31 July 2012

Important SIGGRAPH 2012 Reminders for Attendees

The SIGGRAPH 2012 Perfect Blend of Art & Science Starts 5 August 2012 


Download the SIGGRAPH 2012 Locator for an advance preview of all SIGGRAPH 2012 onsite details, highlights and schedule information. A printed copy will be provided to all SIGGRAPH 2012 attendees on site in LA.

From your computer or mobile device, the SIGGRAPH 2012 Scheduler allows you to browse SIGGRAPH 2012 programs, sessions, and events by program, day and time, registration level, and focus. Then create your own customized schedule for the week. Save, view, and update your schedule on your desktop or mobile device. Export it to your calendar, and share it with colleagues and friends. The scheduler is optimized for all browsers and operating systems. 

Your LA experience is not complete without a cocktail poolside at this hotel.

Housing and Transportation Information

Still need to plan your stay in Los Angeles? SIGGRAPH can help. Visit the SIGGRAPH web site for a list of some available Los Angeles hotels. Rates will vary from the official conference rates as the housing deadline has passed.

All changes to existing reservations should now be made directly with your assigned hotel.

Hotel-Convention Center Shuttle Service
SIGGRAPH 2012 provides complimentary shuttle service between many conference hotels and the Los Angeles Convention Center. Attendees who used the SIGGRAPH 2012 hotel reservation system to make reservations at hotels served by the SIGGRAPH 2012 shuttle buses will receive a shuttle wristband when they check in. The JW Marriott, Figueroa and Luxe Hotels are considered walk hotels.  Attendees who did not book through the SIGGRAPH 2012 reservation system and wish to use the shuttle service can purchase wristbands at the SIGGRAPH Store.

Airport Shuttle Bus Discounts
SIGGRAPH 2012 has partnered with Super Shuttle to offer transportation to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Shared Ride Van: $13 per passenger (up to 9 passengers) Town Car Service - $63 per sedan (up to 4 passengers). These discounted rates are valid from five days before the conference to five days after it closes.

Book by phone at 800.258.3826 (toll free) or +1.310.222.5500, extension 4. To receive the discount, you must mention the SIGGRAPH 2012 discount code: PK7AU. Or you can book online at the Super Shuttle web site.

Drivers accept cash and all major credit cards for all transfers.

If you book your shuttle reservation through the SIGGRAPH 2012 web site, you earn miles on American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta, and Frontier Airlines.

Cancellations or changes for Shared Ride van transfers and sedan cars made four hours prior to the scheduled day of transfer will not incur a cancellation fee.  Cancellation or changes made within four hours of the scheduled day transfer, or no-show, will be charged the estimated cost that was quoted at the time of the reservation (mini-buses need 72 hours for cancellation).

Safety Tip
When walking around any conference city be certain to remove your badge and secure it in a safe place.  Displaying your badge in public areas outside a convention center advertises that you are probably not local and may make yourself more vulnerable to a crime or aggressive panhandling. 

Find your answers in a few short days.

Registration Information

Upon arrival at the Los Angeles Convention Center, please proceed to the registration area in West Hall, Petree Hall C to pick up your badge. Registration hours throughout the week are as follows:
Sunday, 5 August, 8 am - 6 pm
Monday, 6 August, 8:30 am - 6 pm
Tuesday, 7 August, 8:30 am - 6 pm
Wednesday, 8 August, 8:30 am - 6 pm
Thursday, 9 August, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Upgrade to Full Conference Registration
If you are registered at a category other than Full Conference, you still have time to upgrade your registration to Full Conference for complete access to the technical program.

SIGGRAPH Business Symposium Spaces Available
A few spaces are still open for the SIGGRAPH Business Symposium, an intimate, interactive forum for discussion about the present and future of our industry and community. Full Conference attendees can add SIGGRAPH Business Symposium for $75.

Live Stream of Mars Rover Landing 

Watch history in the making with your fellow SIGGRAPH 2012 attendees. The Geek Bar, Room 404 in the Los Angeles Convention Center, will be open immediately following Technical Papers Fast Forward on Sunday, 5 August. The  Mars Rover landing feed will start around 10:30 pm. Please bring your conference badge and note you are responsible for transportation back to your hotel afterwards.

Watch the "seven minutes of terror" here:


Live Stream of SIGGRAPH 2012 Awards Talks

Watch a live stream of the ACM SIGGRAPH Award Talks, taking place Monday, 6 August from 2-3:30 pm. Be sure to share this information with your friends and colleagues at home who might want to tune in.  

Anyone with a passion for networking and sweets will not be disappointed.

Networking Dessert Reception

Monday, 6 August, 9 – 11 pm JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles at L.A. Live, Diamond Ballroom Share professional and personal updates with colleagues from around the world at the SIGGRAPH community's highest energy, most anticipated social event of 2012. Enjoy delicious desserts and toast-worthy beverages for celebrating the past year's achievements and future challenges. A ticket is required to attend this event. If you didn't purchase a reception ticket with your registration, they will be available for purchase in the Registration Area in West Hall, Petree Hall C at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  

Exchange LA was used as a filming site for "The Social Network" and Heidi Klum's "Top Model" TV show

ACM SIGGRAPH Chapters Party

Monday, 6 August, 8:30 pm – 2 am

Exchange L.A., 618 Spring Street, Los Angeles

Please Note: You must present a party invitation - available at the ACM SIGGRAPH Chapters Booth at the Los Angeles Convention Center - or your conference badge to enter Exchange L.A.   

The new SIGGRAPH Mobile content is certain to be popular with attendees.

New for 2012: SIGGRAPH Mobile

This first-time SIGGRAPH program showcases the incredible advancements and discoveries in the field of mobile graphics and apps through a series of presentations, panels, workshops, and demonstrations. The following are a few highlights of SIGGRAPH Mobile: Mobile GPUs: Markets and Technology Wednesday, 8 August | 9-10:30 am | Room 406 AB Understanding Mobile Graphics – GPUs and Platform Wednesday, 8 August |10:45 am- 12:15 pm | Room 406 AB Mobile Graphics – Hardware and Software Techniques Wednesday, 8 August | 2-3:30 pm | Room 406 AB Mobile Applications – In Your Hand and On the Road Wednesday, 8 August | 3:45-5:15 pm | Room 406 AB  

