Speaker Details


Mark Osborne

‘Master Class on the Making of The Little Prince’

Mark presents his personal and professional work and explains how The Little Price was developed across all aspects of the production process.

Two-time Academy Award®-nominated director Mark Osborne has been telling stories with animation for more than twenty-five years. In addition to directing the first ever animated feature film adaptation of the classic French novella The Little Prince, being released in 2015, he was one of the directors of the critically acclaimed animated 2008 blockbuster Kung Fu Panda. This film broke box office records worldwide, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature of the year. The DreamWorks family-friendly action-comedy was Osborne’s first major studio project. Osborne was selected to develop Kung Fu Panda on the strength of his award-winning animated short, MORE, which screened at more than 150 film festivals worldwide and garnered an Oscar® nomination for Best Animated Short and a Special Jury Prize for Short Films from the Sundance Film Festival, among dozens of other awards.

Previous to these efforts, Osborne was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as dozens of awards for designing and producing graphics and animation for television, including projects for TBS, E! Entertainment Television, the Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon as well as a Grammy-nominated spoof of Jurassic Park for Weird Al Yankovic.

Osborne studied foundation art at New York’s Pratt Institute before earning his BFA in experimental animation from the California Institute of the Arts. In 1997, Osborne returned to CalArts to teach Advanced Filmmaking Techniques and has since given lectures and taught on the subject of animation worldwide.


Mark Skaggs

"Making Art for Hit Games: Lessons from the real world"

Games are a medium and sometimes have visual rules that conflict with the "best practices" used in other mediums. Mark will cover the rules of thumb he's picked up over the years of making games, sharing examples from his games like FarmVille, CityVille, Empires & Allies (Mobile), C&C: Generals and more.“

Mark Skaggs is an award-winning game developer known for his work creating the worldwide phenomena “FarmVille” and “CityVille” on Facebook. With a career spanning more than 23 years, three AIAS awards, four console transitions, and a track record of creating games that have sold more than 16 million copies at retail, Mark is also known for creating multi-million selling RTS games such as “Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2,” “Command and Conquer: Generals” and “Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth”. Having recently finished his 7 year tenure at Zynga with the successful launch of "Empires & Allies" mobile, Mark joined Moonfrog as Director in 2016 where he is leading the charge to create new and interesting games for India in the mobile gaming space.


Michael Kurnisky

Evolution of a Production Designer

Michael Kurinsky shares insights and learnings from his experiences as visual development artist on Sony Pictures Animation’s first feature Open Season, art director on the Studio’s comedy hit, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and his role as production designer on the hit movie Hotel Transylvania 2.

Michael Kurinsky most recently served as production designer on Sony Pictures Animation’s hit family comedy Hotel Transylvania 2, that flew into theaters in the Fall 2015.

Michael also served as the art director on the hit comedy Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs—the taste-full 3D comedy inspired by the perennially popular children's book of the same name by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett. Over the course of the film, he oversaw the creation of the color and texture design. In addition to this, he composed the film’s entire color script in order to assist the lighting department with the visual direction of the film.

Michael joined Sony Pictures Animation to work on the studio’s first release, Open Season, as a visual development artist.

Prior to working at Sony, Michael was a background painter for Walt Disney Feature Animation working on such films as, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Atlantis, Fantasia 2000, Home On The Range, and The Beauty And The Beast: Special Edition.

Michael resides in California with his wife and daughter, and is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where he received a bachelor of fine arts.


Avneet Kaur, Character Technical Director - Walt Disney Animation Studios

Fur in Zootopia

Zootopia is a modern mammal metropolis - a place where no matter who you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, anyone can be anything. Avneet Kaur, Character Technical Director, will present the artistic and technical challenges that came with creating believable fur for the 64 animal species featured in "Zootopia." Emphasizing the influence of research and the importance of strong design and art direction, she will talk about how artists and engineers collaborated to create innovative and robust fur tools and solutions to bring these diverse characters to life.

