KDU hosts ANIMEX 2015 - The South East Asia Chapter

 
Participants gets hands-on at one of the Industry Showcase booths during Animex 2015. The speakers and representatives from KDU and Teeside University officiating the start of Animex 2015
SHAH ALAM, 8th AUGUST 2015 - In its effort to forward the local animation, visual effects and especially the game development industry, KDU University College once again collaborated with the University of Teesside in bringing the Animex International Festival of Animation and Computer Games to Malaysia on 5 and 6 September 2015.
 
The Animex International Festival of Animation and Computer Games takes place every year in the North East of England and is one of the premier and largest Animation, Games and Comic festival in the UK. Its workshops and masterclasses feature the who’s who in the industry, with speakers from Pixar, Disney Animation, Dreamworks, LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, Rhythm & Hues, Framestore, Double Negative, Valve, Epic, SEGA, Lionhead, Naughty Dog, Ubisoft, Media Molecule and UDON Entertainment.
 
This is only the second year that Animex is held outside of the UK, in its 17-year long record, and KDU is proud to be hosting the event two years in a row. 
 
Held at KDU’s iconic Utropolis Glenmarie campus, this South East Asian Chapter of Animex is supported by MyGameDev, the Entry Point Project initiative under PEMANDU’s National Key Economic Area (NKEA) for Education. This partnership would see the University of Teesside leveraging on their industry connections to bring world-class speakers to Malaysian shores, ultimately sealing KDU University College and Malaysia as the de-facto location for Game Development Talents and Industry in South East Asia.
 
Professor Cliff Hardcastle, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Teesside University remarked, “I am particularly proud to see Animex South East Asia in fruition. Animex has been operating in Teeside for almost 17 years, I believe the success we experience at home is something we should share across the world.”
 
With the same aims at its UK counterpart, Animex South East Asia featured talks, masterclasses, networking opportunities and an industry showcase exhibition. This year’s opening keynote speaker was Christine Phelan from Valve. Christine has worked for studios such as Nickelodeon, LucasArts, Double Fine Productions, Nintendo, and Valve. Her work includes “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed”, “Brutal Legend”, “Costume Quest”, and “Team Fortress 2” and “Dota 2”.
 
Phelan kicked off the event by keeping her audiences captivated with demonstrations of her works. Her session began with several impressive showcases involving virtual reality.  She gave audiences a glimpsed of virtual reality animation and spoke on aspects relating to it.
 
One of the advices she offered to the budding animators in the audio is on her experience with sound effects in games. “I found that sound effects has the greatest impact of getting anyone’s attention even without visual. Pay attention to the sound effects as it can give the players an idea of the size of the object or creature making the sound, which is an intricate part of keeping the audiences’ attention,” Phelan said.
 
One other speaker that really captured the audiences’ heart was Abdul Khaliq (or more fondly dubbed as Alitt), the current Art Director for EA Ghost which is based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Clad in his iconic Mickey Mouse T-shirt and jeans, Abdul Khaliq kept his talk very casual, giving off laidback vibes which prompted the audience to feel more at ease to interact with him.                                                   
 
He began his talk with his own personal biography as introduction. As an ordinary Malay boy from Kajang, Selangor, Alitt started his journey in the games industry in the year 2006. From that entry level position, he continued to work hard enough until his talents gained recognition and brought him to Singapore and later on to Sweden.
 
As of today, Alitt manages over 220 people in 6 studios throughout Asia and Europe. Based on his vast experience working within the industry, he believes that more women should join the games industry as developers and game artists. Noting on the fast growing dynamics of the industry, he remarked on the male-dominated industry saying, “Women can do even better than men in this industry itself.”
 
Apart from the wealth of knowledge and industry tips and tricks, the demographics of participants of Animex 2015 comprised of people from various sides of the coins, from students to budding animators to even lecturers themselves.
 
Peter Yap Wei Yang, a lecturer for Game Programming from a local private institution, spoke on his thoughts of the event, “I work as a lecturer in game programming, so through these sessions with amazing speakers, I will be more updated with the current ongoing and inspired by the new thoughts and new ideas of the gaming industry.”
 
Natalie Mello, an animation student based in Raffles Design Institute, Singapore, caught wind of the event through word of mouth and immediately signed up for two whole days. “This is the first time I am participating in Animex SEA. I was excited when I saw the list of speakers in the line-up,” she quipped. “As I am an animation student, the talks and masterclasses were highly beneficial for me, especially seeing as they are by some of the biggest names in the industry such as Vincent Serritella. This talented artist has a great portfolio and I’ve learnt that he worked on many notable PIXAR films such as Inside Out and Cars 2,” she continued.
 
Speaking on KDU hosting this event for the second time around, Associate Professor Dr. Hon Wei Min, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of KDU University College expressed, “KDU recognises the potential of this booming industry and has embarked on this challenge to change mind sets of Malaysians and forward the local game development scene. Thus in this effort, KDU University College and the University of Teesside brings Animex to South East Asia in efforts to groom young talents.”
 
The Animex 2015 International Festival for Animation and Computer Games is jointly organised by KDU University College and the University of Teesside; supported by MyGameDev (Entry Point Project 14 – NKEA Education). It is sponsored by ECMLibra Foundation and RHB. Its other partners are the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and MSI.