Avatar, Ant-Man, plus VP & AI panels

News | 13.04.2023



High time to think about packing that FMX bag to travel to Stuttgart in less than two weeks! In case you still need persuading, here are a few more highlights for you. ✨


You can dig into the latest VFX and VP developments and tools that were used, for example, for the Oscar®-winning AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER, as well as ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA or stay on top of things with a panel of industry experts that illuminate the economic benefits of virtual production processes. ChatGPT is your new best friend? Artificial intelligence is also a big topic with FMX speakers: A panel will discuss the new possibilities as well as risks that artificial intelligence-based large language models and image generators hold. 💬


In addition to other FMX Forum announcements, FMX is happy to roll out that extra fat, red carpet for its two Gold Partners this year, Wētā FX and AMCRS. 💛





The photorealistic world of Pandora in AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER

Is the Tree of Souls so close, you might wanna touch it? Wētā FX brought the photorealistic world of Pandora to life in AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER by grounding everything in real-world science. From the early stages of R&D to new on-set technology and the final artistic flourishes on a shot, Pavani Rao Boddapati (VFX Supervisor), Sam Cole (Associate VFX Supervisor), and Stephen Clee (Animation Supervisor) will unpack Wētā’s return to Pandora and share insights, stories and exclusive content with you.



Stuart Adcock shares Wētā FX’s „Anatomically Plausible Facial System“ for AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER


Uncanny valley, be gone! Wētā FX’s new facial system used on AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER pushes beyond past techniques and establishes a new suite of controls to replicate an actor's facial performance. Join Stuart Adcock, Head of Facial Motion at Wētā FX as he discusses Wētā’s new Anatomically Plausible Facial System (APFS) and the journey of creating emotionally engaging performances for James Cameron’s AVATAR sequel.



VFX and Virtual Production for ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA


More flexibility, less traveling for the actual shoot - sounds amazing, right? Industrial Light & Magic's Charmaine Chan (Associate VFX Supervisor) and Laurie Priest (CG Supervisor) discuss visual effects and virtual production techniques used on Marvel's hit film ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. They will specifically focus on the StageCraft shoot Chan oversaw: StageCraft technology projected virtual backgrounds onto giant LED screens in real-time, eliminating the need for green screens and, in this case, making the film's unique locations possible. The actors were placed inside the immersive LED volume, where practical sets were combined with digital enhancements on the screens. StageCraft was originally developed in 2018 by ILM for the first season of Lucasfilm's hit Disney+ series, THE MANDALORIAN.



Industry panel discusses the economics of Virtual Production


„The Economics of Virtual Production – ICVFX" features panelists James Thomas, Virtual Production Executive at Amazon Studios; Chris Bannister, Executive Producer of Virtual Production at Industrial Light & Magic; Lauren Paul, VP of Sales & Marketing at Lux Machina Consulting | NEP Virtual Studios; and Paolo Tamburrino, Sr. Industry Strategy Manager, Autodesk & Executive Producer; and focuses on the economics of using ICVFX (In-Camera Visual Effects) in virtual production.


The panel will provide a deeper dive into the reality of budgets and how they fit into the overall budget, the schedule needed for implementation, and the essential crew members required for a successful production. Their conversation will explore how focusing on budgets, schedules, and crew can lead to greater adoption of virtual production techniques. In addition, they will share insights into the latest developments and innovative approaches to production business models.



AI panel on art, archetypes and algorithms


With AI, you better look at both the up- and the downsides - which is exactly what we'll be doing at FMX. Artificial intelligence (AI) has opened up new frontiers of creativity and innovation by creating large language models (LLMs) and image generators that can produce realistic and diverse texts and images from any input. However, these models also reflect the hidden patterns and archetypes that pervade the data they are trained on, which originate from the collective unconscious of human culture.

In this talk, the panelists Dave McKean, artist; Sam Hodge, Founder Kognat; Andrew Cochrane, Immersive Content Creator at The AV Club Productions, Inc and Scott Broock, Founder Totem Networks, LLC, will explore how these models can be used to generate new myths and insights that can enrich our understanding of ourselves and the world, but also discuss the ethical challenges and risks that arise when these archetypes or stereotypes are exploited to influence our opinions and emotions.


Just when you thought the FMX Forum was more than packed with great companies, we get ready to reveal the newest confirmations.



Workshops: Cudo Compute, Nickelodeon, PixStone Images, Silverdraft, vrbn studios, Wacom.



Gold Partner: Wētā FX


Wētā FX is the standard-bearer for creativity and innovation in VFX and animation, attracting talent, partners and clients that seek to push what is possible. Based in Wellington, Vancouver and Melbourne, they are 1,500 of the most ambitious artists, engineers and executives you’re likely to meet. Known for performance-driven characters like Neytiri, Gollum and Caesar, Wētā has been recognised with 7 Academy Awards®, 12 Academy Sci-Tech Awards, 7 BAFTAs and 43 VES Awards.


More information: https://www.wetafx.co.nz/


Gold Partner: AMCRS


Baden-Wuerttemberg has been Germany‘s top location for animation and visual effects for many years. Its creative professionals have received numerous renowned prizes – including ®Oscars, Emmy Awards, Annie Awards, VES Awards and the Deutscher Computerspielpreis. Behind this remarkable success is the work of the Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart (AMCRS). The network, initiated by MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg in 2009, consists of more than 30 VFX service providers, animation studios, games and interactive studios as well as universities and academies all based in Baden-Wuerttemberg.


More information: https://amcrs.de/


Silver Partner: Houdini


Houdini 3D is built from the ground up as a procedural platform that empowers artists to work freely, create multiple iterations and rapidly share workflows with colleagues. For over thirty-five years, Academy Award-winning SideFX Software has been providing artists with animation, visual effects and game tools designed to create the highest-quality cinematic results. They are passionate about the industry as software developers, technical artists and pioneering technical innovators.


More information: https://www.sidefx.com/community/fmx-2023/


Silver Partner: Vicon


Vicon Motion Systems is a company that specializes in motion capture technology. It has been at the forefront of the motion capture industry since 1984, and their products have been used in a wide range of applications, including virtual production. Vicon Motion Systems has played a key role in the development of virtual production technology and the advantages of using Vicon motion capture technology in virtual production is the high level of accuracy and precision that it provides. Vicon systems are capable of capturing even the subtlest of movements, which is essential for creating realistic and convincing virtual environments. The speed and efficiency with which it can capture and process data and operating in real time, means that you can capture and process motion data in a matter of seconds. This allows virtual production teams to work quickly and efficiently, without having to spend a lot of time waiting for data to be processed.


More information: https://www.vicon.com/



We can't wait to see you soon! 👋