My Journey and a Look Inside the Studio

Avneet Kaur, Character Technical Director, will share insight into studio life at Walt Disney Animation Studios, including a look at the different disciplines and how they collaborate together to create memorable films. Delving into a deep dive about her journey at the studio, she will also talk about her specific role and share some examples of her work, and will wrap up with information about the studios' programs for students and recent graduates.

As a Character Technical Director at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Avneet Kaur works closely with the Character Asset team to define and create simulation rigs for a wide range of character styles and art directions. She is responsible for the creation and downstream success of each character setup for simulation performance. By constantly pushing the limits to combine groundbreaking technology and masterful artistry, Kaur and her team approach the creative and technical challenges of each new film with the goal of bringing the filmmakers’ vision to the screen.

Kaur was born and raised in India. She did her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from BIT Mesra, Ranchi and a Master of Science in Visualization Sciences from Texas A&M University. Kaur has been with Walt Disney Animation Studios since 2004 and her film credits include “Meet the Robinsons,” “Bolt,” “Tangled,” the Academy Award®-nominated “Wreck-It Ralph,” the Academy Award®-winning “Frozen,” and “Big Hero 6,” and the studios’ latest release, “Zootopia.”

Currently, she is working on the Disney's' next film "Moana". She resides in Los Angeles, with her husband Esan Mandal and their two daughters Ria and Risha.


Sanath PC

Design and VFX for Bahubali

Sanath has been in this business close to 2 decades. He started his career at Indian Artists in Chennai where he spent about 5 years he then moved to Alkemysts Visual Studio in Hyderabad for a year and then went on to found FireFly Creative Studio. He has spent most of his career working on the design, previsualization and supervision of visual effects in films. He has also dabbled with Digital Cinematography. He is a 2 time National Award Winner for Visual Effects for Anji and Magadheera and has won the AP state award thrice for Anji, Magadheera and Arundhati. Some of his other notable projects include Eega and Linga. He played a very big role in Bahubali, he was responsible for design and supervision of the previz as well as visual effects. He is an alum of the prestigious National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.


Pete Draper (Co-Founder & CEO, Makuta)

Baahubali - Pre and Post Production

Pete has been working in the CG industry, in India and abroad, for almost two decades. A seasoned author, he also teaches visual effects workshops around the world and has been an external examiner for respected institutions in the UK.

In addition to his “Deconstructing the Elements” book series, Pete has contributed to “3ds Max 2010 Architectural Visualisation”, “3ds Max 6 Killer Tips”, and “3ds Max 4 Magic”, along with numerous tutorials written for 3D World magazine and other trade publications.

Prior to co-founding Makuta, his Indian feature credits include “Ghajini”, VFX pipeline supervision and digital crowd control for “Magadheera”, and a fully immersive CG sequence for “Enthiran”. On the CGI-heavy “Baahubali: The Beginning”, Makuta’s most recent undertaking, Pete worked closely with the director, S. S. Rajamouli, throughout the production and post-production phases.


Alaster Armitage, VR Creative Producer, Unit 9, London

'VR, The Next Storytelling Platform'

Alaster will share his thoughts and insights about working on virtual reality projects and why virtual reality will be the next big medium for storytelling. He will share tips about how to get started on a virtual reality project using some of his case studies from recent work. He’ll also provide an insight into what the new upcoming tools from Epic, Valve, Oculus, Unity, Autodesk and The Foundry will mean for the VFX and games industry for their involvement in VR.

Alaster Armitage-Brain recently joined UNIT9 as VR Creative Producer and is heavily involved in producing innovative VR experiences and strategies for big brands and organisations such as Google and Samsung.

Before joining UNIT9 he worked at VISUALISE with notable VR credits including a number of series produced for Samsung and Refinery29 called Fashionably bound and also creating award winning VR strategies and content for Thomas Cook Group, The British Army, Luxotica, Annapurna, BBC, Sony Music and many more. He also writes for a notable VR journal online called VR Scout.


