Siggraph Report, Monday, August 10

gToon · August 11, 2015 12:43 am

Tags: Allegorithmics, Art Gallery, Autodesk, Computer Graphics, Lenovo, NVIDIA, Siggraph

Monday at the Siggraph Computer Graphics conference is really when things kick in to high gear. The main keynote address starts mid-morning along with the awards program. The attendence is noticeably higher today with largel amounts of people in all parts of the LA Convention Center.

I decided to pass on the Keynote this year, given by Joichi (Joi) Ito (I’ll catch it later this week after the video has been posted). Instead, I spent an hour in the Art Gallery (fabulous, as usual), the Emerging Technologies/Studio and the brand new VR Village. All four areas were located (oddly) in the South Hall which is a little out of the way. I liked it better last year when the exhibits were in-between both halls. Didn’t seem to hurt attendance at all through as the whole area was filled with observers, participants, inventors
and artists.

I’ll be reporting more on these exhibits later in the week, however, I do want to point out two exhibits that were just so very cool that I just have to mention them.

3D Guitar

This year's Art Gallery theme was "Hybrid Crafts". I was taken by all of the artworks, but the 3D acoustic guitar really caught my eye. The design sense coupled with the practical ability to create different combinations of resonance chambers to change the overall sound of the guitar is masterful. Check out the trailer for the Siggraph 2015 Art Gallery below:

Many Meetings

I met with Allegorithmic, the makers of Substance Designer, who updated me on their Substance Share application which should be out in the early Fall. I was impressed with the fact that they are offering a Pay to Own subscription model where you pay a monthly fee untill you eventually own the program outright. This is a smart company with an application thatmay be growning faster than they can manage. Althought his is a pretty good problem to have.

Chaos Group, creators of V-Ray, a penultimate 3D renderer, had some great news about their product. Unfortunately, it’s under embargo until after the deadline for this article so you’ll have to wait. I can say they have released V-Ray for Maya 3.1 which looks to be a wonderful upgrade. David Tracey,  for Chaos Group, is an excellent spokesperson for V-Ray and our conversation was wide ranging and fun. He shared VR experiences using the Samsung VR set up and they were wonderful. If only you could see what I was seeing in the picture below!

Lenovo, in a very informative meeting, shared the latest addition to their sterling workstation ThinkPad stable: The P50 and P70 workstations. Wow factor is quite high with both of these beautiful workstations. Redesigned from the ground up both internally and externally, they are as beautiful as they are powerful. In discussing the USB-C, which will be incorporated into these beautiful workstations, I had the quote of the day, "You can actually move the entire Library of Congress from point A to Point B in about 7 minutes". Amazing.


NVIDIA, a world leader in GPU techonolgy, held a showy, but informative press conference and announced NVIDIA DESIGNWORKS, “advanced technologies for design applications” which covers rendering, materials, display, virtual reality and live video. More on this during the week. Suffice to say there’s a lot if interesting new technology being developed by
NVIDIA and all of it will make digital artists work easier and more creative.


Autodesk, another giant in the 3D graphics industry, held an off-site press dinner/presentation that was short, but very sweet. They announced some fine updates to Maya and 3DS Max (more details coming) alogn with additional information on their brand-new StingRay game-engine. Autodesk’s partner, Shotgun (an asset management and tracking program) also made a presentation that was interesting. I like the fellow who did the presentation who joined us at the dinner table for a frank, after dinner chat.

Final Thoughts

On the subway ride home (yes, Los Angeles has a subway) I was goingover the days events in my head and thought that if the computer graphics community didn’t have Siggraph it would be a much less interesting field. Not to mention that simply interacting with people who share your passions and interests is simply wonderful.

At the end of the day, tired, but energized, I was thinking, “I can’t wait to get back to the conference tomorrow”.

Stay tuned for my Siggraph Report for Tuesday, August 11th.

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