October 18th, 2018

Everything You Need to Know about CGA 2018 Lineup

So, who's ready to get awakened?

Once again, November becomes the month of computer graphics, as CGA Belgrade hosts its two-day journey through the latest news, trends and developments in the VFX and CG industry. We have worked especially hard this year to expand our main program, which we are proud to announce will feature two separate tracks!

See you at at Kinoteka/Yugoslav Film Archive on November 16-17, 2018!

And, yes – Mike Seymour is a keynote speaker at CGA 2018.

On the slim chance that you have never heard his name, we can bet you have a few ͞how fxphd saved my life and my job͟ stories. It’s okay, we all do. One of the three founders of the most famous VFX online learning platform, Mike Seymour is also the co-founder of fxguide, the most popular global VFX News outlet, Lecturer at University of Sydney, digital faces phd researcher, Wikihuman global initiative model and best ever promoter of VFX industry worldwide. Everyone knows and have met Mike!

Victor Perez, another keynote speaker will tak about low budgets and big ideas on indie VFX projects.

What if we told you that you COULD pull off both amazing visual effects and finance it from your independent budget? Victor Perez says you can!

From actor to VFX artist to indie director and writer, Victor has lived a rarely rich and diverse life, landing at one point right in the middle of Hollywood, working on A-list titles such as The Dark Knight Rises, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Pirates of the Caribbean.

His recent short film, Echo, and his experience with the indie superhero story The Invisible Boy: Second Generation has taught him a lot about producing incredible visual effects stunts on a tight budget – and he’s coming to CGA Belgrade 2018 on November 16-17 to show you what they managed to create and teach you how it’s done.

Victor’s keynote will be opening Saturday’s conference program, with his presentation titled Visual Effects on Independent Films: Low Budgets and Big Ideas. If you’re dreaming of making your own movie someday soon, don’t miss the chance to hear this insightful talk on November 17.

Epic Games and 3Lateral Unleashed at CGA 2018

Projects that shake the industry? Cutting edge technology? Dabbling with the world of Virtual Production? Working on MEET MIKE? A SIGGRAPH appearance with the Osiris Black to Andy Sirkins blend? They are said to have created the world’s first believable digital human driven by an actress in real-time. Have we given you enough clues to figure it out? It all adds up now, doesn’t it? It’s 3Lateral to unleash their potential at CGA2018 as well.

Moderating the panel, Mike Seymour will sit down with Ben Lumsden from Epic Games and the CEO of 3Lateral, Vladimir Mastilović. The subject? Potential consequences of the Real-Time Virtual Production usage. What does it really mean for humanity and its kind? Will we be morphing to Osiris Black for Halloween next year? Well, who knows? But we’re definitely approaching a breakthrough in Virtual Production, thus all things virtual too, possibly deepening our understanding of reality itself.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, you thought that was it? Don’t you need more inspiration to kick-start that personal project you’ve neglected for months now? 3Lateral has just a story for you. It’s an internship one. From a skipper to a full-time employee, Djorđe Vidović will tell us what it’s been like for him growing up at 3Lateral. All of the things he seen. The challenges he had to overcome. All the exciting projects he’s worked on and their results presented to you at Kinoteka on November 17-18. When, you ask yourself?

Who says you can’t mix business and personal?

Have you ever thought about the importance of your personal work? What you can achieve with it and how it’s going to reflect on your career? Well, we are here to tell you that your IP and passion projects matter in a way you wouldn’t imagine! They are all about showing the world who you are as an artist, your taste and how you express it. To put your time into them is apparently the best way to get hired too, according to our guest speaker this year.

Sava Živković arrives at CGA2018 in the halls of Kinoteka to give a presentation about the challenges you will be facing on the road to becoming a director and how personal projects impact that transition. Strongly believing that your own work is the most important aspect of artistic growth, his talk will take you through his personal work that helped him on his road to becoming an expert. He will break down every single one of his projects and show you what he learned and how he applied that knowledge in his directing position on AAA at Axis Animation Studios

Stay to the end of the presentation and prepare yourself for an immersive experience into the project of Destiny 2, showcasing Sava’s true skills as a director! 

