Animating Charlie Brown and other stories at AnimfxNZ conference

While US audiences attend the first public screenings of The Peanuts Movie, New Zealand animators, game developers and visual effects specialists will be hearing how Charlie Brown and Snoopy came to life on the big screen at this year’s AnimfxNZ conference.

Rob Cavaleri (pictured) of BlueSky Studios, who headed up The Peanuts Movie's computer generated animation, will address the digital entertainment conference in Wellington’s Embassy Theatre on November 6, the day the film opens in the US.

Mr Cavaleri’s career in animation spans 23 years, with credits including Ice Age, Rio, Epic and Robots.

Rob Cavaleri

Rob Cavaleri

Other speakers include visual effects expert Kevin Baillie, who has worked on award-winning movies such as Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End, Night At The Museum, Superman Returns and Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, French Animation Producer Michel Nicolas and head writer for the Thunderbirds Are Go series, Rob Hoegee. Neal Stephenson, Chief Futurist for Magic Leap, will speak about future trends in digital entertainment. Weta Digital will present the latest developments the company has made in visual effects, including an insider’s look at their recent work on the Hobbit trilogy and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.

Weta Digital Head of Marketing Dave Gouge said Animfx was an opportunity to bring together leading industry players from around the world, including the best in New Zealand.

“It’s a chance to share knowledge and explore ideas about the future of digital entertainment as industries become more integrated."

Chris Whelan, Chief Executive of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA), says the conference helps to reinforce Wellington’s reputation as a world leader in game development, animation and visual effects.

“For the last ten years this event has encouraged growth within these exciting industries, bringing together professionals at the top of their game and students at the beginning of their careers.”

“Hosting AnimfxNZ reinforces Wellington’s status as a hub of digital creative expertise and entrepreneurship. As screen and digital technology continues to converge, Wellington is well placed to be a global leader.”