Presenters from the following Studios…

Weta Workshops

PLaystation Studios

Naughty dog

Rooster Teeth

Decoy Games

Disney Animation

Speakers  Include…

Jake Brooks

Jake is a Simulation Supervisor at Pixar Animation.

Stephen Lambert

Stephen is an Art Director at Weta Workshop, the studio behind the special effects on many awesome films, including The Lord of the Rings.

Jeff Merghart

Jeff works at Diseny Animation Studios as a Character Designer in Visual Development.  He’s worked on American Tail, and others such as Raya and The Last Dragon, Ralph Wrecks teh Internet, and Moana.

Matt Tovar

Freelance Animator
Matt has worked on alot of projects, from Call of Duty, The Last of Us, Killzone, Uncharted, and Marvel Avengers.

Khalil and Ahmed Abdullah

Decoy Games is an indie game company founded by two technically talented brothers, who had no prior professional game development experience. They used their deep passion for video games and extensive imagination to start building their indie game studio.

Anna Faryniarz

A recent graduate from UIW. She was an Animation Intern at PlayStation’s San Diego Studio, worked at Rooster Teeth on RWBY, and now is at Playstation Studios.

Our Moderators:

Adam Watkins

Adam is the Profesor and Assistant Dean that has been pivotal in building the University of the Incarnate Word’s 3D Program.

Kassandra Arevalo

Kassandra Arevalo is an Instructor of Animation with the UIW Animation & Game Design department. She previously was an animator with Immersed Games.

Troy Mishler

Troy has worked on games such as Everquest 2, Everquest Next, Shadow of the Colossus Remake, Demon Souls, and worked on Films likle The Exodite.  Troy is now an instructor at UIW as the Environment Productions Arts Instructor. 

Why Attend?

Want to get into the Game and Film Industry?

Start by attending this free conference and hear industry professionals speak on matters of interest.

UIW is dedicated to quality education

Our 3D program has been around for 20 years and we plan to be around a lot longer than that.  Learn from top talent in the industry which also have a passion to educate the next generation.


Our students move on to work on industry recognized projects such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Death Stranding and Marvel’s Spiderman.

Schedule is posted below!

9:15am – 10:15am

Jake Brooks

Simulation Supervisor,   Pixar Animation Studios

10:15am – 11:15am

Steve Lambert

Art Director, Weta Workshop

11:15am – 12:00pm

           Lunch break!

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Anna Faryniarz

Animator, Playstation

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Khalil and Ahmed Abdullah

Lead Developers / Co-founders, Decoy Games

1:00pm – 1:15pm


1:15pm – 2:15pm

Jeff Merghart

Character Designer, Disney Animation

1:15pm – 2:15pm

Matt Tovar

Freelance Animator

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this thing?

Upgrade 3D is a webinar/conference for high school students interested in the game and film industries as 3D Animators, Model and Texture Artists, Programmers for games and Production Management.  We have invited professionals from those industries to come and speak on topics of interest.

The webinar is being put on by University of the Incarnate Word, a private university in San Antonio, TX.

Who’s invited?

Junior and Senior High school students that are interested in pursuing education and work in the game and film industry.

How’s the conference/summit work? 

The Event will be held both in person and online through Zoom.  Normally we would be able to host 300 students in person.  However, due to COVID-19 restrictions we will only be able to host 80 Students this year.  Simultaneously, we will also be streaming this event through Zoom.  Recording is not allowed.

In person check-in is from 8:30am – 9:15am.  The event will begin at 9:15am and end at 2:30pm on Nov. 5th, 2021.

How many attendees are anticipated?

Pre-Covid times, we would have over 300 attendees. Last year we were online only and we had over 700 guests from around the world!

This year, due to Covid-19, we are hosting this as a hybrid event.  We are restricted to 80 in person students.  So we will also be hosting this event through a Zoom webinar which has a much higher limit!

Is food provided?

Yes! Free of charge for in person attendees!  If there are any special dietary needs, please bring what is needed.

Wait, what about COVID-19?

Good question!  We’ve transitioned to a hybrid presentation.  That means we will be hosting 80 Students in person in a room that would normally be hosting 300.  We will also be hosting the event online through Zoom.

What topics will be covered?

Topics we will cover include but aren’t limited to the following:
Film & Game production, 3D Animation, modeling, visual effects, and Indie development.

Will there be any talks for Educators?

Yes! We will have another area for Educators to optionally talk with University of the Incarnate Word Faculty during the event after Lunch.

I have more questions!

Please use the Contact Us page so we can answer them!

That’s not all folks.

As there are further developments and updates, we will be updating this web page.  Please visit back periodically!