An art fes­ti­val for the fu­ture

This year’s dig­i­tal fes­ti­val from Es­cape Stu­dios, part of Pear­son Col­lege Lon­don, is set to be its best yet

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Day three is headed up by ILM, the stu­dio famed for its work on Star Wars

Launched in 2013, The VFX Fes­ti­val has be­come an im­por­tant event on the cal­en­dar of cre­atives work­ing in dig­i­tal arts, and this year’s in­stal­ment, tak­ing place at Lon­don’s O2 on Fe­bru­ary 23–25, of­fers a unique range of pre­sen­ta­tions aimed at videogame, an­i­ma­tion and VFX artists. Head­ing up the fes­ti­val’s videogame-fo­cused ac­tiv­ity is Cli­max Stu­dios, which will be in at­ten­dance to dis­cuss its con­tri­bu­tion to Ubisoft’s As­sas­sin’s Creed Chron­i­cles.

In broader terms, The VFX Fes­ti­val 2016 will fo­cus on the grow­ing con­ver­gence among the cre­ative in­dus­tries, ex­am­in­ing how dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines are com­ing to­gether as new tech­nolo­gies emerge, and the re­sult­ing chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties fac­ing peo­ple work­ing across all sec­tors. As dig­i­tal artists ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties that ex­ist in vir­tual re­al­ity and other de­vel­op­ing cat­e­gories, the lines be­tween the worlds of games, an­i­ma­tion and vis­ual ef­fects in­dus­tries con­tinue to blur, and The VFX Fes­ti­val 2016 is the per­fect plat­form from which to make sense of the new cre­ative land­scape.

Out­side of the tra­di­tional videogame space, this year’s fes­ti­val as­sem­bles some of the big­gest and most re­spected names from the VFX world, with three sep­a­rate themes across its du­ra­tion.

Day one, aimed at VFX, games and an­i­ma­tion new­com­ers, fea­tures The Mill, host­ing ses­sions ded­i­cated to aug­mented re­al­ity, vir­tual re­al­ity and the Google ATAP Pro­ject, while Hamil­ton & Kidd pro­vides a fea­ture pre­sen­ta­tion look­ing at VR and 360-de­gree tech­nolo­gies.

On day two (VFX, games and an­i­ma­tion en­thu­si­asts), MPC will be dis­cussing its work on Ri­d­ley Scott’s ac­claimed sci-fi movie The Mar­tian, while Rushes will be putting its con­tri­bu­tions to 2015 Bond movie Spectre un­der the mi­cro­scope.

Fi­nally, day three (VFX, games & an­i­ma­tion pro­fes­sion­als) is headed up by the leg­endary In­dus­trial Light & Magic, the CG stu­dio famed for its work on Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­tions such as the Star Wars se­ries, and also fea­tures a panel en­ti­tled ‘Is Our Education Sys­tem Killing Cre­ativ­ity?’, with con­tri­bu­tions from ex­perts in­clud­ing videogame in­dus­try lu­mi­nary Ian Liv­ing­stone.

Tick­ets for VFX 2016 are avail­able to buy now at www.thevfxfes­ti­val.com

DIG­I­TAL ART OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES The VFX Fes­ti­val is the brain­child of Es­cape Stu­dios, part of Pear­son Col­lege Lon­don, a vis­ual ef­fects academy with over 13 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence de­vel­op­ing world-class, stu­diore­ady tal­ent. Of­fer­ing un­der­grad­u­ate and post­grad­u­ate de­grees, Es­cape also pro­vides a range of cre­ative in­dus­try short cour­ses fo­cused on videogames, 3D VFX, 2D VFX, an­i­ma­tion and mo­tion graph­ics. With cour­ses de­signed and im­ple­mented by pro­fes­sion­als from world-class stu­dios, the aim is to pro­vide stu­dents with skills and knowl­edge that will see them emerge ready for in­dus­try work from day one. Key to stu­dent de­vel­op­ment is the shar­ing of real-world best work­ing prac­tices from the cre­ative in­dus­tries. To ex­plore Es­cape’s op­tions, visit pear­son­col­legelon­don.ac.uk/es­cape. The VFX Fes­ti­val 2015 fea­tured ses­sions ded­i­cated to some of the big­gest names in en­ter­tain­ment, in­clud­ing Game Of Thrones. 2016 is aim­ing higher

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