14 August 2014

SIGGRAPH 2014 Highlights from Vancouver

SIGGRAPH Technical Papers Fast Forward was a popular session on Sunday evening.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - SIGGRAPH 2014 returned to Vancouver, Canada, for its 41st conference and exhibition. From 10-14 August, 14,045 artists, research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students, and academics from 50 U.S. states and 75 countries gathered to experience cutting-edge computer graphics and interactive techniques. There were 6,156 participants from the host country of Canada.

The SIGGRAPH Exhibition ran from 12-14 August and attracted 175 exhibitors.
The conference boasted more than 40,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space featuring 175 participating companies - an increase from the 2013 conference in Anaheim, California. Eighteen countries were represented on the exhibit floor, 44% of which are based outside of the U.S. - including 28 companies from Canada. Furthermore, 25% of the exhibitors were first-timers, which was the highest percentage in four years.

Dave Shreiner
"This year’s exceptional education, numerous networking opportunities, and mind-blowing technological advances appealed to everyone," said Dave Shreiner, SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference Chair. "SIGGRAPH 2014 offered an incredible exhibition experience, innovative and inspiring content, and celebrated the impact that graphics and technology can have in every day life. Finally, the city of Vancouver was amazing - from the mayor’s office to the convention centre to the economic commission to the tourism bureau."

An impressive 1,533 speakers and contributors participated in the conference through a variety of talks, sessions, panels, papers, presentations, tutorials, and screenings.

Highlights from SIGGRAPH 2014 included:

The impactful keynote presentation by Not Impossible Labs co-founder Elliot Kotek shared a simple message: “Help One. Help Many.” Kotek showed how technology can have an immense impact on humanity by sharing stories of Not Impossible Labs’ efforts including Project Daniel, which outfitted Sudanese amputees with new prosthetic limbs thanks to 3D printing technology. 

Thierry Frey (center), SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies Chair, leads the Vancouver mayor on a tour.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson made an appearance, addressing members of the press and visiting SIGGRAPH 2014’s Emerging Technologies venue. He expressed his delight that emerging technologies and computer graphics have caused "an influx of talent and great people to our city" as well as thousands of jobs for its citizens. The Vancouver Economic Council sponsored the Emerging Technologies area. The virtual reality experience “Birdly” won the Laval Virtual award and the AR/VR competition.
Jerome Solomon served as the 2014 Computer Animation Festival Director.
The Computer Animation Festival presented the world's most innovative, accomplished, and amazing creators of digital gaming, film, and video. The festival received more than 450 juried submissions in 2014. SIGGRAPH 2014 Computer Animation Festival award winners included:

Box
BEST IN SHOW AWARD
Box (United States)
Directed Tarik Abdel-Gawad, Bot & Dolly

Paper World
JURY AWARD 
Paper World (Hungary)
Directed by Dávid Ringeisen, László Ruska, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design

Home Sweet Home
BEST ANIMATED SHORT 
Home Sweet Home (France)
Directed by Pierre Clenet, Alejandro Diaz, Romain Mazenet, Stéphane Paccolat, Supinfocom Arles

Wrapped
BEST STUDENT PROJECT PRIZE
Wrapped (Germany)
Directed by Roman Kalin, Falko Paeper, Florian Wittmann, Filmakademie Baden-Wüerttemberg

Gravity
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Gravity (United Kingdom)
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Esperanto Filmoj

Kinematics
BEST VISUALIZATION & SIMULATION
Kinematics (United States)
Directed by Jessica Rosenkrantz, Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, Nervous System

The Crew
BEST GAME
The Crew (France)
Directed by Maxime Luère, Dominique Boidin, Rémi Kozyra, Unit Image

RYSE: Son of Rome
BEST REAL-TIME GRAPHICS
RYSE: Son of Rome (Germany)
Directed by Chris Evans, Peter Gornstein, Martin L’Heureux, Crytek

The Pony
BEST COMMERCIAL ADVERTISEMENT
Three, "The Pony" (United Kingdom)
Directed by Dougal Wilson, Blink Productions

SIGGRAPH 2014 Technical Papers Chair Adam Finkelstein  
Technical Papers is the premier global forum for presenting groundbreaking research from today's leading experts. The SIGGRAPH 2014 Technical Papers program featured 173 Technical Papers, selected among 550 submissions. The Technical Papers detailed new advances across many fronts, including 3D printing, creating water and snow with particles, deformation and distortion, and more.

For more details about SIGGRAPH 2014, visit the official SIGGRAPH 2014 Media Blog: http://siggraphmediablog.blogspot.ca/  

Download photos from SIGGRAPH 2014: www.flickr.com/photos/siggraphconferences/ 

Join Us in Los Angeles in 2015

SIGGRAPH 2015, the 42nd International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, will be held 9-13 August, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

13 August 2014

Q&A: DreamWorks Animation Experts Talk 'How to Train Your Dragon 2'

SIGGRAPH 2014 sat down after DreamWorks Animation Presents: The Growth of "How To Train Your Dragon 2" for a quick Q&A with panelists on their process.

Q: Which part of the animation process on How To Train Your Dragon 2 was most rewarding and why?

A: Lighting was the most rewarding part of HTTYD2 [for me]. This was my first film in the VFX Supervisor role so I had a lot more involvement and exposure with a much broader range of the film making than I had ever had before, which was really enjoyable; however, my background is in lighting and for this film I was able to collaborate very closely with renowned Cinematographer Roger Deakins.

