Character Animation (Day #3)

Join experts from Remedy Entertainment, Crytek VR and Epic Games for a day-long course on best-practices for procedural motion, animating for VR, runtime I.K. rigs, and techniques for working with motion capture. Whether you're working on games, feature film or simulations these sessions will bring you up-to-speed and beyond!

Now in its 8th edition, nucl.ai brings together hundreds of developers from creative industries and interactive media to resolve the biggest technical and design problems with Artificial Intelligence. One of the event's tracks focuses specifically on “Character Animation” for an entire day.
(Day #3: Wednesday, July 20th)

Regular & Current Attendees

  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Square Enix
  • CD Projekt Red
  • Creative Assembly
  • Unity Technologies
  • Epic Games
  • INRIA Research Lab
  • MASA Group
  • Ubisoft Studios
  • Moving Picture Company
  • Microsoft Game Studios
  • Bohemia Interactive
  • Riot Games
  • Crytek
  • Iron Galaxy Studios
  • CCP Games
  • ...

I've never seen so many industry figures, academics, and students happy to discuss a range of topics around AI in games. It was really, REALLY helpful.

Matthew Bedder

PhD Student

University of York, UK

It was great to return to #nuclai15 this year, I met loads of interesting people and came away buzzing with new ideas.

Vicky Smalley

CTO

Small Jelly, UK

It was my first time at #nuclai15 and I heard about it very late through co-workers. I was mostly interested in the Character Animation panels. I really hope to be able to attend every year from now on! Great information, great people, great time!

Laurent Delayen

Senior Gameplay Programmer

Epic Games, USA

For the first time in my life, I left a conference with concrete and crystallized plans to improve my current project based on the talks I attended and the conversations I had with people. Incredibly. Useful.

Sergey Mohov

Game Designer

Tequila Works, SPAIN

First time visiting a conference like this, and #nuclai15 made a very strong first impression. Great sessions, great people, great time!

Aaron Oostdijk

Lecturer & Researcher

University of the Arts Utrecht, NETHERLANDS

An invaluable resource of ideas and enthusiasm. Long may it continue.

Jim Brewster

Technical Lead

NaturalMotion, UK

Spent months of saving and talking to Alex on twitter – it was more than worth it. I cannot express how this experience changed me and might as well have shaped my future. From the networks I've created to the feedback needed to get back on track I am extremely happy for this opportunity and #nuclai16 is on my calendar.

Mohamed Serry

Gameplay Programmer

Creability, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

#nuclai15 was really unique and cross-discipline, bringing feature film, game AI, animation and machine learning people and talks together makes it the perfect opportunity to learn for everyone.

Alexander Shafranov

Animation Programmer

Remedy Games, FINLAND

Inspiring talks, dedicated people, things to play with, that's a conference to my taste.

Anika Uhlemann

Engine & Game Programmer

GOODGAME Studios, GERMANY

Attending conferences like Nucl.ai brings me in the perfect mental state. I always try to invent something crazy in the plane back home...

Simon Clavet

Animation & Physics Programmer

Ubisoft Montreal, CANADA

Wide variety of topics, great speakers, interesting conversations and lots of very very cool stuff to see and try - Nucl.ai easily beats other conferences!

Kevin Schmidt

Head of Data Science

Mind Candy, UK

#nuclai15 was again a wonderful opportunity to focus on game AI and the intersection of game design and programming. Great talks and great conversations.

Jurie Horneman

Independent, FRANCE



With the advent of virtual reality and its requirement for more immersive characters, as modern hardware provides more computation and memory than ever before, and thanks to easily available motion capture data, character animation is changing rapidly. How can we best combine procedural techniques with very sparse number of keyframes for prototyping? What techniques help leverage the large quantities of animation data that are now available at reasonable costs? Where can extra computation power be of most use at runtime? If you're a developer building simulations, exhibits or games that rely heavily on animated characters, this track is intended for you!