SIGGRAPH Merchandise

Looking for gifts for friends, colleagues, relatives, or yourself? The SIGGRAPH Store in the South Lobby is your best shopping option for SIGGRAPH 2012 merchandise and clearance items from previous years including shirts, mugs and more! Purchase Prior Computer Animation Festival DVDs Prior Computer Animation Festival Programs on DVD will be available for purchase on site at SIGGRAPH 2012 in the South Lobby of the Los Angeles Convention Center. All SVR DVDs   $5/ea 5 DVDs  $20 10 DVDs $40 11 DVDs + $3/ea  

Wireless Access

SIGGRAPH 2012 offers conference attendees wireless internet access in most areas of the Los Angeles Convention Center. To use this service, attendees should have a laptop computer or other mobile device with a built-in wireless network card or with an external wireless adapter. Please refer to your device’s operating system and network adapter documentation and follow this general procedure: 1. Document all existing TCP/IP and wireless configuration information before you make any changes. 2. Configure your device to use DHCP. 3. Configure your wireless adapter Network Name (SSID) to be “s2012”. No encryption or password options are required. Users should be aware of the security considerations when using any unencrypted, public-access wireless network. For assistance or further information, please contact GraphicsNet in Room 308A.  

Camera/Recording Policies

No cameras or recording devices are permitted inside any SIGGRAPH 2012 content area (Art Gallery, Emerging Technologies, Sessions, Studio, Talks, Computer Animation Festival, Exhibition, etc.). Abuse of this policy will result in the loss of your registration credentials.  Not all contributors have granted complete public access to their works, information, descriptions, and other details - so please respect this request and allow SIGGRAPH to continue to offer such robust and cutting-edge content. 

Age Requirement For Exhibition Access

Children under 16 are not permitted in the Exhibition. Age verification is required.  

LA Live is a popular networking destination for SIGGRAPH attendees.

Around Los Angeles – Things to Do

Downtown Los Angeles offers historic districts, restaurants, clubs, and cultural institutions, all within an easy walk or short cab ride of the SIGGRAPH 2012 hotels. If you haven't already, visit the SIGGRAPH Los Angeles page on our web site for helpful information about city guides, maps and weather information, local news, as well as resources suggesting the best places to dine.  

Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival 

Exclusive to SIGGRAPH 2012 attendees – Receive 25% off your ticket to the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival 9-12 August at L.A. Live. To receive your discount, purchase your ticket online and the 25% off will appear at check out.  

Actual weather forecast for next seven days in LA.

Weather and Attire

Los Angeles is an amazing city with lots to do and explore, so you'll want to be sure you're dressed comfortably for your excursions. Local weather tends to be warm during the day, but can get chilly at night. Check the local weather forecast before you pack to be prepared for the climate. Please remember that the LA Convention Center will be air conditioned and can be extremely chilly, so dress in layers to make sure you are comfortable both indoors and out.  

 Stay Up-to-Date

Visit the SIGGRAPH 2012 website, follow the official SIGGRAPH 2012 Twitter feed @siggraph and become a fan of SIGGRAPH 2012 on Facebook for the most up-to-date event details and information and continue to check back here for updates and photos.     Whether coming from near or far, the SIGGRAPH 2012 team wishes everyone safe travels to LA and we look forward to making your 2012 experience memorable and beneficial.

SIGGRAPH 2012 Exhibition Numbers Surging

Following is a brief Q&A with SIGGRAPH's Exhibition Management team in regards to the SIGGRAPH 2012 Exhibition and what attendees can expect.

The SIGGRAPH Exhibition is always an energetic marketplace for the latest technology.
How are numbers compared to previous years? 
We are seeing growth throughout the entire exhibition in all sectors. Long-time exhibitors are taking larger exhibit space and new exhibitors are flocking to LA to show off their latest offerings. Exhibit space is up over 12% compared to 2011 and we continue to ride the wave of excitement from the success of SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver.

What are some things you see as creating the biggest buzz at this year's Exhibition? 
3D technology breakthroughs offering new tools that are easy to interact with and work on various platforms (film editing and effects, construction, medical, etc.).  This is further evidence that SIGGRAPH is much more than just a computer graphics show. We are seeing an increase in simulation and interactive experiences. Gesture recognition and mobile-enabled software is also hot. 

Is it too late to purchase booth space? 
No, the floor plan is tight, but we can definitely get a few more companies on to the exhibit floor.

Which companies are new this year?
Approximately 25% of our companies are first-timers. This is the similar as to what we saw in 2011, which is great because in 2009 and 2010 only 10% of the exhibitors were new. 

What is the international country breakdown? 
We have 19 different countries represented with 37% of our companies coming from outside of North America.

Who has the biggest booth this year? 
Right now it is Autodesk

What is the history behind the playing of "Amazing Grace" at the end of each SIGGRAPH Exhibition?
When the industry was just beginning Hewlett-Packard began playing the song in the early 80’s from their booth. Exhibitor staff from around the floor and attendees would gather at the booth at the close of the Exhibition and hug and say their goodbyes while the song was playing. In the mid-90’s, Hewlett-Packard stopped bringing a sound system that was able to reach the entire Exhibition floor, so it was decided that the song would be played throughout the Exhibition over the speakers in the hall.

What advice do you have to attendees when hitting the Exhibition? 
Give yourself plenty of time to see the Exhibition and speak with the exhibitor staff and ask them what is new and different. There are so many new products that exhibitors bring – don’t miss the opportunity to discover the latest advancements and bring that knowledge back to share with your colleagues.

26 July 2012

Q&A with SIGGRAPH 2012 Mobile Chair Lars Erik Holmquist

The following is a brief conversation with Lars Erik Holmquist, SIGGRAPH Mobile Chair and Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo! Labs. Holmquist has led pioneering research efforts in mobile user interfaces, robotic toys, information displays, media sharing, location-based applications, and much more. 

Prior to joining Yahoo! Labs, he headed major research labs at several Swedish institutes, and was co-founder and research leader at a large research center with 45 employees and total funding of over $30 million.

Lars Erik Holmquist, SIGGRAPH Mobile Chair
How is SIGGRAPH Mobile the same and also different from the Symposium on Apps at SIGGRAPH Asia?
The SIGGRAPH Asia Symposium on Apps started last year in Hong Kong, and is a great way to showcase the applied and business side of mobile applications. For SIGGRAPH Mobile, we want  to not only retain that, but also delve deeper into what makes mobile graphics great. To this end, we have lined up exciting mobile graphics hardware and software presentations with many of the top providers and leading academics. This is a great development and gives the LA program a unique feel.