 Roger is incredibly inspiring and I was able to learn so much from him in such a relatively short time. I'm very proud of all aspects of the film, but I think for me the lighting represents an area of personal growth that far exceeded my expectations. (Dave Walvoord, VFX Supervisor)

Q: In your production session panel you noted that the fans helped shape the main character’s final look, where else did you find inspiration for Hiccup and his surroundings?

A: I think I would like to elaborate on the fans contribution to the film. When our teaser trailer came out many of our fans filmed themselves watching their reaction to the trailer for the first time. Apparently this is something fans do now, but I had never seen anything like it. Our fan reaction was so strong that it became very inspirational for the crew. Our artists were constantly posting fan reactions on Facebook for their friends and other members of the crew to see. Our editorial staff gathered a number of them and cut together a piece that showed 8 people's reactions at the same time. 

The other thing that happened is that we saw how much these characters meant to our fans. Suddenly the entire crew was aware of having a responsibility to deliver their best efforts because we could see how much what we were doing meant to our fans. It would not have been possible for anyone to deliver a more motivational speech than what our fans had given us. It was a very unique experience and I can only wonder how much social media will grow to include the fans in our collaboration on future films. (Dave Walvoord, VFX Supervisor)

Q: Have you attended a SIGGRAPH conference in the past? If yes, tell us your favorite part about coming to SIGGRAPH. If no, describe your experience so far.

A: Yes, I've been coming to SIGGRAPH for years. In fact, the first two times was as a demo artist back in 1994 and 1995. I associate SIGGRAPH with the excitement that comes from the exploration of all things new and reconnecting with friends and former students. The Electronic Theater is a big highlight, too! (Gil Zimmerman, Head of Layout)

Don't miss tonight's special screening of How To Train Your Dragon 2 in Ballroom A/B, West Building at 8 p.m. at the Vancouver Convention Centre. DreamWorks will be giving away 10 posters autographed by the film's producer and director to the first 10 attendees in live.

SIGGRAPH 2014 Emerging Technologies Media Tour

Click here to take the Media Tour.
SIGGRAPH 2014 Emerging Technologies Chair Thierry Frey (center in lavender shirt) takes you on a tour of this year's advancements in several fields - from displays and virtual reality technology to haptics and robotics, as well as innovations that apply to film and game production. The Vancouver Economic Commission is the official sponsor of the 2014 Emerging Technologies area.

12 August 2014

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson Embraces SIGGRAPH

Mayor Robertson (left) viewing the "Birdly" installation, which simulates bird flight in Emerging Technologies
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson made an appearance at SIGGRAPH 2014 yesterday, addressing members of the press as well as visiting the Emerging Technologies. Mayor Robertson expressed his delight that emerging technologies and computer graphics have caused "an influx of talent and great people to our city" as well as thousands of jobs for its citizens. The Vancouver Economic Council sponsored the Emerging Technologies area.

Keynote Elliott Kotek Captivates SIGGRAPH 2014 Attendees


Elliott Kotek, co-founder of Not Impossible Labs, gave an outstanding keynote presentation yesterday at SIGGRAPH 2014. Sharing that volunteerism is near and dear to his heart, Kotek told the audience about 14-year-old Daniel, a refuge in war-torn South Sudan, who had both arms amputated as a result of a terrible bombing. Unfortunately, Daniel is only one of 50,000 amputees. Kotek and his team, determined to help Daniel, outfitted the young man with an arm using a 3D printer, allowing Daniel to feed himself for the first time in 2 years.

While the original goal was to help Daniel, the ultimate objective is to "Help One. Help Many." Locals were instructed on how to use the 3D printers so that other amputees will also have the opportunity for a better quality of life. Hence, Project Daniel was born.

Here's the YouTube link to that video:

Kotek's message is simple. Technology can have an immense impact on humanity. He encouraged all SIGGRAPH 2014 attendees to find their own "Daniel" and placed importance on community responsibility.

“Everyone has access to tools," Kotek said, "You don’t need permission to be innovative.”

To learn more, visit www.notimpossiblelabs.com or view "Project Daniel".

Follow Kotek on Social Media:

  • @notimposs
  • Facebook: NotImpossible
  • Instagram: Not ImpossibleNow

SIGGRAPH 2014 Recap: Day 1



SIGGRAPH 2014, the 41st International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, made its return to Vancouver, Canada, when it officially opened its doors to attendees on Sunday, 10 August. The first day of the conference featured several Talks, Panels, Birds of a Feather events, Studio Courses and StudioXperience interviews, not to mention Technical Papers Fast Forward, ACM SIGGGRAPH Theater Events and Art Gallery.

11 August 2014

Brazilian Paulo Henrique Machado Attends SIGGRAPH 2014 Via Telepresence

Paulo Henrique Machado
Paulo Henrique Machado has lived in a room at Clinicas hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil since he was an infant. As a baby, he suffered paralysis brought on by polio, and is confined to bed and hooked to an artificial respirator 24 hours a day. In 46 years, he has left the hospital only a few dozen times. He saw the ocean for the first time at the age of 32. Much of Paulo’s childhood was spent in his hospital bed, dreaming of the world outside. "For me, playing football or with normal toys wasn't an option -- so it was more about using my imagination," he told BBC News last year.

