SMU hosts ‘Industry Giants’ for gaming, FX conference June 12-13

Industry Giants conference imageSMU plays host to international artists in gaming, animation and special effects – including key contributors to the movie blockbusters “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland” – during the 9th annual Industry Giants conference June 12-13 on the main campus.

“Industry Giants: Creative Alchemy” will include panel discussions and master classes with animators and effects artists in film, television and game development. The event is hosted by The Guildhall at SMU, the Texas Film Commission and A Bunch of Short Guys, a Dallas-based filmmaking, visual effects, animation and game development nonprofit organization.

Conference events are open to the public, students and industry professionals. All sessions will be held in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

Speaker presentations take place on June 12, which concludes with a panel discussion. June 13 is dedicated to master classes from which participants can select.

Speaker topics, Saturday, June 12:

  • “The Making of ‘Avatar’ and Creating the World of Pandora” – Guy Williams, visual effects supervisor, Weta Digital
  • “The Making of ‘Alice in Wonderland'” – Jeff Schu, supervising animator, Sony Pictures Imageworks
  • “Creating Science Fiction and Fantasy in Today’s Entertainment” – Stephan Martiniere, art director, id Software
  • “Breaking Down the World of Commercial Production” – Jeff Dates, visual effects/CG supervisor, The Mill NY
  • “The Alchemy of Elemental Magic” – Joseph Gilland, artist and author, Elemental Magic: The Art of Special Effects Animation
  • “Interviewing the Industry Giants” – Rita Street, president, Radar Cartoons

Master classes, Sunday, June 13:

  • “ZBrush Workflows” – Paul Gaboury, 3D application engineer, Pixologic
  • “The Basics of Storyboarding” – Dan Kuenster, creative director, i-Station
  • “Simulations in ICE (Softimage)” – Brad Gabe, senior technical animator, Janimation
  • “From Storyboard to Production” – Johan and Norma Klingler, animation instructors, Art Institute of Dallas
  • “Bones to Animation” – Brad Clark, co-founder,
  • “Voiceover for Animation” – Mary Morgan, actress
  • “Modern Life Drawing” – Michael Mentler, artist, The Society of Figurative Arts

(Above, an image from the Industry Giants 2009 conference.)

> Find a detailed schedule, speaker bios, ticket costs and master class descriptions at