The 15th edition of SIGGRAPH Asia, ACM SIGGRAPH’s annual conference and trade exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques in Asia, wrapped up at EXCO in Daegu, South Korea on 9 December. Celebrating the theme Colourful World, SIGGRAPH Asia 2022 attracted over 3,000 attendees from 52 countries and regions. Close to 400 speakers delivered talks while 50 exhibiting companies and brands showcased their latest technologies and solutions.
Attracting the finest minds and redefining the future of cutting-edge technologies inspired thousands of visitors. SIGGRAPH Asia 2022 was led by professor Soon Ki Jung and was supported by a team of program chairs across art gallery, business and innovation symposium, computer animation, courses, emerging technologies, featured sessions, games, technical communications, technical papers, real-time live! and XR.
Commenting on the success of SIGGRAPH Asia in Daegu, professor Jung said, “We are thrilled that after two years of travel challenges faced by all, we were able to finally meet all our local and international guests face to face in Daegu. It has been my honour to host our esteemed program chairs, distinguished keynote speakers and hundreds of industry experts at the event. It was inspiring to share ideas, collaborate and showcase the future of computer graphics, animation and its impact on enterprises and the end users. We thank the city of Daegu and the organising team for curating such an innovative event. We are already excited about travelling to Sydney, Australia for SIGGRAPH Asia 2023 which will be led by conference chair June Kim.”
Highlights of SIGGRAPH Asia 2022 included highly coveted awards which were handed to students and experts in the fields of computer animation, technical papers, extended reality (XR) and Real-Time live!
Prestigious gongs awarded to the finest talents
Technical Papers chair Jehee Lee and Conference Papers director Adam Bargteil applauded the submissions received, an impressive 407 submissions, a 50 per cent increase from last year. Rhythmic Gesticulator: Rhythm-Aware Co-Speech Gesture Synthesis with Hierarchical Neural Embeddings authored by Tenglong Ao, Qingzhe Gao Shandong, Yuke Lou, Baoquan Chen and Libin Liu from Peking University were recognised for their research that acutely improves the harmony between speech and gestures. Neural James-Stein Combiner for Unbiased and Biased Renderings by Jeongmin GuGwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Jose A. Iglesias-Guitian from the University of A CoruñaCITIC – Centre for ICT Research and Bochang MoonGwangju from the Institute of Science and Technology were also recognised. The team of academic researchers showed a combination framework built upon the James-Stein (JS) estimator, which merges a pair of unbiased and biased rendering images, for example: a path-traced image and its denoised result.
Constant Time Median Filter using 2D Wavelet Matrix authors Yuji Moroto and Nobuyuki Umetani from the University of Tokyo were also honoured at SIGGRAPH Asia. The team showed that a median filter is a simple yet powerful noise reduction technique that is extensively applied in image, signal, and speech processing. $S^3$-Slicer: A General Slicing Framework for Multi-Axis 3D Printing authors Tianyu Zhang, Guoxin Fang, Yuming Huang, Neelotpal Dutta, Murat Kilic, Charlie C. L. Wang from the University of Manchester and Sylvain Lefebvre from INRIA were recognised for their research in computer-aided design work.
Technical Papers chair Jehee Lee said, “The Technical Papers program represents the tremendous endeavour of the authors. It’s a unique platform to showcase the highest technical achievements of our community. Collaboration is also critical to realise real-world solutions and we were grateful that our community had an opportunity to come together to share their research.”
Computer Animation Festival
Four filmmakers and teams were honoured for their exemplary work during the Computer Animation Festival (CAF) which, according to SIGGRAPH Asia CAF program chair Dan Sarto, was the most expansive and compelling program ever. A total of 405 submissions from 19 countries were received. Of these, 33 films, including four highlighted films from Korea, were screened at SIGGRAPH Asia 2022’s Electronic and Animation Theaters.
Best in Show was awarded to Garrano, directed by David Doutel and Vasco Sá, BAP Animation Studio, produced by David Doutel, Jury’s Special Award was handed to Cat and Moth (Canada, United Kingdom), directed by India Barnardo, Stupid Horse Productions, co-produced by Sarah Dacey and Emily Shinyi Hsu and Best Student Project was awarded to Period Drama (United States), directed by Anushka Nair and Lauryn Anthony, Ringling College of Art and Design. An Honorary mention went to directors Matthew Luhn and Hjalti Hjalmarssonj, Blender Studio Netherlands for Sprite Fight.
CAF chair, Dan Sarto said, “This year’s SACAF submissions once again reflected an incredibly diverse, passionate, and innovative group of artists, technologists, and researchers, harnessing a variety of animation techniques and tools to create funny, thought-provoking, and visually engaging work.”
