09 August 2012

SIGGRAPH 2012 Highlights from Los Angeles

The SIGGRAPH 2012 Exhibition continued the tradition of being a top draw with attendees.
Los Angeles – SIGGRAPH 2012, the world's premier conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques, welcomed 21,212 artists, research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students, and academics from 83 countries around the globe to Los Angeles this week. In addition, 161 industry organizations exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2012 representing 44,750 sq. ft. of exhibit space – approximately a 5,000 sq. ft. increase over 2011.  A total of 19 countries where represented on the show floor. 
SIGGRAPH 2012 Chair Rebecca
Strzelec addresses the media.

“As SIGGRAPH 2012 draws to a close, I’m incredibly proud of the body of work that represents thousands of hours of effort from hundreds of volunteers,” said Rebecca Strzelec, SIGGRAPH 2012 Conference Chair from Penn State Altoona.

She continued, “SIGGRAPH is not about a location – it is about the kindred spirit of our community and being able to provide cutting-edge content across many different fields.  In that sense, SIGGRAPH 2012 was a resounding success whether you are an artist, a scientist, a game developer, or a student… we featured incredible content that will continue to inspire everyone into 2013 and beyond.”

In all, more than 1,200 speakers and contributors participated in the conference through a variety of talks, sessions, panels, papers, presentations, tutorials, and screenings.

Highlights from SIGGRAPH 2012 included:

• Keynote Jane McGonigal Says Playing Games Can Improve Health and Lengthen Lives:
Jane McGonigal, director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future (IFTF) treated the audience to a lively discourse on how games are transforming the way we lead our real lives, and how they can be used to increase our resilience and well-being.

McGonigal’s research has shown that scientific studies suggest playing games can and have helped those with autism, ADHD, PTSD and even cancer. She has created the game SuperBetter, which helps players achieve health goals or recover from illness or injury by increasing their personal resilience.
A lively discussion panel during the Business Symposium.
• The second annual SIGGRAPH Business Symposium was held on Sunday, featuring keynote speakers Carl Rosendahl, founder of Pacific Data Images, venture capitalist, and co-director of Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center-Silicon Valley, and John Textor, chairman and CEO of Digital Domain Media Group. The objective of the event was to help shape the future direction of the computer graphics industry.

Noisy Boy from "Real Steel" appeared
at the Computer Animation Festival.
• The Computer Animation Festival presented the world's most innovative, accomplished, and amazing creators of digital gaming, film, and video. A total of 91 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 2012 Computer Animation Festival award winners include:
•  Best in Show Award: Réflexion, Directed by Yoshimichi Tamura, PlanKtoon; France

• Jury Award: How To Eat Your Apple, Directed by Erick Oh, Independent; USA and South Korea

• Best Student Project Prize: Estefan, Directed by Jeff Call, Brigham Young University; USA

• Best Student Project Prize Runner-Up: Globosome, Directed by Sascha Geddert, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg; Germany

• Best Student Project Prize Runner-Up: Herr Hoppe und der Atommüll, Directed by Jan Lachauer and Thorsten Löffler, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg; Germany

• Well-Told Fable Prize: Rosette, Directed by: Romain Borrel, Gaël Falzowski, Benjamin Rabaste, and Vincent Tonelli, Supinfocom Arles; France

The Technical Papers Fast Forward was once again a packed house.
• Technical Papers, the premier global forum for presenting groundbreaking research from today's leading experts. The SIGGRAPH 2012 Technical Papers program featured 94 Technical Papers, selected among 412 submissions. The Technical Papers detailed new advances across many fronts, including 3D display technology, photographic prints for HDR images, textile design, and more.
Entrance to the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery: In Search of the Miraculous

• The SIGGRAPH 2012 Art Gallery: In Search of the Miraculous presented exceptional digital and technologically mediated artworks that explored the existence of wonderment, mystery, and awe in today’s world of mediating technologies and abundant data. From nearly 400 submissions, the Art
Gallery jury selected 12 pieces to be featured.

Download photos from SIGGRAPH 2012 at http://www.siggraph.org/photos

Join Us in Anahiem in 2013
SIGGRAPH 2013, the 40th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, will be held 21-25 July 2013 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California

Editor's Note: Special thanks to John Fujii, SIGGRAPH 1996 Conference Chair, who served as the official photographer for SIGGRAPH 2012.

Overview of SIGGRAPH 2012 Posters Program

Posters are a light-weight, low-tech method for presenting student, in-progress, and late-breaking work. Poster topics range from applications of computer graphics to novel interactive techniques and in-depth research in specific areas. They are displayed throughout the conference for attendees to browse at their leisure, and poster authors meet and discuss their work with attendees during Poster Presentations.

