Notable Animation and VFX Courses
Bringing Stories to Life ... Developing the Narrative for Games, Animation, and VFX Craig Caldwell, University of Utah
Story “development” is now taking place with ever more input from artists, programmers, and designers — it is not exclusively the writer’s domain any longer. Covered will be universal methods that writers and storyboard artists use for development of story. This is an introductory course, building on story structure concepts. The session is designed visually for technical directors, computer scientists, animators, designers, etc., whose work is essential in making stories come to life in movies, animation and games.
[Wednesday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m., Rose Hall 3] Shader Interoperability: Baking and Reusing Materials across Rendering Architectures at Pixar Paul Kanyuk, Pixar Animation Studios
Pixar’s latest foray into this domain originated from Monster’s University’s ptex proxy shader system as a technique for shading level of detail and has evolved into a system to share materials across OpenGL, Nvidia Optix, RenderMan Reyes, and RenderMan RIS rendering architectures. The main idea is to cache the pattern generation of an asset’s shader into a render-friendly format and use these signals to drive a universal shader. Sounds easy enough, but what makes a format render friendly, and which is best?
[Wednesday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m., Rose Hall 2] User-Experience in Science-Fiction Movies and TV Aaron Marcus, Aaron Marcus and Associates
The course analyzes the past 100 years of human-computer interaction in science-fiction-based movies and TV shows. These media serve as informal test beds for understanding new technologies and their usage. The course examines user-experience design issues presented by science-fiction movies and TV shows and the issues they present.
[Thursday, Dec. 4, 2:15 p.m., Peony Hall] Physically Plausible Rendering at Pixar — from Reyes to Path Tracing Davide Pesare, Pixar Animation Studios
This course will cover how a studio can go through a transition from a hybrid raytracing engine, to a full path tracing system. What are the implications for shading and lighting and their workflows? What did we gain and what challenges are we facing by going more physically based?
[Friday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m., Peony Hall]