A day-long animation conference, created by animators and for animators, is debuting in Chicago this weekend, and it sounds like a must-attend event if you’re anywhere in the region.

The Frame-by-Frame Animators Conference, or FxF for short, takes place this Saturday at DePaul University. For a first-year event, the guest list is quite compelling, and the daylong event offers a diverse program of talks, panels, workshops, and demos with an audience of animators and animation students.

The conference’s three guests of honor are names that’ll be familiar to anyone who follows independent animation: filmmaker-turned-gamemaker David OReilly (who will be interviewed onstage by Jacob Ciocci, co-chair of the DePaul Animation MFA program), director of the Oscar-nominated short Fresh Guacamole Pes (who’ll be interviewed by stop-motion animator Meghann Artes), and independent filmmaker Joanna Priestley, whose new feature North of Blue will screen at Annecy month (she’ll be interviewed by co-chair of the DePaul Animation MFA program Amy Lockhart).

Duarte Elvas, lead designer of title sequences for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and 2, and Doctor Strange), will speak about his work, while Raymie Muzquiz (The Simpsons, Clarence, Futurama), Steve Socki (The Simpsons, Futurama, Rugrats), and Aaron Renier (Over the Garden Wall and author of The Unsinkable Walker Bean), will participate in a panel about storyboarding.

Other highlights include a character animation masterclass by Brian Ferguson, who was an animator for 23 years at Disney, including supervising roles on Hercules, Mulan, The Emperor’s New Groove, Treasure Planet, and The Princess and the Frog, and a game artist’s panel with industry vets Jeff Hanna (Volition), Aren Voorhees (Netherrealm Studios), James Matthew Taylor (Phosphor Games), and Heinz Schuller (Digital DNA Games).

FxF runs all-day long this Saturday, May 26. Here’s the entire schedule:
10:30am-11:30: Game Artist Panel
10:30-11:30: Character Animation Masterclass with Brian Ferguson
12:00-1:30: Stop-motion animator PES in conversation with Meghann Artes
2:30-3:30: Storyboarding Panel
2:30-3:30: Motion graphics designer Duarte Elvas of Sarofsky, Inc. in conversation with Chris Kalis
4:00-5:00: Screening of Joanna Priestley’s feature film Color of North
5:00-5:30: Joanna Priestley in conversation with Amy Lockhart
6:00-7:30: David OReilly in conversation with Jacob Ciocci

All events are open to the public. Many events are free, but the paid ones are also affordable, at under $8 per session. Due to limited seating, events are ticketed, and tickets can be reserved here.

FxF is hosted by the DePaul Animation Program and the School of Cinematic Arts Visiting Artist Series. More details about the conference can be found on its Facebook events page.

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