Program 2019

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Gaffer and Arnold, Production Rendering on the CPU and GPU

Andrew Kaufman (Image Engine), Carsten Kolve (Image Engine)

High Performance Open Source Look- and Scene Graph Management at Image Engine.

Gaffer ( is the primary open-source tool used at Image Engine to easily build, tweak, iterate, and render complex scenes. Leveraging industry standard open source libraries like OpenExr, OpenImageIO, OpenColorIO and Open Shading Language and with support for a wide variety of geometry formats including Alembic, USD and OpenVDB, Gaffer is the workhorse for all rendering needs at Image Engine and is seeing its adoption rate grow steadily in the industry.

We demonstrate how Autodesk Arnold is integrated into Gaffer’s flexible, node based workflow and how that makes it well-suited for large scale visual effects and animation productions. Take a look at the internal structure of real-world hero production assets
 and lighting setups, and learn how they take advantage of Gaffer's modular structure and Arnold's node system.

In addition to CPU based rendering workflows for hero characters and environments, see a demo of how we leverage Arnold on the GPU now and hear our plans are for the future.

Andrew Kaufman

Andrew Kaufman, R&D Lead, Image Engine,

Andrew Kaufman is the R&D Lead at Image Engine and has been with the company for over 10 years. Lately, his time is split between managing the software team, collaborating with production leadership, as well as managing and developing Image Engine's open source initiatives, Cortex and Gaffer.

Andrew holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Animate Arts from Northwestern University, and his work was exhibited in Chicago as an emerging New Media artist. He went on to earn an M.Sc. in Computer Science from The University of British Columbia, where he published research for both SIGGRAPH and the biomedical community.

Carsten Kolve

Carsten Kolve, Digital Supervisor, Image Engine,

Carsten Kolve is the Digital Supervisor at Image Engine, responsible for production efficiency and application of new technology. Starting out as an R&D Artist at MPC, his over 20 year career covers a variety of artistic and supervision roles across the globe in the areas of crowds, fx, pipeline & cg supervision in studios like Rising Sun Pictures, Dr.D Studios and Animal Logic before moving to Vancouver to join Image Engine.   Carsten holds a Diploma in Computer Science (FH) from the University of Applied Sciences Dortmund and he has authored and contributed to a number of SIGGRAPH production talks and sessions.

Based in Vancouver BC, Image Engine is a world-class visual effects studio led by a team of creative and passionate individuals who are committed to furthering the art of visual storytelling, and helping their exceptionally talented crew to push the boundaries of artistic and technical achievement. The studio has steadily grown its capabilities and expertise in creature design and animation, expansive digital environments, and stunning simulations with feature films such as Logan, Jurassic World, and Thor: Ragnarok as well as high-end television series such as Game of Thrones and Lost in Space.

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 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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