2017 highlights

The 2017 VFX, Games, Animation and Motion Graphics Festival, was bigger and better than ever! Day 1 kicked off with a warm welcome from Dr. Ian Palmer (Director of Escape Studios), followed by a showing of The VFX title sequence hat was created by The Mill and JM Blay, Head of Motion Graphics at Escape Studios.

Double Negative showed us how they created the visual effects for Star Trek: Beyond and discussed what it was like to work on such a huge project.  ILM showed us all of the detail that went into creating the 2016 blockbuster Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. We were taken behind the scenes, to see how the photo realistic animals were created for John Lewis’ popular Christmas 2016 ad, by MPC Advertising. Last but definitely not least, the animation studio Blue Zoo took us through a masterclass of how they create ‘cartoony character animation’ and working with TV animations fast schedules. It was a real eye opener for everyone and what an exciting time it is to be a part of the creative industries!

If you’re a fan of the Netflix smash-hit The Crown and wanted to know how One of Us created the VFX you were in luck! This packed talk from Ben Turner showed the audience how they recreated famous British landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and Downing Street that were off limits to film on location. With season two announced Ben let everyone know that it’s going to be bigger and even more ambitious.

MPC Film showed us what it really took to create the BAFTA winning, Oscar nominated film The Jungle Book, including the software they used and that they had to render “millions upon millions of blades of grass”.

VFX Festival
VFX Festival

The Mill spoke of the months of hard work that helped them bring to life the ‘Heathrow Bears’ for Heathrow Airport’s Christmas 2016 advertising campaign; they researched how to create the perfect bears and their movements. The final talk of the festival took us behind the scenes of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, with leading VFX studio Framestore, they showed us how they created the beasts and New York City (NYC), as the film was actually shot in Watford!

Throughout the festival our panels kept everyone talking about what’s going on in the creative industries and what the future holds in the industry. One of the highlights was the Careers & Recruitment Panel “Should graduates become runners?”  our industry partner Blue Zoo have since blogged about the panel, so take a look to get an insight!

All three days were packed full of recruitment talks and careers advice, the future of the industry, VFX breakdowns, and exclusive industry insights from companies including Framestore, ILM, MPC, JellyFish to name a few. Every one of these talks gave the audience a real insight into how the post-houses work together as a team, to develop work that may last a few seconds but can take months to perfect. With lots of insightful talks and expert tips and tricks on offer, it’s no wonder this was our biggest festival to date!

A huge thanks to all of our sponsors: HP, Escape Technology, 3D World, Wacom, SideFX, RichMix, Pearson, Axis and iMasterArt. The technology room was buzzing throughout the festival and it’s no wonder, with a lineup as good as this! HP and Escape Technology were on hand to let everyone get to grips with ZBrush and ZBrush VR (they also had loads of free sweets!), SideFX introduced everyone to the new Houdini 16 and Pearson immersed guests with a mixed reality experience.

Missed this years’ festival? We’ll be uploading highlights from the 2017 VFX Festival to our You Tube channel, so make sure you subscribe, so you don’t miss a thing!

Keen to attend next year?!  Register your interest for the 2018 VFX Festival.

See you next year!

Interested in studying VFX? Check out available VFX courses and degrees on our website.

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