Vertex 2021 was packed with inspiring talks from industry pros, workshops, career advice, portfolio reviews and much more. 
A Journey with Virtual Reality
Masterclass

Gio will touch on his experience during the early days of Medium, going through his early works to his recent VR pieces. He will also demonstrate how he uses Medium to achieve strong, sculptural forms using Medium’s system of layers. He'll take you through his journey to achieve strong, readable sculptures from primary forms, all the way through tertiary forms and surface details.

Masterclass
Animation - The Old Way
Main Stage

Animation legend Aaron Blaise (Disney, Lion King) shows you how to goes back to “the old ways” and animate on paper. Follow his live demo for the event where he animates on paper, the same way he did when he made Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Mulan.

Main Stage
A Quick Glimpse into Future Ink – Space Ink Project Between Wacom and Ars Electronica
Masterclass

During this year’s Vertex event, Mike Jelinek, Senior Product Manager at Wacom, who is responsible for connecting the technology of Future Ink with potential creative uses, will explore the design thinking that went into this project. Jelinek will share useful insights and experiences from ideation to first results, explain how to deal with challenges and uncertainties of a project like this and show how it is related to everyday work of a creative.

Masterclass
Art of Motion Graphics
Track 1

Director and Designer JM Blay will talk about the creative and technical processes and methodology of two of his latests projects. He will also speak about how he started in the Industry and some challenges he had to overcome in the process.

Track 1
Compositing and Open-source 3D Working Together
Track 1

Sean will share an overview of his career - how he went from knowing nothing and getting hired anyway, to compositing and being his own tiny 3D and FX department. He’ll share lots of images and clips of the projects he’s worked on over the years and demonstrate how he approaches certain shots with a generalist mentality.

Track 1
Concept Art Association Presents: Concept Art Drinks!
Track 2

Come and hang out with Concept Art Association as they join Karla Ortiz and her close friends Dawn Carlos (Lucasfilm Animation) and Carolina Zeleski (Facebook's Oculus Studio) in a casual conversation over a cup of tea. Expect a variety of topics including breaking into the industry together, techniques, art creation, and more. Please note this session will only be available on the day and not on demand. 

Track 2
Delving Deep into Digital Humans
Main Stage

Join Jonathan Cheetham, VFX Supervisor at Jellyfish Pictures as he takes you on a journey of creating life like digital humans. Using examples from hit shows including Netflix’s The Innocents and HBO’s Watchmen, Jonathan will demonstrate the importance of understanding the nuances and subtleties needed to create a photoreal person, and the vital relationship between the 2D and 3D teams, who’s individual skills and collaboration are integral to the final look.

Main Stage
Film Costumes Concepts
Track 2

Hollywood Costume Concept Artist, Phillip Boutté Jr. will break down the collaboration process between the Concept artist and Costume Designer, while also giving insight into the thought processes that go into figuring out the Almighty “WHY”. Why does this character wear what they wear? What purpose does it have in furthering along the character development? Join Phillip to discuss and figure out the WHY together!

Track 2
“Frankensteining” - A Digital Human Challenge
Track 1

The process of creating digital human characters by Frankenstein-ing performance material together in such detail is a true art. In this session, Fredrik Löfberg, and Jörgen Lilja of Goodbye Kansas Studios will discuss how they tackle the challenge of marrying the talents of voice actors, and performance actors together to create entirely new digital human characters.

Track 1
How I Approach and Create Illustrations (with a Focus on Storytelling)
Track 2

How does Djamila go from a vague idea to actually completing a complex illustration? And how does she incorporate storytelling into her artwork? These are questions a lot of artists have to figure out at one point or another. So in this talk, Djamila will demystify her own workflow. Based on a concrete example, she will walk you through the entire process from start to finish. We will go from the idea, to the preparation, all the way to the actual painting part. Along the waym Djamila will introduce actionable tips and techniques that help with storytelling in your illustrations.

Track 2
How to Create Stunning Interior Archviz Scenes
Track 1

BVDW will give an overview about how to create unique and outstanding interiors. Do’s and Don’ts and how to start creating interiors for non-interior designers. The Art of Vignettes - a mini workshop about creating lovely vignettes that with Vray and Vray Light Mix.