Keywords

  • procedural animation
  • modern blend trees
  • mocap techniques
  • motion matching

Format

  • Keynote
  • Presentations
  • Panel Discussion
  • Expert Q&A

Track Schedule (Day #3: Wednesday, July 20th)

Track Schedule (Day #3: Wednesday, July 20th)

Day #3: Wednesday, July 20th

Generative Systems & Design

Character Animation

Cognition, Bots & Understanding

Kristof Minnaert, Remedy Entertainment

11:15 Creating Digital Doubles, The Character Pipeline in Quantum Break (Amphitheatre)

Laurent Delayen, Epic Games

12:00 Bringing a Hero from Paragon to Life with UE4 (Academy)

Vegard Myklebust, useful slug

09:15 Thinking Procedural: Programming an Animator's Brain (Academy)

Alex J. Champandard and Mika Vehkala

14:15 Motion Matching for Paths & Trajectories [Workshop] (Open Labs)

Tickets!

Join developers from all over the world and secure your ticket for this year's nucl.ai now! Three days of artificial intelligence theory and practice packed into three parallel tracks per day with many networking opportunities are waiting for you in Vienna.

Conference* (3 Days)

All Content* (3 Days)

Single Day Ticket

Early Bird

A limited number of these tickets was available.

Sold Out.

Sold Out!

-

Early Worm

These tickets were available for a limited time.

Expired.

Sold Out.

-

Regular

Important: All Access sold out. All Content available instead.*

€ 369

€ 999

€ 399

Student Pass**

Available until Friday July 8th

60% off above

60% off above

60% off above

Indies or Unemployed Devs***

Available until Friday July 8th

20% off above

30% off above

20% off above

* All Access tickets give you access to all rooms on all days of the conference, Single Day tickets give you full access, but only on the day of your choice. With a main conference ticket you can access the amphitheatre and the open laboratories. See here for more details about ticket types and discounts.

Keynotes and Presentations

Creating Digital Doubles, The Character Pipeline in Quantum Break

In this talk we will guide you through the processes used to create the highly believable top tier digital doubles in Remedy's latest 3rd person action game, Quantum Break. We will discuss the character pipeline as a whole at Remedy and the challenges we faced during Quantum Break's development focusing on the 4D Facial Surface Capture technology and an in-depth look in to the Runtime Pose Based deformation system and Animation pipeline.

Kristof Minnaert, Remedy Entertainment

Kristof Minnaert is a Senior Character Technical Artist at Remedy Entertainment, where he focuses on the character and animation tools and pipelines. He has been part of Remedy Entertainment since 2013 and has been working in the games industry since 2006.

Read full biography »

Kristof Minnaert, Remedy Entertainment

Kristof Minnaert is a Senior Character Technical Artist at Remedy Entertainment, where he focuses on the character and animation tools and pipelines. He has been part of Remedy Entertainment since 2013 and has been working in the games industry since 2006.

Read full biography »

Climbing in VR and Reaching New Heights with Procedural Animation

The Climb is a VR experience and presents entirely new challenges in terms of the freedom of movement of players. What are the things game systems can or cannot get away with in Virtual Reality? Character animation in particular requires developers to take a step back and think about how to provide the player with the same precision, freedom of movement and responsiveness that are all essential for immersion in VR.

This talk will present how we, at Crytek, had to rethink everything we've learnt over the years, the systems we've had to create and, most importantly, the lessons we've learnt along the way that have come to form an internal "Guideline" of creating comfortable, and fun VR climbing experiences.

Ali Helmy, Crytek

Ali Helmy is the Animation Programmer at Crytek in charge of all character animation systems on Crytek’s VR focused research & development team. He has been involved with the current generation of VR hardware from very early on and has been in charge of all character animation systems in Crytek’s...

Read full biography »

Ali Helmy, Crytek

Ali Helmy is the Animation Programmer at Crytek in charge of all character animation systems on Crytek’s VR focused research & development team. He has been involved with the current generation of VR hardware from very early on and has been in charge of all character animation systems in Crytek’s...

Read full biography »

Bringing a Hero from Paragon to Life with UE4

See how Epic Games brings a Hero from Paragon to life: With a programming focus, this talk will show and explain all the pieces involved in animating a real time character in Paragon. We’ll present our trade-offs, detail our locomotion system, the various layers used and the processing done to support the Hero design. Attendees will leave with an understanding of how Characters are animated in real time in the video game Paragon from Epic Games, as well as seeing how the Unreal Engine 4 is used in that context.

