On Tuesday, February 28th from 2-10 PM PST, the Animation Exchange is taking over Twitch, the self-professed “leading social video platform and community for gamers, video culture and the creative arts”.
AnimState, a community and website dedicated to all things game animation have been working towards holding this kind of event for a couple of years with the idea of helping to democratize the sharing of knowledge across the industry in mind.
The Animation Exchange aims to bring together the knowledge sharing and powerful community of art and development conferences to make it accessible to all. Bringing together developers in AAA and indie, the event organizers want to “shine a light on different approaches to character animation”. This digital convention will cover everything from the most recent tech to traditional animation skills and classic games.
For 8 hours, the Animation Exchange stream will be dedicated to interactive “experiences” with animators, programmers and technical artists. Twitch are sponsoring this free event on their official channel so it is open and available to everyone, whether you’re an experienced developer, aspiring student or just a fan who wants to know how their favourite games are put together.
Speakers include animators and devlopers such as Matt Boehm, an animator at Blizzard, and Gwen Frey, co-founder of The Molasses Flood. The stream will start with devs taking questions from the live chat and end with some final thoughts from speakers from Volition, Blizzard and First Strike Games.
Much like a normal conference or convention, there will be various talks throughout the day, including Aslak Helgesen, an Animator at Rain Games, talking about animating characters and creatures with contrasting moods and emotions within the tight constraints of a top down action game.
For new (and experienced) animators, there’s a lesson in 2D animation, letting you learn (or get back to) the basics, and for those of you with a little more experience under your belts, an introduction to animation in Unreal Engine 4 from Jay Hosfelt (lead animator) and Laurent Delayen (senior gameplay/animation programmer) at Epic Games.
“Flashbacks” to older games, like Spiderman 2 and Assassin’s Creed Combat, provide a chance to learn how the classics were built, and panels of experts will discuss a range of topics from what they don’t teach you in school to the newest animation tech making a buzz in the industry in 2017.
The talks will be recorded and available for free on the Twitch official channel so if you miss the stream there’ll be a chance to watch them back later at your own leisure. For more details check out the Animation Exchange website here.