All images © FMX Dominique Brewing and Peter Hacker.
FMX returned to the Haus der Wirtschaft Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart, Germany from 2 May to 5 May, selling out all tickets for the first time ever. The slogan for FMX 2017 was Beyond The Screen, and the many behind-the-scenes reveals from the latest blockbusters, animations and technologies driving the computer graphics world.
Tuesday kicked off with a Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets two-hour special. The sneak peek of the latest spectacular from director Luc Besson was a VFX presentation from VFX supervisor Scott Stokdyk alongside Martin Hill from Weta, Philippe Rebours from ILM and Francois Dumoulin RodeoFX ahead of the film’s release in July.
The Marketplace at the List-Saal was filled with lively demos from HDR Light Studio, Autodesk, AMD, Isotropix, Vicon, Allegorithmic, Xsens, Chaos Group, PNY, PopcornFX, Golaem, while the VR gallery looking over the List-Saal above had projects from Rewind demoed.
Vicon launched new mocap software Shogun at FMX, which features live calibration and a streamlined workflow.
Meanwhile, pro workflows, top user case studies and tech previews of the latest releases were the focus of specialist sessions from Autodesk, Maxon, Isotropix, SideFX, Epic Games, Foundry and Walt Disney Animation Suite throughout the week.
Wednesday began with presentations on Best Animated Short Film Oscar nominees from Jan Pinkava of Google Spotlight Stories on Pearl and Theodore Ushev of NFB on Blind Vaysha, followed later by a talk on the cinematography of Best Animated Short Film Oscar winner Piper.
CG Labs’ Chris Nichols recorded a live CG Garage podcast at FMX with Sci-tech Oscar winner and Chaos Group founder Vladimir Koylazov and Tomasz Wyszolmirski from Dabarti.
Recruiting presentations were the mainstays of the Raum Reutlingen all day from the likes of MPC, Rise, Cinesite and Framestore – not forgetting the Recruiting Hub with even more studios looking to recruit on the second floor.
On Thursday, Animal Logic revealed how The Lego Batman movie was built, brick by brick. Grant Freckleton, production designer at Animal Logic revealed the design concepts behind some of the easter eggs in the film as well as discuss the iterations of some of the characters, Wayne manor and the intricate Batvehicle rotisserie. The animation track led on to a discussion of merging CG and 2D animation in Moana from Dale Mayeda, Justin Weber and Brian Whited of Walt Disney Animation Studios.
A special keynote interview was held with Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on the Thursday afternoon.
Over in the Meidinger-Saal real-time, mocap and VR ruled the roost from a presentation on performance capture used in Gears of War 4 presented by Brett Ineson from Animatrik and Greg Mitchell from Microsoft, to cinematics in real-time with Margaux Durand-Rival from Les Androids Associes and Mathieu Muller from Unity.
The VFX for TV series track held at the Cinema Gloria in the centre of Stuttgart revealed the extensive work for dramas and series, finishing with a first-look at the VFX challenges of American Gods as presented by VFX supervisor Kevin Todd Haug, only four days after the worldwide series premiere.
The final day of the festival was in full swing then with blockbuster spectaculars on Friday. Starting with a jam-packed auditorium, Rogue One was presented by John Knoll of ILM and Margaux Durand-Rival from The Third Floor, and another ‘making-of’ Rogue One later in the afternoon by Knoll. To close the conference, Guy Williams from Weta, Paul Butterworth from Animal Logic, Alessandro Cioffi from Trixter and Asland Elver from Framestore discussed the creation of all the most incredible effects from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Finally a special free screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 rounded out the presentations! Phew!