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Sharjah Animation Conference hosts star professionals from Japan at exclusive workshops and masterclasses

Diverse workshops and masterclasses covering character design, storyboarding, mecha, anime-style heroes, and more for animation enthusiasts of all levels. (ANJP)
Diverse workshops and masterclasses covering character design, storyboarding, mecha, anime-style heroes, and more for animation enthusiasts of all levels. (ANJP)
Diverse workshops and masterclasses covering character design, storyboarding, mecha, anime-style heroes, and more for animation enthusiasts of all levels. (ANJP)
Diverse workshops and masterclasses covering character design, storyboarding, mecha, anime-style heroes, and more for animation enthusiasts of all levels. (ANJP)
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09 May 2023 03:05:09 GMT9
09 May 2023 03:05:09 GMT9

Amin Abbas

DUBAI: The Sharjah Animation Conference (SAC), hosted eight workshops covering various areas of animation, took place from May 3rd until May 5th at the Expo Centre in Sharjah.

Drawing anime-style characters, creating mecha and anime-style heroes, and much more were all part of the animation presented.

Attendees received valuable insights from top-notch experts in various animation fields, making this an upskilling event that aspiring animators and seasoned professionals should not miss.

The conference provided a platform for industry professionals and fans to share skills and knowledge that meet with the growing global demand for animation.

SAC is the first of its kind in the Arab region and a proactive partnership between the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and the Bergamo Animation Days (BAD) festival in Italy.

The impressive lineup of workshops covered a wide range of topics, including character design, storyboarding, and other areas of animation; led by award-winning experts who have worked on major releases for Disney, Pixar, Netflix, and Ubisoft, giving those who attend direct access to the very best the industry has to offer.

The conference seeks to harmonize the interplay of nostalgia and modernity, inviting both the creators of cherished childhood cartoon characters and contemporary animated personalities to converge in a celebration of this dynamic art form.

With an extensive line-up of Oscar, Emmy and Annie winners, the SAC is set to give those who attend direct access to experts in the field on a level that has never happened in the region.

The conference boasted a truly comprehensive and immersive experience for animation enthusiasts, artists, animators, and publishers.

With 12 masterclasses on offer, attendees had the opportunity to gain valuable insights from a roster of experts in various animation fields, making it an unmissable occasion for those seeking to expand their knowledge and hone their craft in the ever-evolving world of animation.

YOSHIMATSU Takahiro, widely considered one of the best anime directors in the world, most famously known for Dragon Ball Z, Overlord, Vampire Hunter D, and Hunter X Hunter, will present ‘Exploring The Creative Process Behind Innovative Anime Projects’.

Through his engaging presentation, YOSHIMATSU discussed his experiences working on some of the most innovative and captivating anime projects in the industry, inspiring and providing insights to aspiring animators, seasoned professionals, and anime fans alike.

People also learned from director YOSHIMATSU in the “How to Draw Anime Style” workshop; he will guide participants through theory and practice sessions on body proportions, facial details, and line style.

Aspiring anime artists asked questions and receive direct feedback from the expert, making this an immersive and invaluable experience to take their skills to the next level.

‘Mamoru Yokota – My Life’ featured a world-famous character designer and animation director for Death Note, Naruto Shippuden, One Piece and Macross Frontier to name a few.

Through showcasing some of his previous works, including being the animation director for the ‘Blazblue: Continuum Shift II’ arcade game, he will discuss his creative process, techniques, and the challenges he faced during his career, as well as the importance of character design and its impact on storytelling in anime.

For ‘How to Draw Mecha Super Robots and Anime Style Heroes’, YOKOTA Mamoru discussed unique design, personality traits, and how to portray signature moves of your characters.

Sandro Cleuzo, an Annie Award winning 2D animator and character designer, known for such works as Mary Poppins Returns, The Iron Giant, Fantasia 2000 and Tarzan, will present ‘The Art of Animation’.

In this masterclass, he shared his career journey and work experiences, starting in 1985 at just 15 years old, working at Walt Disney Feature Animation and going on to work at Sony, Paramount and Netflix Animation.

Attendees learned from Cleuzo’s vast knowledge and expertise, including the creative process behind character design, animation techniques, and storytelling.

During the ‘Character with Personality’ workshop, Sandro Cleuzo guided participants through the entire process of character creation, providing valuable insights into his workflow.

Open to all skill levels, this workshop promises to elevate attendees’ character design skills, from the initial research phase to the finished product.

People can take their storytelling skills to the next level with the guidance of film and storyboard artist John Nevarez who worked on the oscar-winning film ‘Coco’.

Through his comprehensive workshop ‘Let’s Talk About Story Moments’, participants gained valuable insights into the art of delivering a story in a visual form; whether you’re an aspiring animator or a seasoned professional, this workshop promises to enhance your skills and ignite your creativity.

At the ‘Bringing Characters to Life: Techniques for Designers’ workshop, attendees learned from renowned character designer Wouter Tulp, who has worked for powerhouses like Netflix, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures.

Tulp taught participants the essential techniques and principles for creating characters that feel alive and full of personality.

Creative Director Andrea Bozzetto  hosted the workshop ‘Studio Bozzetto: Storyboard & Creativity’ and revealed the creative process behind storyboarding for animation production.

Through insightful case studies and Bozzetto’s extensive experience in the industry, attendees gained valuable expertise in story boarding and unleash their creative potential.

Children unlocked their potential and creativity with the Majid Workshop by Majid Kids TV; led by experienced professionals, this workshop aims to inspire creativity and spark the imaginations of young minds, whether they aspire to be animators or simply love watching cartoons.

Robin Linn, artist manager, recruiter and creative at Activision Blizzard,  helped those attending gain valuable insights into making a great first impression with potential clients and collaborators, in his workshop ‘Crafting the Perfect Portfolio’.

In addition to the workshops, the SAC provided attendees with the opportunity to connect, collaborate, and exchange ideas with animation enthusiasts and professionals from around the world.

Visitors to SAC  had the chance to gain insights into the animation industry from experts and peers alike.

Khoula Al Mujaini, Executive Director at Sharjah Book Authority said exclusively to Arab News Japan the idea and story behind Sharjah Animation festival, “The festival’s main goal is to present high quality visual content to the audience, from this perspective the idea of SAC was started and we have worked on it very devotedly with our partners and planning on the workshops, masterclasses and discussion panels along with the list of guests for the conference”.

“The Sharjah Animation Conference is a truly unique event for the region that aims to provide a comprehensive platform for individuals who are passionate about animation to connect with the industry’s best, learn from them, and network with like-minded individuals”.

“Our primary goal is to empower participants and help them develop their skills, and gain valuable insights into the latest trends and techniques of the animation industry. By bringing together enthusiasts and professionals from all over the world, we hope to foster new collaborations and partnerships, and promote innovation and creativity in the industry. Through this event, we hope to inspire the next generation of animators and encourage them to pursue their passions and make a difference in the industry,” she added.

“Our goal for the inaugural Sharjah Animation Conference is to provide attendees with a 360-degree view of the animation world. We’ve invited a truly world-class and diverse group of artists and professionals with different approaches to showcase the various styles and techniques used in animation production.” said: Pietro Pinetti, SAC Artistic Director.

Visitors can find out more about the conference, activities, as well as book their tickets through

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