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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Animation Bootcamp: Animating Memorable Characters that Communicate Without Words

Atsuko Fukuyama  (Lead 3D Animator, Amata K.K.)

Alexis Broadhead  (3D Animator and Technical Artist, Amata K.K.)

Location: Room 2010, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 18

Time: 11:20 am - 12:20 pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits - Get your pass now!

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Tutorial

Tutorials: Animation Bootcamp

Vault Recording: Video

This talk will focus on the techniques used by Lead Animator Atsuko Fukuyama to help players feel connected to characters that are unable to speak or unable to use words the player understands. It will also touch on workflow changes that she has made over the years to optimize her output. The examples used in this talk will primarily pull from Atsuko’s work on 'Last Labyrinth', but will also include some examples from ICO and 'Shadow of the Colossus'.

'Last Labyrinth' is a VR Escape-the Room game where the player awakes in a strange mansion to find themselves strapped to a wheelchair, unable to move. Their only hope of escape lies in working together with Katia, a young girl who cannot speak a language the player can understand, to solve the mysteries around them. Atsuko and the team at Amata are striving to have players feel a bond with Katia and to feel that they are communicating with her, despite their inability to use language to do so.


Attendees will gain an insight into the thought process behind animating characters who cannot use language to communicate with the player, such as Yorda from 'ICO', Agro from 'Shadow of the Colossus', or Katia from 'Last Labyrinth'.

Intended Audience

Although this talk can be enjoyed by anyone, the intended audience is character animators. Attendees interested in a Japanese approach to character animation may be especially interested in this session.