The top 10 events for animators and 3D artists

Boost your skills and network your way to a better job at these world-class events.

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With the animation and digital arts industries ever-evolving, one of the best ways to keep up to date with these fields’ latest creative and technical innovations is attending organised events. And that's not to mention the networking opportunities - plus the welcome chance to get away from the screen for a few days.

But with so many events to choose from, it’s difficult to know which ones are best suited to your skills. To help you out, we’ve picked 10 of the best animation and 3D-focused events hosted around the globe.

01. SIGGRAPH

SIGGRAPH 2014

At SIGGRAPH, you'll learn everything you need to know about the latest CG technology and techniques
  • Date: 10-14 August, 2014
  • Location: Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver

Short for 'Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Technqiues', the annual SIGGRAPH conference brings together thousands of artists, engineers, scientists, software developers and entrepreneurs each year, all of whom are dedicated to advancing the CG industry. Here you’ll learn everything you need to know about latest technology and techniques in this rapidly evolving field.

02. SIGGRAPH ASIA

SIGGRAPH Asia includes a series of CG-focused discussions, workshops and demonstrations
  • Date: 3-6 Dec, 2014
  • Location: Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Centre

SIGGRAPH also hosts a separate conference in Asia, which brings together the continent’s leading figures in the world of computer graphics and design. A four day event, SIGGRAPH Asia includes a series of discussions, workshops and demonstrations, all showcasing the latest and greatest in the world of computer graphics.

03. Trojan Horse was a Unicorn

Trojan Horse was a Unicorn brings together leading artists and companies in the VFX, gaming and animation industries
  • Date: 17-20 September, 2014
  • Location: Portugal

The stars behind the screen of some of the most impressive films gather one a year at the 'Trojan Horse was a Unicorn' festival in Portugal. Here, leading artists and companies in the VFX, gaming and animation industries lead seminars on the most up-to-date art techniques used to craft the world’s most notable productions. And, if that wasn’t enough, festival goers get to enjoy the festival in an idyllic sunny location with a beer or two.

04. E3

For any 3D artist even remotely interested in gaming, the E3 conference is a must
  • Date: 10-12 June, 2014
  • Location: LA Convention Centre, LA

For any 3D artist even remotely interested in gaming, the E3 conference is a must. Held next month, the LA Convention centre will see thousands of game enthusiasts gather discuss and showcase the latest in the world of computer and video games. Here, you’ll witness the future of interactive entertainment, as well as hear from the most influential people in the industry and see groundbreaking new technologies and never-seen-before products.

05. BFX

BFX is designed to celebrate and promote the visual effects industry
  • Date: TBA
  • Location: Bournemouth

The National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) in Bournemouth, UK, has become internationally renowned as one of the world’s leading animation training facilities. Last summer, NCCA members organised BFX, a new animation festival, designed to celebrate and promote the visual effects industry, inspire new talent and share the latest knowledge.

06. FMX

FMX is one of the world’s most influential conferences for digital entertainment
  • Date: April, 2015
  • Location: Stuttgart, Germany

Just because the annual conference on animation, effects, games and transmedia has just come to a close, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a reminder in your diary for next year’s event. One of the world’s most influential conferences for digital entertainment, this (usually) four day event hosts a series of workshops, discussions and presentations on all the latest news from the CG industry, presented by some of the minds behind the biggest blockbuster animations. Running alongside FMX is Stuttgart Animation Festival. Great for screenings, this is one of the biggest meetings in the world of animated film. Read our review of this year's event here.

07. GRAPP

Computer animation is a topic given a lot of attention at GRAPP
  • Date: 11-14 March, 2015
  • Location: Berlin, Germany

Computer animation is a topic given a lot of attention at the International Conference on Computer Graphics Theory and Applications. That said, the conference is structured along five tracks, covering other subjects including interactive environment, modelling, rendering and social agents in computer graphics.

08. SXSW

SXSW is a world-class creative show
  • Date: 13-17 March, 2015
  • Location: Austin, Texas

While not solely dedicated to animation and CG, the annual South By Southwest conference is not one that should be overlooked by 3D artists.

Split into three sections - music, film and interactive - SXSW is a world-class creative show, hosting demos, presentations and screenings in all three areas.

And whenever you’re suffering information overload, you can go to a film premiere or listen to one of the many bands lined-up to play throughout the conference period.

09. MIA Animation

The MIA Animation conference is full of practical and inspirational content
  • Date: 10-11 Oct, 2014
  • Location: Miami, Florida

Hosting world-renowned speakers, various universities and artists from some of the world’s top studios, the MIA Animation conference is full of practical and inspirational content. Focusing on animation, VFX, gaming and motion graphics, this two-day event has become an exciting event for speakers and attendees alike. Organisers are currently calling for volunteers, which could prove a great way of accessing all areas of the conference.

10. KLIK! Amsterdam

KLIK! Animation festival is an annual celebration of all things animation
  • Date: 4-9 Nov, 2014
  • Location: EYE Filmmuseum, Amsterdam

Organised by the KLIK! Foundation, KLIK! Animation festival is an annual celebration of all things animation. Featuring five days of animated fun, the festival, hosted at the EYE Filmmuseum, showcases a huge selection of top-quality animated films, as well as themed programmes, master classes and special guests.

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