How would you briefly describe this year's content?
It has a great mix of show-stopping demos, hands-on tutorials, and cutting-edge presentations and discussions. We start early in the week with a basic "get up and running" iOS graphics tutorial and an introduction ofp the mobile web framework Cocktails and Mojito. During the main day, we have content ranging from intermediate to advanced, from a panel of some of the biggest mobile GPU vendors to presentations on how to utilize mobile graphics in settings ranging from advertisements to in-car applications.

If someone is new to the field or a passive user, why would this content still be of interest?
This program gives a "lay of the land" of the mobile graphics landscape at a level that should be accessible to most SIGGRAPH attendees. If you just want to see what is going on in the field, you can hang out in the demo area and see the some of the latest mobile hardware and software. If you want to get your hands dirty, several tutorials will give you a first taste of developing mobile graphics and apps. And if you want to know how to transform your existing SIGGRAPH knowledge into the mobile world, much of the program is dedicated to showing techniques and frameworks that can optimize that process.

Image from the Talk: Mobile Augmented Reality in Advertising

Why is it important for SIGGRAPH to have this as a content category?
From the early days, computer graphics was the domain of science and specialized industry. Today, we have reached a stage were literally everyone can carry the equivalent of a high-end workstation in their pocket. This has had an incredible impact on the accessibility and applications of computer graphics. While the dedicated server farms of the major studios and research centers will always have the edge on quality, for most people, phones and tablets are now their main contacts with games, movies, and other digital media. SIGGRAPH needed to acknowledge this change because it is where much of the future (and actually even the current) market for graphics lies.

What trends are you seeing in this industry?
We are seeing a strong trend toward powerful mobile GPUs that make it possible to develop high-quality interactive graphics (both 2D and 3D) in shorter times and with higher cross-device compatibility.  But for mobile, there are limiting factors that don't affect traditional graphics workstations, such as power consumption and heat issues. Thus vendors have to work even harder to bring out chips that provide the desired performance without draining your battery (or catching fire in your pocket!)

I also see a trend for higher resolution display, where many manufacturers are pushing the limit of how many pixels you can cram onto a screen, until we are at a stage where the detail level is beyond what the human eye can discern. When that level is reached, the industry needs to optimize other aspects of the visuals, such as color reproduction and power consumption.

Where do you see mobile graphics and devices in 3-5 years from now?
There will be a trend toward integrating mobile devices even more with the real world around us; for instance, by using sensors to pick up what the user is doing and what they plan to do. I also would like to see interfaces that bring the small screen of the mobile device out into the world, rather than it being the focus of one person's attention. Instead of wearable screens or glasses that hide our face and isolate us from others, I am excited by technologies such as projector phones, where you can project graphics on literally any surface. Mobile devices play a big role in our social life, and technology should be designed so that they bring us closer together, not further apart.

Describe an exciting project you have recently worked on at Yahoo! Research
We are working on some incredibly interesting techniques to make the real world searchable and available for information processing. Imagine if you could do a search for your lost wallet, much like you search the Internet for web pages today, and the system would tell you that you left it on the kitchen table! Or what if a store down the street could access your wardrobe and automatically recommend a tie that goes well with your shirts, much like Amazon recommends books based on your and others’ purchases? We call this hyper-personalization, and it has the potential to change how we live and interact with the physical world in the future.

What motivates you as a SIGGRAPH volunteer?
It is a great community and an exciting, vibrant conference! No other place has such a wild mix of everything from movie special effects to robots, and I learn something new every time I go.

What other SIGGRAPH content are you looking forward to experiencing outside the Mobile program?
I always love to attend the main Electronic Theater screenings - it is almost like going to a Hollywood premiere! I also make sure to check out Emerging Technologies and Art Gallery for the latest in interactive technology and installations, and attend the Technical Papers Preview to get a feel for the newest techniques in research.

24 July 2012

Q&A with SIGGRAPH 2012 Studio Chair Makai Smith

Following is a brief conversation with Makai Smith, SIGGRAPH 2012 Studio Chair from Bentley Systems. In 2001, Smith received a Master of Architecture from Arizona State University and previously served as the SIGGRAPH Design & Computation Chair amongst other volunteer positions.

Makai Smith, SIGGRAPH 2012 Studio Chair
What can attendees expect from the Studio experience this year and how will it be the same/different than last year?
The hands-on environment and creative spirit of the Studio endures.  Each year we build on what works at the Studio, so attendees will find a full range of creative technologies accompanied by a talented staff of experts who are eager to help.  The Studio also has a full schedule of Talks, Workshops, and Projects.  In recent years, the Talks and Workshops have grown, and we are getting almost all of the Studio content via peer reviewed entries to the SIGGRAPH call for submissions.

What is the difference between a Studio Workshop, Talk, or Project?
Studio Workshops are held in a classroom setting and run as a tutorial where the participants each sit at a computer and follow a lesson.  Seating is limited and first-come, first served.  Some of the talks will be given by artists showing in the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery who will give instruction on techniques central to their work.

Studio Talks are the same format as Talks found elsewhere at SIGGRAPH: a session of a few talks arranged around a theme.  What makes them Studio talks is that they focus on creative practice or techniques. 

Studio Projects are collaborative, participatory, hands-on, creative activities.  You can make something to take home. Both Talks and Workshops follow a published schedule.  Studio projects run continuously throughout the conference.

For someone new to the "SIGGRAPH experience", what is your advice for how they should experience the Studio?
The Studio has many creative projects – from DIY electronics to motion capture to 3D printing.  There is such a range: the best way to engage the Studio is to find something that interests you and ask, “What can I make?”  Roll up your shirt sleeves, get some guidance from the Studio’s skilled staff, and create something.

How would you describe your experience as Studio Chair versus when you served as the Design & Computation Chair?
The contrast is that of breadth versus depth.  The Studio is broad-based creative environment that encompasses Studio practice in many forms, whereas the Design & Computation Gallery was focused on a theme and contained finished works.  In the Design Gallery it was a test of curatorial skill to gather together a body of work that explored my interest in generative design and digital fabrication.  So many creative disciplines use computer graphics and work in a place they call a Studio: art, architecture, sculpture, jewelry, animation, games, dance, and music are just some of them.  As Studio Chair my challenge is to cover the range of what a Studio means and make a space for attendees to participate. 

Which Workshops or Talks are you looking forward to the most?
Because of my architecture and fabrication background, I’m looking forward to the Studio Talks session titled “Digifab” which will present cutting edge digital fabrication techniques and case studies on Tuesday afternoon.  There’s also the “Grooving” Studio Talks which will showcase music performance systems – it will be preceded on Monday morning by a live demo in the “Jamming” session.