3D model made by Paolo
Despite his physical limitations, Paulo has trained as a computer animator, and is now making an animated series for children about his life. The series, which is called “The Adventures of Leca and her Friends” is the embodiment of his greatest wish -- to show children that being different is okay, and that everyone is special in their own way. The series was inspired by a book written by his lifelong friend, Eliana Zagui, who is also paralyzed as a result of polio, and lives in the same room as Paulo.

Storyboards from Paolo's series.
For many years, Paulo has dreamed of attending SIGGRAPH. This year, SIGGRAPH and Double Robotics made that dream come true through the use of a telepresence robot. The nicknamed "R2 D2"--Paolo clearly has a great sense of humor--is the first telepresence robot he has ever employed.

SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference Chair Dave Shreiner noted:  “SIGGRAPH is a community. Paulo is part of our community, and we take care of our own.”

You may spot Paulo driving around the conference, steering the Double Robotics robot from his hospital room in Brazil. Please stop and say hello! He speaks some English, but will have Portuguese-speaking SIGGRAPH student volunteers with him to translate.

Paulo interacting with other SIGGRAPH attendees.
On Sunday, August 10, Paulo saw the Vancouver harbor for the first time, and was taken aback. He turned the robot left and right to look out the glass windows of the Vancouver Convention Centre. “Do you know what this means to me?” he asked SIGGRAPH, when questioned how he liked the robot. “It gives me the freedom that I physically can’t have.”

For more information on the series, email leca.e.seus.amigos@gmail.com.

BBC News Article: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23364127

Catarse Campaign: http://catarse.me/en/leca

10 August 2014

SIGGRAPH 2014 Chair Dave Shreiner's CGW Interview!

Tell us about yourself on a personal level.

I grew up in a technology-isolated backwater in central Pennsylvania, where computers weren’t particularly available.  I became interested in computer graphics as a wee lad when I encountered a 2D-vector motorcycle jumping game.  I stunk at it (for the $3 my folks had the patience of watching me waste), but it made me proclaim I was going to make these games when I was older.  To date, I still haven’t done that, but I hopefully still have some time.

According to my educational transcripts, I was a mediocre student who probably shouldn’t write long sentences (or essays like this) or work with numbers with more than two decimal places, even though I graduated college with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics.  I didn’t study computer science since I knew I would sit behind a computer and hoped I could pick up what I needed to know along the way.  I usually didn’t do my homework.  Instead, I fiddled with computers drawing graphs of equations.  Turns out there are people who need that done, and I was fortunate to have a friend who knew someone who needed that type of help.  After getting the job, I sat in a closet in one of the school’s chemistry labs, drawing molecules on a Silicon Graphics (SGI) 4D 210 GTX workstation, and my life was forever transformed.  Not only because I was doing cool computer graphics, but also because it was the first time I had gone to SIGGRAPH.

After I left school for good, I got a job in a bomb factory in Lancaster, Pennsylvania doing flight simulation on – you guessed it – another SGI machine.  Next, I moved west to Silicon Valley to work for Silicon Graphics making those amazing (at the time) machines.  I also went to SIGGRAPH again.  And again.  And again.

I met my then-to-be wife at SGI (she worked there too), and took her to SIGGRAPH.  I got involved in some cool technology: a computer graphics library named OpenGL, and wrote a course about it.   Then I helped present a course at SIGGRAPH on OpenGL.  Then I helped write a book about OpenGL, and kept talking about OpenGL and graphics at SIGGRAPH.  I kept presenting courses, and then helped organize them at SIGGRAPH.

I know, dear reader, you’re seeing a pattern here.  There’s been a lot of SIGGRAPH in my life, and I think that’s just awesome.

The last few years, I’ve been working on graphics systems for mobile devices, and going to SIGGRAPH, and I thought it’d be cool to combine those two things, so I volunteered to chair the 2014 SIGGRAPH conference to see if I might achieve that somehow.  My wife attends the show as well, and I’m still presenting courses there too.

But enough about me …

What do you bring to SIGGRAPH in terms of your professional experience?

SIGGRAPH 2014 will be my 26th consecutive SIGGRAPH conference (which doesn’t include attending SIGGRAPH Asia), and include my 26th and 27th presentation at the conference. I’ve also been volunteering for SIGGRAPH for the last 12 years in a multitude of roles including organizing programs at the conference, and supporting the SIGGRAPH organization.

I’ve also been a practitioner, engineer, and educator in the field of computer graphics for a few years more than my SIGGRAPH attendance.  I’ve co-authored four books on subjects relating to computer graphics, and helped evolve the technology used to create computer-generated images.

I also bring some business knowledge about project planning, marketing, communications, and finance, which has proved invaluable in being the conference chair.

Most importantly was being able to convince a number of talented friends and colleagues to volunteer their precious time to make this year’s SIGGRAPH conference one for the record books.  They’re a fantastic committee, and you’ll easily see how talented they are.

What made you take on the position of chair?

SIGGRAPH has been a great help to my career and personal success, and being conference chair is kind of my ultimate way of giving back to the community.  While I’ve presented numerous times at the conference, and worked on previous conference committees, doing it at this level is an unparalleled honor!

Additionally, it provided a somewhat unexpected career growth opportunity.  I was curious about motivating and leading a team, and this is one of the best environments to do it in.  The caliber of volunteers is beyond measure, and they’re all super nice people.  So it’s a great place to work on building leadership skills as well.

What other SIGGRAPH positions have you held?

