Last week we visited the incredible Manimation 2016 and had the chance to hear from iconic animators including Aardman Animations – the creators of Wallace and Gromit!
We were lucky enough to attend Manimation 2016 which is an annual animation conference organised by The Children’s Media Conference. The day included talks from a variety of exciting big names in the animation industry from CBBC to Mighty Giant.
After introductory panels focusing on changes in the Animation industry as a whole, Nick Pittom from Fire Panda delivered a presentation entitled ‘Realtime VR storytelling – Heading for the Holodeck’. The talk really captured our imagination by homing-in on one of the key issues facing virtual reality manufacturers.
Nick discussed the storytelling capabilities of virtual reality and the platform’s perceived limitations. One of the unique qualities of a VR platform is its interactive user interface. This interface facilitates immersion in a virtual story and allows users to direct their own movements within the virtual world. This interactive choice is one of the reasons VR is so captivating, however this feature of VR also presents a problem. VR designers need to be able to preempt the users real-time in-game choices to be able to accurately position content in the virtual world for users to engage with. Fire Panda’s real-time animated VR storytelling experience COLOSSE, where the viewer’s gaze directs and refocuses the fictional experience around them, offers one solution to this problem. Check out the COLOSSE Teaser Trailer below.
Later in the day we particularly enjoyed the ‘Brave New Worlds’ panel on which speakers dissected how VR has the potential to affect other media from TV to film. Speakers included David Sproxton (one of the co-founders of Aardman Animations) and Ben Mills from Desk Dragons Interactive. During this panel David touched on Aardman’s compelling ‘We Wait’ project for the BBC which uses VR to emotionally recount the plight of Syrian migrants and refugees.
Manimation was chock-full of pioneering developments for the animation industry. One of the most striking changes was an exclusive announcement of an alliance between animation giants Animation UK and The UK Screen Association. The new body created will be operate under the name ‘UK Screen Alliance’. This merger will hopefully increase the visibility and facilitate increased engagement with the government moving forward – positive news for the animation industry as a whole!
On top of the numerous thought-provoking panels and presentations we had the opportunity to meet one-to-one with fantastic producers and creative directors from CBBC, CBeebies and CITV and hear their thoughts on the day and their current projects.
Manimation is one of the best events we have attended and we can’t wait to see what next year holds! If you would like to check out our own animation show reel have a look here:
www.aardman.com/ The BBC (featured image)