The “Signal Strength” workshop on Tuesday afternoon is an overview of open-source radio communication and mesh networks.  Beyond the technical aspect, this project is fascinating to me because of its radical social implications.  The Studio will have sample devices for people to come in and use. The Studio has selected talks that cover the gamut, so we hope all attendees will find something that interests them.

How did you initially get involved as a SIGGRAPH volunteer and what motivates you to remain involved?
In 2000 I was encouraged by friends to become a Student Volunteer while attending Arizona State University because the Studio at SIGGRAPH had 3D printing and scanning technologies like I was using in my architectural studies.  Other than once, I’ve been a volunteering every year since then!  I keep coming back because SIGGRAPH brings together a unique and amazing group of people with so much to teach.  There is no other way I can stay on top of so many different facets of computer graphics.

Describe one of your more current interesting projects at Bentley Systems?
I’m currently working on the application of multi-disciplinary optimization (often called MDO) to architecture design.  This will use GenerativeComponents software as a MDO platform to bring together the analysis of a building’s structure, energy use, and other feedback to assist users in creating the most optimal solution to complex problems.  What we are able to build and its effects on our environment is ultimately a product of the decisions we make when designing.  That’s why computer aided design has moved beyond just “making drawings” to become a decision support system which aids human intellect.

If you could have dinner with any architect (living or dead) who would that be and why?
Brunelleschi's famous dome.
Filippo Brunelleschi, a Florentine architect of the early Italian Renaissance, fascinates me.  He is one of the inventors of perspective in visual representation.  With the introduction of computer modeling to architecture, we have crossed another “perspectival moment” in which fundamental representation of a discipline changes.  What did great artistic and technical change look like to him?  Brunelleschi was also a talented builder who mastered both architecture and engineering in his construction Il Duomo, the dome of the cathedral in Florence.  He, like Leonardo, exemplifies the mind of a polymath: bringing together art and science.

23 July 2012

SIGGRAPH Business Symposium Presents Leaders and Visionaries to Address Industry Direction

Featured Speaker Carl Rosendahl
In its second year, the SIGGRAPH Business Symposium provides an intimate, interactive forum for open, frank conversations among leaders and executives in the visual effects, gaming, and media arena as they explore the present and future of the industry. SIGGRAPH 2012 welcomes visionary leaders and experts from a broad spectrum of the computer graphics industry, including animation, education, motion pictures, gaming, and visual effects, to this year’s Business Symposium in Los Angeles, 5 August 2012.

This full-day event is an exclusive opportunity for attendees to gain high-level, experiential vantage point insight from the producers and executives who have all forged unique paths to their current roles and now design the industry’s direction. The day begins with breakfast and roundtable discussions of the day's agenda. Possible topics include visual-effects production, marketing, international law, education, business development, and other areas related to the industry's current issues. The morning session provides a foundation for the day – an opportunity to hear from leaders on the global stage what they experience from their particular perspective, followed by featured speakers Carl Rosendahl and John Textor, both visionary leaders who influence the direction of our industry in vastly different manners.

Featured Speaker John Textor
Throughout the day attendees will join in-depth discussion and have ample time to interact with their peers before the afternoon session closes. The Symposium provides a look into newer business models from some of the people and companies defining the future.

Registration for the SIGGRAPH Business Symposium is now available. Attendance for this event is intended to accommodate approximately 200 people interested in, and committed to, defining the industry.

The SIGGRAPH Business Symposium sold out in its inaugural year in 2011. For more details, visit the SIGGRAPH 2012 web site.

Planned participants include:

Featured Speakers

  • Carl Rosendahl, Founder Pacific Data Images, Venture Capitalist, Co-Director, Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center-Silicon Valley
  • John Textor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Digital Domain Media Group

Morning Session: The Business of the Business: The State of the Union in 2011-2012

  • Will Cohen, Managing Director/Executive Producer for Mill Film and Mill TV
  • Patrick Davenport, Vice President Creative Operations, Method Studios
  • Mark Driscoll, President, Executive Producer and Co-Founder, Look Effects Inc.
  • Hael Kobayashi, Executive Director, Creative Innovation, University of Technology Sydney
  • Lee Berger, President, Rhythm & Hues' Film Division and CEO, East Grand Films
  • Habib Zargarpour, Creative Director, Microsoft Studios

Afternoon Session: Show Me the Money!

  • Jonathan Garson, Vice President, Worldwide Marketing & Franchise, Pixar Animation Studios
  • Shannon Blake Gans, Co-Founder and CEO, New Deal Studios
  • Ondraus Jenkins, Head of Strategy and Corporate Development, Bungie, Inc.
  • Sara Cardone, Vice President, Global Strategy and Business Development, SDI Media
  • Sanford Rosenberg, Managing Director, Discus Ventures
  • Gregg Lukomski, CEO and Founder, Slide Rule, Inc.

Round-table Discussions

  • Don McGowan, General Counsel, The Pokémon Company International
  • Gregg Lukomski, CEO and Founder, SlideRule, Inc
  • Shannon Blake Gans, Co-founder and CEO, New Deal Studios
  • Hael Kobayashi, Executive Director, Creative Innovation, University of Technology Sydney
  • Jonathan Garson, Vice President, Worldwide Marketing & Franchise, Pixar Animation Studios
  • Patrick Davenport, Vice President Creative Operations, Method Studios

Moderator for the Day

  • Don McGowan, General Counsel, The Pokémon Company International

20 July 2012

Real Steel’s Noisy Boy to Appear at SIGGRAPH 2012

Image credit: Copyright DreamWorks II Distribution Co,. LLC, All Rights Reserved. Courtesy of Digital Domain

If you ever wanted to have your picture taken with something ridiculously awesome (like a 7-ft tall robot), then mark your calendars for SIGGRAPH 2012 where Noisy Boy from “Real Steel” is scheduled to make an appearance in the Computer Animation Festival Production Session “Making the Steel Real: Moving VFX Into Production.

Following is the session description:

Click to enlarge photo.
Nominated for a visual effects Academy Award, DreamWorks’ “Real Steel” was recognized not only for its rollicking boxing matches between CG robots, but also for the seamless way the film moves between practical robots and their CG counterparts. In this panel, some of the “Real Steel” filmmakers walk through robot design, explain key techniques and shots, and share the groundbreaking virtual-production process that they packed up and moved to Detroit, which compressed the shooting schedule to 71 days with no second unit.

The session takes place Tuesday (7 August) from 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM in the LA Convention Center’s Hall B.  PLEASE NOTE: After the session, Noisy Boy will be moved to a secure location nearby so that attendees have a few hours for photographs with him.  