VR to Begin With

First a myth, then a concept in the 60’s, nowadays VR is reality. Don’t get us wrong, VR is still undergoing exploration, change and different implementation both as a concept and technology. It depends on our understanding of what reality is and we don’t seem to fully grasp that yet. 

Aiming to further stimulate the discussion and give you all – the artists, the thinkers, the people that live for creativity, an imminent chance to get involved and contribute, we give you the VR to Begin With panel at CGA2018. Four experts in the discussed field – Dr. Johanna Pirker, Dejan Grba, Vladimir Todorović and Ninoslav Adžibaba, agreed to sit at our round table and break down some of the key aspects of virtual reality. 

Giving you a lot of brainstorming options, the panel will make you ask yourself can VR ever be indistinguishable from reality or can the consequence of these virtual experiences lead to cultural assimilation, collective learning or even transcendence? Imagine all the educational potential too. One medicine student has a hard time imagining how a beating human heart works in 3D. VR successfully solves that problem. The panelists’ job doesn’t end there – taking a philosophical approach, the discussion on a broader understanding of human experience from a multidisciplinary stand-point will stir up a lot of commotion in the halls of Kinoteka on November 16-17. 

To hook you up even more, the panelists will have a bonus question discussion if time allows it, so we dare you not to stay through the whole shabang! 

Johanna Pirker

But that’s not all! Johanna Pirker will also be giving a guest lecture at Belgrade’s University of Arts on Thursday, November 14, at 6.15PM. A researcher at University of Graz, Johanna’s work is focused on AI, data analysis, and VR. She was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list of science professionals and is an avid supporter of the indie game development community, organizing the Game Dev Days conference in Graz every year.

Johanna’s guest lecture at the University of Arts will be about the video game industry, the power of game development, virtual reality design, and describing her vision of what the future of learning and entertainment might look like.

Discussion Panel on Crossover in Animation

We are here to tell you yet again the passion projects that show who you are, they matter! Yes, yes, keeping the paychecks mailed to you through commercial work is hard and time-consuming, but we tell you it’s possible to manage both at the same time. All you need is ever elusive balancing soft-skills in life. 

Crossover in animation: From industry drill to auteurism and back is a panel addressing those exact issues. It’s one big case study breaking down four different original animation projects created by none other than the panelists – Ivan Pribičević, Zoran Cvetković, Tom Box and Vojin Vasović. With all their expertise coming from different backgrounds, the panel will present what it’s like to give birth to an original animation film from four separate roles, studio owner to VFX Supervisor. 

Don’t you worry, the panelists won’t leave you without personal stories regarding all the drama, all the bumps and the booby-traps on the road to completion of a passion project. To make those stories even more relatable and easier to tackle, they’ll provide you with the methods for solution of troubles along the way. Applying them might just be a key to make your personal stories successful ones. 

In need of a pipeline? Call Steve! The number? 555- Kahwati

Ever wandered into your work space and realised you are missing a tool or two needed to complete the project you fought and bled for? Looking at your wallet, you get that you are in deep trouble. Cursing yourself that you aren’t like those industry hotshots with deep pockets, you ask yourself – what do I do?!

You are in luck. Coming all the way from Seneca College, we give you Steve Kahwati. Now a professor with over 15 years of experience in the industry, he is the one the hotshots call when they are in need of consulting. Working with Autodesk, The Mill, Sony Imageworks, Arc Production and many others, he’s done a number of high-profile advertisements, episodic and feature projects. He’s been everywhere and done it all.

Well, not everywhere. Coming to Belgrade and joining us on stage at CGA 2018, Steve will give you the missing tool and help you bootstrap that CG Pipeline and do more with less. His talk will cover the basics of setting up a mini production pipeline convenient for small to medium collaborative CG projects. 

