SIGGRAPH Asia 2012: From Academy Award-winning Production Sessions to Stellar Technical Research Presentations

From 28 November to 1 December 2012, the highly regarded and anticipated ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition will be back in its inaugural city, Singapore.  In its fifth edition this year, SIGGRAPH Asia continues to advance its position as a global platform to showcase the region’s best digital innovations and breakthrough concepts to the world. This year’s SIGGRAPH Asia will bring together leading names in the animation, graphics, digital art and technology industries from around the world. Visitors to the event can expect to be inspired by visual effects and behind-the-scenes production presentations from award-winning professionals, as well as discover upcoming trends and latest research in the field of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Academy Award-Winning Production Sessions Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor, Paul Franklin, Double Negative, will present a Special Session on the production of the global box-office hit, The Dark Knight Rises. The conclusion to director Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy was partly shot in the IMAX format, a motion picture format with the capacity for greater size and clearer resolution than standard movie systems. Franklin will explain how, through close liaison with Nolan, he developed a unique approach to the challenges of filming with the IMAX camera, an extremely heavy piece of equipment that is difficult to maneuver and requires custom-made platforms and supports. Another Academy-award winner, Visual Effects Supervisor, Ben Grossmann, Pixomondo, will share with the SIGGRAPH Asia audience how he brought the animation film Hugo to life. The production process behind Hugo was unique as it boasts an international team across Pixomondo’s facilities in Canada, China, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, who contributed to the more than 800 stereo 3D visual effects shots in the film. In his session, Production Workflow on ‘Hugo’: A New Model of International VFX, Grossmann will discuss how this method of leveraging a global pipeline of artists is becoming the new model for visual effects productions. In addition to addressing the technical workflow, Grossmann will touch on the benefits and challenges that arise when working with facilities spread across the globe. Attendees to SIGGRAPH Asia will also get a chance to learn more about the production and creative challenges behind sci-fi movie Prometheus, as well as hit game, Assassin’s Creed III. Daniele Bigi, The Moving Picture Company (MPC) will demonstrate how his team created the imaginary world of distant moon LV-223 in Prometheus, while Ubisoft’s Georges Torres and Julien Proux will discuss the technical challenges of taking Assassin’s Creed III from the American Revolution to the high seas. Finally, Chief Technical Officer of Lucasfilm, Dave Story will close the Special Session segment by outlining the projects which are being developed in Lucasfilm campuses in San Francisco and Singapore. Extending the Conversation on the Mobile Revolution SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 will also see a return of the Symposium on Apps, which was first introduced in Hong Kong last year. The second Symposium on Apps will provide both industry and academia with a platform to introduce new opportunities in the world of mobile applications and discuss the challenges of developing a compelling product for today’s increasingly mobile world. In an Invited Panel, The Curse of Choice ­ How Will Users Find My App!?, experts from academia and the industry will delve into the current market trends for mobile apps development. The lineup of industry experts, from well-known institutions such as Motorola Research and Yahoo! Labs, will share their insights and predictions on the future directions in mobility and mobile applications. Presenting the Art of Storytelling through Animation From the academia, industry professionals and students, the Computer Animation Festival has always been a favorite among visitors to SIGGRAPH Asia. Out of a healthy intake of 484 submissions, 31 clips have been selected for the Electronic Theater and 45 for the Animation Theater. The contributed clips come from across the world with about half of the selections from Asia and Europe, cementing SIGGRAPH Asia 2012’s place as a global platform. “This year, the submissions we received were really strong, in terms of marrying great storyline with artistically impressive graphics,” says Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann, Chair of the SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 Computer Animation Festival. “The jury focused on works that are able to tell compelling stories while working in computer graphics seamlessly into the plot. Audiences at the Computer Animation Festival can expect to focus on unique storylines, where the visual effects do not overpower the plot.” Showcasing Research Breakthroughs The quality and depth of submissions this year for the Technical Papers program saw participation from many of the world’s most influential institutions. The team from the National Taiwan University will be demonstrating a ground-breaking rendering method that is able to handle all types of distributed effects with less noise than conventional approaches Well-known names, such as, Adobe, Disney, and Microsoft Research Asia have also submitted papers of their latest research on a variety of topics including acquiring and synthesizing indoor scenes and techniques to enhance character articulation as well as creating coherent intrinsic images from photos. Additionally, the Technical Papers program will also feature acclaimed academic research institutions like ETH-Zurich, the assachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley in the line-up of sessions at SIGGRAPH Asia 2012. The Courses program at SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 will continue to provide insights into the technical and the artistic aspects of film and animation production. Disney Toon Studios will share with audiences production secrets behind some of their iconic works. The session will also include a sneak preview of their latest movie to be released on DVD entitled, The Secret of the Wings. This session will be led by Vladimir Sierra, Stereoscopic Lead at Disney Toon Studios, who previously worked with NASA. Other industry leaders who will speak at the SIGGRAPH Asia Courses program include AMD, Disney Research Zurich, DreamWorks Animation, ETH-Zurich, NVIDIA, Pixar Animation Studios and the University of Utah. Their courses range in topics from GPU graphics, recent advances in cloth modeling, and story-telling for films and games. Additionally, there are courses that explore how Hollywood uses pre-visualization to help create movies. For detailed conference program updates, please visit the SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 website