To hear directly from Erik Nash, VFX Supervisor with Digital Domain, on how they made the film, click here.

Special thanks to Digital Domain and Legacy Effects for making Noisy Boy’s appearance possible at SIGGRAPH 2012.

More information on Digital Domain:
Digital production company Digital Domain, a subsidiary of Digital Domain Media Group (NYSE: DDMG), was founded in 1993. The company has created visuals for more than 90 movies including Titanic, the Transformers series, TRON: Legacy, Real Steel and hundreds of commercials. Its artists have earned multiple Academy Awards®. Digital Domain recently completed visual effects for “Rock of Ages,” “The Watch,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and the virtual likeness of the late rap star Tupac Shakur for Coachella. The company is production on “Jack the Giant Killer,” “47 Ronin,” “Ender’s Game” and other features, and a full slate of commercials. Digital Domain has studios in California, Vancouver, San Francisco, Florida, Mumbai and London.

More information on Legacy Effects:
Since opening its doors in 2008, Legacy Effects has been involved in a wide variety of high profile feature films and commercials. Founded by John Rosengrant, Shane Mahan, Lindsay Macgowan, and Alan Scott, Legacy Effects has had the privilege of creating effects for films such as  “Avatar”, “ “The Avengers”, “The Amazing Spider-Man”, “Iron Man 2”, “Thor”, “The Muppets”, “Snow White and the Huntsman” “Twilight: Breaking Dawn”, and more. Notably, Legacy Effects co-owner John Rosengrant was recently nominated for an Academy Award for the effects on the Hugh Jackman starrer “Real Steel”.

Currently, Legacy Effects has been involved with Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi”, the upcoming “Total Recall” remake, the sci-fi comedy “The Watch”, “The Bourne Legacy”, Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim”, the new take on the classic “Robocop”, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” and the fantasy adaptation of “Seventh Son”.

19 July 2012

Exhibitor Tech Talks & Sessions Schedule Announced

The SIGGRAPH 2012 Exhibitor Tech Talks & Sessions showcase the latest advances in the industry, such as new products and upgrades and development initiatives, and future plans and road maps. Exhibitors will give insight into the technology trends driving strategies, and the potential of emerging technologies in their product lines. Benefits include question-and-answer exchanges and one-on-one conversations with the speakers after each presentation. All talks and sessions will be given on the Exhibition Floor in Booth #967. 

Following below is the schedule for conference week.


Exhibitor Tech Talks

EMC Isilon
TUESDAY, 7 AUGUST | 9:45-10:45 am
Output- vs. Object-Based Media for Better Performance in File-Based Workflows

Unity Technologies
TUESDAY, 7 AUGUST | 11:15 am-12:15 pm
Unity Art Pipeline, Butterfly Demo

TUESDAY, 7 AUGUST | 12:45-1:45 pm
AMD FirePro Advanced 3D Graphic and Compute Features

This talk reviews all the features that AMD FirePro solutions provide for 3D graphics and compute through OpenGL, DirectX, and OpenCL. It describes how they apply in specific workflows for digital content creation or video processing.

Next Limit Technologies
TUESDAY, 7 AUGUST | 2:15-3:15 pm
RealFlow 2013 Technology Preview

Next Limit demos the exciting new developments coming up in RealFlow 2013, from the new Hybrido2 solver to the RealFlow Graphs implementation. Examples demonstrate the power and flexibility of the new nodal systems. The session also includes a preview of some of the other great new features coming up in this release: Alembic, Maxwell Render integration, and RealFlow Renderkit3.0

Angel Tena
RealFlow Lead Developer

Gustavo Sanchez
Real Flow Product Manager

TUESDAY, 7 AUGUST | 3:45-4:40 pm
Huge-Scene Interactive Rendering on a Laptop

CentiLeo is a high-performance rendering engine that interactively renders huge scenes composed of hundreds of millions of polygons on a laptop accelerated with a GPU. Using the fastest ray tracing to render photorealistic images, the system supports arbitrarilly dynamic 3D scenes (deformed or exploding) and a huge number of large textures. Scenes can contain dozens or hundreds of gigabytes, and still the frames are interactively updateable on a laptop with a GPU.

Imagination Technologies Limited
TUESDAY, 7 AUGUST | 5:05-6 pm
PowerVR: Getting Great Graphics Performance With the PowerVR Insider SD

Experts from the PowerVR Developer Technology team deliver the low-down on the great new features that have been added to the PowerVR Insider SDK and utilities. Learn how to tame textures, models, and shaders, and incorporate these leading development tools into your workflow to produce smarter, more portable game code. Then take a deep dive into the SDK's performance tools, PVRTune and PVRTrace, and how they are used, and the PVRScope API for extracting maximum performance from today's leading mobile and hand-held gaming platforms.

Qt Commercial, Digia
WEDNESDAY, 8 AUGUST | 9:45-10:45 am
Learn How to Develop Powerful Advanced Visualization Applications and UIs With Qt Commercial

This session shows how development frameworks can be used to create advanced visualization applications and UIs with fewer lines of code. It introduces the Qt Commercial cross-platform application and UI framework to create stunning graphics and an amazing UX. Qt Commercial is the strategic-development choice for leading production houses looking to shorten time to market, increase efficiency, drive creativity, and extend outreach. Demos show the development tool in action and explain how to quickly develop an easy-to-use UI. The session also covers how Qt Commercial’s cross-platform capabilities protect investments by enabling developers to write the same application once and deploy it on different OS targets.

WEDNESDAY, 8 AUGUST | 11:15 am-12:15 pm
AMD FirePro 3D Graphics and Compute Combined on Latest GPU Architecture in Deep Dive

This talk presents demos combining 3D graphics and compute using the latest AMD GPU architecture. It provides deep-dive technical details on the best ways to combine rendering and compute tasks.

Web3D Consortium
WEDNESDAY, 8 AUGUST | 12:45-1:45 pm
Delivering New Dimensions on the Web

X3D is the only open-standard (ISO), royalty-free file format and run-time player specification for 4D virtual environments. It remains the most robust and versatile open standard for implementation of high- integrity, high-capability 4D multimedia information spaces. With multiple encodings and API bindings, it is compatible with many web and industry technologies. The data-integration capacities and the rich set of componentized features are rapidly expanding X3D’s value across markets from mobile to AR, CAD, and medical. Meet our innovative community of content and application developers, who ensure interoperability, longevity, and ownership of your content. See the latest real-world interactive 3D applications and find out how you can build and protect your content investment in this ever-changing competitive market.

