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Full Speaker Details with bios and Session Descriptions

AEAF 2017 Speaker Program

Speaker Program
10am  - 5pm 15 and 16 August

AEAF Awards
6pm 16 August

AEAF is looking for, supervisors, animators and industry experts to speak at the 2017 Speaker Program, 15-16 August. Are you interested in presenting your work, ideas or vision to fellow VFX and digital artists? If you would like to be on the AEAF program, please email Sean Young at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Weta Digital

 Weta planet apes

Weta Digital will give behind the scenes accounts of their latest major projects at AEAF. The Academy Award winning studio is one of the world’s best known visual effects companies, recognised for their performance-driven digital characters in projects ranging from ‘Avatar’ to ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy. Stay tuned for more exciting information coming soon.

Most recently the team has been working on ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2’, ‘War for the Planet for the Apes’ and ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’. One of these projects will be the subject of the company’s presentation.


Animal Logic’s Rob Coleman to Speak  on ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’

Head of Animation at Animal Logic, Rob Coleman, will speak at AEAF in August to give attendees a glimpse behind the scenes of ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’, showing his team's recent work.

Rob Coleman cjpg

Head of Animation at Animal Logic, Rob Coleman, will be among the speakers at AEAF in August to give attendees a glimpse behind the scenes of ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’, showing the Animal Logic team's recent work.

Rob Coleman is a two-time Oscar nominee for his animation work on ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ (1999) and ‘Stars Wars: Attack of the Clones’ (2002). He has also been nominated for two BAFTA Awards for his work on ‘Men In Black’ (1997) and ‘The Phantom Menace’ (1999). He spent 14 years at Industrial Light and Magic and Lucasfilm Animation working closely with George Lucas. He has built and supervised animation teams in Canada, the United States, Singapore and Australia. He was the Head of Animation on ‘The LEGO Movie’ (2014) and was the Animation Supervisor on ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ (2017).


Jeff Capogreco Visual Effects Supervision ILM


Jeff Capogreco joined Industrial Light & Magic in 2014 as an Associate VFX Supervisor on Jurassic World. He has a post graduate diploma in Computer Animation from Sheridan College and a successful 10+ year career producing top quality imagery for feature films. Prior to ILM he worked at WETA Digital as a VFX Sequence Supervisor on such films as The three Hobbit films, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Adventures of Tintin and Avatar.

Founder and creative director Ian Kirby and 3D artist Luke Bicevskis are coming to speak at AEAF in August from award-winning creative studio The Sequence Group, based in Vancouver.


The Sequence Group Ian Kirby and Luke Bicevskis

Two artists are coming to speak at AEAF in August from award-winning creative studioThe Sequence Group, based in Vancouver. In business for the last 11 years, the group specializes in design, animation and visual effects. Founder and creative directorIan Kirby, and 3D artist Luke Bicevskis who is also creative director at Sequence’s new Melbourne, Australia office, will talk about their work and company.

As creative director, Ian works at Sequence as director, producer and visual effects artist. He has extensive experience in film, television and gaming and works closely with production studios and video game developers with expertise in the narrative expansion of new and existing properties. Ian’s hands-on background in animation, visual effects and live action enables him to undertake and manage a broad spectrum of mediums and projects.

Ian kirby sequence

Sequence Luke Bicevskis

Over his career, Luke has worked as a designer, illustrator, compositor and 3D artist on a number of award-winning projects across advertising, documentaries and animation. He won MIFF’s Best Short Documentary award for his illustrative work on Lukas Schrank's ‘Nowhere Line: Voices from Manus Island’. At Sequence, Luke has applied his skills to projects for clients including Microsoft, Disney and Slack.

Sequence opened in 2006 with an initial focus on broadcast design and motion comics. Ian and art director Andrew West worked together on one of the first motion comics, ‘Broken Saints’, a style that readily appealed to clients looking for backstory for films including ‘I Am Legend’, ‘Inception’ and ‘Prince of Persia’.

Meanwhile the Sequence team grew and the studio now handles visual effects and broadcast design for most types of production from concept through completion. Their team’s experience includes the‘Batman’and‘Harry Potter’franchises,Halo: Fall of Reach, Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 Civil WarandStar Wars: Commander, as well as commercials blending live action with VFX. Other projects are'Batman: Black and White'and Sony Santa Monica’s video games‘Bound’and‘What Remains of Edith Finch’.

Company evolution notwithstanding, Sequence retains design and artistic expression as the starting point for projects. Recent clients include 343 Industries, Disney Interactive, ABC, Kabam, Dallas Stars, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Sega and DC Entertainment.

Sequence’s work has received Awards recognition several times, including an IAWTV Award, a Bass Award and an Audience Award at the Sundance Online Film Festival. The team also won an Accolade Global Film Competition Award for excellence in animation for their work on ‘Halo: Fall of Reach’. 

Iloura’s VFX Supervisor Lindsay Adams

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Lindsay Adams from Iloura animation and visual effects studio in Melbourne.

Lindsay has worked in visual effects for over 15 years at several studios including ILM, MPC and Animal Logic as well as Iloura. Working within his specialty in compositing, he was nominated for a VES award for Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature for his work on ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. Lindsay's work also includes ‘The Avengers’, ‘300’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’. In 2017 he supervised the visual effects for HBO’s ‘The Leftovers’ which filmed in Australia.


Day 2 at AEAF began with a motion designer’s career, followed by five top VFX supervisors talking about recent projects, production management and inspiration. Watch the videos.