When I first started volunteering for SIGGRAPH about 12 years ago, I was webmaster for the organizational website.  After a few years presenting courses, I was invited to review courses, which lead to being on the courses committee, including chairing the courses committee in 2006, and again in 2009.

What can attendees expect this year at the conference?

This year has a large focus on technology, particularly in using the latest devices and techniques to personalize experiences, from new techniques on mobile devices to creating physical manifestations of their virtual objects using 3D printing and drones.  We also showcase the leading research in all the disciplines that compose our community (we had record numbers of technical and art papers this year), provide proactive panels and a world-class set of educational courses.

This year’s conference committee also recognized how the computer graphics industry is changing, and will have several events focused on independent practitioners – from gamers to app developers to those working on augmented- and virtual reality.  I discuss this more later.

What is this year's theme?

Why have just one?  There were a number of directions that I had hoped to incorporate into SIGGRAPH 2014, as well as letting the passions and creativity of my team lead them as well.  With that scenario, we’re emphasizing a lot of interesting elements…

One is a focus on mobile graphics [one of my professional interests].  I consider mobile phones and tablets the latest generation of devices for producing computer graphics.  However, with their cameras, hi-res display, GPUs, multiple CPUs, GPS and other sensors, they’re some of the most advanced, integrated computing systems in history, and they’re enabling all sorts of interesting applications, such as augmented reality, social gaming, and computational photography.  We’re challenging our community to show us how to use these devices in new and interesting ways.

We’re also emphasizing gaming and real-time graphics, particularly as the practitioners of those fields are producing works that rival blockbuster movies.  That’s an exciting growth area, and a natural fit for SIGGRAPH.

And another focus that I am also excited about is the physical creation of these virtual 3D objects we’ve all been enjoying over the last decades. With 3D printing becoming almost a commodity, we’ll be providing solutions for attendees to do everything from necessary to design and manufacture their 3D creations using the latest in 3D manufacturing technology.

How does the theme resonate with you on a personal level?

I’m an engineer and technologist by trade, and seeing what creative individuals can do with the modern technology we have is very exciting to me personally.  As I mentioned, phones and tablets put very capable graphics systems in the hands of an ever-growing population.  Computer graphics and interactive experiences — the fundamental tenets of SIGGRAPH — are now more accessible than ever before, and people are enjoying our media more than ever.  The work of our community is improving the lives of ever more people, and that’s a noble and exciting venture.

How has SIGGRAPH influenced you personally and professionally?

SIGGRAPH is the rocket that pretty much launched my career.  It’s a bit of a long story, but I think it really demonstrates the value of SIGGRAPH.

I knew that I was going to be a computer jockey around my freshman year in high school, but I wasn’t sure how or what precisely I was going to do.  I bumbled around high school and college playing with computers and doing math, but without a whole lot of direction.  Near the end of my college experience, I was lucky enough to have a colleague suggest that I should go to this conference called SIGGRAPH.  Sounded cool, but I really had no idea what to expect.  That was 1989 — my first conference — even though I could only afford to go to the exhibition, it totally hooked me.  I saw what smart, creative people were doing with graphics workstations (at the time), and it provided the clear picture of what I wanted to do.  It also showed me how little I knew about the field, and what I really needed to know to succeed.  I went home with a pile of books, and a lot of enthusiasm.

I registered as “full conference” the next year, and took in everything I could.  It was well worth the investment. I was in total awe of the speakers and talents of everyone there, and the images they were making.  I also thought that I could never be one of those folks contributing to the content of the show.  But I kept coming, learning, and making new friends who were happy to share and increase my knowledge.

I kept going to the conference, and after about 10 of them, I got to do my first course presentation.  I was fortunate to discuss a topic, OpenGL, which was important to a number of conference attendees, and it was at that point I realized what SIGGRAPH had done for me, but also what I could do for others.  I’ve always been kind of an overzealous Boy Scout, and this was just killer: helping others develop their skills while talking about something I loved.

SIGGRAPH 2014 will be my 26th consecutive conference, and my 17th year of presenting at the conference, where I’m once again presenting a course, as well as talking on a panel.  It never gets old.

Without SIGGRAPH, I’d probably still be sitting in a cornfield in Pennsylvania, probably working on bar-code scanners (the first computer job I ever interviewed for), and not helping delight minds and eyeballs all around the world.

What are you looking forward to most at the show?

On a personal level, I’m excited to take my parents to SIGGRAPH.  My wife (a 20+ year attendee) and I have waxed lyrical about the show, but my folks have never experienced it.  I’m looking forward to them being totally blown away, but also sharing with them an important part of my life, and seeing how much enjoyment I get from SIGGRAPH.

Specific to SIGGRAPH 2014 … there’s so much.  I want to see what my committee has brought to the show. They’re a super motivated bunch, and they keep mentioning all this awesome stuff, which should make this a non-stop experience for the five days of the conference.  Also, we’re doing a number of new things this year and it’s going to be very interesting to see what the community does with them.  Will they like the new activities?  Was there value for the attendee?  It’s suspenseful, and I dig that.

Anything special we can expect from the conference this year since it is in Vancouver?

Absolutely!  First, it’s in Vancouver; one of the most beautiful places I’ve been (and I’ve been a lot of places!).  The city is the perfect fit for SIGGRAPH and me – the combination of technology, nature, art, and beauty.