Craig Zerouni, Director of Technology, DreamWorks Animation India Unit

Emerging Trends in Animation, VFX and Gaming Technologies

Craig Zerouni - Is an industry veteran with over 3 decades of rich experience in technical and product management at all levels, with a solid history of building, running technical teams. His experience spans all facets of software use and development, strategic business and product planning, and product lifecycle management. He has been a hands on FX TD, an author, founder and MD. He has served as Product Specialist at Side Effects Software, R&D Manager and Head of Technology at Digital Domain, he has offered consultancy to several top global studios. He has been an active contributor at SIGGRAPH and VES. He is currently based out of India and leading the technology operations at DreamWorks Animation India Unit as Director of Technology.


Suresh Eriyat

Founder and Creative Director, Studio Eeksaurus

Leveraging different Animation mediums and Indian art styles for Television commercials.

A young and passionate Suresh, while preparing for IIT after his schooling in a small town called Tripunithura, Kerala, got admission in the prestigious NID (National Institute of Design) and decided to ditch the IIT entrance exam!

At NID, Suresh mastered the technique of animation film design that can be deployed to make a film from a story. During his tenure, he interned with the animation exponent Ram Mohan.

Suresh began his professional career with Famous Studios and later in partnership with the owner Mr. Arun Roongta,setting up Famous House of Animation. Here he learnt to weave story telling using animation in advertising.

After a glorious decade at there, and putting India on the global map for animation, Suresh set up Studio Eeksaurus in 2009, which has become renowned for the skillful handling of animation with live action to synthesize new ideas and unforgettable brand identities, by the way of design. In addition to this, with the recent animated films that Eeksaurus has been rolling out under their banner, be it the films on Women’s Empowerment for the Mumbai Police or Fisherwoman and Tuk Tuk, Suresh has taken Indian animation to a whole new level. In June this year, Suresh brought home the Annecy Cristal in the Comissioned Film Category, the first for India. The Annecy Film Festival is France’s prestigious International event which is world renowned to recognise the best in the field of animation.

Suresh has a keen eye for detail and he takes all the effort in understanding the history of every brand he works with to come out with ideas that are evidence to its core ethos and culture.

With a portfolio of over 400 ad films, and over 100 national and international awards and recognitions, Suresh’s work has been recognised at key industry platforms. He has been on the jury panel of the Clio awards since 2007 which is considered to be the Oscars of advertising and also is a part of many other national and international juries.He was also an integral member of the advisory panel to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the AVGC sector.



'VFX Supervisor'

Prasad Sutar experienced the magic of VFX around 18 years back as a CGI animator on India’s first science fiction TV series Captain Vyom. That experience sowed the seed of VFX and Film making in general for him.

After having worked with few studios like Maya Entertainment, EFX, PIXION & RELIANCE Mediaworks he started his own company - NY VFXWAALA partnering with VFX Supervisor Naveen Paul in collaboration with Ajay Devgan films a year back. His vision is to establish his VFX house where the talent is recognized and respected.

Within a year, NY VFXWAALA has grown a team of around 100 artists and has delivered projects like Drishyum, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Tamasha, Dilwale & the visually stunning Bajirao Mastani which has won several accolades for its VFX works including the Star Screen Awards and Zee Cine Awards. This film has also won the prestigious Asian Film Awards where films from around 70 countries were in the fray. Bajirao Mastani was the only film which won the VFX award for INDIA this year.

For him the most satisfying and rewarding aspect of this profession is watching the final output on screen as it was conceptualized during the scripting stage.

With around 150 feature films and several awards under his belt, his quest for perfection for every complicated shot still persists.


