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Production Sessions

Industry leaders demonstrate breakthroughs in visual effects, animation, VR/AR/MR, games, themed entertainment, architecture, scientific visualization, and platforms we haven’t yet dreamed of.

Program Content

Production Sessions bring the production community together to learn from the brightest minds in graphics. These 60-80 minute panel talks leave attendees feeling inspired, energized, and ready to push new boundaries.

Plan to see surprising projects, independent teams, and your favorite studios rubbing elbows and sharing ideas.

Derrick Nau Production Sessions Chair
DreamWorks Animation


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3pm-4pm
Production Session
:
ILM Presents: The Making of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeMonday, 24 August 20203pm - 4pm
Location
DescriptionJoin Industrial Light & Magic for a deep dive into the making of the final installment of the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. The team will pull back the curtain to reveal how they tackled the creation of the film's 1,700+ visual effects shots. From practical models and miniatures to advanced digital simulations for pyrotechnics and a new fluid simulation system created to achieve the exceedingly high level of realism the filmmaker's demanded, the team will delve will dig into what worked and what didn't on the road to creating the final shots.
Panelists
4pm-4:30pm
Production Session
:
Q&A: ILM Presents: The Making of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeMonday, 24 August 20204pm - 4:30pm
Location
DescriptionModerated virtual Q&A session, featuring questions captured during the Monday, 24 August, 3 pm, Production Session: ILM Presents: The Making of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
11:30am-12:30pm
Production Session
:
Quest for Magic: The Making of Pixar's Onward
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeTuesday, 25 August 202011:30am - 12:30pm
Location
DescriptionOnward tells an original, heartfelt story of two brothers' quest to reunite with their late father. An epic journey presents the film's audience with a unique world full of settings and situations that are simultaneously exotic and familiar. Onward's crew faced a similarly varied set of challenges: some fantastic, some mundane, some both at the same time. In this session, the crew will discuss the process of creating Onward's unusual characters, diverse environments, and magic.
Panelists
Technical Director - Lighting
Technical Director - Lightspeed
Technical Director - Sets
Technical Director - Crowds
Technical Director - Simulation
Technical Director - Characters
Animator - Crowds
Technical Director - Effects
12:30pm-1pm
Production Session
:
Q&A: Quest for Magic: The Making of Pixar's Onward Q&A
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeTuesday, 25 August 202012:30pm - 1pm
Location
DescriptionModerated virtual Q&A session, featuring questions captured during the Tuesday, 25 August, 11:30 am, Production Session: Quest for Magic: The Making of Pixar's Onward.
2pm-3:30pm Live Session
Production Session
:
More with Less: The State of the Art of CG In Advertising
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeTuesday, 25 August 20202pm - 3:30pm
LocationLive Session
DescriptionThis session will present a view of the state of the art of computer graphics in advertising from the perspective of three industry leading studios: MPC, The Mill, and Method Studios. Senior creative and technical staff from each studio will provide a vignette that demonstrates their unique point of view.

MPC:
Consumers are always looking for a moment to escape from reality. This is now truer than ever. If given the chance, they would relish the opportunity to take a breather from the real world by immersing themselves in an alternate world. And while the need for this type of content is high, production is more strained than ever.

With a team of skilled artists, extensive pipeline and global reach, MPC has the capabilities and technology to produce CG films, creating content in a faster and more sustainable way. And they have already been behind some of the most fantastical and exciting CG-heavy ads, from Hennessy’s seven fantastical worlds, to Dick’s Sporting Goods’ world full of fun animated objects.

Using relevant examples, this session will explore how CG plays a crucial role in bringing ads to life in today’s climate and how MPC’s artists are continuing to create a high caliber of work, even during the remote working era.

The Mill:
Over recent years, The Mill’s tools and capabilities for offline VFX (such as proprietary tools for grooming, simulating, and rendering fur and feathers) have evolved considerably, whilst the breadth and depth of The Mill’s Creative Technology team has developed in tandem.

As a company, The Mill is constantly developing new methods and pipelines to execute VFX both traditionally and in real-time. In this session, The Mill will present a selection of work from projects that have utilized real-time technologies in-place of and in addition to more conventional means.

This body of work will be used to compare the overlapping benefits and tradeoffs of real-time and offline methodologies (both then, and now), and how a global company with multiple offices and a storied background in VFX and commercials can remain relevant, whilst continuing to evolve.

Method Studios:
While the :30 commercial reigned supreme during the peak of network television, the rise of streaming and social media platforms coupled with evolving audience tastes have prompted brands and advertising agencies to rethink how they reach and engage consumers. At the same time, wider accessibility of advanced digital content creation technology has made it easier for artists to quickly realize their creative visions. Join John Likens, Emmy Award-winning designer and Creative Director of Method Studios in New York, as he shares insights from his own professional journey; covers the evolution of CG tools and techniques and unconventional applications of emerging technologies; and talks about his collaborative process with brands, agencies and productions. Learn how he and his team deliver captivating visuals that engage audiences within highly compressed timelines, whether crafting full CG title sequences for series such as “Warrior” or “Deadpool 2,” augmenting live action commercial footage with dynamic graphics, or designing elements for feature films.
Panelists
12pm-1pm
Production Session
:
ILM Presents: Making “The Irishman”
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeWednesday, 26 August 202012pm - 1pm
Location
DescriptionThis production session will describe the schedule, production, and tech aspects of The Irishman movie. From the very beginning (including some early "markerless" capture work done as early as in 2015) till the end of production showing before and after examples.

