Eric Luhta

Eric Luhta

Blackbird Interactive

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Eric Luhta is an animation expert with over 16 years of experience across games, film, and TV. He joined Blackbird Interactive as Minecraft Legends' lead animator before rising to Studio Game Animation Director, where he oversees animation direction across all of Blackbird's projects. Before joining Blackbird, Eric worked at many notable studios including Pixar Canada, Relic Entertainment, Sony Imageworks, 2K Marin, and Blue Sky Studios.

Eric Luhta is speaking at the following session/s

Minecraft Legends: Building a Unique Animation Style True to Minecraft

Thursday
2:00pm - 2:45pm
Room 4

When Blackbird Interactive was given the opportunity to develop a genre-bending action strategy game set in the iconic Minecraft universe, it led to a fascinating problem: how do you make a distinct adaptation without inadvertently losing what made it so beloved in the first place?

In this presentation, Game Studio Animation Director Eric Luhta examines that problem through the lens of animation. He explores Minecraft's distinctive (and very unique) approach to character animation and movement, and the enormous challenge he and his team undertook to find that core essence of Minecraft's animation style and adapt it to Minecraft Legends' host of brand new characters and enemies. Alongside plenty of videos and screenshots, Eric will provide concrete examples of his team's approach to bringing the world of Minecraft to an entirely new genre and at a level of detailed movement not seen by the IP before.

In doing so, Eric creates a loose framework that other developers — regardless of discipline — can apply when developing new games set in well-established IP. A philosophy that can help you identify the inalienable essence of that IP, what aspects of it can be modified or altered, and an iterative process for bridging those two elements together.

Session Takeaway

  • How to find what makes an IP unique and preserve it
  • How to add new ideas while maintaining the IP’s integrity
  • How to animate characters from the inside out

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