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A Week of Visual Arts Lessons

Learn from leading artists with a wide variety of art styles and concepts, and explore the inspiration and process behind their work. Learn methods to create quality art and animations for all kinds of games under tight deadlines; from stellar concept art techniques to post-production best practices and everything in between.

Scroll down to learn about all GDC programs covering Visual Arts, including: 

Animation Summit | Art Direction Summit | Technical Artist Summit | VFX Summit

Core Concepts Sessions: Visual Arts

Animation Summit

One-Day Summit | Monday | March 16, 2020

The Animation Summit will go through all facets of animation expertise: 'traditional' focused talks on the animation process, technical achievements, bite-sized tips and tricks, insight into animation culture, and how to best apply all that knowledge to game development. Through a variety of tools and disciplines, the day will show how the unique demands of game creation require not just great animators, but great developers.

Animation Summit: 'Legends of Runeterra': Stacking the Deck Through Animation

Alex "Magnus" Lehmann (Riot Games)
Sean Coleman (Riot Games)

Rebuilding the 'Borderlands' Animation Pipeline in Unreal 4

Ian Davis (Gearbox Software)
Michael Sewell (Gearbox Software)

Animation Summit: When Will the Attack Land?

Nathan Dunlap (Respawn Entertainment)

Art Direction Summit

One-Day Summit | Tuesday | March 17, 2020

Hear leading artistic forces of the game industry share experiences about what really matters in art, and how to build or support a vision and make friends doing it at the Art Direction Summit. There will be a wealth of concentrated art-specific information from the top minds of the industry that should be interesting not just to newbies and students, but seasoned professionals who are concerned with pressing issues of the day and industry realities.

'Borderlands 3': The Balance of Visual Individuality in AAA Games

Scott Kester (Gearbox Software)

Being Creative is a Skill, Not a Talent

Anthony Jones (Robotpencil)

Fountain of Youth: The Benefits of Running an Intern Program

Tim Dean (Turn 10, Xbox, Microsoft)

Technical Artist Summit

One-Day Summit | Tuesday | March 17, 2020

Technical Art is an ever-evolving discipline, with TAs playing key roles in developing efficient pipelines, creating visually sophisticated content, and optimizing performance. The Technical Artist Summit aims to help TAs around the industry find the tools and skills they need to manage the turbulent waves of game development at their own studios. Speakers will present new tools, techniques, and turn our attention to the future of the Technical Art discipline.

Rigging with Triangles II: Rigging with More Triangles

Richard Katz (Blizzard Entertainment)

Data for Machine Learning

Amatobahn (Certain Affinity)

Improving Productivity Through Art Tools UX in Game Development

Sean Low (Riot Games)

Visual Effects Summit

One-Day Summit | Monday | March 16, 2020

Real-time visual effects (VFX) artists have a long list of skills they must implement to solve the wide range of tasks they face. VFX artists must think and iterate like a designer, have the timing and flair of a great performer, be masterful artists, and need knowledge of the code normally reserved for programmers. Join the Visual Effects (VFX) Summit for a day of sessions covering the development of real-time VFX for games and a wide range of skills which historically only came from being in the trenches as a VFX artist.

How to Build Complex VFX Systems with Simple Controls

Anastasia Sopikova (Sumo Digital)

The 7 Year Journey to Create 'Borderlands 3' VFX

Ashley Lyons (Gearbox Software)

Democratizing Real-Time Filmmaking Technologies for Indie Game Developers

Norman Wang (Glassbox Technologies)

Core Concepts Sessions: Visual Arts

Wednesday-Friday | March 18-20, 2020

The learning continues Wednesday through Friday with Core Concepts presentations. Check out the newly added 2020 sessions below.

Gears 5 Real-time Character Dynamics

David Coleman (The Coalition - Microsoft)

Lessons from 15 Years of 'World of Warcraft' World Building

Ely Cannon (Blizzard Entertainment)

The Art of 'Indivisible': From Prototype to Release

Mariel Cartwright (Lab Zero Games)




Connecting the Global Game Development Community