We’re also doing a number of special events that are a little outside of the normal SIGGRAPH venues.  We have special screenings of blockbuster movies, a behind-the-scenes look at how game art is developed, demo reels running during “daytime selects”, an AR/VR contest, a mobile pavilion, an independent developers area in the exhibition, an awards presentation for the Computer Animation Festival winners, and a cocktail party for independent app developers to show their work, to name a few.  There are also a few other surprises, but also all the magic that makes SIGGRAPH special.  You just have to be there.


Back to Vancouver so soon?

Sure.  I’d personally love to see SIGGRAPH in Vancouver many more times.  The city is incredibly supportive of having us there – the Mayor even came to personally welcome and thank us for coming at one of our recent planning meetings.  Vancouver’s also a vibrant and growing technology hub, which we’re hoping will provide lots of opportunities (whether for education, employment, or enjoyment) for our attendees.

How has the conference managed to stay relevant given the overall trend toward smaller and more targeted trade shows?

When you get your conference chair secret-decoder ring, you learn that we describe SIGGRAPH as a 13-ring circus.  There’s something for everyone, but as your question alludes to, all that wonderfulness can make it difficult for folks to see what’s personally relevant to them.

I think SIGGRAPH is about fusion: combining technology, art, science, and magic to create incredible experiences – not just pictures.  Whether that experience is watching an incredible scene from a movie, helping a medical professional provide better care using better technology, or perhaps making a complex subject easier to understand through a more interactive learning experience, SIGGRAPH is the place where practitioners of those independent disciplines converge.  It’s all about learning, sharing, and being inspired to do explore and do something new.

Many things in our modern lives are segmented into small portions with a narrow focus.  You watch a video online, read an academic article, play a game, see your friend’s status on social media – in an ever-more connected world, we tend to do much more by ourselves.  SIGGRAPH brings thousands of practitioners from numerous fields together to exchange ideas, demonstrate the future, learn, and make new friends.  You can’t do that anywhere else at this scale.  There is no substitute, and that’s what makes SIGGRAPH special.

What are the exhibition numbers looking like right now?

We are expecting 150 exhibitors to reserve over 40,000 square feet of exhibit space so there will be plenty to see in the Exhibition. Moreover we’ve almost sold out the Exhibition and have more new exhibitors and international exhibitors than we were expecting. Some old friends returned this year after an absence from our Exhibition last year.  The Exhibition continues to be one of the top reasons our attendees come to SIGGRAPH as they tell us it is the best place to meet, find new products, communicate about career opportunities, and develop relationships with vendors in the industry.

How will your background and interests affect this year's show? (Every chair's influence is felt to some degree on the overall show.)

As I previously mentioned, we’re in a renaissance in making computer graphics accessible through mobile devices.  The fact that you can have an HD resolution display 18 inches from your nose backed by a high-powered computer I think opens a world of opportunity.

The SIGGRAPH conference has oscillated its primary focus over the years.  Early in my attendance it was all about hardware and systems, and over the years has migrated more towards amazing images and how to produce them.  I believe the quiet revolution that is making computer graphics ubiquitous should be combined with our expert knowledge of creating compelling images to make new experiences.  The industry for computer graphics and interactive techniques is changing — from large corporations to individual developers — and I really want to enable that at this show.  Wish me luck!

What mark do you hope to leave on SIGGRAPH 2014?

The same as any conference chair – help create an experience that rewards our attendees for coming.  I’m honored to have been given the responsibility to oversee the show, but what’s really important is that all the members of our great community enjoy, learn, and celebrate what we all love.

09 August 2014

SIGGRAPH 2014 Prepares for World Record Attempt

Paul Debevec leads the crowd in a test run of the World Record attempt on Saturday.
At 8 pm Sunday, 10 August, hundreds of computer graphics aficiandos will gather in West Building, Ballroom C-D of the Vancouver Convention Centre, open a mobile web app created by Conference Chair Dave Shreiner, and contribute pixels to the biggest mobile-device image in the history of the world (44 meters x 27 meters).

No other attempt has even come close to this audacious plan. In fact, it’s never been done before, but a similar attempt last year in Beijing achieved just 3 meters x 1.5 meters.

Be there! Add your pixel! Help SIGGRAPH 2014 make history and establish a new Guinness World Record! Be sure to bring your phone or tablet. The bigger the screen the better!

SIGGRAPH 2014 Releases Mobile App Game (SMAG)

Go big or go home! The SIGGRAPH Mobile App Game (SMAG)  is a mobile-enhanced persistent game that allows you to collect achievements throughout the SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference. Using your  iOS  or Android  mobile devices to scan QR markers using the SIGGRAPH Mobile App wherever you see them in the Vancouver Convention Center, from your fellow attendees' apps, and in sessions. Have fun and meet people as you make your way towards becoming one of this year's big winners!

Here are  five solid reasons to get everyone (you, attendees, random strangers on the street) excited:

1.  SMAG has 127 (and counting) achievements to complete! This means that you won't run out of things to do, even on the last day of the conference. You can chase a mad scientist, carry secrets passwords, catch a golden snitch(!), or find a wandering Guardian of the Galaxy on the conference floor.