Besides the official conference session, Steve will make an appearance at Belgrade’s School of Computing on Friday, November 16 at 10.30AM. His presentation titled Introduction to 3D Photogrammetry is an exploration of a relatively underdeveloped field, where he will combine more than a decade of his experience with technical insights and practical advice. Steve’s appearance in Belgrade is supported by The Embassy of Canada in Belgrade.

From 0 to 2049: Designing the Character of Joi

What’s it really like to work for Disney and Marvel Studios? What’s the actual experience of working with the best creative minds in the industry? Let Shahin Toosi, the creator of Blade Runner 2049 Joi character, tell you what a ride it’s been for him.

A still from Blade Runner 2049

As a senior visual development artist, Shahin signed his name on blockbusters such as Captain America: The First Avenger, Scott Pilgram vs. The World, The Dark Knight and The Dark Night Rises. His presentation, titled An Evaluation of the Design at Double Negative, will shed light on his professional journey while designing the character of Joi from Blade Runner 2049, from two distinct perspectives.

On the one hand, it will cover the technical aspects and challenges during the design process. On the other, it will have a look at the influence of visual effects supervisors, in this case the famous Paul Franklin and Paul Lambert, and the way their leadership has influenced the look and feel of the character through real-world futuristic ideas of what holograms may evolve to in 2049.

From Bid to Finish Line with Aleksandar Đorđević

What’s it really like to be a VFX Supervisor? When things on set get hectic, what arsenal of traits does one supervisor need in order to keep everything in check and make the workflow go as smoothly as possible? 

What better way is there to grasp how a workflow can impact the production process than to snatch a veteran of VFX Supervising and bring him on stage at CGA 2018 where he will present the entire course of action in making visual effects. From bid to finish line is Aleksandar Đorđević’s presentation on the workflow overview from an industry’s insider point of view. 

With blockbusters like The Wolf of Wall Street and Men in Black 3 behind him, he’s the right person to go to when discussing the role of adequate workflow being integrated into the production. Splitting up the work between the whole crew in an organised fashion takes for some brilliant coordination skills from the very start of the project. Shedding light on these topics, this presentation will point out the importance of teamwork and collaboration as parts that make or break the completion of your work. 

Premium Advertising Outsource in Serbia

Does the idea of taking your laptops and lock yourselves in a tiny room without going out until you’ve accomplished something sound a little crazy to you? Seriously, who would do that? 

Born with a touch of madness and bred to take down anyone who says says small companies can’t stand side by side with the best, Woodblock is a statement to the industry giants. Creating visual effects for Apple, IBM and Adidas commercial work is no small feat, we’ll tell you that much.

It took a collective to lock themselves up in a room to create the company and it takes a collective to come to CGA2018. They do everything together. A family, one might say. Straight Outta Ludwigsburg is their coming of age story giving insights into what it takes to make it in the industry. Just imagine all the anecdotes that happened in that room. All the laughter and the friendly banter. The blood. The sweat. The tears. 

Fighting the same fight of small vs. big, Digital Asset Tailors took an opportunity to ally with Woodblock and show the world what a unique style in storytelling and pace means for the making of visual effects. Teaming up on the Adidas projects, Ivan Vasiljevic will join the boys from Ludwigsburg to speak on the subject of Premium Advertising Outsource in Serbia.

Tracking movements? Done in no time!

They say that they are invisible. Are they though? They might not get put first on the credits list on the work they’ve done for their clients, but they are the ones that connect the real world with the imaginative visuals. Best known for their work that ranges from complex camera tracking and matchmoving to consulting on highly complex visual shot design, they take VFX production one step further. Their client base says it all. ESPN, Disney, Epic Games, The Mill, BNS. We dare and encourage you to accomplish feats as big as these. Who are they? Well, QLBeans, of course.

