I recently returned from SIGGRAPH 2011, Vancouver, BC. SIGGRAPH (or Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques) is a premier international computer graphics, video, animation and new technologies conference.
The overall focus centered around the idea of community within the animation/effects/interactive industry. This was a chance to acknowledge the key companies and individuals that have steadily helped push and grow the computer graphics industry and specifically the SIGGRAPH family.
Of course great work, ideas and inspirations were all around. While last year saw a heavy industry push towards “stereoscopic 3D,” that emphasis seemed to have faded. Interactivity, through gaming and online productions, still held high interest. And some of the best, budding ideas were found in the student/research expo, “The Studio.” One incredible prototyped development actually measured an individual’s heart rate and vitals simply through web cam use and its recordings. Virtual reality and immersive interactive environments were prominent again; 3D printers were also on display and demoing capabilities.
The lectures at SIGGRAPH balanced technology with the human element and thoughts on the industry. The keynote speaker was Cory Doctorow, an industry blogger and Wired contributor. He spoke specifically on the effect patent laws are having on the individual and creativity. Production teams/directors from some of the latest features, Rango, Thor, Pixar’s La Luna and Cars 2, and Smurfs, shared personal and technical insights as well.
Finally, the SIGGRAPH animation showcase gave attendees a chance to view some of the strongest visualizations and productions from the past year. Enjoy just a few unique styles and amazing ideas from around the world — some beautiful, some dark, some funny, but all very well-crafted:
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