FMX 2013 to include talks on “Iron Man 3,” “Oblivion,” “Despicable Me 2” and “Assassin's Creed 3” in addition to the “Virtual Production” and “Virtual Humans Forum” track highlights.
Stuttgart, Germany --
With less than one week to go before Stuttgart welcomes the animation, effects, games and transmedia communities to the Haus der Wirtschaft, FMX is able to look at a well-rounded program with extraordinary presentations and highly esteemed speakers. Supported by its Main Partners Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart (AMCRS) and Autodesk, FMX will include talks on the Marvel comic adaptation Iron Man 3 and Tom Cruise movie Oblivion. Academy Award-nominated VFX heavyweight Kim Libreri, who has worked on films such as the Matrix series and two Mission: Impossible installments, is also coming to Stuttgart. Moreover, the focus on animation is expanded with Despicable Me 2 while the games series gains even more prominence with both Assassin's Creed 3 and Games for Change, an initiative that seeks to create games with a social impact. Further track highlights include “Virtual Production” and the “Virtual Humans Forum.
The full program can be viewed on the FMX website.
Supernatural VFX - Iron Man 3 and Oblivion
Just a few days before Iron Man 3 is officially released on May 3 (US release date), FMX is proud to provide exclusive looks behind the scenes with two dedicated presentations. At first, Guy Williams presents the seaport environment build and destruction that made it possible to realize the “extremist” character effect. He is supported by Animation Supervisor Aaron Gilman who discusses Weta Digital's approach to handling the transformation and destruction of 32 different Iron Man suits throughout the battle sequence and the role of the animation team in overall shot composition. Moreover, Alessandro Cioffi, VFX Supervisor and Head of Compositing, and Concept Artist Luis Guggenberger from Trixter share their professional insights and experiences of working on the popular Marvel character Tony Stark that is portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. FMX also looks at the latest Tom Cruise film, Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion: Overall VFX Supervisor Bjørn Mayer and VFX Supervisor Thilo Ewers (both Pixomondo) describe the journey from preproduction in Hawaii to creating complex full-cg environments.
VFX heavyweight Kim Libreri comes to FMX
Visual Effects and Technology heavyweight Kim Libreri joins the illustrious ranks at FMX to provide the FMX audience with unique insights and opinions from his long-standing career in the industry. Libreri, Chief Strategy Officer at Lucasfilm, gives an interview to Eric Roth, Executive Director of the Visual Effects Society, as part of the “VES Specials,” where his background and professional experience are sure to be in the center of interest. Kim Libreri, who began his visual effects career as a Senior Software Engineer of the Computer Film Company in London, has occupied significant positions as Head of Technology at Cinesite and Vice President of Digital Domain in the past. Libreri has worked with the Lucasfilm companies since 2004, first as a Visual Effects Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic and technology evangelist for all of Lucasfilm. Appointed Chief Strategy Officer for Lucasfilm in 2012, his credits include Super 8, the Matrix series, two Mission: Impossible installments and Poseidon, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for “Best Visual Effects.” Libreri has also lent his expertise to developing technology for 4th Generation gaming consoles and new facial capture techniques for the film industry. He is among the panelists in a discussion on “Unified Workflows for Virtual Production.”
Oz, Virtual Production and Virtual Humans
Taking up last year's emphasis on Virtual Production, FMX 2013 dedicates a program series to the ongoing change that affects all aspects of the industry. David Morin, Chair, Joint Technology Subcommittee on Virtual Production and Chair, Autodesk Film CTO Advisory Council, introduces Ron Frankel, Founder and Creative Director at Proof Inc. who focuses on how previs is becoming faster, smarter and more versatile. Other Virtual Production presentations focus on current movie highlights: In this vein, Trevor Tuttle, Previs Supervisor at The Third Floor, provides an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the highly anticipated prequel to the classic “Wizard of Oz” story Oz: The Great and Powerful and Giant Studios' VP Production and Development Matthew Madden speaks about the significance of virtual production for Jack the Giant Slayer and the video game Halo 4. Also on-board: The traditional format Virtual Humans Forum that has been part of FMX for several years now. Ed Ulbrich, CEO at Digital Domain, presents the resurrection of Tupac for the spectacular 3D hologram performance that fascinated 90,000 Hip Hop fans live at a concert in California and an online audience of 15 million in only two days on Youtube. What's more, FMX welcomes renowned Virtual Humans artist Steven Stahlberg to Stuttgart, who set new standards in the creation of virtual female characters.