Zeljko Barcan

Aesthetic Theory of Destruction

Zeljko's career in the visual effects industry started in 1998. Since then he has worked at various post production facilities and has been an integral crew member on various Emmy winning TV shows, Oscar winning Feature Films, Commercials and games. He started out as a digital compositor/colorist and has through the years held various other roles in the domain of digital content creation (Compositing, General 3D, Lighting & FX), show supervisory and also facility operational positions. During that time he has also had the opportunity to work on set with physical special effects teams and also have a post¬production company of his own; that experience with all the previously mentioned has enabled him to have an in¬depth knowledge and insight into the challenges and process of TV, Film, Commercials and Games production

He is currently serving as Lead FX Artist at DreamWorks Dedicated Unit, Technicolor India


Shelley Page

Shelley's Eye Candy- Head of International out reach, Dreamworks Animation India Unit

Shelley Page, head of International Outreach for DreamWorks Animation, returns to the ABAI festival with her popular showcase of some of the best new international short films and TV commercials. In this session she will screen some of her favourite films and commercials discovered at studios, schools and festivals around the world. Among her latest ‘Eye Candy’ selections are the excellent ‘Castle of Sand’ and ‘The Tale of the Fox and the Mouse’ from ESMA Montpellier, the tense and atmospheric ‘Wildfire’ from Gobelins, Paris and the moving short ‘Tsunami’ from The Animation Workshop, Denmark.

Shelley Page trained in the UK as an illustrator and has been working in the field of feature animation since 1986.

She was one of the first group of artists hired to establish DreamWorks Animation in Los Angeles in 1995. As Co-Head of Artistic Development she was responsible for setting up artistic training programs for the animation artists.

Her credits, on over 30 feature films to date, include “Shrek 1-4”, “Shark Tale”, “Madagascar 1-3”, “Kung Fu Panda 1-3”, ‘The Croods’ and 'How to Train Your Dragon 1-2'. Her present responsibilities at DreamWorks Animation include building relationships with schools and events worldwide and sourcing new talent for future projects.

She has a particular interest in student animation and is a member of the graduation juries and advisory boards of leading animation schools and festivals worldwide.

Since 2006 Shelley has been closely involved with the development of the animation team at the DreamWorks Dedicated Unit at Technicolor, Bangalore. She is also associated with several of the leading academic institutions and festivals in India

Since 2011 Shelley has been engaged with the creation of the Oriental DreamWorks studio in Shanghai. She has also become associated with several of the leading academic institutions and festivals in China.

Shelley is a Visiting Professor to the MA Animation departments at Central Saint Martins (London) and the University of Teesside (UK) – and also at CUC (Beijing) and the Beijing Film Academy.

She is a member of the graduation juries of leading international animation schools Les Gobelins, Supinfocom, LISAA, ArtFx and ESMA in France, the NCCA at Bournemouth University (UK) and the Animation Workshop in Denmark.


Dr. Golam Ashraf

Painting Shapes and Motion with Code

This 1-hr talk is open to anybody curious about the mathematics behind procedural generation in games and animation. It will show you examples of building up meshes and motion from scratch in the Unity game engine. If you are a high school / college student thinking of building up your CG portfolio, or a lead artist/developer thinking of setting up large scenes… this is just the talk for you. You can get special discounts to intense 3-day and 5-day workshops on Unity CG and game development, to help boost your portfolio, and give you an opportunity to have your work showcased in a crowd-sourced game, or displayed at leading international museums. So hurry! Sign up for this talk and find out more about unleashing the creative geek in you.

Dr. Golam Ashraf is an experienced graphics practitioner with a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering, from Nanyang Technological University Singapore. His expertise is in procedural generation, computational design, visual problem solving and educational games. He has in-depth understanding of content creation and art development processes, having headed the Education department in DreamWorks Dedicated Unit for 3 years (Hollywood credits: How to Train your Dragon 2 and Penguins of Madagascar). He has 5 years of hands-on CG production experience, creating pipelines and solvingtechnical problems.

He has over 8 years of experience as a lecturer in National University of Singapore,spearheading curriculum design, active learning, competitive research grants, and research publications. He has supervised over 80 projects in games, graphics and interactive media. Dr.Ashraf is currently working on exciting educational projects with several schools and colleges around the world.


Paul Atme

'UX for a live mobile game '

Taking the audience into an unfolding journey through the 5 planes of UX design and their application to a live mobile game, by deconstructing an in game feature and discussing the challenges we face as Mobile UX designers we’ll be able to land with a principal knowledge on the process.

