3D and animation heavyweights head to FMX

The makers of the world's biggest movies and games will reveal their secrets at FMX, which starts today.

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Following the excitement of this month's HP ZED Paris event (find out what happened at that here), animation and 3D industry professionals today turn their attention to FMX.

Europe's leading conference on animation, effects, games and transmedia is held every year in Stuttgart, Germany, and this year's program is like catnip to anyone involved in the industry.

Avatar 2

Avatar changed the movie industry forever - and Jon Landau will offer insights into the making of its sequel at FMX

Highlights for 2014 will include producer Jon Landau's exclusive insights into the making of Avatar 2, a look behind the scenes of Frozen with Disney art director Mike Giamio, a presentation on The LEGO Movie by Animal Logic, and a session on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with David Smith, digital effects supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Elsewhere, Nathan Oritz of Double Negative will describes how the world of Formula 1 was created for Ron Howard's Rush, while his colleague Alex Wuttke will contrast this world of cars and crashes with the fantastical universe realized for Thor: The Dark World. While those interested in how Gravity was made will be most spoiled, with not one but four separate presentations.

Making of Gravity

There'll be not one but four separate sessions on the making of Gravity

Firstly, Framestore, who won the VFX Oscar, will give a detailed talk on their work on Gravity on the movie. Elsewhere, Senior VP Matthew Bristowe and senior stereo supervisor Richard Baker from Prime Focus World will discuss the stereo conversion of the live scenes.

Tobias Kinnebrew of Bot & Dolly, which created programmable robots to move cameras and lights, will also discuss their contribution, from previz to live action.

Finally, Paul Debevec of the graphics laboratory at University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies, will explain the lab's role in matching the lighting of real faces to that of the digital environments.

Dragons, spiders and apes

Scott Peterson of DreamWorks Animation will share footage and discuss visual effects from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Other big attractions at FMX will include sessions on How to Train Your Dragon 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Physician. Plus as ever, there'll also be a range of debates and discussions covering the issues surrounding the modern industry.

For instance, Jacques Bled of Illumination Mac Guff will analyse recent films such as Despicable Me 2 and demonstrate what it takes to make "Animation Blockbusters in France for Hollywood".

On a different tack, Volker Engel (Uncharted Territory) will host a session entitled "Become a shape-shifter or move to China!". And Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 director Kris Pearn of Sony Pictures Animation and Sarah Smith (Locksmith Animation) will focus on the challenge of "Directing in an Increasingly Complex Production Environment".

Gaming blockbusters

There'll be two talks on gaming blockbuster Ryse: Son of Rome at FMX 2014

The gaming world will also be strongly represented at FMX, with presentations on Ryse: Son of Rome, The Walking Dead, Beyond: Two Souls, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Battlefield 4.

Plus this year FMX will also expand its Transmedia coverage, with various interactive and immersive experiences featuring, amongst others, Oculus Rift.

And that's not to mention Jan Walter of The Mill's invitation to the audience to compare and discuss Global Illumination (GI), Andrea Block and Christian Haas (both LUXX Studios) on the character design and preproduction of 3D animation Manou the Swift and Walt Disney Imagineering's Brent Strong on making Disney Parks interactive... and lots more besides.

Design contest

Of course, an audiovisual event wouldn't be complete without a design contest, as so this year at FMX, HP, Intel and Characterised will be hosting the "Alter Ego” Design Contest.

This will challenge attendees to create a 2D or 3D original alternative personality to an well-known character, in 15 minutes (primarily 2D work) or 20 minutes (primarily 3D work).

Any FMX attendee can participate, either by scheduling a slot or thru walk-up. So stop by booth #2.14 in the Forum Marketplace on Tuesday, 22 April to Friday, 25 April and take part for a chance to win an Intuos Pro graphics tablet courtesy of Wacom!

You'll find more information about FMX at the event website.

In association with HP ZED

HP ZED is a first-of-its-kind series of pop-up events for the creative community. Click here for more information about everything that went down at ZED London 2013 and here for details of the recent HP ZED Paris event.