“State of Animation Tools in the Industry” Moderated by

  • ©Paul C. DiLorenzo, Matthew Gong, Fredrik Nilsson, Evan Goldberg, Rob Jensen, Martin De Lasa, Warren Trezevant, and Cyrus A. Wilson



Entry Number: 06


    State of Animation Tools in the Industry



    DreamWorks Animation, Pixar and Disney have invested in nextgen animation tools, or enhanced existing animation tools, for their animators. Autodesk has made a push in recent years to add and improve animation features in Maya. Rhythm and Hues built an extensible framework, Voodoo, that is used across multiple departments and received a 2013 Technical Achievement Academy Award. 

    This panel will bring together animators and engineers that have led efforts to design, implement and deploy these tools to their respective user base. We will provide an inside look into these tools to give audience members insight and context into the various ways animation is being done in the industry. We will discuss and explore animator topics such as important features of an animation tool (e.g., real-time playback, interactivity, enabling creativity, artdirectable), how animators interact with the tool, unique workflows in these tools and their interaction with other departments. 

    We will dig deep into these tools to examine the different technical facets to achieve these results for the animators. We will examine the philosophy and architecture behind each tool, technologies and techniques (e.g., multi-threading) that enable high performance character and graph evaluation, user interface choices, and different ways to interact with the tool. 

    We will examine the remarkable interaction, relationship and processes required to bridge the gap between the creative and technical experts that come together to build these tools. We will conclude by discussing future trends of animation tools in the industry.


    WATT, M., CUTLER, L. D., POWELL, A., DUNCAN, B., HUTCHINSON, M., AND OCHS, K. 2012. Libee: A multithreaded dependency graph for character animation. In Proceedings of the Digital Production Symposium, ACM, New York, NY, USA, DigiPro ’12, 59–66.


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