DNEG at Spark FX 2021

Virtual Panels, Master Classes & Real-Time Summit

DNEG is thrilled to be participating in Spark FX for the fifth consecutive year!
This year’s conference is moving online with an expanded program running over 11 days from 4-14 March 2021. Join our DNEG crew from anywhere in the world to learn more about the electrifying future of the visual effects industry!

The online conference ― produced by Vancouver-based Spark Computer Graphics (Spark CG) Society ― explores the innovative world of VFX in the film and television industry.

WHERE: Online, check out the Spark FX website for more details and tickets.

WHEN: March 4th to March 14th 2021

COST: $25 CAD + taxes for a conference pass.

Price valid until 3 March 2021. After the conference starts, passes will cost $30 CAD.

Panels & Presentations

Don’t miss the following highlights, presented by the DNEG crew.

Growing Great Leaders in VFX

Presented by Aaron Gilman, Head of Animation & Animation Director
March 6th, 1pm PST. 

Most often we associate leadership with someone’s rank in a hierarchy. But it may be that rank has little to do with being a leader. In this presentation, Aaron Gilman, Head of Animation at DNEG Vancouver, will discuss the leadership philosophy adopted by the animation team at DNEG Vancouver. The presentation will seek to answer critical questions such as, “What does leadership mean?”, “What are the qualities of a great leader?”, and “How do you create an environment where people can grow into strong leaders?” In a field as collaborative as Visual Effects, relationships form the backbone of the work a team produces. Leveraging his personal experiences in the industry, Aaron will look at a variety of techniques developed over the years that give artists opportunities to collaborate with each other and develop essential qualities to become great leaders.

Virtually Directing a Real-Time Scene

With Paul Franklin, Creative Director & VFX Supervisor
March 8th, 9:30am PST.

In this session, Academy Award-winning VFX Supervisor and Creative Director at DNEG, Paul Franklin, joins Habib Zargarpour, Head of Film Development at Unity Technologies, for an exciting discussion of ‘real-time’ production processes. Audiences will be treated to a glimpse into the future of virtual production as Paul Franklin takes a seat in the virtual director’s chair to remotely lead a scene in real-time. By the end of the session, the two will have blocked a scene of real-time elements – from camera layout to character blocking to lighting direction. This is a real-time demonstration showing how recent innovations and advances in storytelling technologies are proving to shape the creative process.


CTO to CTO: A Fireside Chat

With Paul Salvini, Global Chief Technology Officer
March 8th, 12pm PST.

This session dives into the advent of real-time technologies and its tremendous impacts for creative industries. Join DNEG Global Chief Technology Officer Paul Salvini and Larry Cutler, CTO and Co-Founder at Baobab Studios as the two leverage their industry knowledge and share critical insights. Unpacking how these recent innovations in virtual production and real-time creation shape organizations and infrastructures across creative industries, this energized conversation offers a glimpse into the future of VFX. The panel will be moderated by UBC Professor and Faculty member at the Centre for Digital Media, Patrick Pennefather.

Visual Storytelling in Concept Design

Presented by Kamen Anev, Concept Artist
March 6th, 11am PST.  

This talk will explore how concept design serves storytelling by focusing on single elements of a production’s visuals, enhancing the overall narrative. By leading the viewer’s eyes and thoughts in the direction the story requires, concept design assists in developing the language of the movie without words. In this session, DNEG Concept Artist Kamen Anev will explore the different stages of conceptual design, as a tool for production design or visual effects, and how that contributes to storytelling. 


From Mystical Caves to Outer Space: Creative Multi-tasking on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3

Presented by Jelena Stojanovic, 2D Compositing Supervisor
With Eric Robert Schultz, Lighting Lead & James Charles, FX Lead
March 10th, 11:15am PST. 

DNEG Compositing Supervisor Jelena Stojanovic leads us through the highs and lows of meeting the varied demands of episodic projects. Using her recent work with the DNEG VFX team on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3  as an illustration, Jelena takes us on a journey through the diverse environments that make up the show’s narrative. Tune in to learn how Jelena and the DNEG team approached diverse settings, from San Francisco Bay in the 32nd century to the vast Verubin Nebula. This session will remind us of the importance of agility in visual effects work and the value of constant creative reinvention and reevaluation— even while working on the same show.

Lastly, don’t miss the following panel, featuring DNEG’s own Greenlight alumni Rhea Lonsdale, Environment Generalist TD!   


SPARK FX Presents: Our Future Masters

Moderated by Zoe Cranley, Head of CG Vancouver
With Rhea Lonsdale, Environment Generalist TD
March 5th, 12pm PST. 

This panel offers audiences the chance to get to know the rising stars of the VFX industry. Moderated by DNEG’s own Zoe Cranley and featuring DNEG Environment Generalist TD Rhea Lonsdale, this fun filled session dives into up and coming talent: what inspires them daily, where they see themselves and who they are striving to become!


Career Fair

SPARK FX is not hosting a career fair this year, but DNEG is always updating its website with new opportunities. Keep up to date on our careers page!




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