The fifth edition of the PIXEL – Conference for Computer Graphics and Animation in Vienna was a huge success. From 5.-7.11.2010 about 400 professionals met in the beautiful ambience of the Academy of Sciences to enjoy talks and workshops by international and national lecturers that offered fascinating insights in the design and production of movies, games and visualizations.
Amongst this year’s highlights was Saschka Unseld’s lecture about the production of Pixar’s “Toy Story 3″. Studio Soi gave insight on the production of “The Grufallo”, BBC’s most successful and award winning Christmas special. Harald Siepermann talked about his work as character designer on projects like Disney’s “Tarzan” and “Mulan”. Joshua Beveridges, animator at Sony Animation showed examples of animation in Live Action and fully animated movies like “I am Legend”, “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs” and “Chronicles of Narnia”.
FriendlyFire hosted the PIXEL party on Saturday night where visitors could talk about seen things, get in touch and watch artists while battling on screens. On Sunday, the highlights of this year’s SIGGRAPH Animation Festival were shown at the Filmmuseum.
“I was amazed by the quality and the professionality of this young event, that has been solely organized by a team of volunteers of Austria‘s computer graphics industry”
Saschka Unseld – Pixar Animation Studios
“The PIXEL gives an impulse to strengthen a young and prospering industry and shows that the Austrian tradition of art meeting technology, has not only a strong past but an even brighter future.”
Kris Staber – Organisation
text: PIXEL press team
PIXEL 5 Video
Program – Speakers
Harald is an experienced Character Designer, Illustrator and Animation Author he worked on numerous award winning animation and comic book projects including “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, “Alfred Jodocus Kwak”, “We’re Back- A Dinosaur’s Tale”, “Balto”, “Mulan”, “Tarzan”, “The Emperor’s New Groove”, “Treasure Planet”, “Brother Bear”, “Lissy Und Der Wilde Kaiser”, “Space Chimps”, “Enchanted”
Camera and Staging Artist
After graduating from the Institute of Animation at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 2003, Saschka Unseld co-founded the award winning animation “Studio Soi” where he directed and produced numerous acclaimed idents, commercials and short films that have been screened and awarded at festivals around the world. He has given talks about his and Studio Soi’s work at festivals and conferences from Japan to the USA and has given lectures at various animation schools and colleges including the Institute of Animation in Germany, the Animation Workshop in Denmark, San Francisco State University and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Since 2008 he works as a Camera and Staging Artist at Pixar Animation Studios in California where he has just finished his work on “Toy Story 3″.
Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. Creator of some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including “Toy Story”, “Finding Nemo”, “The Incredibles”, “Cars”, “Ratatouille”, “WALL•E” and most recently, “Up”. The Northern California studio has won 21 Academy Awards® and its ten films have grossed more than $5.5 billion at the worldwide box office to date. The next film release from Disney | Pixar is “Toy Story 3″ (June 18, 2010).
Director/Founder – Studio Soi
Born 1976 in Munich, Jakob started his studies at Ludwigsburg’s Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 1996, where he is teaching since 2003. In 1999 Jakob started working for London’s studio aka, and in 2002 he cofounded STUDIO SOI, where he since then has designed and directed a number of acclaimed commercials, titles and shorts. Jakob’s latest work, the BBC Christmas Special “The Gruffalo”, was nominated for a BAFTA in 2010.
Lead Animator Sony Imageworks / Aardman
Born in Florida and raised in North Carolina Joshua Beveridge earned a degree in computer animation from Ringling College of Art & Design. His short film Things That Go Bump In the Night placed in both the student Oscars and Emmys Awards. Since then Josh has been employed by Sony Pictures Imageworks in Los Angeles, California. He has spent the last 5 years working on films such as: Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Open Season, Speed Racer, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and the Academy Award nominated Surf’s Up. In addition, Josh earned a VES nomination for ‘best animated character in a live action film’ for his work on the feature I Am Legend. He is currently residing in Bristol, England and working on the Sony/ Aardman co-production Arthur’s Christmas.
Post Panic – Amsterdam
Mischa Rozema and Jules Tervoort founded Dutch creative studio/film production company, PostPanic, in 1997. PostPanic create unique visual work for the advertising, broadcast, retail and music industries. It’s international roster of directors all share a common graphic design background and often choose to also work directly on areas such as animation or compositing during a project. This is clearly reflected in our creative attitude.
