Animfx’s day of masterclasses kicks off the 2009 conference tomorrow (Thursday) ahead of the conference speaker day on Friday, followed by a day of workshops on Saturday.
The format is a development from last year’s conference format, which featured a high proportion of panel discussions in its weekend programme.
Organiser Jos Ruffell said that the changes were about trying to deliver better value, both for the speakers and conference attendees.
It seemed a shame to put together a line-up of top international speakers, probably the best collection in the southern hemisphere, and then confine many of them to participating in panel discussions rather than give them the opportunity to make a proper presentation.
Weta’s Richard Taylor will set the bar high on Friday morning opening the conference day.
Other speakers from the Weta family include Matt Aitken, VFX supervisor on The Lovely Bones and District 9, Tim Murphy, Shots Lead and Pipeline Developer for Weta Productions’ The WotWots and Trevor Brymer, VFX Supervisor on The WotWots.
Director Jonathon King, also no stranger to Weta, will run a workshop on scoring for digital screens on Saturday.
International speakers returning for this year’s event include Joseph Olin, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS). Joseph will participate in the Games Industry Masterclass tomorrow, give his presentation Small is the New Big on Friday and lead a games workshop on Saturday.
Paul Debevec, whose credits include Spider Man 2, Superman Returns and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, developed of a series of Light Stage devices for recording the appearance and reflectance properties of human faces. He will talk about his Digital Emily project.
Christian Svennsen, Vice-President of Strategic Planning & Business Development at the billion dollar Capcom Entertainment and also a board member of AIAS, will talk about direct digital distribution models, a subject of particular relevance and interest to NZ companies trying to overcome the tyranny of distance and one that will also be under consideration at the KANZ broadband today and tomorrow.
With four other sessions as well on Friday, it will be – as is the nature of conferences – a very full day.