The SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival has a long history of presenting a variety of the world’s most innovative, accomplished, and amazing creators of digital gaming, film, and video. The Computer Animation Festival at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver, 7-11 August 2011, provides a personal viewing experience unlike any other. In addition to film screenings, the Festival includes interactive sessions and exclusive learning opportunities to gain industry secrets and advice from some of the most successful professionals in the field.
“Once again, the content in the Computer Animation Festival offers something of interest to just about everyone – from industry newbies to veterans,” said Joshua Grow, Computer Animation Festival Director from The Creative-Cartel. “The content ranges from commercials to gaming. It is truly the year’s unique opportunity to hear directly from the best in the business. It should prove to be educational and inspirational.”
Listed below are just a few of the learning opportunities during the Computer Animation Festival:
Production Sessions – Production Sessions are high-level discussions that showcase the computer animation and visual effects in some of the Computer Animation Festival’s most provocative works. SIGGRAPH 2011 featured Production Sessions include:
The Visual Effects of “Thor” and “Captain America”: So Different Yet So Marvel – Marvel Studios devotes great time and effort to deliver great great storytelling, strong visuals, and compelling characters to movie audiences. This session compares the films “Thor” and “Captain America” and shows how visual effects are a critical aesthetic ingredient in their success. Visual effects supervisors Wesley Sewell and Christopher Townsend and their teams from Digital Domain, Double Negative, Whiskytree, Luma Pictures, and Lola VFX review how the films combine beauty and authenticity.
Pixar: “La Luna” – Enrico Casarosa, Pixar Animation Studios – “La Luna” is the timeless fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat, they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa, or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way in the midst of their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions? Following the Canadian premiere screening of “La Luna”, its director, Enrico Casarosa, discusses the journey that led him to create this very personal short and demonstrates the singularly artistic style by which the film was crafted.
DreamWorks Animation: The Yin and Yang of Creating the Final Battle in “Kung Fu Panda 2” – The climax of the CG-animated movie “Kung Fu Panda 2” is an epic battle featuring a flotilla of boats, an ancient Chinese-styled city, thousands of wolves armed for battle, action featuring hundreds of characters in a single shot, stylized graphic lighting, fantastical cannon fire and explosions, and a set of effects-supported Kung Fu moves. This talk provides a unique insight into the making of a CG-animated movie that goes beyond the traditional idealized concept of the pipeline.
Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Getting Dirty: Bringing the Digital Feature “Rango” to Life – This in-depth discussion focuses on the production of Industrial Light & Magic’s first animated feature “Rango”. ILM’s unique approach to the genre brings a new dimension to the animated feature, giving “Rango” the visceral quality that the company is best known for in its visual effects work. The presenters review all aspects of the work from initial asset development through animation, simulation, lighting, and compositing.
Imageworks: The Smurf-alution: A Half-Century of Character Development – Sony Pictures Imageworks animation supervisor Troy Saliba and leading members of their Vancouver animation team take the Smurfs from the most primitive pencil sketch to a contemporary 3D stereo rendering.
Industrial Light & Magic: New Solutions for New Challenges – The Industrial Light & Magic team delves into the effects created for three of 2011’s largest summer films, dissecting the challenges and revealing their solutions. The panel breaks down the visual effects challenges presented on this year’s slate of films including: “Cowboys & Aliens”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”, and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”.
Guerrilla: The Creation of Killzone 3 – Game Production Session – This talk details various aspects of designing and developing videogames at Guerrilla. It highlights methods that are very similar to methods used in the CGI industry, and it illuminates some of the most important differences. And it covers the complete breadth of videogame development from artistic design to production pipelines and tool and engine development.
Real-Time Live! – This program showcases the latest trends and best techniques for pushing the boundaries of interactive visuals in video games and real-time simulations. To help emphasize the difference between these works and pre-rendered works, real-time pieces are demonstrated live on their actual platforms without any post-production. Each live presentation lasts less than five minutes in a fast-paced, 45-minute show of diverse and aesthetically stimulating work. SIGGRAPH 2011 Real-Time Live! highlights include:
Enlighten Real-Time Radiosity – Geomerics Ltd. – Using Geomerics Enlighten technology, this demo shows how dynamic real-time lighting enhances game play and visual quality in computer games. Enlighten is a cross-platform, real-time radiosity solution that can generate bounce lighting for a game level in a fraction of a frame.
Samaritan Real-Time Demo – Epic Games Inc. – Samaritan is a real-time demonstration of the latest Unreal Engine 3 technology that shows off DirectX 11 support and DirectX features such as tessellation and displacement mapping, geometry shaders, multi-sampled textures, and Shader Model 5. High-end rendering enhancements include image-based reflections, Bokeh depth of field, subsurface scattering, anti-aliased masked materials, deferred rendering with MSAA support, and high-quality dynamic shadows.
iMedic: Immersive Medical Environment for Distributed Interactive Consultation – Digital Artforms, Inc. – This interactive medical visualization system is based on two hand-held tracked controllers that directly control the position and orientation of two 3D cursors. Button presses enable direct manipulation of space with either or both hands, resulting in intuitive manipulation of the viewpoint. You can place yourself anywhere at any orientation and at any scale with just a few simple gestures.
RealD Presents 3D Day – The Computer Animation Festival also features an entire day highlighting the enormously popular growth of 3D in movies, including an introduction to 3D by 3ality and an excerpt from Disney’s “Lion King” in 3D.
SIGGRAPH 2011 3D highlights include:
JURY AWARD – Paths of Hate – Platige Image – Two pilots, driven by blind hate, chase each other in their airplanes and thereby write cryptic messages of madness into the firmament. On their way into the abyss they transform into inhuman and distorted creatures that finally become part of the history of hate.
BEST STUDENT PROJECT PRIZE – Flamingo Pride – The Konrad Wolf Potsdam-Babelsberg Film and Television University – Frustrated being the only straight flamingo in a gay flock, our hero falls in love with a lady stork that flies by. Unable to convince her of his serious intentions he isolates himself and goes through an identity crisis. An intensive encounter inspires him to make a bold move.
IMAX Hubble 3D Visualization Excerpt: Journey Into the Orion Nebula – Space Telescope Science Institute – An excerpt from IMAX “Hubble 3D” takes viewers inside the Orion Nebula to witness the birth of stars and planets. This cinematic scientific visualization, based on data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories, is the result of close collaboration between research astronomers, computer programmers, and visualization artists.
“Green Lantern” – Sony Pictures Imageworks – In a vast universe a small powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice: the Green Lantern Corps. A new enemy, Parallax, threatens to destroy the balance of power. Their fate and that of Earth lie in the hands of the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.