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CGI, VFX, Real-Time CG And Animation Intersect At The Forefront Of Technical Creativity At SIGGRAPH Asia 2019

“This year you will see a lot of new ideas, technologies that go way beyond traditional topics of computer graphics.”

Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash

The CGI, Special Effects and Animation industries are currently experiencing a renaissance, brought about by creative and technical enhancements made possible through applied interdisciplinary thinking and experimentation. SIGGRAPH Asia 2019, a showcase at the forefront of what fosters imagination and contributes to the development of new knowledge in creative practice and research, offers global perspectives and formative insights into the latest technology being applied in the CGI, FX and animation industries.

Participants experiencing Virtual Reality technology at SIGGRAPH Asia 2018

It is evident in the preparation of the programme that the industry is being strongly influenced in an interdisciplinary sense. The Technical Papers programme will feature the results of state-of-the-art research on topics from complex geometry and machine learning, 3D shape stylization, creating realistic character-scene interactions to simulating complexity of fluids and strands in the virtual world, among others.

Karen Liu, Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University and the Technical Papers Chair for SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 says, “This year you will see a lot of new ideas, technologies that go way beyond traditional topics of computer graphics. We’ve seen a lot of papers that build on the synergies of multiple disciplines, including machine learning, computer vision, robotics, AI and programming languages.”

Similarly, the Doctoral Consortium Chair Alyn Rockwood, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Associate Director of the Geometric Modeling and Scientific Visualization Research Center at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia says that attendees to SIGGRAPH Asia will benefit because, “You’ll hear of some of the best, latest research even sooner that the paper is published, as there are PhD’s deeply involved in presenting current issues.”

Representatives from world leading animation studios, including those from Method Studios, Weta Digital, 2N and Pixar will also be presenting their perspectives on how current advances in technology are shaping their future development efforts. Ernest Petti, Walt Disney Animation Studio’s Studio CG Supervisor will present “Frozen 2”, to showcase how creating the movie pushed the boundaries of what can be accomplished artistically and technically. The unique challenges the Studio faced during this process are now influencing how Walt Disney Animation Studio approaches their movie making processes in the future.

The XR programme will showcase emerging tools, such as a TouchVR haptic interface that provides cutaneous feedback on the palm; a system that is able to recognise intermediate facial expressions; or a novel method for touch sensations that apply passive magnetic materials to subtly stimulate body hair, evoking an emotional response. Part of the XR programme includes the highly anticipated VR Theater, exclusive to Platinum Pass holders only, that showcases state-of-the-art virtual reality storytelling through a 360-degree virtual environment.

Real-Time Live! will deconstruct the most innovative interactive techniques on stage, says Mike Seymour, Program Chair and Associate Lecturer at the University of Sydney. Mike says, “One of the key aspects of Real-Time Live is the value of ‘being in the room’, as real-time graphics are not just rendered quickly, but interactively. It is this live interaction that makes the presentations so inventive and powerful, and it is also why there is such a great difference to witness the event live and in the room. Interactive Real-Time graphics is a dramatically powerful and growing aspect of SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia”.

Similarly, the Art Gallery exhibition aims to engage, challenge and entertain attendees. Exhibits include ILLUSION which explores the relationship between the body, mind and machine by taking advantage of the brain-computer interface. It detects whether your consciousness has visual stimuli to produce cadenced sound. When you close your eyes, you can see the world imaged by sounds. Another exhibit, Smile, is a mixed-media installation consisting of a screen in a black box, mounted on the wall. When an interactor widely smiles at it, drone-footage of the ruins of Gaza fades in. The video stops when the interactor stops smiling.

Showcasing how they are applying technology and interdisciplinary thinking are the world’s leading brands, including Carpe Diem Solutions, Pixar, Unity Technologies, Ubisoft, Amazon Web Services, Foundry, Autodesk, IO Industries Inc., SideFX HOUDINI Software and Tsinghua University-Tencent Joint Laboratory, who will host Exhibitor Talks at the event.

SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 takes place at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre 17-20 November 2019. For more information, please visit https://sa2019.siggraph.org

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