I had a great experience at SIGGRAPH 2011. For those who haven’t heard of SIGGRAPH, it is one of the world’s largest annual conferences for computer graphics and interactive techniques. This year almost 20,000 people from all over the world came to learn about, talk about, and show off the latest trends, technologies, products, and research findings in the field.
Some daily highlights for me were sitting in The Studio workshops where an instructor would take you through new workflows in software packages such as Photoshop, Maya, Realflow, Zbrush, and Unity. In between workshops you could listen to a variety of people in the industry talk about their current work. One of these talks that I found the most interesting was how Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) developed the animated feature film Rango. The lead character animator of Rango presented and shared some of ILM’s workflow and process, and also some entertaining behind-the-scenes footage of Johnny Depp acting out scenes as test footage for the animations.
The “Sandbox” was an area full of emerging technologies, such as a mirror that could measure your heart rate by looking into it. Yea, that was an MIT study. Cool stuff!
The lower level of the main Convention Center was action packed with Motion Capture and 3D body scanning demos, a NVidia Sketchbook drawing competition using the new Wacom Intuos touch displays, and a variety of other demos and attractions.
All this was set in Vancouver, the “Beautiful British Columbia”, with a back-drop of sail boats, mountains, sky scrapers, beaches and evergreens.
Next year SIGGRAPH will be held in Los Angeles. I’ll be there. Who’s coming with me?