Getting Ready for SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver, B.C.

August 6, 2011 2:08 am

Tags: 3D, ACM, Animation, Autodesk, Computer Animation Festival, Emerging technologies, MAXON, SIGGRAPH

Getting Ready for SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver, B.C.

"The "Make it Home" theme came out of a volunteer-led discussion group that was attempting to quantify what SIGGRAPH was in the digital age and whether or not there were risks that were not addressed in moving the conference outside of the United States. Someone at this meeting made the strong point that no matter where SIGGRAPH was -- it was home"
-SIGGRAPH 2011 chair, Peter Braccio, AWN Interview

I'll be attending the 38th Annual Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techiques (SIGGRAPH 2011) next week. It's my fourth trip to SIGGRAPH, having attended the event twice in Los Angeles and once in New Orleans. This remarkable event starts on Sunday, August 7th, 2011, and runs through Thursday, August 11th. And this year, to my great pleasure, the conference will take place in Vancouver, B.C., one of the great cities of the world. It's the first time SIGGRAPH will take place outside of the United States since it first took place in 1974.


Courtesy of ACM SIGGRAPH

Although the SIGGRAPH convention has a familiar organization (Computer Animation Festival, The Studio, panels, papers, etc.) each SIGGRAPH is completely unique due primarily to the people that attend. Of course, the city it takes place in has a big impact. New Orleans was a wonderful SIGGRAPH for me, as it was slightly smaller and a slower pace. Los Angeles usually has a huge attendance since it's right in the middle of Hollywoodland and the pace tends to be fast and crowds are huge. It's still a lot of fun though.

I am very much looking forward to SIGGRAPH in Vancouver. I've been fortunate to spend time in Vancouver over the last decade and every trip has been a joy. It's beautiful, easy to get around in, cultured and has a unique combination of northwestern US and French European culture. Not to mention the city has some fantastic bookstores. The convention center is apparently a world-class structure and I'm about a mile away, staying at a Bed & Breakfast. Stanley Park is blocks away, too.

"... the Vancouver Convention Center is drop-dead gorgeous. Additionally, sustainability, green design and energy conservation are not just buzz words for the center. The new West Building of the Convention Center is the first convention center building in the world to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification."
-2011 SIGGRAPH chair, Peter Braccio, AWN Interview

This year's SIGGRAPH theme is "Make it Home," which comes from the notion that when you are at SIGGRAPH, no matter what city it takes place in, it's home. I like that theme and in it's spirit I've decided to make an effort to meet as many people as possible this year, to start up conversations and listen as much as I can. Attendance is expected to be high, although some companies limit their presence when the conference is not in Los Angeles (something I don't fully understand as SIGGRAPH is more than being just about money).

Keynote Speaker Cory Doctorow

I've made a concerted effort this year to seek out products and companies I want to learn more about. With nearly 18 meetings/demos scheduled, I'll be running to and fro more than once. Some of the companies I'm very excited about meeting with are:

And, of course, I'll be attending the annual MAXON CINEMA 4D luncheon (they've just announced C4D R13 for September), the John Peddie luncheon (theme: "Virtual Movie Making"), a special Autodesk breakfast event (loved their 3ds Max luncheon last year), and the much anticipated Nvidia dinner and press event. All of these events should prove to be exciting and informative. Not to mention the food will be excellent. I'll be reporting in-depth on these events, not only via the front page here at Renderosity, but via our twitter and Facebook feeds.

Vancouver Convention Center. Photo by Dennis Tsang

SIGGRAPH's keynote speaker this year is Cory Doctorow, a noted science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger (also co-editor of the fabulous His comments should be most interesting. I'll also be squeezing in as much as I can of the film screenings, workshops and panels as I can, too. Of particular interest to me is the "Emerging Technologies" and "The Studio," where you can interact directly with the programs and tools being discussed at SIGGRAPH. I'll be taking courses in "Sand Animation" and "Storytelling with Color," along with sitting in on the Blender Community meeting and various Tech demos on GPU technology, real-time game demos and much more.

I know there are going to be some amazing films screened at the 2011 SIGGRAPH conference. They recently announced the winners of the Computer Animation Festival. Seeing these extraordinary films on a large screen is quite an experience. I'm particularly excited about seeing the Best in Show award winner "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore," created by a new animation company, Moonbot Studios, based in Shreveport, Louisiana. I've already seen it in HD on my home computer screen and was blown away. I can only imagine what this brilliant animated film will look like in the theater. I predict Moonboot will one day rival Pixar.

John Peddie Luncheon SIGGRAPH 2010

In keeping with my goal of meeting a lot of people this year, I plan on conducting spot interviews and taking a lot of video. I'll be posting here at Renderosity every other day and sending tweets throughout each day. Renderosity will have a booth at SIGGRAPH this year (woo-hoo!), so I'll keep you up to date on the crazy stuff that happens there. I really enjoy meeting the other members of the staff as they are such neat people and are always supportive. I'm grateful to Renderosity for giving me the opportunity to attend this conference. What a great company.

I look forward to sharing my SIGGRAPH 2011 experience with you all. Vancouver, here I come!

Still from "The Fantasic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore"

Note: for more info on SIGGRAPH, try the main 2011 site and the excellent wikipedia entry. Past SIGGRAPH posts can be found here and here. The Vancouver SIGGRAPH 2011 main site is a wealth of information, including many excellent videos demonstrating areas like the Art Gallery and Emerging Technologies. They create a new site every year and they are all extremely well-designed.

Ricky Grove [gToon], Staff Columnist with the Renderosity Front Page News. Ricky Grove is a bookstore clerk at the best bookstore in Los Angeles, the Iliad Bookshop. He's also an actor and machinima filmmaker. He lives with author, Lisa Morton, and three very individual cats. Ricky is into Hong Kong films, FPS shooters, experimental anything and reading, reading, reading. You can catch his blog here.




August 5, 2011

Please note: If you find the color of the text hard to read, please click on "Printer-friendly" and black text will appear on a white background.

Related Articles:

Article Comments

Debbie M. ( posted at 9:55AM Mon, 08 August 2011

Hope you're having a good time Ricky! Looking forward to hearing what all you get from all the meetings and demos! Thanks for sharing.