We'll go over the requirements initially imposed by Scorsese and the actors, who wanted to perform on the set as they always do to deliver their best possible performances while interacting with each other, which made additional performance capture after the shoot definitively out of the question.

And also the requirements from the DP (Rodrigo Prieto) who wanted total freedom to light, (so we could not control the lighting at the moment of the capture of the performances.)

To fulfill those demands, we had to come up with a new way of capturing the performances (and lighting), with more precision than ever before, yet in a way that minimizes any interference with all the departments during the shoot.

This presentation will go over the process of developing a novel markerless method of facial capture, involving the new software developed for this project, and also a new infrared camera rig configuration. And why we departed from the "safe" approach of multiple facial markers (as well as discarding head-mounted cameras), which would not suffice for the level of accuracy (and minimal burden on the actors and crew) required for this project.

Other aspects that will be discussed:
-Adapting the pipeline for streaming projects, (with shifting and creating new discipline types to account for further work to be done)

-Rendering iconic actors entirely in 3D

-The unprecedented precision and level of subtlety that Martin Scorsese demanded in the rendered images (of these highly recognizable characters for hundred of shots).
Panelists
1pm-1:30pm
Production Session
:
Q&A: ILM Presents: Making "The Irishman"
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeWednesday, 26 August 20201pm - 1:30pm
Location
DescriptionModerated virtual Q&A session, featuring questions captured during the Wednesday, 26 August, 12 pm, Production Session: ILM Presents: Making "The Irishman".
1:30pm-2:30pm
Production Session
:
Venturing Into the Unknown - The Making of "Frozen 2"
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeWednesday, 26 August 20201:30pm - 2:30pm
Location
DescriptionWhy was Elsa born with magical powers? What truths about the past await her as she ventures beyond Arendelle? In Walt Disney Animation Studios’ "Frozen 2," she travels through the enchanted forests and meets elemental spirits on her dangerous but remarkable journey.

In this session, our filmmakers show how they balanced stylization with naturalism to create a lush autumn forest and designed all-new costumes for beloved characters. Collaboration between multiple departments was the key element to realizing a dark sea guarded by a mythical water horse. On top of that, there were the challenges of navigating a river populated with giants and exploring the interior of a glacier for answers.

Please join us on the journey as we venture into the unknown.
Panelists
Head of Characters and Technical Animation
Director of Cinematography, Lighting
2:30pm-3pm
Production Session
:
Q&A: Venturing Into the Unknown - The Making of "Frozen 2"
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeWednesday, 26 August 20202:30pm - 3pm
Location
DescriptionModerated virtual Q&A session, featuring questions captured during the Wednesday, 26 August, 1:30 pm, Production Sessions: Venturing Into the Unknown - The Making of "Frozen 2".
2pm-3pm
Production Session
:
ILM Presents "This is the Way" – The Making of Mandalorian
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeThursday, 27 August 20202pm - 3pm
Location
DescriptionILM takes you behind the scenes of Jon Favreau's hit Disney + series "The Mandalorian". The team will discuss not only the traditional visual effects work on the series but also the groundbreaking real-time production methodology developed and implemented for the series.
Panelists
Visual Effects Supervisor
Virtual Art Department Supervisor
Virtual Production CG Supervisor
3pm-3:30pm
Production Session
:
Q&A: ILM Presents "This is the Way" - The Making of Mandalorian
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeThursday, 27 August 20203pm - 3:30pm
Location
DescriptionModerated virtual Q&A session, featuring questions captured during the Thursday, 27 August, 2 pm, Production Session: ILM Presents "This is the Way" - The Making of Mandalorian.
3:30pm-4:30pm
Production Session
:
Spies in Disguise: the Art of Stealth and Sterling, Lance Sterling
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeThursday, 27 August 20203:30pm - 4:30pm
Location
DescriptionEvery great spy movie shares the same DNA: Intrigue. Secret Identities. Nefarious villains bent on revenge. Exotic international locales. Incredible cars and gadgets. High octane action sequences. And… pigeons??? In making SPIES IN DISGUISE, Blue Sky Studios set out to create not only a faithful homage to the legacy of traditional spy films, but also to introduce the genre to a whole new generation.
The iconic design of our hero Lance Sterling was the lynchpin in defining not only the aesthetic of the film’s world, but also the animation style, cinematography, lighting, stylized effects and motion graphics which brought that world to life in a tangible and textural way. When Lance is accidentally turned into a pigeon by one of Walter Beckett’s unfinished experiments, Lance is forced to try to save the world as a bird. Scenes such as a pigeon-led high speed car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., a nail-biting aerial dogfight through the iconic canals of Venice, or the climactic battle between thousands of killer drones and our heroes using their wits and Walter’s do-no-harm gadgets - the high stakes and inventive action in SPIES IN DISGUISE provided many unique challenges to the artists and technicians at Blue Sky. Join the creative team as they discuss the enormous challenges and massive collaboration in making this exciting, stylish globetrotting film about spies and the pigeons who loved them.
4:30pm-5pm
Production Session
:
Q&A: Spies in Disguise: The Art of Stealth and Sterling, Lance Sterling
Event Type
Production Session
Interest Areas
Production & Animation
Registration Levels
US
UA
EU
TimeThursday, 27 August 20204:30pm - 5pm
Location
DescriptionModerated virtual Q&A session, featuring questions captured during the Thursday, 27 August, 3:30 pm, Production Sessions: Spies in Disguise: The Art of Stealth and Sterling, Lance Sterling.