Despicable Me 2 and Wreck-it Ralph
The focus on animation packs a particularly strong punch this year, as previous press releases have already revealed. The highly-anticipated Despicable Me 2 is featured at FMX two months before its cinematic release on July 3 (US release date). Mac Guff Illumination's CEO Jacques Bled and Animation Director Pierre Leduc analyze the challenges involved in the creation of the animated film and the popular Minions. In yet another presentation on an animated delight for all ages, Renato dos Anjos, Animation Supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Studios, addresses the challenges of creating and animating the video game characters that transformed Wreck-it Ralph into a reference-laden crowd-pleaser.
Action games and Games for Social Impact: From Assassin's Creed 3 to Games For Change
This year's FMX program series on games, which is already packed with gaming highlights suchs as Crysis 3, Tomb Raider, Gears of War and Halo 4, is further expanding with the addition of Assassin's Creed 3: Simon Clavet, Animation Programmer at Ubisoft, discusses the implementation of procedural animation as a means to reconcile artistic direction and mechanical considerations. In contrast, the “Games for Change Europe” track focuses on bringing entertainment and social commitment together and emphasizes the facilitation of the creation and distribution of social impact games as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. This track includes a presentation by Business Development Manager Marie-Hélène Bellemare (Frima Studio) on the Facebook game Half the Sky with a focus on raising awareness of issues like female genital mutilation and child prostitution. Gael Seydoux, New Business Development Director at Ubisoft, gives the opening keynote and presents BIPOLife, a game which encourages bipolar people to change their behavior. Furthermore, FMX 2013 Main Partner Autodesk, Unity and Games for Change launch a global contest to elevate and promote the creation of linear and non-linear media for real-world impact, with the goal of motivating people to commit themselves to humanitarian and educational efforts. Autodesk and Unity provide access to software resources and tutorials to help participants develop their submitted works. Students at all education levels are invited to participate in this competition.
Workshops and the Autodesk Suite
FMX 2013 main partner Autodesk hosts a dedicated Company Suite. On all four days of FMX, attendees are able to experience presentations and live demos in List Saal Turm B. As part of its program, Autodesk presents its Entertainment Creation Suites 2014, Autodesk Smoke 2013 and 2014 animation products within the workflow and invites attendees to familiarize themselves with new Autodesk digital entertainment solutions. What's more, many renowned companies are presenting Workshops including 3Lateral, 4D Views, Blender Foundation, Chaos Group, Digimania, Dreamwalks, Esri, faceshift, Inka 3D, metaio GmbH, Mighty Instruments, Red Giant, SAP Innovation Center, Solid Angle and Utopia People. The European Project BOO Games, that aims to increase awareness of public institutions about the relevance of the games industry for the European economy, hosts yet another Workshop. In addition to current hardware- and software solutions, the Marketplace also features the camera crane “Technodolly” and innovative Research & Development projects.
Free “Concept Art” Exhibition
The exhibition Concept Art, Preproduction and Design in the Entertainment Industry, which is curated by JinHo Jeon and Bin-Han To and organized by the Design Center as part of its Ein()Sichten series, sheds light on an art form that is rarely shown publicly even though Concept Art occupies a specific position in the entertainment industry. It visually demonstrates that Concept Art can serve as inspiration, first sketch, visual guide and more. Attendees are invited to enjoy 30 art pieces from 15 international digital artists such as Harald Belker, Paul Chadeisson, Uwe Heidschoetter, Maciej Kuciara, Tobias Mannewitz, Paperblue, Peter Popken, Christian Lorenz Scheurer or Thomas Scholes from April 23 - May 15 in the Foyer, Haus der Wirtschaft; the opening takes place April 22, 6pm. Entrance is free.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.