Supporting our directors, is our Amsterdam studio, made up of a permanent team composed of producers and creatives specializing in live action, motion graphics, 3d and visual effects. Founders Mischa and Jules will be speaking at Pixel 5.0. Mischa is one of the main directors at PostPanic and also acts as Creative Director for projects under the PostPanic brand. His directorial work is fundamental in establishing PostPanic’s name as one of the premier international creative studios. Jules is both Managing Director and Executive Producer at PostPanic. He is responsible for a team of producers specializing in live action and post-production work plus he ensures all PostPanic projects attain the same high production standards as we aspire to with our creativeness. Together Mischa and Jules have been responsible for creating work for brands including Nike, MTV, ASICS, McDonalds, TomTom, Coca-Cola and Amstel to name a few.
Johannes is a trained Architect and has been working in the arts and entainment industry for over 15 years now.
He has worked for Rockstar Vienna as senior concept artist, Sproing as Art Director and is now owner of Wideshot Design in Vienna. Besides several lecture and seminar gigs he is teaching Design at the University of applied arts and is guest lecturing at the Architectural Theory Institute, TU Vienna.
Amongst his latest projects are the Spaceship Secondsolar in Stuttgart, the art direction of the videogame Cursed Mountain and the title design and charly frost clip for Roland Emmerich’s 2012.
Mipumi Games was founded in February 2009 by former Rockstar employees Gregor Eigner, Tobias Sicheritz, Jurie Hornemann and Ronald Kalchhauser. We create high-quality casual games for different gaming platforms. Recent releases include educational games like “Animal World” and “Animal Life” for Nintendo DS, the health game “Eat Right” in association with Fit for Fun and the social network game “Atlantis”. We are currently in production of a browser-based role playing game to be released in 2011.
Vienna based Artist/Architect. LAUBlab was founded in 2001 and is responsible for a lot of ArchViz projects and architectural designs. As a spin of Stefan started the compiling of Vray for Cinema4d and won a lot of fans in the Cinema4d scene. He will speak about the tech behind Vrayforcinema4d and his career as ArchViz professional.
Ryan graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Architecture in Canada with a strong focus on digital design. He has extensive experience as a computer graphics artist and 3D director, responsible for team leadership on all projects.
Squint/Opera works as a close-knit team of over 30 experts including graphic designers, 3D animators, web designers, musicians, and cinematographers. Many members of the team have architectural training.
The company exists as a flexible entity, working on both small and large scale projects efficiently. squint/opera works on national and international projects and is currently working on projects in Singapore, UAE, England, Ireland, US, Saudi and Monaco.
Patrick J Palmer
As co-founder and COO of IRIDAS, Patrick has been working on the front edge of software technologies for the film industry for the last decade. As part of his journey with IRIDAS, Patrick has promoted the use of pioneering technologies, such as GPU-based color correction, uncompressed playback and real time RAW processing.
With IRIDAS’ early involvement in providing tools for Stereo 3D projects, Patrick is one of the driving forces in making Stereo 3D post-production tools more versatile and easier to integrate throughout the full production cycle.
Patrick is involved in consulting on production and post-production pipelines ranging from independent movies up to blockbuster productions. As part of IRIDAS education program, Patrick frequently teaches master classes on Stereo 3D at various locations throughout Europe, incl. InSight Out (Potsdam) and FMX (Stuttgart).
Maxon Cinema 4D & Cybertime
Maxon Cinema 4D in cooperation with Softwarediskont.com and cybertime.
Cybertime animation studio & websolutions evolved from a small business founded in 2001 by the CEO Raffael Leb to a constantly growing company, consisting of a department focusing on websolutions as well as a VFX and animation studio. The team of Cybertime is responsible for many digitally created effects in versatile projects for well-known clients like Kelly’s, MARS, UPC, ORF, MR-Film and many other, creating CG content from packshots and visualizations to digital environments, matte paintings and character animations for commercials as well as TV productions and motion pictures like “Falco – Verdammt wir leben noch”, “La Bohème” or “3faltig”.
Lead Artist – Sproing Interactive
Sproing is one of Austrias leading games studios creating high quality games for Activision and many others. Hector Moran joined Sproing 2 years ago. He was born in Mexico and studied Computer Animation at the Miami International University of Art and Design. His work was featured in Ballistic Publishing’s Expose and Exotique art books aswell as Imaginary Friends Studios’ Pepper Project Art Books. he received CgSociety choice Awards and special mentions in various games magazines. Before Sproing he was lead Artist at Streamline Studios in Amsterdam on projects like Saints Row, Overlord, BattleField 2142, Unreal 3 and many more.
Born 1976 in Bandung- Indonesia.
