Press Release #7

The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Tech Talks & Masterclasses

FMX 2022
Film & Media Exchange
On site May 3-5, 2022
Online May 6, 2022
On Demand Until May 31, 2022


Stuttgart/Germany, March 24, 2022. In less than six weeks, international speakers will get on stage both on site and online at FMX 2022 to highlight the latest developments that the digital entertainment industry has to offer.


This year, FMX features several Masterclasses on site, including on topics such as STORY DEVELOPMENT and STORY STRUCTURE. The Tech Talks track will discuss the latest technologies and research results, such as how to create real presence in Mixed Reality. In addition, the multiple Annie Award winner THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES will be part of the diverse online program.


Press accreditations are available via the FMX ticket shop.



You can find an overview of all Feature Animation talks here.


Breaking a Physically Based Renderer for THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES


Kurt Judson (Sony Pictures Imageworks) and Christos Obretenov (Lollipop Shaders) will join FMX 2022 to discuss how one of their latest projects came into being: When they received the concept art for THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES, with the goal of not just using it for inspiration, but having the final frames match the Look of Picture, the team at Sony Pictures Imageworks rose to the challenge of taking their in house phsyically based render, combined with custom look development and animation tools, and Open Shading Language (OSL), to create an illustrative stylized feature film!



Find all Masterclasses here.


Mind Mapping Conceptualisation of Light


The goal for the visual effects artist is photorealism, using the art of compositing layers of images to look coherent using the physics of light at the service of storytelling. It's critical that, in the end, the merged image must look like all elements have been shot at the same time with the same camera and lenses, under the same lights. Director and Visual Effects Supervisor Victor Perez proposes a Mind-Mapping Analysis Structure to translate the physics of light into mathematical operations through photography: from observation to transcription into a visual language. This aims to create an articulated system of observation and reproduction to guide artists in their craft. His Masterclass at FMX features a few hands-on examples and demonstrations, live, showing the methodology in action.


Story Structure and Story Development


Back on site is Craig Caldwell (University of Utah) with not one, but two of his popular Masterclasses:


His session on STORY STRUCTURE covers the essential story elements and different plot structures one has to take into account when facing the challenge of creating a “dramatic” story.


The session on STORY DEVELOPMENT focuses on how story development produces emotion in the audience. It covers basics such as the unity of opposites, creating identification, making difficult choices, transformation, and why it is important to care about the characters, even the villains.



Technology and latest research results are major driving forces in creative industries today. The Tech Talks, curated by Prof. Volker Helzle (Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg) provide a vivid perspective to new and upcoming solutions that extend the creative process in media production.


Find an overview of all Tech Talk presentations here.


Creating Presence in Mixed Reality


Imagine being able to have a conversation with someone who is hundreds of miles away, but it feels like they are actually there with you in the same room. Technologies which could achieve this - true Presence - would change the world. They would bring distant family and friends closer together, transform the way we work and reduce carbon footprints. However, creating compelling interactive experiences involving other people in mixed reality is a challenging task combining expertise in computer vision, graphics, AI and engineering. In his talk Darren Cosker (Microsoft) will examine some of the technologies required to make this a reality, the progress we have made, and the challenges ahead.


Unleashing the power of the artist with Machine Learning


It’s no secret that Machine Learning has been on the rise in visual effects. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the impact it’s had on the VFX industry and the technology that has emerged because of it. With its increased popularity comes an opportunity for a more streamlined and efficient way of working, but where did this all start?


Sitting down with Foundry’s Research Engineer Mairéad Grogan, we take a look at how Foundry is investigating cutting-edge Machine Learning technology to put into the hands of the VFX community and how it inspired the development of the CopyCat node in Nuke, giving artists full control over the types of effects they can generate using Machine Learning.



RISE | Visual Effects Studios and Scanline VFX join FMX 2022 as Silver Partners. Both studios will not only be part of the program and Recruiting Hub, but will each sponsor a Get-Together, giving the audience the opportunity to enjoy a free drink and network on the FMX Square after the conference program.


RISE | Visual Effects Studios
RISE | Visual Effects Studios was founded in 2007 in Berlin. The plan was to focus with a small, hand-picked team on German TV and feature film effects – but that plan failed. Today, over 260 artists call the award-winning company their creative home in Stuttgart, London, Munich, Cologne and Berlin, making it one of the biggest VFX studios in Europe. Recent work includes Marvel Studios ETERNALS, Warner Bros. FANTASTIC BEASTS 3 and Sony Pictures UNCHARTED.


Find out more about RISE here.


Scanline VFX
Scanline VFX is noted for its creation of natural phenomena such as fire, smoke and water on disaster epics such as SAN ANDREAS and INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE. Its work as lead vendor on GODZILLA VS. KONG highlights Scanline’s increasing expansion into character and creature work. Recent projects include THE ADAM PROJECT, THE BATMAN, ETERNALS, SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, and FREE GUY. Projects currently in production include AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM, THE FLASH, BLACK ADAM, STRANGER THINGS SEASON 4, SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS, THE GRAY MAN for directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and SLUMBERLAND for director Francis Lawrence.


Learn more about Scanline VFX here.



Plenty of companies and schools have confirmed their participation in FMX 2022, sharing insights into their products, services and curricula at the FMX Forum.


Recruiting Hub: DNEG, Jellyfish Pictures, Mikros Animation, Pixomondo, Recom, TCS Talent


Workshops: Binary Alchemy, Esri, Invictus, Substance by Adobe


Marketplace: HTC, InstaLOD, Substance by Adobe, The Captury


School Campus: Catalyst - Institute for Creative Arts and Technology (ONLINE), Hochschule Darmstadt - University of Applied Sciences, Mediadesign University of Applied Sciences (MD.H), National Film School of Denmark, Technische Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe - University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Department Media Production)





Franziska Ullrich
Public Relations & Social Media
+49 (0)7141 969828-76




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Editor's Notes:


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


Further information at