FMX, the well-known European conference themed on film industry, animation and transmedia has reached its 20th edition. I was in Stuttgart for the entire period – almost a week – and got an interesting insight in what’s trending and the future of the industry.
The eye candy of the conference were of course the talks about VFX. All the recent blockbusters were present and we were given an inside look on how the awesome visual effects were created. We saw the dragons in Game of Thrones growing up, how it is to float without Gravity and Spider-Man flying from one building to another. All stages of creation were dissected (pun intended): chicken wing, model, shade, texture, glowing eyes/fire breathing/silk spawning (on a case by case basis of course). Darth Vader made an (un)expected visit as well, followed by a platoon of very friendly soldiers.
The state of the industry was viewed again through the eyes of the artists in the annual dedicated panel. Transmedia had an increased exposure, with games like Cloud Chamber taking the user interaction to another level. The production techniques and tools are following the trend, adapting the content to multiple platform and multiple media, taking feedback and testing to real-time and moving to managing distributed teams in the most efficient way.
I was glad to see that Blender Foundation had two presentations at this event. Thomas Dinges held the first one about the features and future evolution of Cycles as a separate rendering engine.
Friday, Sebastian König talked about the improvements in Blender, about Blender Cloud and, of course, Gooseberry. From all the concurrent talks at the time, Sebastian’s keynote was selected to be streamed live by the organizers.
I was also glad to meet the Chaos Group team and attend two of their presentations. Andrei was a host at the Chaos Group booth, demoing the V-Ray for Blender integration and I was able to sneak a peek at a quadbot taking shape in V-Ray. And of course Sebastian and Andrei had a quick go at camera tracking in V-Ray.
A very nice surprise was to discover a team of Romanian entrepreneurs, with a very cool product for VR using the mobile phone. Check them out at Altergaze.
At the same time, the Animation Production Day took place at a nearby location and animation shorts were displayed in the Palace Square on a giant screen.
And of course, when a group of friends meet in Germany, all roads lead to… beer. And beer we had, to wet the speakers’ throats, to enjoy some great stories, make an informal Blenderheads’ meeting and tweet it while we’re at it