Thursday, July 29, 2010


Going to SIGGRAPH when its here in our fair city means wandering the halls of the Convention Center and gawking at the latest and greatest in the computer graphics world. This year was no less impressive with the amount of people in attendance, the companies that showed their wares and the panels and discussions that were available.

Below the fold are some of the highlights and photos of my two days spent soaking in the computer graphics world's most influential conference.

Wandering around the exhibition hall is always a day-long task because its really easy to be swept up in a demonstration of a piece of software or tech that catches your eye. This was certainly the case at the Intel booth where multiple companies were sharing the cost of floor space and showing their stuff using Intel's latest and greatest. Adobe was there showing off After Effects CS5 and the brand new Roto Brush as well as the built in Mocha tracker. Luxology was also there showing off v4.0 SP5 of Modo.

Autodesk's booth was always busy with their constant stream of speakers and imagery from last years accolades using their enhanced line-up of products. Maya was heavily featured (as the photo below shows) as examples of work and processes were shown on the big screen every hour that the doors were open. It also helps that their booth was right *AT* the door too!

Pixologic's booth was just as busy with the constant stream of top-end ZBrush users and their tips and tricks. They also were taking pre-orders for ZBrush 10 which included a nifty hat!

The amount of Mocap rigs on display was eye-catching as companies showing one to three people at a time in the black suits with the markers driving the animation of a sick figure in the monitor (as shown in the pics below):

NewTek's presentations using the latest version of Lightwave 10 showed promise and technical achievements over the last year with Lightwave: Core. According to what was told, it will be available in Q4 of this year.

Cannon had a VR camera similar that made you see things in a different light when looking through their VR-enabled goggles or the monitor they had rigged to show what the goggles saw:

Walt Disney Animation Studios was a huge draw upstairs at Rm410 with the constant activity they were providing. Glen Keane talked Tangled, software tools were demonstrated, and resumes and portfolios were reviewed.

West Hall B was a popular place to hang out and see how some of the stunning visuals were achieved for recent popular films by the artists who worked on them. Films that were highlighted (and the studios that presented) were Avatar: The Last Airbender (ILM), Alice in Wonderland (Sony Pictures Imageworks), Tron: Legacy (tease clips presented by Director Joseph Kosinski, producer Jeffrey Silver, vfx supe Eric Barba, and animation supe Steve Preeg), How to Train Your Dragon (Dreamworks Animation), Iron Man 2 (ILM), and Avatar (Weta).

This year's SIGGRAPH, as most SIGGRAPH's are wont to do, left one amazed at the leap technology has taken for our industry and with an appetite for some, if not all, of the new developments in hardware and software that was on display. It was also easy to be inspired not only by the work of the studios that came to show their latest and greatest, but of the individuals who submitted to the animation festival and by the work of those making strides towards the next technological advancements who submitted papers and presented to the conference. One leaves looking forward to 2012 where not only do we get a chance to disprove another "The End is Nigh!" scare, but the conference returns to our neck of the woods and we get to do it all over again.


Anonymous said...

I want that horse standee.

Anonymous said...

Lightwave had William Shatner and Dick Van Dyke as booth guests yesterday afternoon. Shatner used to be a partner in CORE, and Van Dyke is a hobbyist using Lightwave (and he knew waaay more about 3D production than Shatner did). It was awesome to see these two legends in person.

Anonymous said...

not sure how you missed The Foundry and it's partnership with DAS. Mari and Paint3d... yummmmmmmmm.

Steve Kaplan said...

To be honest, I heard about Foundry and DAS before the conference. I had hoped to see a Foundry booth on the floor, but never ran into it.

Anonymous said...

did they give out Tangled Lithographs like they did at Comic con?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

yeah, plus they were giving out cool little miniature foldable cardboard animation desks.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone else find it odd that Disney is reviewing portfolios and reels at Comic Con and Siggraph while laying off most of the staff that worked on Tangled?

Anonymous said...

For those interested, here's video of Dick van Dyke and William Shatner at SIGGRAPH discussing visual effects, Walt Disney and adult entertainment:

Anonymous said...

The reel reviews acted as a service to animation students and recent grads, and also for recruitment to the talent development program.

Anonymous said...

What I call a "courtesy review"

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