2.  You can earn points just by being involved in the conference! Our goal is to promote great content and projects - attendees will be gaining points just by:
  • Participating in the International Center's NoirMaker: Escape from Vancouver;
  • Playing SIGGRAPH Caching, a clue-based treasure hunt that will happening concurrently on the conference floor;
  • Exploring with RTL's AR App and searching for RTL's Behind-the-Scenes content;
3.  We are also promoting everybody's venues and projects, such as:
  • Studio's Drawing Contest;
  • The Back-to-Back CAF/How To Train Your Dragon 2 Screening;
  • The World Record Attempt;
  • And many more! You can even earn points just by registering or buying a cup of coffee!
4.  You can win prizes just by participating! Thanks to the help of friends and sponsors, we have a variety of prizes that be available throughout the week that may be available through a variety of means. 
  • You may not be the top scorer, but you can still win an elusive RenderMan teapot, mysterious grab bags, and SIGGRAPH memorabilia just by playing!
  • If you are a top scorer, you could win an S2015 Full Conference Registration, a copy of SIGGRAPH Encore, and many more!
5.  You can challenge yourselves intellectually! With our timed trivia challenges, you can earn points from identifying technical papers/concepts, pop culture references, and general geekiness!
Will you be this year's winner? Get a headstart and scan the QR marker above, and check out our documentation page for all the achievements and prizes available.

08 August 2014

Learn Insider Secrets, Experiment with New Technologies in the SIGGRAPH 2014 Studio

The SIGGRAPH 2014 Studio, 10-14 August at the Vancouver Convention Centre, presents an exciting array of Talks, Courses and Projects that demonstrate the latest advances in technology. The Studio offers a collaborative working environment where attendees can come together to learn, experiment, and create. Attendees also have the opportunity to test a wide range of new techniques and media for 3D printing, modeling, and animation with help from experienced hands.

“Each year, the SIGGRAPH Studio truly stands out as a high-caliber program,” said Courtney Starrett, SIGGRAPH 2014 Studio Chair. “It’s more than just seeing new technologies and what they can produce, but is designed to galvanize and stimulate creative collaboration that artists can experience first-hand and take back with them to their own studios.”

Access to the SIGGRAPH 2014 Studio is available at every level and starts at $75 USD. Studio equipment has been generously donated by 3dMD, 4DDynamics, Epson, Formlabs, NextEngine, Inc., Roland DG, Stratasys, Ltd., and Universal Laser Systems. For more information, visit s2014.siggraph.org.

Highlights from the SIGGRAPH 2014 Studio:

Studio Featured Event
Arduino Drawing Machines
This course, project and contest blends computer control with simple mechanical and motorized mechanisms to build drawing machines. It begins with a short history of drawing machines, including examples of contemporary approaches in the arts, and their educational possibilities. The hands-on component uses an Arduino microcontroller to construct mechanisms that make marks on paper. Participants will have the opportunity to attend the Sunday afternoon course, work on the machines at their own pace throughout the week and participate in the contest and live demo on Wednesday at 4pm.



Studio Talks 
Art. Form. Color. | Monday, 11 August
This session includes the following Talks led by experts from The Foundry, Université Paris VIII, and others: “Cellular Forms: An Artistic Exploration of Morphogenesis,” “Quantum Computer for Art Exploration and Creation,” and “Emotion of Colors: Synesthetic Cross-Modal Key Modulation.”

Model. Print. Fabricate. | Tuesday, 12 August
This session includes the following Talks led by experts from Autodesk Research, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and others: “Branching Support Structures for 3D Printing,” “Exploring Board-Game Design Using Digital Technologies,” “Turning Free-Form Surfaces Into Manufacturable Components,.” and “Vancouver Maker Foundation.”

Studio Courses
Make Cross-Platform Mobile Apps Quickly
This introduction to rapid mobile-app development uses easily available tools such as PhoneGap/Cordova, MoSync, UppSite, and others, and common technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript, to show how mobile apps that are graphically rich yet lightweight and cross-platform can be built quickly.

High-Resolution 3D Printing: Design for Stereolithography
Personal 3D printing is rapidly becoming a high-impact artistic tool. This short studio course introduces design for 3D printing on the stereolithography-based Form 1+ printer.

Studio Projects
Draco: Sketching Animated Drawings With Kinetic Textures
While previous systems have introduced sketch-based animations for individual objects, this installation from Autodesk Research demonstrates a unified framework of motion controls that allows users to seamlessly add coordinated motions to object collections. The framework is built around kinetic textures, which provide continuous animation effects while preserving the unique timeless nature of still illustrations.


GIGAmacro
As part of its studio project, GIGAmacro will create the world’s first terapixel macro photograph over the course of conference using three Magnify2 systems to produce over 619,000 photographs. These photographs will then be assembled into a single explorable image — Terabite.

07 August 2014

SIGGRAPH 2014 Welcome Letter from Premier of British Columbia

SIGGRAPH 2014 received the following welcome letter from Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia.

Christy Clark
Dear SIGGRAPH Attendees:

On behalf of the Province of British Columbia, it is my pleasure to welcome everyone attending the 2014 SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver.

Our vibrant, expanding digital media industry makes B.C. a perfect fit. SIGGRAPH brings together business, art, and science to celebrate and showcase the cutting edge of computer graphics. 

You will have an opportunity to learn, network and cultivate relationships with colleagues from around the world, surrounded by the latest in digital art and technology. 

Thank you to the Association for Computing Machinery for organizing and coordinating this conference. British Columbians take pride in our spectacular home and in being good hosts. 

I encourage you to visit the British Columbia booth on the expo floor to learn more about what we're doing to support digital media and the technology sector here in B.C., and to take the opportunity to enjoy everything Vancouver and the region have to offer.

