The 2019 FMX Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Immersive Media — taking place April 30 to May 3 in Stuttgart, Germany — has confirmed new additions to this year’s program.
Doug Chiang, the Academy Award-winning Vice President and Executive Creative Director of Lucasfilm, has joined the Concept Art track. Chiang has made a name for himself as an artist, author and production designer, most notably as Head of the Lucasfilm art department on Star Wars: Episode I and II. To this day, he is shaping the design of the Star Wars universe, overseeing all new franchise developments including films, theme parks, games and new media.
Curator Patrick Hanenberger (Production Designer & World Builder, The Neuland) has also brought two more artists on board for the Concept Art track: Peter Popken has contributed designs to more than 40 feature films, among them Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Blade Runner 2049. Bobby Chiu (Imaginism Studios) has won a number of awards for his concept and character designs, including an Emmy for his work on the hit animated series Niko and the Sword of Light.
Hanenberger himself will take the stage in the Art of Animation track to give insights into the recently released The LEGO Movie 2. The State of VFX track offers a look behind the curtain of some of the most convincing effects work to grace the big screen in the past year. The artists and technicians working on VFX keep bridging the gap between an artistic vision and the technology that enables and simplifies creating these images. As part of this track, Emmy-nominated VFX supervisor Sue Rowe (Sony Pictures Imageworks) will discuss her work on the Chinese-American co-production The Meg.
The Tools of Tomorrow track – curated by Volker Helzle (Head of Research and Development, Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg) – is dedicated to Light Fields this year. This new technology will impact the industry with entirely new camera hardware and a whole new world of possibilities in post-production. Light fields provide the potential to virtually use physically impossible camera lenses, remove greenscreen usage in VFX and much more.
Paul Debevec from Google VR will present their latest camera rigs and rendering algorithms for light field stills and video, including a behind-the-scenes making of Welcome to Light Fields, available on Steam VR. Valérie Allié (Technicolor) will set a focus on light field video as enabler of true volumetric video capture and required virtual view synthesis solutions, and showcase experiments with CG and real video content. Thorsten Wolf and Joachim Keinert (Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits) will talk about light field production workflows for VR with real-world footage, using their software tool set Realception. Thorsten Herfet (Saarland University), Simon Spielmann and Jonas Trottnow (both Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg) will present insights into the Unfolding light field production as part of the SAUCE (Smart Assets for re-Use in Creative Environments) research project. The production serves as a testbed for creating a set of professional tools and techniques allowing creative industry to enrich postproduction with novel possibilities and workflows.
Mackevision has officially come on board as one of the FMX Main Partners again. The CGI experts will be welcoming everyone at the Recruiting Hub. Panono, Qualisys and Rokoko will be joining the Marketplace. Maxon will be offering a workshop. DNEG will be hosting a Company Suite. Also participating in the Recruiting Hub are Ilion Animation Studios, Pixomondo, Studio Isar Animation, Sumo Digital and Weta Digital. New confirmations for the School Campus are Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, University of South Wales and The Animation Workshop.
Tickets for FMX 2019 are available at www.fmx.de (early bird rates until March 15, 2019).