Laurent Delayen, Epic Games

Laurent has been working in the game industry since 2001, and the past 13 years at Epic Games on games such as the Gears of War trilogy and Paragon, where he has specialized in real time Character Animation.

Read full biography »

Laurent Delayen, Epic Games

Laurent has been working in the game industry since 2001, and the past 13 years at Epic Games on games such as the Gears of War trilogy and Paragon, where he has specialized in real time Character Animation.

Read full biography »

Thinking Procedural: Programming an Animator's Brain

In this session Vegard Myklebust presents some of the results of an automatic character generation and animation processes developed for Ludus—a game in production. The results are reasonably high fidelity characters that are automatically generated, rigged, and animated at runtime from a relatively small amount of artist input, providing a high amount of flexibility, variation and good quality at a low production cost. By looking at what decisions an animator makes during the process of creating keyframed animation, and figuring out ways of making those decisions as a set of parameters up front, the method presented can take over the process of generating keyframes that create plausible, motivated motion in the same way that an animator would.

Vegard Myklebust, useful slug

Vegard is an Illustrator turned Animator turned Rigger turned Programmer which according to him sums up to Technical Director. He has worked on audiovisual productions around the world in advertising, film, music videos, TV series and games. He says his claim to fame is that he helped make a music...

Read full biography »

Vegard Myklebust, useful slug

Vegard is an Illustrator turned Animator turned Rigger turned Programmer which according to him sums up to Technical Director. He has worked on audiovisual productions around the world in advertising, film, music videos, TV series and games. He says his claim to fame is that he helped make a music...

Read full biography »

IK and Animation Mapping for Generated Creatures in No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky features procedurally-generated alien animals in a huge variety of shapes and sizes which means an equal variety of leg lengths, bone scales, and pose adjustments. How do you stretch only a few dozen animations to cover such a menagerie?

This talk will present the fancy IK system used, which automatically generates joint weights for new creatures and offers a fairly extensive selection of constraints, including both simple foot fixups and an 'exotic' center-of-mass adjustment. Several architecture tricks will be shown which aim to make it easy to write new constraints quickly and get the solver both fast and scalable. Finally, examples of how the constraints are set up in practice on the creatures in the shipped game will be shown.

Charles Tangora, Hello Games

Charlie Tangora has worked in the game industry since 2006. He currently works on animation, gameplay, and physics systems at Hello Games. Previously, he worked as a programmer at Naughty Dog and interned at Midway Games in Chicago. He studied computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Read full biography »

Charles Tangora, Hello Games

Charlie Tangora has worked in the game industry since 2006. He currently works on animation, gameplay, and physics systems at Hello Games. Previously, he worked as a programmer at Naughty Dog and interned at Midway Games in Chicago. He studied computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Read full biography »

Motion Matching for Paths & Trajectories [Workshop]

In this hands-on laboratory, you'll learn to work with motion matching from basic principles. Using recorded paths from DOTA2, you'll see how the core algorithm works—matching the current state every frame and and selecting future trajectories that match. Thanks to a simple Python application, you'll be able to experiment and understand the major principles and ideas behind the technique that was first introduced at the nucl.ai Conference 2015.

Alex J. Champandard, AiGameDev.com

Alex is the mastermind behind AiGameDev.com, the largest online hub for artificial intelligence in games. He has worked in the industry as a senior AI programmer for many years, most notably for Rockstar Games. He regularly consults with leading studios in Europe, most recently on the multiplayer bots for Killzone...

Read full biography »

Alex J. Champandard, AiGameDev.com

Alex is the mastermind behind AiGameDev.com, the largest online hub for artificial intelligence in games. He has worked in the industry as a senior AI programmer for many years, most notably for Rockstar Games. He regularly consults with leading studios in Europe, most recently on the multiplayer bots for Killzone...

Read full biography »

Mika Vehkala, Next Games

Mika has been working in the industry since late 1999 – including IO Interactive as Senior AI Programmer on the Hitman: Absolution and Killzone: Shadow Fall for Guerrilla Games. He has specialized in both game AI and animation technology for games.

