Film Engine premieres at FMX

Ludwigsburg, April 8, 2016. Worldwide premiere at FMX: Film Engine – the successor of Crytek’s Cinebox – is unveiled at FMX, allowing attendees to experience real-time movie making at the Film Engine Virtual Production Stage. It is the first time that FMX offers attendees the opportunity to put their hands on virtual cameras, experience directing in virtual reality and working in a virtual production pipeline “live” on-stage, a performance made possible with the support of Ncam, OptiTrack, ARRI, AMD and HP. Rob Legato, two-time Academy Award winner for his work on Titanic and Hugo, hosts a masterclass at the Virtual Production Stage on Thursday, April 28, from 3 to 5 pm.

Film Engine is also one of the FMX 2016 main partners, alongside the Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart (AMCRS), AMD, Backstage, CryEngine, Dell, Epic Games, HP, Nvidia and Intel.

Further FMX 2016 Main Partner activities can be found online in the FMX 2016 program.


FMX sees as much as eleven VFX case studies this year. Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach and Paul Kavanagh (all ILM) talk about blending practical and digital effects for the latest Star Wars instalment The Force Awakens. The DC comics-based Batman vs. Superman (Keith Miller, Weta Digital and Dan Zelcs, MPC) and two Marvel productions, Deadpool (Jan Philip Cramer, Digital Domain) and Captain America: Civil War (Florian Gellinger from RISE FX and Alessandro Cioffi from Trixter), are being discussed. Also in the spotlight: Ex Machina, which won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects this year (Paul Norris, DNeg), Gods of Egypt (Julian Dimsey, Iloura), San Andreas (Thomas Zauner, ScanlineVFX), Bridge of Spies (Sven Martin, Pixomondo), and the Chemical Brothers’ music video Arms Wide Open (David Fleet, The Mill). Will MacNeil dedicates his case study to motion design for MPC and Fon Davis (Fonco Creative Services) talks about miniature FX in the digital age.

Virtual Reality for Production

David Morin (Chairman of the Virtual Production Committee) curates a series of talks on Virtual Reality for Production. In this track, VFX Supervisor Rob Legato as well as Adam Valdez (MPC) and Keith Miller (Weta Digital) describe the creative and technical process behind the VP of Disney’s The Jungle Book. Duncan Burbridge (The Third Floor) digs into immersive moviemaking in VR, whilst Ron Frankel (Proof) illuminates VP for Pan and Gods of Egypt. Furthermore, Kevin Margo (Blur Studio) uses his own film CONSTRUCT to exemplify his virtual production pipeline. A panel with selected speakers deepens the discussion on the impact of VR on movie-making.


The series of presentations on “The Art of Animation” grows with a panel discussion on the research and realization of Disney Animation’s adventure Zoomania (Scott Kersavage, Brian Leach. Matthias Lechner, Michelle Robinson). Thomas Meyer-Hermann and Angela Steffen (both Studio Film Bilder) speak about the international series Patchwork Pals and its realization in Stuttgart. Moreover, Zoomania‘s concept art becomes the center of Matthias Lechner‘s (also Disney Animation) talk. A case study is dedicated to Manou the Swift (Andrea Block and Christian Haas, LUXX Studios).

Virtual Reality

The VR Opening Panel “The Present and the Future of Virtual Reality” zooms in on VR as it now stands on the brink of becoming a medium for mass adoption in the PC, mobile and console markets, with Neil Schneider (The ITA), Simon Benson (SCE WWS), Daniel O’Brien (HTC), Billy Harrison (Optoma), Alon Melchner (wakingapp) and Dr Michael Madary (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz). Various speakers talk about their experiences in directing and designing for VR: David Bowman explains the joy of making Crytek’s The Climb and Nick Whiting (Epic Games) showcases the work on Bullet Train. Moreover, Anrick Bregmanand Yates Buckley (both UNIT9) approach VR from a filmmaker’s and a neuroscientific point of view, Colin McGreal (Reel FX) defines dos and don’ts for VR filmmaking in advertising, and Tristan Salomé adds his perspective as the CEO of PresenZ, a new patent-pending technology. Personal experiences become the focus of the discussion “What it Means to Direct & Design for VR,” with Andrew Daffy (DAFFY LONDON), Rainer Gombos (REALTRA) and Alex Hessler (Tippett Studio).


Kim Libreri, Michael Gay and Haarm-Pieter Duiker (all Epic Games) present the work on the cinematic reveal for Paragon, a MOBA for PlayStation 4 and PC. Tameem Antoniades (Ninja Theory), Steve Caulkin (Cubic Motion), Vladimir Mastilovic(3Lateral) and James Golding (Epic Games) team up for a case study on the digital human Senua in Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, focusing on the strong artistic intent, and also on some impressive motion-capture technology that was conducted in order to create a one of the most believable, complex, traumatized characters ever seen in a videogame.


Techniques such as light field video, high dynamic range imaging, and multispectral lighting are at the heart of the “Computational Cinematography” set of talks, curated by Paul Debevec (USC). Presentations are provided by Jon Karafin (Lytro), who spotlights light field technology and the future of filmmaking, Gaël Seydoux, who introduces Technicolor’s light field-related R&D work, andAbe Davis (MIT), who contributes how the information present in data-intensive light field photographs can be reconstructed from a small subset of the light field photographs. Paul Debevec himself talks about practical multispectral lighting reproduction to simulate a real-world location. All speakers come together at the end for a discussion of the current state-of-the-art in computational cinematography.

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