BioWare, Valve, Bethesda & CD Projekt RED Sign Up for BAF Game 2012

13 th – 14 th November 2012

BAF Game announces a winning programme of inspiring industry talks and informative workshops as it gears up for its eighth edition, which will take place this year at the National Media Museum on 13 th November and the University of Bradford on 14 th November, as part of the Bradford Animation Festival (BAF) 2012. For the first time this year, BAF Game, organised by the National Media Museum in strong partnership with the University of Bradford and Game Republic, offers pass holders additional crossover events that feature as part of the main BAF programme, which runs from 13 th – 17 th November.

Full programme details and booking will be available online at www.baf.org.uk from Wednesday 19 th September.

Headline speakers confirmed for BAF Game 2012 include Neil Thompson, Director of Art & Animation at Canadian studio BioWare, creators of the world conquering Dragon Age and Mass Effects series;   Lucas Hardi concept artist and designer on Bethesda Games Studios’ groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; Christine Phelan, animator on Valve’s epic online battle arena game Dota 2 and animator Tomek Zawada from Polish developers CD Projekt RED, creators of the multi award winning The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

With a focus on the overlaps between the worlds of video games, animation and film, this year’s programme includes sessions from developers of the very latest cross media technologies. Tara Saunders & Joel Smith from Sony London will present their innovative PlayStation 3 project Wonderbook with a focus on launch title Book Of Spells, which brings the magical world of Harry Potter into reality. David Brown, Philip Gray & Bill Martin, the team behind the LEGO movie game franchises at TT Games, will uncover the art of the in-game cinematic and David Bennett will explore the approach of 3D facial animation pioneers Faceware Technologies and talk about his career working on some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters.

Additional spotlights will focus on virtual environment design and development for new platforms, with presentations and workshops lined up from representatives of Amanita Design, Nyamyam, Criterion Games, Complete Vision, Factory Fifteen, Red Kite Games, Unity Technologies and Atomic Antelope.

National Media Museum’s Curator of New Media & BAF Game Programmer Tom Woolley says: “BAF Game is now in its eighth year and 2012 looks set to be one of the best editions yet. I’m excited to welcome guests from some of the world’s biggest and most successful game studios to Bradford. If you’re interested in the art, animation and design behind videogames then BAF Game really is an essential event for your calendar.”      

BAF Game is a strand of the Bradford Animation Festival (13 th - 17 th November) which takes place each November at the National Media Museum in Bradford. The UK's longest running animation festival features screentalks, retrospectives, workshops and a competition strand which recognises the very best in new animation from around the world. Filmmakers from US Studios Laika, (Coraline, ParaNorman) head the bill at the Bradford Animation Festival this year, alongside Bristol-based Aardman Animations ( Wallace and Gromit, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists ). Additional guests for BAF 2012 include the award winning filmmaker Robert Morgan, ( The Cat With Hands, Bobby Yeah), Chuck Jones’ grandaughter Valerie Kausen and Vivien Halas, whose father John Halas, co-writer / director of the first British animated feature film Animal Farm (1954), will posthumously receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, 100 years after his birth.

Tickets for BAF and BAF Game 2012 are on sale now from the National Media Museum Box Office (call 0844 856 3797 or visit www.baf.org.uk ). Prices for full BAF Game passes start from £35 with BAF Animation passes from £50, and day passes for either event from £25. Tickets for individual screenings are priced from £3.

Confirmed Speakers & Sessions for BAF Game 2012

Neil Thompson, Director of Art & Animation :: BioWare

Neil visits BAF Game representing Canadian industry giants BioWare, home of the world conquering franchises Dragon Age and Mass Effect. With a background in traditional illustration, Neil began his career creating content for Spectrum and Commodore 64 games. He joined Psygnosis in 1991 and was instrumental in their adoption of high end 3D software at the dawn of the PlayStation era.  After five years of independent development at Curly Monsters, Neil returned to Psygnosis (now Sony Liverpool) to take on the role of Art Director on the Formula 1, MotorStorm and Wipeout franchises. A move to Project Gotham creators, Bizarre Creations followed in 2009 and saw the release of the critically acclaimed racer, Blur. Neil will talk about his illustrious career within the games industry, the role of an Art Director and what skills he looks for when recruiting artists and animators.

The History of Art in Gaming - Lucas Hardi :: Bethesda Game Studios

An artist and programmer, Lucas Hardi has an eclectic wealth of experience working for games companies both big and small. After graduating with a degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2000, Lucas worked as a 3D artist at interactive training specialists Dynamic Animation Systems. He then worked as an artist and designer at BioWare Mythic, creating characters and environments for titles such as Warhammer Online and Dark Age of Camelot. Lucas joined Bethesda Game Studios in 2011 where he designed characters and concept art for the ground breaking epic The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Lucas will talk about his career within the games industry and focus on the history of art style within games. The talk will explore how visuals have changed in tandem with technology, why games look the way they do and how to approach developing your own style.