When he was still in University he started to work as an illustrator for Walt Disney Comic and some local comics.
1998 he moved to Jakarta and worked as an art director for several projects, conceptor for TV Programs and cell animator for the asian market, besides he was teaching in two Universities of applied Arts and Design.
2001 he moved to Vienna and worked for several national and international agencies. During that time he gained a lot of national and international awards.
2009 he started to work as a concept artist and matte painter for games and movies.
The last games he did are Ghostbuster and Cursed Mountain(environment design) and he did matte painting for the movie Jud Süß.
Senior Researcher/Group Leader – CGV, TU Graz
Born in 1968, Sven graduated in computer science with a thesis on “Generative Modeling” from Bonn in 1997, and received a PhD with distinction in computer graphics from TU Braunschweig in 2005 for his work on “Generative Mesh Modeling”. Since 2005 he is senior researcher at TU Graz, further exploring and extending the boundaries of generative shape design in his research group. Sven is the inventor of the Generative Modeling Language (GML).
Armin Hess graduated as architect in the field of urban design in 1997 at the Technical University of Graz. Teaching ever since at different universities like the Technical University Vienna and at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. ISOCHROM.COM a Vienna based CG company was established around 2000. The company focuses on archvis related computer graphics. Currently isochrom works on large scale international urban and infrastructural projects.
OLN – office le nomade
Clemens and Markus started the nomadic office in Vienna 1999 while studying architecture at TU Vienna. Since then the company developed to a highly qualified team of architects, 3d artists and a network of media professionals. Our daily work mostly consists of arch viz at any scale from small shop to XL urban study. In more than 10 years in buisness we faced challenging projects, sometimes got lost in experiments, other fields of 3D and still have not been nominated for the Oscar. All of this will be shown in our presentation, as well as previously unreleased material…
Lev Ledit is Creative Director and Lead Designer at „GAME GESTALT“, an game-prototyping company with the focus on “games for change”. He invented and initiated the virtual world “Papermint”. Previously he was designer at Rockstar Vienna. Building on his experience as a film-maker and game designer as well as his academic studies, he teaches “Game-Design” at the University of Vienna, the Vienna University of Technology, and the universities of applied science in Graz, Hagenberg and Vienna. He is speaker at international conferences including “Nordic Game”, “MindTrek” or “CORP”. He has programmed and designed multimedia applications and games for several museums, including the Austrian national library. Lev Ledit is expert for the Austrian government for computer games evaluation.
Paul’s industry experience dates back to 1992 when he joined Microprose, during which time he worked on several seminal titles including Gunship 2000, the X-com series and the critically acclaimed Geoff Crammond GP franchise. Paul has been with Black Rock Studio for the majority of its 10 year history. Having worked as an Artist and Team Lead, he now looks after the art department at the award winning studio. In his role as Studio Art Director, Paul has overseen the visual development of the Moto-GP, Pure and Split/Second franchises.
Steve Wilding has been working in the video game industry for 17 years as an Environment Artist. He has worked at EA Criterion on “Burnout Revenge” and “Black” followed by a move to Black Rock Studio where he worked as Lead Environment Artist on “Pure” and Lead Lighting Artist on “Split Second”.
Program – Talks
Harald will talk about examples of his work and will show examples and different methods of how he created the characters for Disney’s Tarzan and Brother Bear. Through this he will give insights into basic principles of how to create convincing and compelling characters.
Saschka Unseld will talk about his daily work as a Camera and Staging Artist at Pixar. He will show examples of the use of Cinematography and the role of the Layout department in various Pixar films, including “The Incredibles”, “Ratatuille”, “Wall-E” and “Toy Story 3″.
Producing and directing a BBC Christmas Special
Last Christmas a stunning 10 million viewers watched the BBC’s “The Gruffalo”, a half-hour animated adaptation of the classic British children’s book, starring a.o. Helena Bonham-Carter, John Hurt and Robbie Coltrane, making the film one of the UK’s most successful productions of 2009. Jakob Schuh, co-founder of studio soi and one of the film’s two directors will give a tour through the film’s making, highlighting both directorial and production issues during the project’s two year genesis.
Discussing the surprises, challenges and observations on the evolutionary process from student to professional. Including examples on adapting to various workflow challenges. As well as adapting to different direction styles and switching between vfx animation to fully cg animation.
A look behind the curtains of Post Panic Production Studio
Mischa and Jules will be talking about the humble beginnings of PostPanic after their graduation from art college and how their approach to projects was formed. They will give a sneak behind the scenes look at how PostPanic makes a project and will bring some various examples of different types of productions.