Track 1
How To Make Colour Choices
Track 2

Colour masterclass! Angela will focus on color relationships and how their surroundings influence one-another. During her years of painting with both digital and traditional mediums, she have summarized a couple of key learning points, which will improve your color theory work.

Track 2
How To Market Yourself on Social Media
Main Stage

World-renowned artist Lois Van Baarle shares her invaluable insight into how artists can market themselves on social media. She’ll give advice on how to promote your art, get more engagement and some tips to help formulate a social media strategy!

Main Stage

World-renowned artist Lois Van Baarle shares her invaluable insight into how artists can market themselves on social media. She’ll give advice on how to promote your art, get more engagement and some tips to help formulate a social media strategy! Followed by Q&A. 

Main Stage
Indie Storytelling and World-Building in Realtime
Masterclass

Telling your stories in a pitch, prototyping a video-game, or finding your designs is faster than ever. An overview of how Houdini in conjunction with Unreal Engine is used to build vast worlds and ideas, even when you are a small studio. We will see a glimpse of the behind the scenes of The Seed of Juna trailer, tackling all these topics.

Masterclass
Life Drawing (portrait)
Masterclass

Portrait life drawing in association with London Siggraph. 

Masterclass
Life Drawing (sitting pose)
Masterclass

Sitting pose life drawing in association with London Siggraph. 

Masterclass
Life Drawing (standing pose)
Masterclass

Standing pose life drawing in association with London Siggraph. 

Masterclass
Making Art with Soul | Exploring Stylized Looks with RenderMan
Main Stage

Pixar takes us all into the “Great Beyond” in their latest animated film, Soul. There we get to see another side of reality, one which is unfamiliar, whimsical, and magically stylized. Through VFX breakdowns, you’ll see how Soul’s technical team approached creating the visual language of the Great Beyond.

During this talk, you’ll also discover where Pixar’s state-of-the-art rendering technology is headed in the upcoming version of RenderMan 24 … and how advancements in NPR (non-photorealistic rendering) are set to transform RenderMan into a tool for broad look development, delivering everything from photorealism to new kinds of Stylized Looks (toon, anime, illustrative, and painterly styles). Pixar’s Dylan Sisson will show examples of how Stylized Looks can be created interactively with tools for Katana, Houdini, and Maya … and how these tools offer incredible new opportunities for storytellers.

Main Stage
Managing Your Mental Bandwidth
Track 2

If you struggle to complete your workload, or wonder how to manage you time more effectively this is the talk for you. We focus so much on how to control our time better without taking into consideration our individual mental capacity to work, produce art, network and grow. In this talk, I hope to shine a spotlight on this mindset and shift the conversation from time management to mental bandwidth management in the hope of helping people carve out a healthy work life balance while understanding why pitfalls like burnout actually happen.

Track 2
Master Gravity Sketch for Concept Modeling
Track 1

I use VR creation tools in almost all my work now in one form or another. More and more now I am finding clients let me just dive right into VR and use programs like Gravitysketch to block out the silhouettes and initial ideas before we even do a concept sketch. In this presentation, I will look at a live example for a client and then how I take an initial brief and work it up in VR before making a final model and presenting that for review.

Track 1
Oddly Reclassifying - Social Media Animations for BMW and MINI
Masterclass

We deep dive into the thoughts and setups of our two latest projects for BMW (respectively MINI) embracing the latest design trends of social media and dissecting our scenes right in Cinema4D. 

Masterclass
Pixel Pigment on Digital Canvas Experimentation Process
Masterclass

Mario will go through a huge amount of features like Hair+Deformers+Softbodies+XParticles+RSShading. His colorful and playful projects really put you in a good mood. In association with Maxon. 

Masterclass
Procreate Paint Along with MaxPacks Brushes
Main Stage

Max Ulichney is a character designer, illustrator, and 'brushmancer' of #MaxPacks brushes for Procreate. He has created incredible character art for many clients and will demo his skills and process at Vertex. Plus, you'll be able to sample a selection of his MaxPack brushes to paint along his demo.

