Luminetik Animation Illuminates AI/IGDA Lecture Series

As part of their Animation 2005 Lecture Series, The Art Institute of Calif., Los Angeles, and the International Game Developers’ Association (IGDA) will host a discussion on the development of computer-animated franchises for teenagers and creating and bringing up virtual 3D characters on Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. Luminetik Animation Studios’ Akiko Ashley, Eric Durst, Kevin Cahill and Stephanie Johnson will present their take on the subject and discuss their groundbreaking project about a young girl whose destiny is to become a super heroine.

Akiko Ashley, an industry veteran, is one of the founders of Santa Monica-based Luminetik. She started her career writing games for Nintendo in Japan in the early 1980s. At Luminetik, she has served as exec producer on such projects as vfx work on the Castlerock/Warner Bros. comedy Two Weeks Notice, four commercials for Arm and Hammer featuring New York Yankee Jason Giambi, and CG work for National Geographic’s Snake Wrangler.

Eric Durst is an award-winning film director and has been a principal at Luminetik since 2004. He has directed successful campaigns for national and international advertisers such as AT&T, Polaroid, Mazda, Blue Cross, Dodge, Volkswagen, Sprint PCS, Moneygram, Diet Pepsi, MCI, Texaco and Black & Decker. His “Fahrvernugen” campaigns for Volkswagen are classics and set the standard for combining graphic design and live action in automotive advertising. In feature films, Durst has designed and supervised visual effects for productions such as Spiderman 2, Torque, End of Days and The One. He has twice been nominated for visual effects Academy Awards for his work in visualizing Gotham City for Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, and his work on George Michael’s music video for “Freeek!” earned him the award for Best Visual Effects of the Year in the 2003 MVPA Awards.

Kevin Cahill, also a founder of Luminetik, was working with the Radiosity render software long before it was a popular rendering style. He has involved in designing the new Oakland to San Francisco Bay Bridge and a custom car garage in Manhattan for Jerry Seinfeld, and has worked with such architectural icons as Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC.

Production coordinator Stephanie Johnson has been working as an agent, producer and writer in Hollywood since 1992, holding positions at William Morris, International Creative Management and Innovative Artists.

The event will take place in the Big Room at the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles. The school is located at 2900 31st Street in Santa Monica. Following the presentation, the IGDA LA Chapter will hold its monthly meeting in the same room at 7:50 p.m. The topic of this session is “Creating and Animating Characters for Games.” For more information about this program, contact Bijan Tehrani at (818) 613-4227 or [email protected]

The Art Institute of California’Los Angeles, in conjunction with IGDA LA, will open The Game Center on Dec. 8, 2005. The Game Center will showcase the latest game development tools, games, materials, literature and state-of-the-art game software provided by top developers. The facility will eventually host a festival of games, a development seminar and a job fair, which are now in the planning stages. The Game Center will be open to IGDA members, game development professionals and members of the media. Game Center partners are: Animation Magazine, Autodesk Inc., Avid Computer Graphics, F.Dice, IGDA Los Angeles Chapter, Motion Analysis Corp., NVIDIA Corp., Personal Computers Unlimited, Inc., Peachpit Press, SilverStone, Tyan Computer Corp. and ViewSonic.