Daniel Gies

Co-Founder & Art + Tech Director of E*D Films

Daniel Gies has been innovating creative and efficient animation pipelines by combining pen and ink illustration, digital painting, 2D, 2.5D, 3D, game engine, scripting, motion graphics, and VFX throughout his professional career. He is one of the founders, and the Art + Tech Director, of Montreal-­based animation studio E*D Films. With many years in the animated film industry, Daniel is known by his peers as an accomplished digital puppeteer and an expert in After Effects character animation. His extensive tutorial libraries (comprised of more than 120 free online videos and numerous exclusive series for Digital Tutors, aeTuts+, etc.) explore hybrid animation techniques. As a self-taught animator, Daniel is dedicated to improving his craft and to giving back to his community, especially aspiring animators and life-long learners from around the world. In 2015, he was featured as one of “25 Creatives to Watch” by Animation Magazine.

About E*D Films:
E*D Films is a Montreal-based animation studio with a primary focus on making stories that move. Past clients include: National Geographic Museum, McGill University, NFB-ONF, BBC, Historica Canada and Taqqut Productions. Our animated productions have been acquired by the Smithsonian Institute, been honoured with a Webby Award and Webby nomination, won the ARTE International Pixel Market Prize, and garnered 123 other awards and Official Selections in over 150 festivals around the globe. We focus on multi-platform software tool research and development to help us create our high quality films and related interactive products. Our studio has been built around the unique oeuvre of filmmaker and digital puppeteer Daniel Gies whose work melds illustrative, handcrafted approaches with fast-evolving digital technology.


Talk Description:

Gamifying Cinematic Animation Production

The API Exporter Plug-in and Game Engine Cinematic Toolsets that animation studio E*D Films is producing brings intuitive experimentation, iteration, and the type of play into animation that can only be found in expensive motion capture studios or on Jim Henson’s puppet stage. The game environment has never been so compelling for animation creators. Join E*D Films Art + Tech Director Daniel Gies as he demos the digital tools, showcases their real-world applications in animated productions like “Elemented”, and discusses the research and experimentation that resulted in building gamified animated film production tools.

In this 60 minute session, Daniel will show you how E*D Films is escaping traditional animation processes by using an experimental production pipeline that taps into the real-time, procedural, and dynamic animation capabilities of a game engine. But, why stop there? Daniel Gies will also show you how you can capture game play performance data and export it to animation software to drive a cinematic character rig and set — effectively turning the game environment into a gigantic motion capture stage.

These recently developed and tested tools will allow animators to have the quality, control, and efficiency they seek without having to become technical experts. Currently in production thanks to the financial support of the Canada Media Fund and the National Research Council Canada, these tools are being designed to open up the world of large scale, big budget animated productions to independent creators and small studios like E*D Films.

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