Presenters from: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bitmanagement Software GmbH, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Naval Postgraduate School, and others

Imagination Technologies Limited
WEDNESDAY, 8 AUGUST | 2:15-3:15 pm
Accelerating Look Development *with* Rhinoceros Interactive Ray-Traced Viewports

Interactive ray tracing plugins for popular 3D packages (including Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, and McNeel & Associates Rhinoceros) are now bringing final-frame photorealism to even the earliest stages of modeling and lighting, and in doing so creating exciting new creative opportunities for artists and designers. In this session, users of Rhinoceros learn how real-time ray-traced viewports help designers make better-informed creative choices, shorten review cycles, and save time by reducing unnecessary and time-consuming preview renders compared to working with traditional OpenGL or Direct3D viewports.

Isotropix SAS
WEDNESDAY, 8 AUGUST | 3:45-4:40 pm
Introducing Artistically Correct Rendering

Clarisse is a new breed of high-end 2D/3D animation software derived from years of teamwork between Isotropix R&D engineers and high-end CG artists. Designed as the fusion of a compositing software, a 3D rendering engine, and animation software, Clarisse delivers a fully revised workflow powered by a unified 2D/3D graphics rendering pipeline. It is the world’s first animation software that lets artists work interactively on their final images, with full effects on. This session demonstrates creating and working on feature-film-like visual effects, interactively.

Imagination Technologies Limited
WEDNESDAY, 8 AUGUST | 5:05-6 pm
Accelerating Look Development *with* Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya Interactive Ray-Traced Viewports

Interactive ray tracing plugins for popular 3D packages (including Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, and McNeel & Associates Rhinoceros) are now bringing final-frame photorealism to even the earliest stages of modeling and lighting, and in doing so creating exciting new creative opportunities for artists and designers. In this session, users of 3ds Max and Maya learn how real-time ray-traced viewports help designers make better-informed creative choices, shorten review cycles, and save time by reducing unnecessary and time-consuming preview renders compared to working with traditional OpenGL or Direct3D viewports.

THURSDAY, 9 AUGUST | 11:15 am-12:15 pm
Tell it Like it is Rendering for Designers

Exhibitor Sessions

Intel Corporation
WEDNESDAY, 8 AUGUST | 9 am-5:30 pm | Room 402B
Join Intel experts for a full day of cutting-edge graphics research deep dives, technical discussions, and exciting demos. From open-source ray tracing kernels and next-gen graphics technologies to OpenCL programming on Intel CPUs and GPUs, learn how to take advantage of latest-generation hardware to identify, optimize, and unleash stellar performance for your next graphics and media workloads.

9-10 am
Embree: Photo-Realistic Ray Tracing Kernels

10:45-11:45 am
Efficient Anti-Aliasing on Intel HD graphics

2-3 pm
Optimizing Film and Media with OpenCL and Intel Quick Sync Video

3:15-4:15 pm
The Future of OpenCL for Graphics and Film Applications on Intel Platforms

4:30-5:30 pm
The Future of Visual Computing as Viewed by Intel Visual Computing Research Centers

NVIDIA Corporation
WEDNESDAY, 8 AUGUST | 9 am-6 pm | Room 503
Explore the impact of GPUs on state-of-the-art CG and interactive design. Join NVIDIA for eight engaging talks and technical deep dives covering everything from advanced ray tracing and rendering to tessellation. Get insight into today’s most exciting applications and a glimpse into the next generation of groundbreaking advancements. Don’t miss the unveiling of NVIDIA’s latest groundbreaking developer tools.

9-10:30 am
GPU Programming for High-Performance Graphics Workstation Applications

10:40-11:40 am
Enabling the Next-Generation of Computational Graphics With Nsight Visual Studio Edition

11:50 am-12:50 pm
NVIDIA OpenGL in 2012

1-1:30 pm
What’s New in CUDA 5

1:30-2:30 pm
4 Approaches to GPU Computing

2:40-3:40 pm
GPU-Accelerated 2D and Web Rendering

3:50-4:50 pm
GPU Ray Tracing and OptiX

5-6 pm
NVIDIA GPU Virtualization

18 July 2012

SIGGRAPH 2012 Game Industry Content Summary Guide

The following is a roundup of all content at SIGGRAPH 2012 originating from the game industry as compiled by Naty Hoffman, SIGGRAPH 2012 Games Chair and Technical Director for Activision.


This post lists all the content at SIGGRAPH 2012 originating from the game industry; note that in addition to the sessions on this list, SIGGRAPH 2012 also includes many relevant presentations from other industries (animation, VFX people, research, software and hardware vendors, etc.).



SIGGRAPH 2012 will feature content from 33 game development studios and industry R&D groups:
  • Activision Studio Central
  • Avalanche Studios
  • Bioware Austin
  • Bungie
  • CCP
  • Crytek
  • DICE
  • DONTNOD Entertainment
  • Double Fine Productions
  • EA Canada
  • Epic Games
  • Firaxis
  • Gobo Games
  • Guerrilla Games
  • High Moon Studios
  • Id Software
  • Limbic Software
  • LucasArts
  • Maxis
  • Microsoft Studios User Research Lab
  • Naughty Dog
  • NetherRealm Studios
  • Ninja Theory
  • Petroglyph Games
  • Project Soul/Namco Bandai Games
  • Q-Games
  • Relic Entertainment
  • SCEA R&D
  • Square Enix Research
  • tri-Ace
  • Ubisoft Montreal
  • Valve
  • Vicarious Visions

This content will cover 20 game titles:
  • Civilization V
  • DmC Devil May Cry
  • DOTA 2
  • Dust 514
  • End of Nations
  • Far Cry 3
  • Just Cause 2
  • Killzone 3
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Once Upon A Monster
  • Pixeljunk 4AM
  • Rage
  • SimCity
  • Soulcalibur 5
  • SSX
  • Star Wars 1313
  • Star Wars: The OId Republic
  • Uncharted 3
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
  • Plus content will cover game engines and various industry R&D projects

The lists below break out the game industry presentations by conference program.  Each session lists the participating game development studios and any specific games covered.


