VFX fmx/07 is taking form... -

fmx/07 is taking form…

Virtual characters take the stage

Over the last year, huge steps have been taken in the battle towards canny characters capable of truly believable virtual performances. This includes a cross-pollination of innovations that are turning games more and more into captivating dramatic experiences and virtual characters and agents into believable beings. fmx/07 spotlights these developments throughout this year‘s series, exploring their implications in the concept, design and technical processes of creating believable characters: particularly procedural animation and performance capture.

fmx/07 schedule:

Tuesday, May 1
fmx takes the torch from the 14th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) with a shared day of events, culminating in the ITFS awards ceremony. First off: fmx/07 and ITFS join forces to present the Animation Production Day, a business-to-business round of discussions between producers and potential partners for the financing, sales and co-production of animated feature films. Also, fmx/conference launches into an overview on animated television series and feature films by acclaimed international broadcasters, producers and distributors.

Wednesday, May 2
fmx/forum kicks in with workshops, fmx/expo exhibitors open their doors, fmx/recruiting begins hooking people up with people, European Talents begin pitching. fmx/review surveys the latest in interactive content creation. fmx/conference continues with animation, film and the ways in which they are inspiring each other.

Thursday, May 3
fmx/conference turns to the anatomy of characters with the Virtual Humans Forum, the Digital Cinema Day begins, Indian and other Asian companies take the spotlight, as does the Visual Computing Cluster and the Eyes & Ears Junior Showcase.

Friday, May 4
Virtual Humans Forum and Digital Cinema Day continue in fmx/conference in addition to a focus on games and vfx. The focus of this year‘s flashconference will be on news about flash and the Adobe roadmap. Top-notch presentations will also be on the venue.

Virtual Humans Forum 2, resurrected

The front line of realistic character animation converged on Stuttgart last year to report on their advances in believable digital performances – a premiere so successful it demands an encore; particularly as virtual performers have become a key element in the visual industry.

Digital Cinema Days 2, by popular demand

Like the Virtual Humans Forum, overwhelming reaction to the Digital Cinema Day called for a lasting commitment within fmx/conference. This series returns with two days devoted to the digital pipeline – from pre-production, production and post-production through to projection, once again curated by Katja Hoffmann from the Stuttgart Media University (HDM) and accompanied by screenings. This year‘s focuses on the digital intermediate, the transfer process from film to digital data and stereoscopy. Speakers include:

Keynote: David Hancock, Senior Analyst Film & Cinema, Screen Digest reviews the state of the digital industry in Europe, covering various European DC initiatives

Bill Feightner, Executive Vice President / Chief Technology Officer EFILM, Hollywood presents a current EFILM production and their digital intermediate workflow

Henry Gu, General Manager, Corporate Research Burbank, Thomson, offers insight of Thomson‘s digital cinema research

All?©ne H?©bert (Mediapro, Barcelona) discusses the implications of digitalization for European cinema and economies

Asian Days at fmx/07

Asia is not only a leading market for animated content, it‘s also a creative powerhouse. fmx invites speakers from forerunners of the digital revolution from Japan and India:

Polygon Pictures, Tokyo, is one of the leading cg studios in Japan and creator of the legendary penguins Rocky & Hopper. President and director Shuzo Shiota shows current projects.

Moto Sakakibara, co-director of Final Fantasy, founded Sprite Animation Studios in Los Angeles in 2002. He and Junichi Yanagihara present their new TV series Monster Samurai, the pilot film of which was shown at the renowned film festivals in Annecy and Ottowa.

Prashant Buyyala, Managing Director and Saraswathi Balgam, Director of Operations India present the work done by Rythm&Hues India. No longer in the shadow of their mother company in New York, the company has been busy on prestigious projects such as Night at the Museum and Superman Returns.

Anibrain Digital Technologies, Mumbai, is the first company in India to play the leading role in a major Hollywood post-production – Christopher Nolan‘s Batman Begins. Vfx specialist and Anibrain founder Jesh Krishna Murthy (Tomb Raider, eXistenZ) speaks of the challenges and tribulations…

Chris Kubsch, General Manager Lucasfilm Animation Company Singapore B.V presents work done by this Asian daughter company since its founding in 2005.

Premiere: ComBOTS/fmx Award 2007

ComBots AG, Karlsruhe wants to bring more fun and security to to digital communication, and have the animated “ComBOTs” to do so. The 3D animated characters put a face on the connection to friends and family while making file transfers less complicated. The winner of the Design Award will be granted a contract to design a whole ComBOT collection and the decision lies directly in the hands of the fmx/07 audience – visitors vote for the winner. Go to www.combots.com/fmx-award/ to enter.

Gobelins, l´?©cole de l´image – partner with the highest of standards

The internationally renowned French School of Animation (www.gobelins.fr) can look back on 30 years of solid tradition, and continues its commitment to parallel training of both classically drawn animation and the latest techniques in computer animation. Alumni work in leading studios around the world – in part due to their strong artistic backgrounds. Gobelins partners with the Institute of Animation, Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg to assure a first-class presentation of international animation schools – on Tuesday, May 1st. Organized by Eric Riewer.

fmx/07, the 14th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) and Michael Schmetz, Mediaconsult join forces to bring you the Animation Production Day. Further cooperation partners include ACM/SIGGRAPH, NX Publishing, the Stuttgart Media University (HDM) and Gobelins, L‘?©cole de l‘image.