Working for Hollywood from Vienna
The talk will give insight into the production of the 2D Charly Frost clip and the Title Design from Roland Emmerichs 2012. Johannes Mücke (www.jmuecke.net), Ronald Anzenberger (www.basis-online.at) and Jens Mehlan (www.k18.at) worked together on this project and will show some of their workflows and production processes and give a look behind the curtains of working on a Hollywood Blockbuster.
The guys from Mipumi will depict the workflow for creating a character for their upcoming game. David Hüttner, 3d-senior artist, will give an overview of the concept-creation phase, as well as modeling and texturing. Patrick Zeymer, 3d-animator will share his knowledge on animating the character and Ronald Kalchhauser, lead- and technical artist will talk about rigging, rendering and the workflow in general.
Stefan will speak about the tech behind Vrayforcinema4d and his career as ArchViz professional.
Architects create more than just physical structures, they’re designing a built environment that people interact with every day. The ideas behind a design may not be apparent by simply visualizing the building in 3d. At Squint/Opera we aim to give people an insight into the architectural concepts as well as create scenes that help the viewer understand the experience of being there then wrapping it all into a clear narrative structure. By going through some of our recent work I’ll be demonstrating how we tackle a project and what techniques and methods we use to achieve these goals.
Patrick is widely known as one of the most knowledgeable individuals to talk about the chances and the problems of stereoskopic 3D. He will go into details of how this new film language can be used best and concepts known from traditional filmmaking that do not work properly anymore in stereoskopic filmmaking. How do humans experience stereoskopic 3D? How do humans see the 3D space in general and how can this be translated into stereoskopic filmmaking? How do does the perception of stereo 3D differ from individual to individual? Seats are limited to 30 people
Character Development, Rigging and Animation for M&M’s Commercial “mKick”
Günter Nikodim, who worked as 3D senior artist and compositor on this project, will give an insight into the process of producing a TV commercial with the well-known austrian kicker Toni Polster who interacts with digitally created M&M’s characters. Besides talking about pre-production and set preparation, he will especially focus on character rigging and animation techniques, the importance of playing football during office working hours, as well as the integration of CG characters with life footage.
How to model high quality characters with correct mesh flow. Get the best forms for your polygon budget and have optimal mesh deformation after skinning the mesh.
Draw with Heri! bring your own drawing tools (pencil and paper) and soak up heris knowledge for 2 hours.
Heri will go into depths abut how to draw characters, how to set them up in a scene with layout and posing, how to work with colors to support the character design and so on.
Practice and Theory of Generative Shape Modeling
This talk is for creative coders looking for efficient ways to create complex shapes. First, the applied section will give a short introduction to the GML shape description language and present some GML related technologies developed in various projects, including a number of demos. This is followed by a second more theoretical section that points out the enormous potentials, but also the fundamental limitations, of procedural shape generation in general, and of GML in particular.
for directors, camera men, and producers (create the best filmfootage for VFX shots)
What to think of when shooting live action footage for a visual effects shot. Create the best basis for later post production and digital effects on the film footage. How to set up the camera and scene for optimal results in post production. Additional things to do to help VFX artists to best integrate the digital effects onto the footage. Things to do on set to ensure quick post production workflow, save time and money in post production through optimal planing and execution of a live action shoot for a VFX shot.
cognition – how to find yourself
Lev will talk about the game prototype “cognition” on which basis he will explore fundamental game design questions like “Where does the fun of games come from?” The lecture will explain how to design a game throwing the player in a situation of pure questionmarks and no tutorial. Starting with the obvious fact, that playing games is learning, that all play means something, the lecture will guide you through the most basic questions: How do we figure out anything at all? How can we distinguish between one object and another? What is this something called “me”?
The Art of Split/Second
Split/Second began life presenting us with a challenge. How do we present the player with a cinematic action racing experience where every lap is different and conveys the notion of ‘Epic Hollywood Destruction’ in a world where the race track is rigged to blow? Was it possible to capture the over-the-top action of a Hollywood movie in a racing game? Could we collapse bridges, explode freeways and bring down airliners in real time?
We’ll take a look at the visual development of Split/Second from its humble beginnings to its eventual conclusion. Exploring some of the biggest moments in the game, the creative challenges we had to overcome and how lighting played a part in bringing it all together into a cohesive and explosive package.
Black Rock Studio, formerly known as Climax Racing, was established in Brighton in early 2000 and is now one of the industry’s premier racing studios. Now part of the Walt Disney Company, Black Rock produces original racing games.