Tomek Zawada, Lead Animator :: CD Projekt RED  

CD Projekt RED  is the Polish based games studio behind the prestigious The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, which recently swept the board at this year’s European Games Awards (EGA), winning multiple awards including ‘’Best European Game’’. Combined with the first part of The Witcher series, current worldwide sales top 4 million copies, a record breaking figure for the Polish games industry. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, currently available for PC and Xbox 360, debuts on Apple this autumn.

Christine Phelan, Animator on Dota 2 :: Valve

Animator Christine Phelan joins BAF Game from US studios Valve , developers of award winning franchises such as the Half-Life®, Left 4 Dead®, Team Fortress®, Portal™ and number one online action game Counter-Strike®. Dota, which began as a user-made modification for Warcraft 3, has grown into one of the most played online games in the world. Following in the tradition of Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, Portal, and Alien Swarm; Dota 2 is the result of Valve hiring the community developers who built the mod and giving them the chance to finally build a full product out of their idea with the help of a professional team of developers and artists at Valve.  

Uncovering the art of the in-game cinematic:: David Brown, Philip Gray & Bill Martin, TT Games

Voted the UK’s number one studio in the 2012 Develop 100, TT Games are the engineers behind the phenomenally successful LEGO movie tie-in titles. Starting with Lego Star Wars in 2005, TT Games have gone on to produce Lego games starring Hollywood icons Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Batman. A charming concoction of puzzles, combat and knockabout co-op fun, TT’s Lego portfolio now also include Pirates of the Caribbean and most recently, Lord of the Rings. BAF welcomes TT Games Cinematic Animation Directors David Brown and Philip Gray to Bradford to talk about their work on the Lego series. David and Philip will be joined by Cinematic Production Manager, Bill Martin as they take the Lego cinematics apart brick by brick and explore what ingredients are required to create compelling sequences for young gamers.

David Bennett, Business Development Manager :: Faceware Technologies

Faceware Technologies has pioneered the field of 3D facial animation over the past ten years through its revolutionary approaches. Their animation software is used by leading studios such as Rockstar Games, Electronic Arts, Double Negative and Bethesda. David, previously based at Weta Digital, has 15 years of experience in the visual effects, 3D gaming and VR industries and has played a major role in the development of facial motion capture. His credits include Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Tintin, as well as the facial supervision of many actors such as Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins in Beowulf. David will explore the approach of Faceware, talk about his career working on some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters and introduce Faceware’s recent education program that allows any schools or institution the ability to use their software for free.    

Tara Saunders & Joel Smith :: Sony Entertainment

The Sony London team return to BAF to present their latest innovative PlayStation 3 project, Wonderbook. A unique concept that combines literature and augmented reality, Wonderbook brings stories to life using the PlayStation Eye. Studio Art Manager, Tara Saunders and Art Director, Joel Smith will uncover the art behind Wonderbook, with a focus on the launch title, Book of Spells in a session coinciding with the day of its release on 13 th November. Created in partnership with JK Rowling, Book of Spells brings the magical world of Harry Potter into reality.

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Bringing Botanicula To Life - Jaromír Plachý & Peter Stehlik :: Amanita Design

Amanita Design return to BAF Game to present their latest release Botanicula. Born from the creative brain of Czech artist Jaromír Plachý, Botanicula is a point-and-click experience set in a gorgeously rendered world of lush vegetation. Players must lead a band of forest creatures made from mushrooms, twigs and feathers to help save their home which has been infested by evil parasites. Jaromir will be joined by Amanita’s lead programmer Peter Stehlik who will talk about the creative process behind bringing Botanicula to life.

Jennifer Schneidereit & Philip Tossell on Tengami :: Nyamyam

Founded in late 2010 by Jennifer Schneidereit and Philip Tossell after their paths crossed whilst working on Kinect Sports at Rare, Nyamyam is an independent studio dedicated to creating beautifully crafted games. Jennifer and Philip will talk about their first game, Tengami, an adventure game with a unique style inspired by traditional Japanese arts. Designed to look like a pop-up book crafted entirely from paper, Tengami is an atmospheric quest set in ancient Japan for the iPad.

Unity 3D Workshop - Ben Pitt & Andy Brammall :: Unity Technologies

This workshop is aimed at Unity 3D developers and those new to Unity 3D who want to learn more about how they can use this user-friendly tool, which is increasingly being employed across other industries due to its flexibility and potential for creating highly immersive 3D environments. This workshop will be delivered by Ben Pitt, Consultant at Unity Technologies, an experienced trainer and developer with a range of credits across web based games and interactive content, including programming, 3D modelling & artwork, 2D graphics, animation, sound design and music.  Ben will be joined by Andy Brammall, Regional Sales Director at Unity Technologies who has a detailed knowledge of games development, specialising in character animation, post production and motion capture. 

