A Week in Review

SIGGRAPH 2010 was an opportunity to run into friends and colleagues. The conference provided several ways to interact with and meet new people, whether through a panel where discussion is encouraged; through the SCVNGR hunt where challenges asked you to interact with other attendees; or through any of the number of networking parties scheduled throughout the week.

SIGGRAPH kicked off Sunday with the opening of registration. Attendees flooded the lines as they waited to get their badges. Sunday also marked the opening of E-Tech, Art Gallery, and the Studio. The three shared room 151 and both E-Tech and Art Gallery featured sensory exhibits. The Studio sponsored tutorials throughout the week collected pictures for the photomosaic Studio sign.

Monday featured Don Marinelli’s keynote speech and was promptly followed by a book signing just outside of the Bookstore. Another highlight of the day was the ACM SIGGRAPH Chapters Party at Club 740. DJ Dirty Draws came in from Miami to play the venue and the party was hopping.

Tuesday, the Exhibition floor opened. As attendees huddled outside of the doors, they were treated to a “I’m a Little Teapot” flashmob. The Job Fair also opened and attendees stood in line to show off their resumes. Jim Morris of Pixar also presented his keynote speech. Later in the evening, the SIGGRAPH Dailies! were crowded with attendees and the Electronic Theater did its second showing.

Wednesday, the conference was riddled with celebrity sightings. Dick van Dyke and William Shatner visited the Newtek booth on the Exhibition floor. Van Dyke spoke of his experience with Lightwave while Shatner cracked jokes. Richard Dreyfuss also made an appearance during the week to check out the conference. There were also several interesting production sessions about such topics as: “The Last Airbender— Harnessing the Elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire” and “The Making of Day and Night.”

Thursday marked the gradual closing of the conference. E-Tech, Art Gallery, and The Studio in addition to Geek Bar closed at 1pm. The Exhibition Hall and Job Fair closed a couple hours later.

Overall, the week was ripe with opportunities. The opportunity to see celebrities… The opportunity to collect swag… The opportunity to leave the conference with a job… And the opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime.

We hope you enjoyed the conference, and we’ll see you next year at SIGGRAPH 2011: Make It Home.

The SCVNGR Hunt

Hopefully, you noticed the SCVNGR hunt signs posted throughout the conference and decided to give it a try. If the experience of being put into situations that you wouldn’t normally find yourself in isn’t enough motivation, perhaps the $15,000 in available prizes caught your attention.

The hunt took attendees to various venues to complete specific challenges. As the sponsor of the SCVNGR hunt, Disney was featured often as a trek. The challenges included such things as taking a goofy picture with someone from the Disney Animation Suite to going to the various Exhibition Hall booths and learning about some of the products. The challenges were all fun and some gave participants an excuse to network and talk to people in the industry.

The Making of “God of War 3”

Santa Monica Studios presented on the newest addition to the God of War series. The presentation started with the trailer and then shifted to the original vision for the newest game. The vision started with reexamining the style, because of the additional capabilities of the Playstation 3 versus the Playstation 2. Next, they wanted to represent the story through the visuals. An example is if Kratos kills Poseidon, then the seas would rage. Finally, they also wanted to crank up the violence of the game.

The presentation continued with a look at the process of creating the game from concept art to when it becomes a 3D model. The discussion included some of the changes that must be made to characters when going from the concept art to the actual model. Sometimes, character features can cost too much time and money to create or the level of detail in the model can cost the game play, so they must be cut. It is a fine balance.

Computer Animation Festival

Electronic Theater

The Electronic Theater showcased excerpts and clips from movies, video games, and commercials. The screenings included a wide range of looks from photorealistic to far more stylized content. The showing also allowed attendees to see the award winning work. Best in Show went to Loom, a short about a moth being eaten by a spider. The Jury Award went to Poppy, a short about two New Zealand soldiers trapped behind enemy lines during WWI. The Best Student Project Prize went to The Wonder Hospital, a long short about a girl entering a hospital that alters her way of seeing beauty. If you didn’t make it to one of the screenings, you missed out!

Commercials and Cinematics

This special screening had a huge gaming focus and featured amazing commercials for Gears of War 3: Ashes to Ashes and Marvel vs. Capcom 3: A Fate of Two Worlds Episode 1 (to name a few). The screening also allowed attendees to see the complete long shorts The Kinematograph and The Lost Thing that were excerpted at Electronic Theater.

Long Shorts and Student Animation

This screening featured many student works that were laden with humor. Some highlights included G-Force Basketball, a short about two men playing basketball in outer space, and Pandore, a humorous take on the story of Pandora.

A Day in Review: Wednesday

The day kicked off with “The Last Airbender—Harnessing the Elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire.” The presentation discussed the design of the characters and how they decided which design to use. In the case of Appa, M. Night Shyamalan had his daughter pick her favorite and that was the design they went with. The presenters also talked about the development of a full 3D-based solution for doing their fire effects.

After “The Last Airbender,” “The Making of Day and Night" kicked off in West Hall B. Ted Newton talked about his inspiration for the short and his creative method.

Later, in the afternoon, there was some excitement on the Exhibition Hall floor as everyone crowded around the Newtek booth to catch a peek of Dick van Dyke and William Shatner.

The Reception also took place at the Westin Bonaventure, where SIGGRAPH attendees gathered for food and conversation. The ballroom was packed and the food was delicious!

Tomorrow is the last day of the conference, be sure to squeeze in what you can!

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