Day 2 at AEAF Brings Explosions, Armies and Aliens

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Dennis Jones, RSP

Day 2 of AEAF's Speaker Program started with one of the most knowledgeable motion graphics artists working today, specializing in Cinema 4D and After Effects, followed by a series of five VFX supervisors speaking about production management, recent high-profile projects and how to stay inspired.

AEAF festival director Sean Young said, "The speakers at this year's AEAF have been incredibly generous with the information they've shared about their work. The success of this event, and the speakers' dedication to the wider community of VFX and graphics artists, encourages us in our plans for AEAF in 2017. Visual effects for film and TV will certainly be topics, but we are also keen to expand on new trends in and tools for motion graphics. Also, after featuring speakers actively involved in VR and 360 productions and adding a new VR/360 category to the AEAF Awards, we're now finding other artists and companies pursuing these kinds of projects. It's exciting."

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Paul Butterworth from Animal Logic

Tim Clapham took attendees on a journey through his career as a motion designer, which unfolded at an interesting time in the history of computer graphics. Hardware had a fraction of the power it has now. Photoshop wasn’t long into version 2, and After Effects was brand new. A comparison of his early work with current projects showed how far modern motion graphics have expanded into the everyday world. Today, Tim’s company Luxx produces highly sophisticated and original animations and composites for TV and web. Also a recognized Cinema 4D and After Effects training expert, he emphasized the value of participating in beta testing software for the chance to be first to work with new tools and influence their development.

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Glenn Melenhorst, Iloura

Glenn Melenhorst, VFX supervisor from Iloura, gave attendees a detailed breakdown of his team’s work on the Battle of the Bastards, a climactic episode from TV series Game of Thrones, from pitch to delivery. The artists were new to Massive crowd software, learning to create agents with enough variety in looks and motion to appear as a real army. The horses were built from the skeleton outwards, and keyframed. Beyond managing size and variation, Glenn had to ensure the swarms of soldiers were art-directable to keep every shot in control to follow the story, and were optimized for rendering within their time frame. Iloura entered the project into the AEAF Awards and won Gold in the TV Series category.

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In this on-the-spot video captured at AEAF, Glenn tells how the production's pre-vis helped his team understand the scale of the Battle of the Bastards and the degree of variation required across the two armies. Entering the series in Episode 6 meant researching the back story leading to the battle. Integrating hand-keyed elements into their crowd simulations was also important. Iloura is now seeing more TV work as producers seek cinematic production values for their shows.

Dennis Jones talked about leading RSP’s team through the Quicksilver Extraction sequence of X-Men Apocalypse, turning the artists’ attention back to the speedy character they created for ‘Days of Future Past’. This time Quicksilver races a massive explosion as it rushes through the X-Mansion, zooming through complex layers of small stories inside the bigger explosion story that had been closely pre-vised before RSP got involved with the show. Dennis showed how concepting the sequence required a mind-stretching understanding of camera-time, real time and Quicksilver time – all happening at once - and meticulous management of 2D and 3D elements, including digital doubles, atmospherics and the associated simulations themselves. This sequence also won a Gold Award in the Feature Film VFX category at the AEAF Awards.

Animal Logic’s Paul Butterworth gave the AEAF audience some of the most valuable messages of the event – 20 tips from his own Creative Survival Guide, gathered over the course of his long career. While tools and techniques, projects, jobs, directors and producers all come and go, an artist’s resilience in this industry depends over time on a solid foundation of creative thinking and problem-solving. Are you a creative survivor? If you’re not sure, you should have been at AEAF. Paul’s Survival Guide covers techniques for breaking down problems and demands in ways that inspire your team, how to work more efficiently and how to take advantage of the VFX artist’s role as a team player to produce top level work. Best of all, Paul illustrated his talk with scenes he supervised from Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Prometheus.

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Above, Paul describes the volatile, global nature of his industry and how a key element of his work as supervisor is pitching regularly for projects, keeping several on the go at once. Likewise, VFX artists need to think not only in terms of the job they have now but also about keeping up with new techniques to make themselves valuable for jobs that lie ahead.

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Colin Renshaw, Alt.vfx

Colin Renshaw’s experience of working at Cutting Edge and Animal Logic before co-founding Alt.vfx in Brisbane about 5 years ago has given him a special perspective on managing production. The company specializes in fast-turnaround commercial work with effects that make their clients’ advertisements look like scenes from feature films. His team is a small close-knit group of generalists with a CG and animation pipeline that resembles a well structured mesh more than a line. Their workflow runs through defining problems, exploring options, choosing and executing a solution and then iterating until all stakeholders, including the artists, are happy.

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In the video above, Matt talks about the Weta Digital team's efforts to devlop the Alien Queen into an intelligent, expressive and interesting creature, not simply a monster. He also describes the use of their expertise in Massive software on this show, gained over successive projects, for the swarm of alien fighter aircraft.

Matt Aitken from Weta Digital wrapped up the day with a talk on building and animating the Alien Queen in ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’, a 70-metre creature with tremendous weight, a strange grace and a mind of her own. Matt talked about the challenges of managing the performance and resulting FX and simulations as she chases a school bus across the salt flats of Area 51. He included details of expressing her emotions and scale, the work of the lighting team who handled shots that were often back-lit, and the very specific, interactive animation of a swarm of 12,000 alien fighter craft that protect her from attack. Weta Digital's work earned a Special Distinction in the Feature Film VFX category at the AEAF Awards.