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In­spired Dig­i­tal artists and in­spi­ra­tional fig­ures unite in Las Ve­gas for Au­todesk’s first CAVE con­fer­ence

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We at­tend Au­todesk’s CAVE con­fer­ence, look at col­lab­o­ra­tive art projects and nose about Will Mu­rai’s São Paulo stu­dio.

The dust has set­tled on Au­todesk’s first CAVE con­fer­ence, and Chris Cheung, the mas­ter­mind be­hind it, is find­ing it hard to ex­plain what ex­actly just hap­pened.

Os­ten­si­bly it was the first cre­ative event to run at the front end of the busi­ness-driven Au­todesk Univer­sity Con­fer­ence, in Las Ve­gas’s grand Vene­tian ho­tel on 1-2 De­cem­ber 2013. It was also Chris’s per­sonal at­tempt to of­fer dig­i­tal cre­atives some­thing uniquely en­gag­ing, what­ever their field.

“Af­ter the suc­cess of Sketch­Book Pro, people formed com­mu­ni­ties. That led to smaller talks when people like Scott Robertson or CB Ce­bul­ski were in town,” the Au­todesk prod­uct line man­ager ex­plains. “Even though people had seen these guys at

I would have gone to an event like this if it had ex­isted when I was start­ing out

comic con­ven­tions, they never re­ally con­nected with them on an in­tel­lec­tual level. That seemed im­por­tant.”

From the pre-event party where ticket hold­ers saw John Cleese, Neil Gaiman, de­viantART CEO An­gelo Sotira and Bobby Chiu trad­ing sto­ries over drinks, the spirit of the event was set as open and in­clu­sive. Lorne Lan­ning’s open­ing sem­i­nar cov­ered his “life­long fas­ci­na­tion with cor­rup­tion and irony” mixed with en­ter­tain­ment in his Od­dworld game fran­chise.

Neil Gaiman spoke of the power of un­der­stand­ing one’s imag­i­na­tion. “It’s enor­mously im­por­tant,” he told Imag­ineFX. “This is the stuff people don’t tell you. I was lucky be­cause I had punk and the at­ti­tude of ‘you do some­thing by do­ing it’. That fu­elled me. But pass­ing that on to an­other gen­er­a­tion is ex­tremely im­por­tant. I would have gone to an event like this if it had ex­isted when I was start­ing out.” Be­fore the fin­ish­ing party in the hangar­sized main hall, Monty Python’s John Cleese was still mak­ing fi­nal tweaks to his speech, ad­mit­ting to Imag­ineFX that, “I’d much rather speak at a sem­i­nar like this, to open minds, than shoot a film.” While Python fans will no doubt wish for the lat­ter, a grow­ing num­ber of dig­i­tal cre­atives should be look­ing to Chris’s next CAVE ex­per­i­ment.

Dis­cover more about Au­todesk CAVE here: www.au­todeskcave.com.

Lena Le drew this com­pos­ite CAVE-in­spired dig­i­tal paint­ing, which pro­vided a back­drop to Chris Cheung’s in­tro­duc­tory talk. Shine a light: the first CAVE con­fer­ence kicked off in the not-so-dark Las Ve­gas.

Calum Alexan­der Watt drew this paint­ing over the two-day con­ven­tion,

based on an at­tendee’s sug­ges­tion.

CAVE at­ten­dees were asked to sub­mit short char­ac­ter de­scrip­tions and vote for the best three. They were then drawn by pro artists. Bobby Chiu sunk his teeth into this one!

Syd Mead put in a rare ap­pear­ance,

and an even rarer process break­down

of some of his art.

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