Sincerely,

Hon. Christy Clark

06 August 2014

First-Time Attendee Guide to SIGGRAPH 2014

The SIGGRAPH Technical Papers Fast Forward is always a "must attend" event and a great preview for the week ahead.
We've all been there .... staring overwhelmed at all the great SIGGRAPH content and trying to figure out how in the world to tackle it all. In fact, the SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference Chair Dave Shreiner was once a first-time attendee many moons (a couple of decades ago). 

"When I arrived at my first show, SIGGRAPH 1989 in Boston, I was in total awe of what I saw there.  I didn’t have a plan for the show, so I just wandered around for three days soaking in everything I could," said Dave Shreiner, SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference Chair.  

He continued, "Computers for generating real-time graphics were just getting to the size of refrigerators, and 50 thousand triangles a second was the speed record, but the most enjoyable aspect of the show was sharing ideas and knowledge with everyone there. Regardless of where you’re in your career, stop and talk with your fellow attendees - you’ll be amazed at what you can learn! But be sure to come with a plan."

With his help and others, we put together this focus to help you tackle your first SIGGRAPH. And by all means ask anyone for help especially at the SIGGRAPH 2015 booth or at any of the many networking events.


Whether between sessions or at any of the official SIGGRAPH events, networking with peers is a big part of the SIGGRAPH experience that will impact your professional and personal life for years to come.
Here is a slice of content that may help make the most of your time in wonderful Vancouver:

Panels
Ready, Steady ... SIGGRAPH
SUNDAY, 10 AUGUST 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 118-120

Courses
Fundamentals Seminar
SUNDAY, 10 AUGUST 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 109-110

Courses
The Glass Class: Designing Wearable Interfaces
SUNDAY, 10 AUGUST 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom B-C
The Studio is a great opportunity to network and gain valuable professional skills.
Studio - Courses
Arduino Drawing Machines
SUNDAY, 10 AUGUST 12:30 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A

Courses
Introduction to WebGL Programming
SUNDAY, 10 AUGUST 2:00 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 109-110

Panels
The Future is Here: Augmented and Virtual Reality
SUNDAY, 10 AUGUST 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom B-C

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Building Blocks for "The LEGO Movie"
MONDAY, 11 AUGUST 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B
It would be wise to budget at least a few hours for the Exhibition - offering training, networking, and great general knowledge of where the industry is headed.
Birds of a Feather
First Steps in Large-Scale Rendering
MONDAY, 11 AUGUST 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Room 9

Studio - Courses
Design Tips for Digital T-Shirt Printing
MONDAY, 11 AUGUST 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
The Making of Marvel's “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
MONDAY, 11 AUGUST 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
The Making of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy"
MONDAY, 11 AUGUST 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B
Roll out the red carpet and be sure to get your ticket for the Electronic Theater!
Computer Animation Festival - Electronic Theater
MONDAY, 11 AUGUST 6:30 PM - 8:45 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
An Insight Into the Making of "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For"
TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Creating Content to Drive Destiny’s Investment Game: One Solution to Rule Them All
TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom C/D

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
DreamWorks Animation Presents: The Growth of “How To Train Your Dragon 2”
TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Inside the Magical World of Disney’s “Maleficent”
TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom C/D

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Creating the Amazon in “Rio 2”
TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom C/D

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures Present the VFX of “Godzilla”
TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B
Attendees of Real-Time Live! get the opportunity to learn from the artists and engineers who produced the ground-breaking work.
Real-Time Live!
TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 5:30 PM - 7:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom C/D

Birds of a Feather
SIGGIG: Gays in Graphics
TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM | Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel, Port Hardy

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Capturing the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B

Courses
Mathematical Basics of Motion and Deformation in Computer Graphics
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 9:00 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 118-120

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Meet Your New Production R&D Department - ACM/SIGGRAPH
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom C/D

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Unmask the Secrets Behind “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B

Studio - Courses
alphaBot Workshop: Constructing Robots, Translating Language
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 2:00 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A
You just never know who you might meet at a SIGGRAPH Production Session.
Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Deconstructing the Visual Effects of “Transformers: Age of Extinction”
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
The Production and Visual Effects of “Killzone Shadow Fall”
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom C/D

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Making "Gravity" at Framestore
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom A-B

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Puppets, Printing And Compositing: A Unique Collaboration In LAIKA’s Animated Features
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom C/D

Appy Hour
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A
Dailies gives each presenter one minute to present an animation and describe the work. It is an incredibly valuable opportunity to learn a lot in a very short amount of time.
Dailies
WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom B-C

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Making “The Dam Keeper”: How Two First-Time Directors Brought Paint to Life in Their Animated Short Film
THURSDAY, 14 AUGUST 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom C/D

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Feast – A Look at Walt Disney Animation Studios' Newest Short
THURSDAY, 14 AUGUST 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom C/D

Computer Animation Festival - Production Sessions
Twentieth Century Fox Presents the Visual Effects of “X-Men: Days of Future Past”
THURSDAY, 14 AUGUST 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom 

When preparing for your trip be sure to pack comfortable shoes and a light jacket. Also, as you leave the convention center, be sure to remove your badge and store it in a safe place. Walking around in any city with a badge on screams "I'm not from here" and makes you more of a target. 

Finally, if you anticipate that a particular session will be popular, get there as early as possible to make certain you are allowed inside. Per fire codes, each room only allows a certain number of occupants.  See you in Vancouver!

