22 July. 2019, 12:00, Julia House, 21612, CY1591, Themistokli Dervi 3, Nicosia 1066
Invited Talk by Yiotis Katsambas
I have experience as both an artist and a programmer. I have been programming since I was 12, and I studied Animation at Ringling College of Art & Design in Florida.
My first job in the mainstream animation industry, was at DreamWorks Animation (then Spielberg’s new studio with Jeffrey Katzenberg) There I worked on the Road to El Dorado, and Spirit, where I created different tools that drastically improved the process and quality of the movie.
Through my own studio, NewKat, I supervised segments of “Minority Report” a movie directed by Steven Spielberg. I also supervised a dozen Walt Disney TV projects which included “Mickey Mouse”, “Winnie the Pooh”, and “Phineas and Ferb”. I licensed some of our technology to Microsoft, and also consulted on various medical products.
At Sony Pictures Imageworks, I worked on the motion capture technology of “Beowulf”. A breakthrough computer animated movie directed by Robert Zemeckis starring Angelina Jolie and Sir Anthony Hopkins. In 2008 I was awarded a “Man of the Year” award in the Arts category for my work on Beowulf.
In my current role as Director of Technology at Sony Pictures Animation, I am responsible for all technical aspects of the studio. Using my experience as an artist and as a programmer, I find the best ways that technology can be used in the creative process of making movies. I work closely with directors, artists, and I lead a team of engineers as we constantly create new tools. One of the applications that I designed, called Flix, is now being used by almost all of the major animation studios. In 2013 I won an Engineering Excellence award from Hollywood Post Alliance for Flix. Some of the movies I worked on at SPA, Smurfs, Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, Hotel Transylvania, The Emoji Movie, and of course Spidar Man: Into the Spider-Verse that won an Oscar.