  • Advances in Real-Time Rendering in Games Part I and Part II: Bungie, CCP (Dust 514), Epic Games, Ubisoft Montreal, Firaxis (Civilization V), Vicarious Visions, Gobo Games
  • Beyond Programmable Shading: DICE
  • Character Rigging, Deformations, and Simulations in Film and Game Production: Bioware Austin (Star Wars: The Old Republic)
  • Efficient Real-Time Shadows: Guerrilla Games (Killzone 3)
  • Virtual Texturing in Software and Hardware: Id Software (Rage)
  • Practical Physically-Based Shading in Film and Game Production: Ubisoft Montreal (Far Cry 3), Activision Studio Central, tri-Ace



  • Furry, Floppy, Fuzzy: Once Upon a Monster's Fur Pipeline: Double Fine Productions (Once Upon a Monster)
  • What If Earth was Flat - Building Globe UI of SSX: EA Canada (SSX)
  • From a Calm Puddle to a Stormy Ocean - Rendering Water in Uncharted: Naughty Dog (Uncharted 3)
  • Adaptive Level-of-Detail System for "End of Nations": Petroglyph Games (End of Nations)
  • Screen Space Decals in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine: Relic Entertainment (Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine)
  • Asking the Impossible on SSX: Creating 300 tracks on a ten-track budget: EA Canada (SSX)
  • Fast Generation of Directional Occlusion Volumes: Maxis (SimCity)
  • Local Image-based Lighting with Parallax-corrected Cubemaps: DONTNOD Entertainment (ADRIFT)
  • Creating Vast Game Worlds - Experiences from Avalanche Studios: Avalanche Studios (Just Cause 2)
  • Character Customization of Soulcalibur 5 In-Depth: Project Soul/Namco Bandai Games (Soulcalibur 5)


Technical Papers

  • Theory, Analysis, and Applications of 2D Global Illumination: Limbic Software



  • The Battle for Motion-Controlled Gaming and Beyond: Microsoft Studios User Research Lab, SCEA R&D
  • Virtual Production Branches Out: High Moon Studios



  • Mortal Kombat Morphing: NetherRealm Studios (Mortal Kombat)
  • Pixeljunk Space Odyssey: Q-Games (Pixeljunk 4AM)


Computer Animation Festival

Screenings (Daytime Selects)
  • DOTA 2 Teaser: Valve (DOTA 2)
  • Ninja Theory presents DmC Devil May Cry: Breathing Life into Video Games: Ninja Theory (DmC Devil May Cry)
  • Luminous Studio Tech Demo: Square Enix Research
  • Uncharted 3 Visual Effects: Naughty Dog (Uncharted 3)
  • Star Wars 1313: LucasArts (Star Wars 1313)
  • Unreal Engine 4 Elemental: Epic Games


The Studio

  • Film/Game Convergence: What's Taking So Long?: Crytek
  • Creating Vast Game Worlds - Experiences from Avalanche Studios: Avalanche Studios (Just Cause 2)
  • Python Scripting in Maya: Crytek
  • MaxScript for Artists: Crytek
  • VFX for Games: Pre-Baked Destruction: Crytek
  • Building a Game Level: Crytek
  • VFX for Games: Particle Effects: Crytek

17 July 2012

Q&A with SIGGRAPH 2012 Games Chair Naty Hoffman

Naty Hoffman - the 2012 Games Chair
Following is a brief conversation with Naty Hoffman, the SIGGRAPH 2012 Games Chair and Technical Director at Activision, regarding games and SIGGRAPH 2012. Please check back later this week for an article summarizing all the game industry content at SIGGRAPH 2012.

How does games content fit into SIGGRAPH and what are the can’t-miss sessions for this year?

Games are a core SIGGRAPH constituency, just like animation, VFX, fine arts, and research. As such, game content can be found in all the SIGGRAPH programs. There is a lot of great games industry content this year - please check out the full list. If I had to pick just one or two key sessions from each program, I would mention the "Advances in Real-TIme Rendering" Course, the "Game Worlds" and "Surf and Turf" Talk sessions, Ninja Theory's Production Session on "DmC Devil May Cry: Breathing Life Into Video Games", the "Battle for Motion-Controlled Gaming and Beyond" Panel, the "Big Game" Studio Talk session, the "VFX for Games: Pre-Baked Destruction" and "Building a Game Level" Studio Workshops and the SIGGRAPH Dailies! and Real-Time Live! sessions. 

Given the increasing convergence between the industries, I also recommend that game industry attendees check out some of the amazing and relevant content from the film industry, such as courses on cinematography and matte painting presented by legends in their respective fields, as well as Talks and Production Sessions by companies such as Dreamworks, ILM, and Pixar.

What are your thoughts on the growth of casual and mobile gaming, particularly as it relates to the new SIGGRAPH Mobile program?
Casual and mobile gaming are an immense growth area and we have been making special efforts (such at the Mobile Symposium) to bring related content to the conference. I hope we will continue to see more content in these areas at future SIGGRAPHs.

What do you think is the next big technology that will be featured in mainstream games? In your opinion, what is the key to next-gen success for console gaming?
While cutting-edge technology will always be a big part of game development, I feel that the next generation will bring a renewed emphasis on the importance of art - supporting talented artists with solid and powerful tools, workflows and best practices will be no less (and probably more) important than having the latest whiz-bang engine feature.

The industry has been buzzing about free-to-play games recently. How do you think this will affect game development? 

I think it's always good to have new ways to reach customers and fund development, though I believe that the traditional models will continue to thrive for a while yet.

11 July 2012

SIGGRAPH 2012 Showcasing Advancements in Real-Time Graphics

SIGGRAPH Real-Time Live! is the premiere showcase for the latest trends and techniques for pushing the boundaries of interactive visuals. A series of 10 international jury-selected submissions will be presented in a fast-paced, 90-minute show of cutting-edge, aesthetically stimulating real-time work at SIGGRAPH 2012, 5-9 August at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“As the momentum behind real-time photorealism accelerates, Real-Time Live! 2012 presents multiple projects pushing human character performance alongside physically based lighting and shading techniques,” said Jason RM Smith, Real-Time Live! Director and Digital Production Supervisor at LucasArts. “The show retains a strong breadth of diversity with breakdowns of an  audio-driven procedural graphics engine, an augmented reality gesture-based control solution, proprietary and commercial rendering engines, and a number of unreleased games titles.”

Pulling from a range of industries, this year’s selected submissions showcase the latest advances in real-time graphics; much of the content has never been displayed before and is exclusive to SIGGRAPH 2012.

SIGGRAPH 2012 Real-Time Live! Highlights:

Uncharted 3 Visual Effects
Mohammed Ikram, Naughty Dog

For Uncharted 3, Naughty Dog tackled the challenge of rendering multiple environmental effects, such as fire, water, and sand in the game set pieces. The biggest challenge was delivering high-quality visual effects in real time while keeping the strict cinematographic and artistic style of the game.

