11 August 2011

SIGGRAPH 2011 Ranks as Vancouver’s Largest Conference Ever

Vancouver, British Columbia – SIGGRAPH 2011, the world's premier conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques, welcomed 15,872 artists, research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students, and academics from 74 countries around the globe to Vancouver this week—breaking the city’s previous conference attendance records. In addition, 156 industry organizations exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2011—representing 17 countries with approximately half from outside the United States.

Content was once again king at SIGGRAPH with approximately 825 speakers participating in the conference through a variety of talks, sessions, panels, papers, presentations, and screenings.

“It was both an inspirational and incredibly fulfilling week,” said Peter Braccio, SIGGRAPH 2011 Conference Chair from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. “Vancouver was an awesome home for SIGGRAPH and people are leaving with a renewed sense of passion and motivation both in their professional and personal lives. Vancouver delivered on its reputation as a world-class city.”

Highlights from SIGGRAPH 2011 included:

• Keynote Cory Doctorow Lashes Out on Copyright Laws in the Digital Age

World renowned blogger, activist, and science-fiction author Cory Doctorow treated the audience to a lively and enlightening discourse on the ineffectiveness of copyright laws in the digital age for protecting content creators.

Doctorow contends that copyright law should serve as an incentive to creativity, and that a good copyright system should result in more people making more creations. However, the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty that called for nations to grant legal protection for “Technical Protection Measures” resulted in digital rights management (DRM) and lockdown of content. This enabled the DRM companies to have more say over creators’ works than the creators themselves.

The entire keynote speech is available here.

• New to SIGGRAPH this year was the SIGGRAPH Symposium: The Business Think Tank, which was held on Sunday. The objective of the event was to help shape the future direction of the computer graphics industry, and it was sold out.

• The SIGGRAPH 2011 Computer Animation Festival presented the world's most innovative, accomplished, and amazing creators of digital gaming, film, and video. A total of 77 films were shown during the Festival. In addition to film screenings, the Festival included interactive sessions and exclusive learning opportunities to gain industry secrets and advice from some of the most successful professionals in the field.

SIGGRAPH 2011 Computer Animation Festival award winners include:

  • Best in Show Award: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, Moonbot Studios
  • Jury Award: Paths of Hate, Directed by Damian Nenow, Platige Image
  • Best Student Project Prize: Flamingo Pride, Directed by Tomer Eshed, The Konrad Wolf Potsdam-Babelsberg Film and Television University

• Technical Papers, the premier global forum for presenting groundbreaking research from today's leading experts. The SIGGRAPH 2011 Technical Papers program featured 82 Technical Papers, selected among 432 submissions. In addition to core topics of modeling, animation, rendering, imaging, and human-computer interaction, the Technical Papers program encouraged submissions from areas related to computer graphics, including: computer games, design, vision, scientific and information visualization, audio, and robotics.

• The SIGGRAPH 2011 Art Gallery: Tracing Home explored issues related to the concept of home in the networked age. From more than 300 submissions, the Art Gallery jury selected 16 pieces to be featured, including 2D images, audio, video, and data-driven and mixed-media installations. All pieces explored “home” as both a conceptual category and a physical reality, often blurring the boundaries between the two.

Download photos from SIGGRAPH 2011 here.

10 August 2011

SIGGRAPH Keynote Cory Doctorow's Full Speech Published

World renown blogger, activist, and sci-fi author, Cory Doctorow exposed a large audience to a lively and enlightening discussion on the ineffectiveness of copyright right laws in the digital age in protecting respective content creators.

“Here in the digital age, we copy like we breath.” stated Doctorow. “And so the stakes for getting the rules right on copyright have never been higher.”

Doctorow maintains that copyright law should serve as an incentive to be creative and that a good copyright system should result in more people making more innovation or content.

Yet Doctorow indicated that the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty which called for nations to grant legal protection for “Technical Protection Measures,” resulted in digital rights management and digital tie-ups. This enabled those companies to have more say over creators works than the creators themselves, or even the publishers that invest in the work.

Doctorow shared his three laws on the subject:

1) Anytime someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and doesn’t give you the key, the lock is not there for your benefit.

2) Fame doesn’t guarantee fortune, but no one gets rich from being unknown.

3) Information doesn’t want to be free, people do.

In his summation, Doctorow qualified his optimistic outlook that a solution can be found, by also conveying that if the only solution to keep his trade as an author alive was to “redesign the devices the that fill our pockets, run our cars, carry our love notes, and comprise our entire system of political and civic engagement so that they can spy on us and betray us,” he’d go and get a “real job.”
For the first time ever, SIGGRAPH will release the entire keynote to the general public. Doctorow started his speech by stating that people could record the speech and replay it with his blessing. Here it is:


SIGGRAPH 2011 Photos Online

SIGGRAPH 2011 photos are now available online here. Additional photos will be added to this gallery as they become available.

02 August 2011

SIGGRAPH Technical Papers Are Live

The SIGGRAPH 2011 Technical Papers are now available online in the ACM Digital Library. There are updated links at http://www.siggraph.org/s2011/for_attendees/technical-papers .
New this year is a downloadable document called “Technical Papers First Pages”. This is a large (184 MB) PDF file containing the first pages of all Technical Papers presented at SIGGRAPH 2011.
Each first page has hyperlinks to additional information, including the full version in the ACM Digital Library. The idea is to allow quick scanning through all papers to get an overview of the conference program and to find subject material of most interest to you.