Main Stage
Terraform VR Demo
Track 2

Join Finnian MacManus as he takes you through his process for a pre-production workflow, using Adobe Medium, Cinema 4D, Octane and Photoshop. During the demo Finnian will discuss design philosophy, how Terraform Studios approaches projects, and current techniques and practices used in feature film production.

Track 2
Texturing a Cyberpunk-Style Character in Substance Painter
Masterclass

Substance Painter has become a staple texturing tool for artists across 3D industries. From skin to mechanical surfaces, Wes will walk you through various techniques for texturing a cyberpunk-style character. Discover optimal ways to approach texturing and some of the latest features of Substance Painter.

Masterclass
The Magic of Christmas
Track 1

Weta Digital had a hand in every aspect of the VFX work on Christmas Chronicles 2, from storyboarding and concept design to the final image. Join Phil Leonhardt, Visual Effects Supervisor at Weta Digital, for a behind-the-scenes look at what went into blending the magic of Christmas with grounded live-action photography. He describes how using previs and onset techvis to drive practical photography assisted the CG integration and elevated the drama of the scenes. Phil will also cover the buildout of the wintery North Pole environment, managing hundreds of unique elves—including the adorable antagonist Belsnickel—and the other cute and quirky characters that support the live-action cast.

Track 1
The Story of Portraiture
Track 1

The Story of Portraiture: Portraiture goes beyond a physical representation of the face, it is a window into the subject’s life and truths. I will explore how the Masters of Art History have been able to reveal the essence of their subjects and how we can incorporate their techniques into our own work. By looking into how they used light, pose, and composition to create a narrative, we can learn to create a digital human that is not only realistic but is also believable.

Track 1
Virtual Production: The Latest Tech From VFX Studios and Indie Creators
Main Stage

Virtual production may well be the biggest buzz word in visual effects and filmmaking right now. In this session, you’ll hear from VFX studios DNEG and Framestore about the latest real-time, LED wall and virtual production techniques they’ve been using in their projects. Plus, director and VFX artist Hasraf ‘HaZ' Dulull offers an indie perspective on how you can adopt a number of virtual production set-ups in your own workflows.

Main Stage
Working in a VFX studio Art Department & Portfolio Tips and Guidelines
Track 2

The team from ILM will be discussing what it's like to work in a VFX studio Art Department. They will also be sharing valuable portfolio tips and guidelines including how to create a well rounded and varied portfolio specifically geared towards the requirements of the ILM London Art Department. 

Track 2
Time Zone: (UTC+01:00) London, Edinburgh [Change Time Zone]

INSPIRING TALKS

We've got multiple tracks you can pick from and each will be host to a captivating programme of talks, presented by leading experts and veteran creatives in the industry. From high-end projects to the latest software developments across a variety of mediums, you’ll hear from the best talents in the industry. 

PORTFOLIO REVIEWS

If you’re after your first step into the industry or your next big career move, then you can’t miss our portfolio review sessions! In our 15 minute sessions you can get invaluable advice on how to boost your showreel and stand out among the crowd. 

WORKSHOPS

The world’s leading artists from the VFX, concept art and illustration industries are on hand to give you insight into how they work and create. You’ll learn new techniques in a variety of mediums and come away from these talks inspired to create your own work. 

COLLABORATIVE DOODLING

All attendees will get access to Magma Studio Pro for the event and 10 days after. Collaborate with friends, new people you meet or just do your own doodles.

EXHIBITION HALL

The most relevant companies in the art world are all joining us on 25 February. You can ask them about vacancies, download exclusive content or just have a chat.

NETWORKING

After lots of learning, it's important to stay social too. We'll be running a Discord channel throughout the event so you can meet new people and chat about the day! 

ARTISTS' LOUNGE

Ever wondered just how they do it? Visit the Artists' Lounge where established artists will take any of your burning questions.

LIFE DRAWING

Drawing figure and form is the foundation of any artist's creative toolkit. At Vertex, you can tune in to any of our life drawing sessions and simply start sketching!