Top animators invite ad creatives to learn from ICON 2014

Artists from the hallowed workshops of Disney Animations, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers will by flying over to Manila this July to speak in a first-ever conference in Asia on the entertainment design industry.

ICON 2014: An Entertainment Design Conference gathered six creative veterans to share decades of working experience spanning character design, film and 3D modeling to budding artists, students and professionals.

While the conference is admittedly geared for those in the animation or entertainment business, Armand Serrano, an artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Visual Development, said that creatives in advertising can learn a thing or two from the design process of animators.

Both advertising and the entertainment industry has undergone radical changes in the past years thanks to technology. For instance, as much as computers and the internet changed the marketing mix, it has also changed how movies are cartoons are made and distributed.

Serrano (pictured), who has also developed storyboards for ad campaigns and games in the US, shared with Marketing that they could be seen as sisters, affected by the same technological forces and tapping the same creative vein.

“Advertising and entertainment are both in the business of ideas. The design process is universal and can be applied in many other fields. We may be different in execution and style but the basic principles are the same,” he adds.

One of the designers of Lilo and Stitch, Brother Bear, Mulan, and Disney's newest film Big Hero 6, Serrano will be will be talking about visual development in the conference. Joining him is Mulan director Tony Bancroft to discuss about animation and direction.

Bancroft was also the supervising animator for lovable warthog Pumbaa in The Lion King and ditzy henchman Kronk in the Emperor's New Groove, as well as the animation director for Stuart Little.

3D visual developer John Butiu will be talking about 3D Animation and Modelling. Davao-born Butiu has worked on the 3D Effects of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and Chicken Little to name a few.

Thor concept artist Vance Kovacs will be discussing Film Concept Design. Kovacs has also worked on films such as Snow White and the Huntsman, Justice League, and Men in Black 3.

Character designer Stephen Silver will be sharing his expertise on character design. Silver is the artist behind teenage super-spy Kim Possible, and half-ghost hero Danny Phantom.

Capping the conference is Marcelo Vignali, the production designer behind Hotel Transylvania , will be talking about production design and art direction. Vignali has also worked on movies such as Atlantis, Open Season, and Surf's Up.

ICON 2014 will be held on 3 July 2014 at the SMX Convention Center. Early bird tickets start at P3,700 for students and up to P10,500 for VIP, which includes an exclusive dinner with the speakers the night before the conference.

All the proceeds will be spent for aid via event organizer ICON for Mission. Based in California, the nonprofit hosts various conferences globally to raise money to fund their Christian mission and humanitarian projects.