The schedule for the VFX and Animation Symposium, taking place on Saturday October 22nd , has been announced. The event will include presentations from top Irish and international animation and VFX practitioners.

Below are the speakers for the day. There is still time to register for the event on the Animation Skillnet website at www.animationskillnet.ie.

Sharon Calahan joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1994 as lighting supervisor on the studio’s first feature film, Toy Story. She then served as director of photography on A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, and the Academy Award®-winning features Ratatouille and Finding Nemo. She worked in the same role on Disney•Pixar’s Golden Globe®-nominated feature, Cars 2. Most recently she was the visual designer, and director of photography for lighting on Disney•Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur.

Calahan studied graphic design, illustration and photography. Following art school, she began her career as an art director for broadcast television and video production. Prior to joining Pixar, she was a lighting director at Pacific Data Images completing commercial work, longer format television, and graphics packages. She is a member of the cinematography branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).

Richie Baneham studied classical animation in Ballyfermot College of Further Education. Following his degree, Richie relocated to LA where he worked across a number of smaller projects before being selected to work on Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant in 1999. From there Richie worked on a number of other projects- including character animation for Gollum in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

Following his work on Lord of the Rings Richie moved on to working on James Cameron’s Avatar. Alongside his three fellow visual effect supervisors on the project, Richie won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects at the 82nd Academy Awards and the visual effects category at the 2010 BAFTAs. Richie is Animation Supervisor at Weta Digital.

Troy Saliba is an animation supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks, most recently overseeing Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, directed by James Bobin. Previously, Troy served as animation supervisor on Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful with director Sam Raimi and Sony Pictures Animation’s live-action/ animated feature, The Smurfs (3D).

In his ten years at Sony Pictures Imageworks, Saliba has served as the Animation supervisor on the family adventure film G-Force (3D), Monster House (3D) and The Haunted Mansion, and worked as a senior animator on the Academy Award-winning Spiderman 2, Stuart Little 2 – winner of the Visual Effects Society award in 2003 for Best Character Animation in an Animated Motion Picture – and Imageworks’ first CG short – The Chubbchubbs! winner of an Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film.

Prior to Imageworks, Saliba was Supervising Animator on the 2001 Paramount Pictures/ Nickelodeon Movies feature Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius – one of the first animated films ever to be nominated for an Oscar. In 1995, Saliba served as Animation Director on the feature films Anastasia and Titan AE for Fox Animation.

Simon Kay began his career in 1995 studying 2D classical animation at Ballyfermot Senior College, Dublin. Upon graduation, Simon moved into 3D computer animation, working at Acclaim Entertainment.

After a number of years working in the video game industry, focusing on motion capture, Simon went from mo-cap consumer to mo-cap provider, working as a Project Manager at Centroid Motion Capture. Building on this video games experience, Simon began working on a variety of Television, Video Game and Visual Effects projects.

In 2008, Simon joined Double Negative as Mo-cap Supervisor. Simon has worked on a number of projects with Double Negative as motion capture supervisor including the upcoming releases Wonder Woman and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as recent releases Star Trek Beyond, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron to name but a few.

Mary Pike has over 12 years’ experience working in design and manufacture for film. She began working at Weta Workshop in 2007 and eventually ran the Modelmaking and 3D Modelling Departments as well as being the Assistant Workshop Supervisor. She was involved in projects such as Avatar, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hobbit Trilogy, Elysium and The Amazing Spiderman 2.

She now specialises in 3D Modelling and Manufacture for Art Department, spending much of the last few years in this role on Alice Through the Looking Glass and Star Wars Episode VIII.

She is currently working in Ireland where she and her husband run their own design and manufacture company, The Workhouse.

Wouter Tulp is a freelance character designer. Since 2001, Wouter has been working professionally as an illustrator. Wouter is known for his versatility, and besides illustration on over a hundred children’s books, his caricatures and editorial illustrations have been published in national newspapers and magazines.

After having a successful career of more than a decade in the Netherlands, Wouter decided to shift his focus to character design. In 2014, Wouter began working as a character designer for the Dutch 2D feature Trippel Trouble, before moving on to The German CG feature The Seventh Dwarf, directed by the late Harald Sipermann. Since then Wouter has worked on many international feature film projects and is currently working for Sony Pictures Animation.

Chris Landreth started his career as a mechanical engineer, until 1990 when he decided to move into animation. Shortly after this, he joined Alias Inc. (Now Autodesk), where he created two CG-animated short films, The End and Bingo. Both films explored storytelling based on human psychology as much as photorealistic character animation. He calls this approach ‘Psychorealism’.

Chris continued this approach in his animated short Ryan. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada and Copperheart Animation, Ryan received over 60 international awards, including an Academy Award in 2005. Chris’ most recent film Subconscious Password (2013) premiered at the Annecy International Animation Festival, where it was awarded with the festival’s grand prize, The Annecy Crystal for Best Short Film.

In addition to filmmaking, Chris teaches ‘Making Faces’, an intensive course on Facial Animation, to schools, universities and animation studios worldwide.

Frazer Churchill began his career at the Moving Picture Company (MPC) where he became one of five artists who set up its new film division in 1994. From there, Churchill then went on to be a co-founding member of Double Negative in 1998, where the team worked on its first show, Pitch Black.

Since then, Churchill has been BAFTA-nominated for his work on Children of Men in 2006 and has worked as visual effects supervisor on a number of successful and visually stunning films such as Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The World’s End and the newly released Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

VFX and Animation Symposium Schedule

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