Press Release #5: Doug Chiang, Tools of Tomorrow and The State of VFX

Ludwigsburg/Germany, February 21, 2019. The aim of this year’s FMX is to bridge the gap between projects, technologies and people in the worldwide animation, effects, games and immersive media communities. Doug Chiang (Lucasfilm) will be a speaker at FMX 2019. He has been influencing and bridging generations of film fans by shaping the Star Wars universe since Episodes I and II. Some other program highlights include The Lego Movie 2, The Meg and the latest Light Field Technology.

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Concept Art – Lucasfilm’s Doug Chiang at FMX 2019

Doug Chiang, the Academy Award-winning Vice President and Executive Creative Director of Lucasfilm, will enter the FMX stage for this year’s Concept Art track. Doug 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: Episodes 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.

Apart from Doug, curator Patrick Hanenberger (Production Designer & World Builder, The Neuland) will take 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.

The Art of Animation & The State of VFX

Patrick Hanenberger himself will be on stage as well – in the The Art of Animation track he will give insights into The Lego Movie 2, released a few days ago in cinemas worldwide.

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. The Emmy Award-nominated VFX Supervisor Sue Rowe (Sony Pictures Imageworks) can be announced as speaker for this track. She will tell the audience about her work on the Chinese-American co-production The Meg.

Tools of Tomorrow – Light Fields

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 postproduction. Light fields provide the potential to virtually use physically impossible camera lenses, remove green screen 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 virtual reality applications 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. 

FMX Forum – Main Partners

Mackevision just made it official - they will be one of the FMX Main Partners again. The CGI experts will be welcoming everyone at the Recruiting Hub. With Panono, Qualisys and Rokoko, three more companies will be joining the Marketplace. Maxon will be offering a workshop. DNEG will be hosting a Company Suite. The Recruiting Hub will be extended with Ilion Animation Studios, Pixomondo, Studio Isar Animation, Sumo Digital and Weta Digital. More confirmations for the School Campus came in: Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, University of South Wales and The Animation Workshop.



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FMX is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the City of Stuttgart and MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg, taking place in cooperation with the VES Visual Effects Society and ACM SIGGRAPH. FMX is an event by the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, organized by Animationsinstitut, hosting the Animation Production Days (APD), a joint venture with the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS).

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