Unreal Engine 4 Elemental
Paul Oliver, Epic Games, Inc.

Developed by Epic Games, Elemental is the first real-time demonstration showcasing its next-generation Unreal Engine 4 technology. The demo presents rendering features utilizing DirectX 11 hardware. It takes per-pixel deferred shading to the next level: energy-conserving specular highlights from area lights and shadowed reflections from emissive materials creating area lights with shadowing, dynamic global illumination that affects both opaque and translucent materials, glossy surfaces that feature accurate reflections, subsurface scattering, and deferred decals. All lighting is complemented by the new GPU-accelerated particle simulation and the new post-processing pipeline.

Star Wars 1313
Lutz Latta and Roger Cordes, LucasArts

Star Wars 1313 delivers a cinematic experience by bringing traditional film techniques to real-time. Full-body performance-capture digitizes an actor’s appearance with complete body and facial realization; physically-based materials and lighting are calibrated to match the real world with indirect illumination and soft shadows. Visual effects model light emission, transmission, and scattering, allowing realistic fire, smoke, and particles to provide the gritty feel of the Coruscant underworld.

The compelling cinematic feel is completed with a number of post-process effects that simulate the behavior of real-world cameras. Star Wars 1313 is an integrated development that brings together great artists across the Lucasfilm organization, including LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation Ltd. and Skywalker Sound.

View the full list of this year’s presentations at Real-Time Live! 2012.

02 July 2012

Q&A with SIGGRAPH 2012 Real-Time Live! Chair - Jason RM Smith

Jason RM Smith, SIGGRAPH RTL! Chair
Following below is a brief conversation with Jason RM Smith, SIGGRAPH 2012  Real-Time Live! (RTL!) Chair and Digital Production Supervisor at LucasArts. 

Real-Time Live! is the premiere showcase for the latest trends and techniques for pushing the boundaries of interactive visuals. As part of the Computer Animation Festival, an international jury selected submissions from a diverse array of industries to create a fast-paced show of cutting-edge, aesthetically stimulating real-time work.

Here is the link to this year's content.

Why is SIGGRAPH's Real-Time Live! (RTL!) program relevant?

Real-time graphics is a growth engine of almost all CG-based industries and many other industries that embrace computer graphics anywhere in their process.  We see techniques running in real time now that were only recently being pioneered into a pre-rendered pipeline; the progress is staggering.

Ultimately real-time graphics allow creatives to be creative faster; improving iteration speeds by hundreds, thousands, sometimes tens-of-thousands of times, drastically driving up quality and reducing costs.  Looking at where the show has come—in five short years, it’s clear the pace is picking up; it’s hard to imagine what RTL! will look like in a few years from now, let alone another five.

How has your role changed this year in comparison to last year?

Last year involved outreach across industries, establishing a sub-committee and building recognition around the show.  This year has been more focused on evolving the show to be able to support the most cutting-edge work available.  It’s more of a challenge from a logistical standpoint; we have presentations requiring prototype hardware and complex machine configurations in addition to bleeding edge software builds.  More risk, but considerably more reward; there’s no doubt it’s what SIGGRAPH attendees expect and it makes for a much more exciting show.

Is there content that would appeal to both novice and expert?

One of the strongest and most unique pieces of the show is the format – it really helps ensure every project is accessible.  It’s informal; no slides – just the artists and engineers with their projects breaking down their approach and techniques used in creating the work.  When the presenters get technical, there are relevant and interesting visuals on screen supporting the dialogue; in terms of content delivery, RTL! is  as practical as it gets.

We have 10 pieces showing this year and have doubled the length of presenter time from four to eight minutes each.  It will make a difference to the depth of each talk but still allows us to cover a good number of projects.

Here's the video of highlights from 2011:

Any trends in RTL! content this year?

Yes!  The next generation of rendering engines, both commercial and proprietary, are really making a big play this year – we had so many strong game technology submissions that they could have filled their own show.

Then there are the projects built from the technology; we actually received more entries for unreleased games this year than released titles - another first.  I think it goes to show we’re really at a transitional point in the games industry right now as the hardware and software progression enables a very noticeable jump in visual fidelity.

To complement the heavy games focus, we received a number of real-time movies alongside a wide range of unusual, thought-provoking and entertaining projects like Beauty: Real-Time Visuals and the augmented reality gesture-based project, Arcade.

Switching gears a little, did the selection of Jane McGonigal as keynote speaker surprise you?

Not at all!  Jane’s knowledge, passion, and drive epitomize everything SIGGRAPH represents – she’s the perfect keynote. I’m planning on getting there early, because it’s going to fill up quick.

Do you share her philosophies about the potential for game development/gaming to solve real-world problems?

Absolutely; humans have been using games to solve problems for many years.  It is well proven that learning through an enjoyable experience is significantly more productive, and we achieve more through competition than without it.  There is definitely still work to be done, but Jane makes a very compelling case that it can be done— and it’s more a question of when.  Original thinkers with contagious attitudes, like Jane, are catalysts to make things happen.  The more people are aligned with this way of thinking, the sooner we’ll see previously unimaginable, world-changing results.  I’m on board!

So, to round up… how does the SIGGRAPH RTL! program differ from things like GDC and E3? What more does it have to offer?

There’s a number of differences, the first being the diversity and breadth of content.

RTL! accepts submissions from any area of research or industry.  This means we see incredible, 100-million dollar commercial projects and amazing independent, solo projects from completely different industries side-by-side on stage.  The breadth and quantity of submissions ensures there are always world-exclusive showcases for interesting and groundbreaking projects.

The second reason speaks to SIGGRAPH’s roots around sharing knowledge.

RTL! allows the project creators to present their tricks, techniques, and solutions with peers from all areas of computer graphics, and probably even beyond CG.  Last year we had a line of attendees speaking to the presenters after the show; there was a great buzz.  SIGGRAPH has always felt like a community, and like many other programs, RTL! carries the same vibe with the underlying goal of sharing knowledge.  It’s the cross-over with education, research, and many types of industries, both on-stage and with the attendees, that makes it unique.

Finally, what newsworthy / big announcements are you excited about with this year's content?

World exclusives!  Never-before-seen footage and breakdowns from a number of huge titles and technology projects, including Square-Enix, LucasArts, Epic Games, and Unigine to name a few.

RTL! provides the first opportunity to peek behind the curtain on these new projects – it’s fantastic that these studios and individuals are being so open and forthcoming with new intellectual property, ideas, and techniques. It’s a genuine privilege and very exciting to have them on stage at SIGGRAPH 2012.