SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 makes a mark in the technology and CG sector - AnimationXpress

December 17-2018
SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 makes a mark in the technology and CG sector

The 11th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition was a grand affair with mind blowing technologies being displayed over a span of four days. The exhibition which focused on the emerging talent in the technology section saw a huge crowd which gathered to try out the various VR experiences and seek knowledge from the industry experts. the registration desks were crowded since the first day with students and enthusiasts eager to grab a seat to attend the most amazing sessions which made for an elaborate event agenda.

Not just that, the sessions held during the course of time saw the experts from the industry talk about the in-depth detailing involved in the making of animated movies or CG projects. With the queues only increasing, sessions like ‘RenderMan 22’, ‘Virtual humans in games’, ‘Reinterpreting memorable characters in Incredibles 2’ were houseful.

The exhibitors told AnimationXpress that the response was pretty good, with many youths gathering to try out the newest trends in technology. Baobad Studios’ Larry Cutler said that the bar of SIGGRAPH is only rising with every event. The session held on the first day of the conference focused on the women in the industry. Named ‘Women in CG’, the session saw the female leaders in the industry talk about the treatment given to women and how there should be equality amongst all genders in the working space.

The conference welcomed close to 10,000 attendees worldwide including computer graphics professionals, researchers, enthusiasts and trade visitors from 59 countries and regions making this the largest and most successful SIGGRAPH Asia edition in the history of the event.

SIGGRAPH Asia sees a diverse group of individuals coming together to celebrate the intersection of science, technology, art and entertainment. “We knew from the onset that SIGGRAPH Asia in Tokyo was going to a great destination and the end result has proven that it was indeed an excellent choice. Tokyo’s achievement has been the cumulation of over two years of dedication from the conference and local SIGGRAPH Asia committees. SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 has set a new benchmark and we will strive to make the event even more impactful in the coming years,” said Koelnmesse division director (technology, digital media, entertainment and mobility) and  SIGGRAPH Asia chief staff executive Prakash Ramajillu.

Around 750 speakers discussed the latest industry developments and future of the computer graphics and interactive techniques industry at the conference that took place over the span of four days. The exciting line-up featured keynote speakers such as Senior Systems Engineer at NASA JPL David Oh, who shared about NASA’s recent Mars exploration and their latest mission, Psyche – The first metal asteroid that humankind will visit; GROOVE X founder and CEO who gave the final keynote on a “New Generation Household Robot’s” and his LOVOT concept (Love x Robot) exploring the relationship between human beings and robots.

Production and visual effects teams from Pixar Animation Studios, Weta Digital and ILM Singapore took to the stage to showcase their crossover work; from creating realistic virtual humans, to unforgettable characters in films such as Lord of the Rings and the Avengers franchise, to developing a backstory for Star Wars’ most iconic character, Han Solo.

Emerging Technologies featured presentations showing how the interactive technology has played a vital role in development of research communities. The AR/VR program had engaging sessions made the attendees dive into the emerging digital media. What caught fancy of the visitors were the interactive VR exhibits which allowed them to experience the technology themselves. Art, science and fun together can create magic, and SIGGRAPH Asia Tokyo was the host who managed to showcase this impeccable magic show.

The Pixar team was present at the conference to show the attendees how the costumes were created at Pixar. A session dedicated to character design saw a huge crowd, whereas RenderMan 22: Incredible developments by Pixar Animation Studio made the audience go gaga. Day two of SIGGRAPH 2018 was more interesting with a session that showed the making of Pixar’s short film Bao. Students and Batman lovers gathered outside the hall where the post-rendering of Batman Ninja was discussed. Not just informative, the conference also managed to let the foreigners know more about the culture of Japan with a fun origami class, a tea ceremony and kimono wearing session.

A hall was entirely dedicated to computer animation festival which showcased beautiful animated shorts everyday. A packed session which showed character designing at Weta Digital and how Gollum is transformed to Thanos only saw audience beaming with excitement while they watched their favourite character get created. The queues in front of the hall assigned for the last session on the fourth day were never ending. A houseful session, Real-Time Live! showcased the combination of latest motion capture technology and game engine. It played a movie rendered with RTX technology live in real-time on the server along with a presentation that demonstrates the full concept and brought features of the REALITY platform for VTubers and interactive virtual characters.

VSO Cloud spokesperson mentioned, ” We met lot of new people and it is good to see attendees coming from various corners of the globe to SIGGRAPH. The exhibition is technology based and is a good platform to expand the business.”

The largest exhibition in SIGGRAPH Asia’s history featured 93 exhibitors from over 14 countries showcasing the latest hardware, software, technologies and innovations from around the world. Key exhibitors and brands included present at the conference included ASTRODESIGN, AWS Thinkbox, BANDAI NAMCO Studios, BinaryVR, CLO Virtual Fashion, CyberAgent, Dell Japan, Digital Hollywood University, Dwango Media Village, EEZ Production Studios, FORUM8, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES JAPAN K.K., IMAGICA GROUP, InstaLOD, GmbH, NOITOM, teamLab, Too Corporation, Tsinghua University-Tencent Joint Laboratory, Unity Technologies Japan G.K., VFX-Japan Association, Visual Computing Center at KAUST, Xsens Technologies B.V., YGGDRAZIL Group, Zero C Seven to name a few.

Exhibitors at Emerging Technologies said, “The response is pretty good. The visitors are very much interested in trying out the new technology.” Clip Studio Paint spokesperson commented, “The response is very good and people are loving the new features in the software. The crowd at SIGGRAPH Tokyo seems enthusiastic than that in Canada.

Exhibitors, panelists, attendees and the industry as a whole witnessed the wonders of technology and CG in this 11th SIGGRAPH and are sure excited for the next edition which will be held in Brisbane, Australia in 2019. The SIGGRAPH community hopes to make the next edition grander.