilities in London providing flexibility, accessibility and creative control to all filmmakers. With an award winning team of artists and production staff, we are able to provide efficiency and low overheads resulting in high quality output to fit all schedule and budget requirements.
2013 was our busiest year to date, we provided all 350 VFX on Kick-Ass 2 (Universal / Marv. Films’) and also completed work on Gravity (Warner Bros.), Captain Phillips (Columbia Pictures), Carrie (MGM / Sony), I Give It A Year (Working Title Films) and Muppets Most Wanted (Disney).
Presentation – tbc
Microsoft – Lift London Studios
We craft games for tablets, smartphones and beyond.
We create. We innovate. We evolve.
We don’t just design, code, animate or write. It’s more important than that. We spawn heroes, fight monsters and imagine new universes.
And we tell stories.
Presentation – ‘Developing games in an ever changing world for artists just starting their journey’
Discussing the opportunities the games industry offers, the changes seen over the 20 plus years in the games industry and the computer game development offers an artist starting their journey.
Blue-Zoo is a multi-BAFTA award winning independent animation studio located in Central London, specialising in CG character animation for commercials and broadcast. Comprising of a passionate team of artists, animators, coders and directors, crafting stand-out animations of all styles, shapes and sizes. Their work includes children’s TV series such as ‘Tree Fu Tom’, ‘Kerwhizz’, ‘Alpha Blocks’, ‘Get Squiggling’; commercials such as ‘Just Eat’, Clarks and Huggies to name a few; and lastly idents such as CBeebies, ‘CNToonToon and ‘Disney’
Presentation – ‘From Bournemouth to BAFTAs’
Studio Co-founder and NCCA Graduate Tom Box, tells the story of how one of the UK’s biggest Animations studios started as four Bournemouth Students, and grew into a multi BAFTA winning animation studio employing over 100 staff.
Super Super Films – Gavin Rothery
After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Illustration and Graphic Design from Leeds Metropolitan University, I worked as a commercial illustrator and Comic artist with comissioned work including Batman. A progression into the Computer Games industry saw me leading art teams on titles across all platforms and genres including Grand Theft Auto 3, which turned out to be the biggest selling computer game of all time.
Then followed a progression into Film and Broadcast Visual Effects work which led to VFX Supervision roles in broadcast commercials. Everything fused together when I was involved right through the creation of the 2008 feature film “Moon” where I designed the look of the film through concept art, CG Visualisation and Graphic Design, and also performed the role of Visual Effects Supervisor. This work has led to widespread critical acclaim and the film has won numerous awards including a BAFTA and more recently the 2010 Hugo. I am currently spending a lot of my time working in the advertising industry with Superglue as Visual Effects Director working with brands including Toyota, Reebok and Google and developing the science-fiction feature film “Archive”.
Presentation – Screening of ‘The Last Man” followed by a Q&A on this film and the film ‘Moon’
“The Last Man” is a short film written and directed by myself, starring Richard D. Glover (Sightseers, A Field in England) and featuring a debut soundtrack by Charlotte Hatherley (Ash, Sylvertongue). The film is currently working its way through the festival circuit and will be released online sometime mid-2015. First official screening is at the london Frightfest on Saturday 23rd of August, 2014.
Based in Bournemouth, Amuzo are a multi-award winning team of game developers, with experience spanning mobile, web and console production. Their titles have accounted for over 500 million online play sessions and have been #1 on iOS in 130 countries. They produce titles for global brands and are also developing their own IP.
Presentation – tbc
More information soon
Axis Animation/Axis VFX
Axis is a multi-talented and international team of producers, directors, designers, artists and animators. The studio creates stunning animation for some of the world’s leading names in Commercials, Games, Broadcast and Film. Entertaining, crafted, compelling; Axis’ work has won numerous industry accolades – most recently the prestigious Imagina Grand Jury Prize and a Best Animation BAFTA. One of the UK’s fastest growing animation studios, Axis fuses a personal approach and attention to detail with large-scale production values and infrastructure.
