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AE World Conference (September 26th-29th, Seattle, WA)

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For those that couldn't make it here's my list of highlights. Realize that it was only possible to sit in on 1/4th of the presentations going on so there was TONS of good stuff I missed.

Day 1

- Dan and Dave of the original CoSA team discuss the entire history of after effects from before it was born to today

- Todd and Steve explain what happens when you bug report / feature request / crash report, in detail (short version: Everything is read by fewer people than you think)

- Getting to talk to the Developers of the parts of the project I use regularly. ( when you hear "actually that wouldn't be hard to implement" from the guy whose job it is to build it your heart sings a little )

- Steve Forde's keynote at the end of day 1. (my super short over simplified version of what I got out of it: learn to script / find ways to make your service a product)

- Beer w/ the AE team (some of which was a home brew show down)

Day 2

- Angie Taylor spends an hour setting up a Kenetic Type project only to re-do it again in 5 minutes w/ Typemonkey (also got to meet the gentleman who wrote typemonkey)

- Mark Christensen gave a keynote on examples where he's modified and used historical vfx methods (featuring many examples from his recent successful kickstarter) in current work. (value of knowing your history was a reoccurring theme of the event)

- Harry Frank showing shot breakdowns from various Red Giant Films in great detail.

- Matt Silverman going through his personal history and process of opening his company Swordfish.

- Last session of the day Mark Christensen getting heckled through a presentation on approachable compositing.

Day 3

- Eran Stern going through some really good examples of combining effects to do some tricky displacement techniques.

- Matt Silverman on the Motion Design for UX portion of his business (in the last 10 minutes he got very technically specific. it was hilarious to watch people furiously scribbling notes)

- Kanen Flowers on independent cg film production showcasing scripts for getting video game assets as virtual props and backlots.

- Lloyd Alverez started talking about objects and getting data from external files via Scripting. The man spoke very fast for the entire hour and 15 minutes. super dense with information, probably the most intense training I got the whole time.

_ final keynote was Brian Maffitt who also shared his origin story and what life was like in ye-olden days.

Like I mentioned above, there was an undercurrent to the whole event of people looking back to try and figure out what's next. The plight of the vfx worker came up numerous times and it struck me as worth noting that none of the presenters really differentiated between vfx and motion graphics from a business perspective. the reason seemed to be that, they're getting hit first cuz they're the biggest and clunkiest of businesses dealing with raw capitalism in human form (movie studios) but that eventually it'll trickle down to everyone. and when change does come, it might work in familiar ways but it won't be what you expect.

Lastly, my biggest take away from all of this is that we work in a tremendously friendly community. Being there and having people that, till then, had only been twitter icons and voices on video tutorials materialize in the flesh and be so welcoming may have been worth the price of admission by itself. I didn't quite get to the point of singing kumbaya by a campfire, but I wouldn't of complained if it had.

they announced at the end of the event that they're doing one again next year.

I'll be there, you should say hi.

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