XR (Extended Reality)
XRAYHEAD by Kento Imai, Haruka Kayano and Kenri Kodaka from Nagoya City University created a striking illusion of a skull when the top of the head is touched. The ingenious illusion works with an experimental setup where the participant is faced with a specially designed smart-skeleton through a half-mirror. XR program chair said, “This year’s XR program shows key elements of XR experiences. Ranging from innovative methods on XR interactions including walking, jumping to door opening. We also experienced immersive applications including education, art performance, dancing, and boxing. We even showcased entering the realms of metaverse and interacting with robots with real and virtual bodies and enhanced ability with a new avatar. It was also possible for visitors to take a journey in the comic world, be a part of the birth of earth life forms, and take a look inside your head with Xrayhead!”
In the Emerging Technologies program, the mind-bending Extra-Sensory Puck (E.S.P) in Air Hockey using the Projection-Based Illusion was declared the winner. E.S.P., designed by Kengo Sato, Yoshihiro Watanabe from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Hiroki Terashima from NTT Communication Science Laboratories and Shin’ya Nishida from Kyoto University. It provides a new experience by introducing optical illusions to air hockey based on our high-speed projector-camera system. A solid puck randomly hit by a player is camouflaged to disappear on the table and causes various physics-defying motions.
Hye Yeon Nam, SIGGRAPH Asia 2022 Emerging Technologies Chair said, “Emerging Technologies program gave a chance for visitors to experience innovative and creative projects at SIGGRAPH Asia 2022. Our program plays a vital role in demonstrating leading interactive technologies. We hope our visitors enjoyed the future of novel technological innovations and were inspired by next-generation technologies and beyond.”
At the end of the Real-Time Live! Session, the audience voted for their favourite team and the award went to Real-Time Technologies for Realistic Digital Humans: Facial Performance and Hair Stimulation, demonstrated by Mark Schoenmagel on Unity Technologies.
The software allows a smoother rendering process which includes the most intricacies of objects – hair and fur. Mark demonstrated in real-time how hair can be constructed on avatars within seconds with Unity’s plugins and how this solution can be used to improve realism for developers’ use.
SIGGRAPH Asia 2022 Real-Time Live! chair Matt Adcock said “The Real-Time Live! program showcased some of the latest, most innovative, creative, futuristic and entertaining achievements in computer graphics and interactive techniques.”
Metaverse Content Competition
SIGGRAPH Asia’s expertise was also tapped by the Korea Metaverse Industry Association. During the national Metaverse Content Competition the SIGGRAPH Asia Extended Reality (XR) program committee was invited to evaluate the submissions. A host of impressive metaverse services and concepts made the shortlist and the awards were presented at the closing ceremony of SIGGRAPH Asia 2022.
Inspiring Keynote Speakers
Three distinguished speakers elevated SIGGRAPH Asia further with their revolutionary talks on artificial intelligence, metaverse, immersive technology and the future of emerging technologies. Award-winning artificial intelligence and technology revolutionary Renault chief scientific officer Dr. Luc Julia, d’strict CEO Sean Lee, a Korean digital design and immersive media technology company, and industry heavyweight, Naver Z Corporation CEO DaeWook Kim, South Korea’s No. 1 search engine were the keynote speakers.
SIGGRAPH Asia Exhibition and Experience Hall
The three-day SIGGRAPH Asia Exhibition, held from 7 to 9 December 2022 impressed visitors giving them a view of innovative future technologies. From experimental solutions to immersive, wearable technology, 50 exhibiting companies and brands from 11 countries and regions participated. These included Adobe, AMD, Amazon Web Services, Autodesk Korea, CLO Virtual Fashion (Marvelous Designer), Copresence AG, Dexter Studios, Foundry, Fox Renderfarm, Google Research, Industrial Light & Magic, IO Industries, Leaders Systems, NCSoft, Pixar’s RenderMan, Qualisys, Rotomaker, Ritsumeikan University, Seoul Robotics, SideFX, Vicon Motion Capture, Visol, X, inc., Xencelabs / XP-Pen, to list a few.
Y Design Lab Co. CTO Nam Sung Mok, exhibitor of Daegu Pavilion said, “SIGGRAPH Asia 2022 has allowed us to take a glimpse into the future of computer graphics, providing a good opportunity to expand our perspective beyond present technology. With that unique perspective, our company will constantly challenge a new field and ultimately target the international market.”
The Experience Hall within the exhibition space also housed the art gallery, emerging technologies and extended reality (XR) immersive programs.
SIGGRAPH Asia 2023, will be held at the International Convention & Exhibition Centre (ICC) in Sydney, Australia. The conference will take place from 12-15 December and the exhibition will be held from 13-15 December. SIGGRAPH Asia 2023 Conference chair, June Kim announced Connecting Stories as the theme for the 16th edition. He said, “SIGGRAPH Asia will be held in ICC in the centre of Darling Harbour, Sydney City which is also surrounded by museums, galleries, universities and tech companies. Our main focus of course will be to stimulate ourselves, learn and discuss computer graphics and interactive techniques. The theme for SIGGRAPH Asia 2023 is Connecting Stories. We believe that it’s time to share and connect all our stories to continue to develop computer graphics and interactive techniques with the aim of making our lives better.”