Courtesy of QLBeans

We’ve invited them to come to the conference and speak about what and how they do it. Luckily enough, we’ve been able to drag none other than the co-founder of the company, Bogdan Mihajlović, from his office to the stage at CGA2018.

He will certainly catch your attention and keep your eyes locked to the presentation with his talk regarding matchmoving, set extensions and character integration for FX through rotomotion process. It sounds incredibly complex, doesn’t it? You are surely breaking a sweat. You needn’t, though. Bogdan will demonstrate everything through an example and not only show, but break down their work on a spot for Gillette.

Devoted on solving every obstacle, challenge and problem that crosses their path, they will be a valuable addition to our program this year and will certainly make an impact on you as well.

Game Designer: A Tale of Broader and Deeper Understanding of a Game

All of us think that developing and designing games is all unicorns and rainbows, but Mirko Božović is here to tell you that it’s not at all like that. Hard work, dedication, a growing thirst for learning and adopting new ways of thinking is needed. Creativity unleashed.

Looking closely enough, one will see that a game isn’t just narratives, spells and living in a fantasy world all the time. We merely always seem to overlook the technical aspects of systems and balance.

A Game Designer is a tale of broader and deeper understanding of the game. A tale where you get to express your understanding of humanity by evoking all the desires and the feelings of it’s users. To be able to fathom people’s reactions, behaviours and what drives us as a species is a must have trait in this line of work. Who would’ve thought that a person creating video games must also be trained in the ways of psychology?

Nurturing this way of thinking, Mirko will share the knowledge he was able to extract by working at Mad Head Games and discuss one vital part of game designing – Numbers. If the numbers match a player’s feelings, you’ve won him over. You’ve seized a gamer’s heart. So a game designer says.

How to Break Into Film Scoring Industry Internationally

Panel How To Break Into Film Scoring Industry Internationally will be held on September 25th at Crater Studio and Crater Training Center. The topics are business and strategies to succeed in the music, movie and TV industry and how to break through internationally.

This event is designed to bring together some really bright and accomplished professionals to brainstorm about how to succeed in the global environment.

Panel is organized within the Multikultivator’s Fulbright Specialist program with Professor Tom Stein in partnership with Crater Studio, Crater VFX Training Center and our CGA Belgrade conference, and with support from U.S. Embassy Belgrade.

Courtesy of Chaos Group

Treat Yourself with a V-Ray License

V-Ray anyone? Ring a bell? What a silly question. Of course it does. You all know what V-Ray is and who is the company behind it. That’s right. Chaos Group is sending one of their own to join us on stage at CGA 2018.

Speaking on behalf of Chaos Group is Yavor Stoikov, and when it comes to his knowledge of V-Ray, he’s a force to be reckoned with. A CG Specialist and a brilliant instructor traveling around the globe to help users make the most out of the software and optimize their usage and workflow. We don’t want to give you too much information now, but he’s got a treat for everyone attending the conference. 

Now, every great class starts with a demonstration. You’ll be able to watch Yavor showcase the V-Ray’s raw production capabilities of rendering and compositing a sequence. Next on his agenda will be breaking down Chaos Group’s internal spaceship landing scene. Oh, don’t play dumb now. We all know how many views the ’V-Ray Next for Maya’ video has. You’ve seen it. It’ll be shown on the big screen too to jog your memory up. Finally, he will guide you from the path of conception to realising and setting up the final image in the software.

Last but not least, what would a masterclass be without all those useful tips and tricks. Whether you are a compositor or you’re meddling with rigging and lighting, even if you just want to create a realistic atmosphere or simulate volumetric effects, the tips will come in handy.

Oh, yes. Chaos Group would kill us if we forgot to tell you about their surprise this year! There’s a raffle they’ve prepared for you. The reward? You stand to win a FREE one year V-Ray licence. 

 

So, who’s ready to get awakened?
See you at at Kinoteka/Yugoslav Film Archive on November 16-17, 2018!

 

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