Creating Virtual Urban Environments :: Factory Fifteen, Criterion Games & Complete Vision

The generation of buildings and cities that mimic the real world is an integral part in many films and videogames. This session will bring together industry experts from a range of different disciplines to help uncover what techniques are required to create photorealistic urban environments.  Speakers for this session include: Ben Hall, Senior Modeller & Lead World Designer at Criterion Games, Jonathan Gales, Director at Factory Fifteen and Martin Walker, Lecturer in 3D Computer Graphics & Animation, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, and owner of 3D design company Complete Vision.

Animation & Games for New Platforms:: Red Kite Games, Atomic Antelope & Jaromír Plachý

The web and online outlets such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play have created a plethora of new opportunities for independent artists, animators and designers to share their work. Several leading creatives currently producing animation and games for the web and mobile devices will provide insight into their process and publication. Confirmed speakers include: Jaromír Plachý, animator & graphic artist, Simon Iwaniszak, Red Kite Games and Chris Stevens, Atomic Antelope.  

The Department of Creative Technology at the University of Bradford, development partner for BAF Game 2012, organises the festival strand in conjunction with BAF and provides venues for a selection of events and talks. Creative Technology offers a high quality student learning experience on dynamic, dedicated and industry focussed Animation and Games courses.  Blending their extensive teaching experience as one of the earliest Departments to offer courses in Animation and Games and working with an extended family of professional partners, Creative Technology are also members of the Yorkshire and Humberside Skillset Media Academy.  Information on the Department and its courses can be found at www.scim.brad.ac.uk.

BAF Game is organised in strong partnership with Game Republic, an industry-led games network that supports and promotes the Yorkshire and UK games industry, with members including Rockstar Leeds, Sumo Digital, Leeds Metropolitan University, Just Add Water, Four Door Lemon, Tuna, the University of Huddersfield and the University of Bradford. In the last year, Game Republic has arranged meetings and held business-focused networking events with companies including Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Facebook, Microsoft, OnLive, Nokia, GOG.com and Unity. www.gamerepublic.net

The principal sponsor of BAF 2012 is Bradford College. Bradford College provides facilities for Animation, Film, Games Technology and Photography in both Further and Higher Education. An extensive range of art, media and graphics programmes are on offer in the renowned Bradford School of Arts and Media which has been providing high quality art and design education for over 150 years. Contributing to a dynamic creative community in the heart of Bradford, the School encourages development of innovative ideas and students are encouraged to challenge existing conventions. Former students include David Hockney, Andy Goldsworthy and Tony Bevan.

Bradford College is delighted to be the Principal Sponsor of the Bradford Animation Festival for the 7th year running. The College supports the festival for two critical reasons. One is that it enables our art and design, computing and games technology students to have access to the very best in the latest animated shorts and features and to the world class artists, directors and producers of these films. The second is that the Festival enables the National Media Museum, Bradford College and the City of Bradford to showcase to the world our combined expertise and support for this growing industry. Bradford College is proud to play its part in this innovative and exciting Festival. For more information visit www.bradfordcollege.ac.uk.

For full BAF and BAF Game listings and prices visit www.baf.org.uk

-Ends-

Notes to editors:

For further information, interviews, images or press passes please contact:

Rachel McWatt, BAF Press Officer, National Media Museum

+44(0)1274 203388

+44(0)7949 666275

rachel.mcwatt @nationalmediamuseum.org.uk

Caroline Joynson, Senior Press Officer, National Media Museum

+44 (0)1274 203305 caroline.joynson@nationalmediamuseum.org.uk

BAF Animation Passes

Early bird (1 8 th Sept - 19 th Oct)

Full Price - £75

Concession Price - £55

Group Price - £50

Day passes - £40/£30/£25 (No early bird rate available)

Full Price Period (20 th Oct – 9 th Nov)

Full Price - £85

Concession Price - £65

Group Price - £60

Day passes - £40/£30/£25

Single Tickets

Screentalks - £10/£7

Feature Films, panels, awards - £7.50/£5.50

Competition/Panorama Screenings - £4/£3

Workshops - £15

BAF Game Passes

Early bird (1 8 th Sept – 19 th  Oct)

Full Price - £50

Concession Price - £40

Group Price - £35

Day Pass: £40/30/25 (No early bird rate available)

Full Price Period (20 th Oct – 9 th Nov)

Full Price - £55

Concession Price - £45

Group Price - £40

Day Pass: £40/30/25

Single Tickets

Speakers - £7.50/£5.50

Unity 3D - £10 or free with a game pass (limited places, booking essential)

Competition/Panorama Screenings - £4/£3

The National Media Museum

The National Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened as the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford in 1983 with the remit to explore the art and science behind images and image-making, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London.

With the aim to be the best museum in the world for inspiring people to learn about, engage with and create media, it draws from more than 3.5 million objects in its National Photography, Television, Cinematography and New Media Collections to create special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults.

It also organises three major film festivals each year – Bradford International Film Festival, Bradford Animation Festival and Fantastic Films Weekend, and is home to Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen.

Entry to the Museum is free. www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk.

 


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