SIGGRAPH 2008 Blog - Thursday, August 14, 2008
Thursday was the last day of the SIGGRAPH exhibition (the conference runs for the whole 5 days while the exhibition runs for only 3). The show floor closed at 3:30pm but that didn’t make things any less exhausting.
My day started by rushing to a talk titled “The Future of Character Animation: From Stop Motion to Flash; From Keyframe to Puppetry,” where they were discussing the different animation techniques, how they have evolved, and the age-old question about one technique replacing the other. Actually, I have reached my own conclusions now that I see the new body and face capture technology, but I’d like to hear yours. Do you think that your medium is ever going to be replaced by any new technology? Use the feedback field at the bottom and let me know.
The Autodesk guys were performing a workflow demonstration using Maya, Mudbox and Shake.
Mudbox has some new features, including the ability to paint textures, using HDR lighting, and even showing depth focus in realtime. I am not sure about their hardware configuration, but the computer didn’t have much trouble handling a 5 million polygon model in textured mode and HDR lighting.
As you may already know, Maxon Cinema 4D goes to version 11. They held a press event for the launch where they were showing some of the new features, like non-linear track-based animation, a revamped BodyPaint module, and matte painting projection. I’ll give you more information about this when I have the time to play a little with the demo version of Cinema 4D that they gave us.
I’ve been learning the new Maya a little at a time, since they still didn’t have any actual printed material about it. I did learn, however, that they have a new render layers system that lets you select from a very long list of presets and create the layers automatically. What seems to make the new system so special is that it doesn’t need to make a separate render each time you have to output different layers.
Imagine you have a scene with global illumination and you want to separate the direct and indirect lighting, the reflections and shadows. The idea is that Maya will only render one pass, and then separate the four layers on the fly.
Afterwards, someone from Lucas Animation gave a demonstration about the robot-slicing system they used for The Clone Wars. Basically, they use a plane to slice the robots, and what’s nice about the system is that they can setup the plane in any way they want, instead of having to pre-slice the model.
I had heard some rumors about an Astroboy movie, but I wasn’t sure when it was going to come out. It turned out that the Imagi booth was displaying a trailer for it.
If you want to post your reel or portfolio and get noticed, Reel-Exchange is the place to go. Reel-Exchange is an online social community that makes sure it gets your work noticed by featuring word on its channels, front page, magazines and newsletters.
As I said, you can post your reel and information, but you can also post news about the projects you’re currently working on, which is something that other communities don’t let you do.
CityEngine is a procedural city creation software from Procedural, the company I mentioned on my post about Rome Reborn. The complete city is created based on a set of rules that you can set. Everything is done procedurally using a proprietary scripting language, and you can use it to load textures, change the size of objects, and even load custom objects.
The SIGGRAPH show floor closed at 3:30 pm today, and then everybody began to take down their booths.
SIGGRAPH is over… or at least the SIGGRAPH exhibition.
I’m sure you heard the buzz on the internet about a hologram made by Meats Meier, which is actually the evolved version of his Mother Earth image. To tell the truth, I didn’t find it until the last day, because it was “hiding” under the stairs near Hall B. I don’t want to sound harsh or anything, considering that he is one of my favorite 3D artists, but I can’t seem to understand why they placed the work below the stairs, instead of putting in some place where everybody could see it right away.
The pictures below show the Convention Center pretty much empty, as everybody had either gone away to the reception, or just left to get ready for the Production Studio Nights.
The Production Studio Nights was screening Star Wars: The Clone Wars this evening. I could describe what I saw over there, but I guess it’s a lot easier to just show you the pictures.
One day left for SIGGRAPH, and then we go back to our normal lives.
SIGGRAPH 2008 Blog - Friday, August 15, 2008
It's 5:50pm and SIGGRAPH is now officially over. The last class ended at 5:30 as scheduled, the student volunteers are leaving, the teardown has begun, and everybody is either hanging around using their computers or just leaving.
To me this was a slow day from the time it began: just a couple of classes and one CAF screening. I went to the New Technologies and The Studio,but those closed at 3:30, so everything was actually shut down by the time I got there.
I am a little sad that it's over, but at the same time I feel relieved as I am barely able to stand on my feet. SIGGRAPH 2008 is over. Hopefully, we'll see each other next year in New Orleans.
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Animation Alley is a regular featured column with Renderosity Staff Columnist Sergio Rosa [nemirc]. Sergio discusses on computer graphics software, animation techniques, and technology. He also hosts interviews with professionals in the animation and cinematography fields.
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