Listen as SIGGRAPH Posters Coordinator Kurt Luther provides a nice overview.

Take An Extended Tour of the SIGGRAPH 2012 Art Gallery

Enjoy a descriptive and full length tour of the SIGGRAPH 2012 Art Gallery and its theme "In Search of the Miraculous".

SIGGRAPH 2012 Conference Chair Rebecca Strzelec's Vision Behind S2012

Hear from SIGGRAPH 2012 Conference Chair Rebecca Strzelec from Penn State Altoona who discusses her vision behind this year's conference and exhibition at the 2012 Media Briefing on Tuesday morning.

Interview with SIGGRAPH Keynote Speaker Jane McGonigal

Listen to Jane McGonigal discuss her thoughts and vision immediately after giving the SIGGRAPH 2012 keynote address in Los Angeles.

08 August 2012

SIGGRAPH 2012 Art Gallery Preview

Join Osman Khan, SIGGRAPH 2012 Art Gallery Chair, as he takes you on a wonderful tour of the miraculous in Los Angeles.

Robotics @ SIGGRAPH 2012

Check out one of the more popular exhibits at SIGGRAPH 2012 Emerging Technologies [called TELESAR V] that enables human beings to experience a real-time sensation of being and interacting in a remote location.

07 August 2012

SIGGRAPH 2012 Emerging Technologies Highlight Tour

Join SIGGRAPH 2012 Emerging Technologies Chair Preston Smith from the Laureate Institute for Brain Research as he leads a brief tour of this popular, interactive technology area that features 26 cutting-edge exhibits.

06 August 2012

SIGGRAPH 2012 Conference Photos

The always popular Technical Papers Fast Forward once again drew a full house on Sunday evening.
Here are three photographs from conference activities during the past two days.  Feel free to share with colleagues or publish.  These are shots from the official SIGGRAPH 2012 photographer John Fujii [and former 1996 SIGGRAPH Conference Chair]. Return here for more images in the near future.
SIGGRAPH 2012 Emerging Technologies once again proves to be a popular destination on Monday.

With nine Academy Award nominations (far left) Roger Deakins has alot to smile about as he speaks with Carolyn  Giardina from Hollywood Reporter and Darin Grant from Digital Domain Media Group during "Storytelling with a Camera and a Computer" at SIGGRAPH 2012.

04 August 2012

Some of Sunday's Must Attend Events

The Fast Forward is an energetic (and often humorous) preview of the year's amazing Technical Papers content.

Following below are just a few compelling sessions that help kick-off SIGGRAPH 2012.  Be sure to hit these and other sessions to get your week off on the right foot.  Don't forget that all conference attendees are welcome to come to the Geek Bar after the Technical Papers Fast Forward to watch the Mars Rover landing amongst colleagues and friends.  There will be a cash bar. Be sure to bring your conference badge.

Storytelling With a Camera and a Computer: Q&A With Cinematographer Roger Deakins 
Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 515AB – 3:45pm

With nine Academy Award nominations and three BAFTA awards, 2011 ASC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, is one of the world’s leading cinematographers. His over 30-year contribution to cinema as both cinematographer and visual consultant has helped to define how global audiences see moving pictures, from "Fargo" and "True Grit" to "Wall-E" and "Rango". This course offers a rare opportunity to hear him discuss his ideas and approach to both live-action and animated features.

State-of-the-Art Stereoscopic Visual Effects: Stereoscopy and Conversion are “More than Meets the Eye”
Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall K – 2pm

A recent surge in production of 2D-to-3D converted films has established this technique as a permanent part of the stereoscopic entertainment industry. Proper conversion is not a simplistic post-production process. It requires exceptionally complex and nuanced stereoscopic visual effects that, if improperly applied, can result in poor quality films and physical pain on the part of the audience.

This course presents case studies from Digital Domain's recent stereoscopic conversions (for example, "Transformers 3") that demonstrate how to convert high-quality stereoscopic content through both traditional and hybrid stereoscopic workflows. It also explains in detail how proper conversion is mathematically identical to geometry generated from stereoscopic capture, shows how to articulate and identify poor quality conversion, reviews when it is appropriate to convert materials, and provides tips on how to shoot specifically for 2D-to-3D conversion

 Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall B – 6pm
An entertaining, illuminating summary of SIGGRAPH 2012 Technical Papers in an exciting two-hour session! The author(s) of each paper are allowed a little less than a minute to wow the crowd with their results and entice attendees to hear their complete paper presentation later in the week.