05 August 2014

SIGGRAPH 2014 Focus: Art

Speculatorum Oculi (The Eyes of Spies) comments on current surveillance activities of governments and corporations through an installation that includes an architectural model surveilled with looming video cameras providing live feeds to a set of video monitors.
SIGGRAPH 2014's creative explorers present artwork and sessions on 2D and 3D art, interactive systems, augmented reality, mixed-media installations and performances, web-based art, responsive media, time-based works, works based on mobile technologies, digital communities and social media, robotics, touch-screens, and wearable art.

Listed below is just some of the SIGGRAPH 2014 content that may be of interest to the following people: Graphic Designers, Information and Visualization Designers, Multimedia Artists, Painters, Sculptors, Art Managers, Art Students, Art Teachers/Professors.

Here is the preview video for the SIGGRAPH 2014 Art Gallery "Acting in Translation"

Curated by Basak Senova, “Acting in Translation” aims to revolve around the readings, responses, and perceptions of ‘the act of translation’ as a productive tool based on criticality. 
Looking Glass Time aims to represent social media activities and their timelines with physical clock animation, without any recording media.
The participating artists are Paul L. Stout, Rachele Riley, Yunsil Heo, Hyunwoo Bang, Joseph Farbrook, Yoichi Ochiai, Yunsil Heo, Hyunwoo Bang, Inmi Lee, Kyle McDonald, Zohar Kfir, Sam Blanchard, Kirk Cameron, Robert Redfern, Sergio Bernales, Bo Li, Michelle Will, Hung-Ching Chang, Kelsey Farenholtz, Brandon Deaguero, Timmy Meyer, John Mooring, Ali Butt, Speculatorum Oculi, Erik Brunvand, Alon Chitayat, Jeff Ong, Emilio Vavarella, Fito Segrera, Burak Arikan, and Ed Konowal/GraphicsNet.

The Art Gallery will also feature one panel and four Talks with the artists along with a Tuesday afternoon networking reception.


Levitate is a kinetic sculpture composed of levitated ping-pong balls in acrylic tubes that interact with audiences.
“The 2014 Art Gallery represents no single or homogenous approach, but a diverse display of artistic strategies," said Basak Senova, SIGGRAPH 2014 Art Gallery Chair. “Translation, as a term and as a tool, generates numerous potential fields for art production, which is why we selected it as this year’s theme and are thrilled to have these outstanding works and projects.”

The Modern Video Processor is a skeuomorphic metaphor to reminisce about the simple days when talking to machines just meant plugging cables, switching buttons, and rotating dials.
For more information on all the amazing content in the Art Gallery, click here.

Here are additional art-related content/events/gatherings happening throughout the conference week:

Birds of a Feather
Demoscene - Underground Real-Time Art Worldwide
Sunday, 10 August 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, ACM SIGGRAPH Theater, West Building, Room 210


Studio - Courses
Arduino Drawing Machines
Sunday, 10 August 12:30 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A


Birds of a Feather
ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community (DAC)

Sunday, 10 August 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, ACM SIGGRAPH Theater, West Building, Room 210

Birds of a Feather
Blender Foundation - Community Meeting
Sunday, 10 August 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Room 


Birds of a Feather
Blender Foundation - Artist Showcase and Demos
Sunday, 10 August 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Room 3

Technical Papers
Shape Collection
Monday, 11 August 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom B-C

Studio - Courses
High-Resolution 3D Printing: Design for Stereolithography
Monday, 11 August 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A

Studio - Courses
Design Tips for Digital T-Shirt Printing
Monday, 11 August 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A

Technical Papers
Points & Reconstruction
Monday, 11 August 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom A

Art Papers
Aesthetics of Liminality, Biocybernetics, and Generative Art
Tuesday, 12 August 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 118-120

Technical Papers
Non-Photorealistic Rendering
Tuesday, 12 August 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Exhibit Hall A

Technical Papers
Sampling & Spectra
Tuesday, 12 August 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom A


Studio - Courses
Creating Next-Gen 3D Interactive Apps With Motion Control and Unity3D
Tuesday, 12 August 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A


Art Papers
Spatial Politics/Spatial Ontologies
Tuesday, 12 August 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 118-120

Technical Papers
Video Applications
Tuesday, 12 August 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Exhibit Hall A

Technical Papers
Computational Sensing & Display
Tuesday, 12 August 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Exhibit Hall A

Technical Papers
Typography & Illustration
Tuesday, 12 August 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom B-C


Birds of a Feather
Ringling College Alumni and Friends Reception
Tuesday, 12 August 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM | Marriott Vancouver Pinnacle Downtown, 3rd Floor Patio


Studio - Courses
3D Scanning for Personal 3D Printing
Wednesday, 13 August 9:15 AM - 12:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A


Studio - Courses
alphaBot Workshop: Constructing Robots, Translating Language
Wednesday, 13 August 2:00 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A

Technical Papers
Reflectance: Modeling, Capturing, Renderings
Wednesday, 13 August 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Exhibit Hall A

Technical Papers
Hair & Collisions
Wednesday, 13 August 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom A


Technical Papers
Interactive Modeling
Wednesday, 13 August 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom B-C


Technical Papers
Changing Your Perception
Thursday, 14 August 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom A


Birds of a Feather
Enhanced Vision - Digital Video 2015
Thursday, 14 August 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Room 9


Technical Papers
Shady Images
Thursday, 14 August 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building
, Ballroom B-C