Read full biography »

Mika Vehkala, Next Games

Mika has been working in the industry since late 1999 – including IO Interactive as Senior AI Programmer on the Hitman: Absolution and Killzone: Shadow Fall for Guerrilla Games. He has specialized in both game AI and animation technology for games.

Read full biography »

The State of Character Animation and Speaker Q&A [Roundtable]

Mika Vehkala, Next Games

Mika has been working in the industry since late 1999 – including IO Interactive as Senior AI Programmer on the Hitman: Absolution and Killzone: Shadow Fall for Guerrilla Games. He has specialized in both game AI and animation technology for games.

Read full biography »

Mika Vehkala, Next Games

Mika has been working in the industry since late 1999 – including IO Interactive as Senior AI Programmer on the Hitman: Absolution and Killzone: Shadow Fall for Guerrilla Games. He has specialized in both game AI and animation technology for games.

Read full biography »

Speakers & Organizers

Kristof Minnaert

Ali Helmy

Laurent Delayen

Vegard Myklebust

Charles Tangora

Charles Tangora

Senior Programmer

Charlie Tangora has worked in the game industry since 2006. He currently works on animation, gameplay, and physics systems at Hello Games. Previously, he worked as a programmer at Naughty Dog and interned at Midway Games in Chicago. He studied computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Conference Speaker

Vegard Myklebust

Technical Director

Vegard is an Illustrator turned Animator turned Rigger turned Programmer which according to him sums up to Technical Director. He has worked on audiovisual productions around the world in advertising, film, music videos, TV series and games. He says his claim to fame is that he helped make a music video for Iron Maiden, though his previous client list includes BBC / Canal+ / Network Rail as well as constantly being involved in independent productions. He runs a company called useful slug that provides freelance Technical Direction services for audiovisual productions and is currently developing Ludus part time while working full time as a Technical Director on Kickstarter funded The Mandate.

Conference Speaker

Laurent Delayen

Programmer

Laurent has been working in the game industry since 2001, and the past 13 years at Epic Games on games such as the Gears of War trilogy and Paragon, where he has specialized in real time Character Animation.

Conference Speaker

Ali Helmy

Animation Programmer

Ali Helmy is the Animation Programmer at Crytek in charge of all character animation systems on Crytek’s VR focused research & development team. He has been involved with the current generation of VR hardware from very early on and has been in charge of all character animation systems in Crytek’s VR efforts. From Dinosaur demos & VR Benchmarks to full games like The Climb & Robinson: The Journey, he has been involved with every aspect of making animations work for the entirely new realm that is VR.

Conference Speaker

Kristof Minnaert

Senior Character Technical Artist

Kristof Minnaert is a Senior Character Technical Artist at Remedy Entertainment, where he focuses on the character and animation tools and pipelines. He has been part of Remedy Entertainment since 2013 and has been working in the games industry since 2006.

Conference Speaker

Alex J. Champandard

Mika Vehkala

Petra Champandard-Pail

Petra Champandard-Pail

Conference Director & Co-Founder

Petra has a background in business management, and worked as an International Area Manager for a large multi-million dollar corporation. She eventually moved on and joined Alex as the co-founder of AiGameDev.com. Petra is the creative force in the team, and takes care of business!

Mika Vehkala

Game Developer

Mika has been working in the industry since late 1999 – including IO Interactive as Senior AI Programmer on the Hitman: Absolution and Killzone: Shadow Fall for Guerrilla Games. He has specialized in both game AI and animation technology for games.

Track Chair and Co-Organizer

Alex J. Champandard

Conference Co-Ordinator & Co-Founder

Alex is the mastermind behind AiGameDev.com, the largest online hub for artificial intelligence in games. He has worked in the industry as a senior AI programmer for many years, most notably for Rockstar Games. He regularly consults with leading studios in Europe, most recently on the multiplayer bots for Killzone 2-3 at Guerrilla Games. Alex authored the book "AI Game Development" and often speaks about his research. He's associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on AI in Games, and serves on the program committee for the AIIDE and CIG conferences.

Browse Conference Tracks

Analytics & Data Science

Agent Behavior & Coordination

Character Animation

Cognition, Bots & Understanding

Dynamic Dialog & Storytelling

Generative Systems & Design

Human Interaction & Recognition

Procedural Content Generation

Real-time Decisions