Paul Atme graduated with a BA in Visual Design from American University of Science and Technology, Lebanon. He was the Game Designer & Senior UX\ UI designer at Wixel Studios. Paul is now pursuing his career in the gaming industry as a UX designer at Electronic Arts (EA). He is also the co-founder of Abjatron, an award winning indie game development studio.


Advait Goregaonkar

' A talk about Mobile Game Art Development - Characters'

What happens behind the scenes in designing and making and mobile game art (Traditional Art Vs. Game Art).

Advait Goregaonkar is the Art Director for EA India studio. Advait has been in mobile game art development since last 11 years, designing characters, UI and VFX for some of flagship games.


Divyanshu Chuchra

Samsung Gear VR

16+ years Professional, Technical leader and Industry expert in the Graphics domain. He has extensive knowledge in the area of Mobile and desktop Graphics technologies. Completed his Masters & specialization in Computer Graphics from IIT Delhi and has enjoyed working in this area at various levels of technology stack ranging from drivers to middleware and Application level. Apart from Samsung also worked with Organizations like ARM, ST Ericsson Bangalore developing Graphics drivers and application for underlying silicon platforms. He has worked with Samsung Bangalore for over 10+ years and is very excited by the new Graphics technologies on the block like VR and AR which brings new user experiences and possibilities into reach. Apart from spending time with family, these days am enjoying exploring new VR applications on my Gear VR.


Gopinath Chennakeswaran

Samsung Galaxy for Gaming

He is an experienced programmer having worked on various mobile platforms for over 10 years at Samsung. In recent years he specializes in Android Graphics and in particular Gaming on Galaxy devices. Mobile gaming being different from PC and console gaming, he has been developing various tools and solutions that vastly improve gaming experience on mobile devices. He was an integral member of the Game Mode solutions on Galaxy S7 which is key innovation on the latest Galaxy smartphones. He is also an avid gamer and likes to play Supercell games.


Pavan Shinde, CEO and Co-founder of LabInApp

LabInApp - an Indian start-up story for computer graphics enthusiasts

Pavan is a computer science engineer from BVBCET, Hubli. He co-founded LabInApp after finishing his engineering. During his engineering days, he has worked on computer graphics and vision projects which later became the prime technology behind the LabInApp. At LabInApp, he motivates people to develop awesome products as well as culture thus creating a tight bond among the team.

LabInApp is a 3D interactive virtual laboratory tool that aims to focus on heuristic approach of understanding science which facilitates students and teachers to perform science experiments on computers or mobile devices. LabInApp uses computer graphics to provide different dimension to education, making it easy to visualize and hence comprehend. LabInApp has been integrated in 1300 schools all over India. LabInApp is one among the few companies from India to design and build a product with computer graphics as a core technology. Their work includes graphics programming, modeling, animation and real time rendering


Akshay Harti - Product Head of LabInApp

LabInApp - an Indian start-up story for computer graphics enthusiasts

Akshay is a computer science engineer from BVBCET, Hubli. During his engineering days, he has worked on core Graphics projects and conducted several workshops on Computer Graphics. He is passionate to contribute his knowledge to the mission and vision of LabInApp. As a Product Head, he mainly drives the innovation quotient across the company. He is enthusiastic to create a lively culture and imbibe a sense of Technological Innovation in the minds of the people at LabInApp.


Rohit Gupta - Solutions Engineer, Google Cloud Platform - Google

ZYNC - Zero Setup Rendering on Google Cloud


Vishal T.M

Believes that success in the media industry is about understanding the pulse of target audience

Vishal's belief in the power of online video has helped Videogyan to realize the opportunities in the new age media. Videogyan - an idea just a few years back is now a prominent player in the online kids content space.

Exploring the trend and incorporating new technologies is one of the major outlooks in Videogyan. Vishal believes that success in the media industry is about understanding the pulse of target audience.

Vishal will be covering various career building opportunities in new age media. He ll share his thoughts and insigths in effectively utilizing the current tools to make a successful career in animation field.