Presentation – Axis Animation Focus on FX
Overview of Axis, our work, our pipeline, our people.
Creative Skillset empowers the Creative Industries to develop skills and talent; they do this by influencing and shaping policy, ensuring quality and by securing the vital investment for individuals to become the best in their field and for businesses to grow.
As the industry skills body for the Creative Industries, they work across film, television, radio, fashion, animation, games, visual effects, textiles, publishing, advertising and marketing communications.
Presentation – Trainee Finder
Trainee Finder is a service that matches trainees with companies across the UK’s animation, games, film, high-end TV and VFX industries. The scheme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Fund (SIF) which encourages co-investment in skills and training to ensure a continued supply of a new generation of talent, capable of world-class creative content. The talk will discuss the benefits of the scheme from the Trainee’s perspective and the Studio; making it more affordable to bring fresh talent on to a project through longer, more meaningful placements, giving both the studio and trainee time to develop skills and relationships.
Armari has been designing and building workstations, servers and storage solutions for both professional and amateur creative users for over 20 years.
Based in Watford, we supply many of the top film and animation studios across London, throughout the UK and into Europe.
Our latest range of Magnetar® workstations, bring unprecedented levels of performance and capacity for professionals working in cutting edge film visual effects, with up 36 processor cores and 1TB of DDR4 memory in a single compact workstation.
Not only do we work with industry giants, but we help, support and sometimes sponsor up and coming film makers, which recently included Gareth Edwards, director of Monsters and Godzilla
We are currently supporting an amazing British Sci-Fi film, Kill Command, which is in final stages of post-production.
The film’s Director and VFX genius, Steve Gomez will be giving a talk on Thursday at BFX, don’t miss it!
For more information head to www.armari.com
Nicolas Chaverou is part of those kids who grown up with a pull-string cowboy doll in one hand, a space ranger in the other and been scared/amazed by the TRex of Jurassic Park (read: born in the early 80s).
As reconstructing dinosaur DNA from some fossil bloodsuckers looks harder than I expected, he decided to study 3D Computer Science at ENSIMAG (Grenoble, France) instead of molecular biology, hoping that one day, the animation & VFX industry will welcome him in spite of his poor artistic skills.
He co-founded a Golaem and is now the Product Manager of Golaem Crowd. On top of leading the product vision towards an even more efficient crowd workflow, he helps Golaem customers every day to achieve the greatest effects in feature films, TV shows, commercials and games.
Presentation – ‘Golaem Crowd: artist-friendly crowd simulation’
Creating visually compelling and believable crowds can be a daunting challenge, especially when budgets are shrinking and timescales are getting shorter. It is not only important to represent the crowd behavior as a whole, but aspects and motions of each individual must be believable.
Developed and tested under real production conditions, Golaem Crowd makes it easy and affordable to populate worlds with directable digital characters, from a few to thousands, directly in Autodesk Maya.
From crushed legionnaires to hordes of zombies through huge stadium audiences, Golaem will presents a selection of the best productions it has been used for together with an overview of the complete Golaem Crowd production workflow.
Please be aware that we may have some cancellations or add more speakers over the next few weeks, please ensure you check the Festival schedule regularly for any last minute changes.
Below is a small selection of the BFX Festival talks from 2014 that were recorded late September. We hope you enjoy them; and join us for 2015.
Welcome to BFX 2014 and keynote presented by Darren O’Kelly, Managing Director, The Mill.
Chaos Group: ‘A sneak preview of V-Ray for NUKE and V-Ray for MODO’
Chaos Group: V-Ray 3.0 for Maya
The Mill Presents: ‘Cif Commercial – Capturing the romance and the aesthetic of fairy tales’ presented by Dan Moore, Modelling and Texturing Supervisor
AMD FirePro Presentation