SIGGRAPH Draws 16,500+ Attendees; "Hybrids" Wins Computer Animation Fest's Best In Show Honor
A scene from "Hybrids" which earned Best In Show distinction at the SIGGRAPH 2018 Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater.
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More than 16,500 attendees from 88 countries turned out for this year’s SIGGRAPH conference which wrapped last week (Aug. 12-16) at the Vancouver Convention Centre. 

The Exhibition portion of the confab played host to nearly 160 diverse companies on the show floor, each showcasing the latest in technologies, products, and services. Due to the remarkable increase in the amount of new technology that has debuted in the global computer graphics marketplace over this past year, nearly one quarter of this year’s exhibitors presented at SIGGRAPH for the first time. Major announcements from 2018 exhibitors included the release of: NVIDIA’s Quadro RTX 5000, 6000, and 8000 turing-powered GPUs; Khronos Group’s VR/AR standard API, OpenXR; Vicon’s Origin (VR suite); Chaos Group’s V-Ray Cloud; AMD’s Radeon Pro WX 8200; Sketchfab’s MASSIVE; Lenovo’s ThinkPad P1; and, StarVR’s One VR headset.

Attendees experienced and interacted with the latest innovations in computer graphics and interactive techniques, including the newest applications in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, AI, and robotics. At the heart of SIGGRAPH 2018 were opportunities for all to gain hands-on experiences with new technologies; to hear experts discuss the “how-to” behind their cutting-edge film, television, game, or multi-media productions; and, to experience the merging of traditional processes with experimental, never-before-seen technologies.

During the course of the conference, close to 700 papers, courses, lectures, installations, artworks, and experiences were shared, culled from nearly 2,300 submissions from around the world. In addition, almost 1,000 speakers participated. Select sessions and events were livestreamed, generating significant social media reach with over 60K views on the ACM SIGGRAPH YouTube channel and 50K views on the SIGGRAPH Conferences Facebook page thus far.

Upon the conclusion of this year’s event, SIGGRAPH 2018 Conference chair Roy C. Anthony said, “SIGGRAPH is a place where those of us in the digital arts and interactive technology arenas come to recharge our creative engines. This year’s contributors delivered incredible content sure to inspire future generations working within these fields. People attend SIGGRAPH each year because they know they’ll be offered a ‘sneak peek’ of the magic behind the curtain. SIGGRAPH is truly a global community — a network where artists, practitioners, educators, and scientists gather to infuse each other with new ideas, find stimulating sources of mentorship, and collaborate on new opportunities.”

He added, “The enthusiasm and energy demonstrated at SIGGRAPH is second to none. I saw thousands of people openly sharing new ideas and expressing their creative energy within every square foot of the Vancouver Convention Centre. This year, I leave energized, not only by the inspiration that SIGGRAPH always delivers, but to have also been able to give back to this wonderful community, which has inspired me to be inventive and to create, as well as helped me along the way in my career. These past 18 months as Conference chair have been a true honor for me — an experience I will never forget.”

Among this year’s highlights were the keynote, a conversation on creativity by SVP, executive creative director, and head of Industrial Light & Magic Rob Bredow; two world premiere short films, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Cycles” and Platige Image’s “Miazmat”; a collection of 50 original artworks from Syd Mead, renowned futurist and visionary, on display in the Production Gallery; the return of SIGGRAPH’s two-day Business Symposium; sneak peek Production Sessions on upcoming studio releases “Missing Link” (LAIKA Studios) and “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” (Walt Disney Animation Studios); and, a special session celebrating the 50-year history of the VR headset, featuring the “Father of Computer Graphics” Ivan E. Sutherland.

Attendees also enjoyed installations from around the world within the Experience Hall and the brand-new Immersive Pavilion, which featured a VR museum, Vrcade, Village, and the Computer Animation Festival VR Theater. 

Award winners
Here’s a rundown of 2018 SIGGRAPH award winners: 

Best Real-Time Graphics and Interactivity
“Democratizing MoCap: Real-Time Full-Performance Motion Capture with an iPhone X, Xsens, IKINEMA, and Unreal Engine”
Cory Strassburger, Kite & Lightning
(This award was determined by a six-member jury and the live audience.)

Emerging Technologies Best in Show
“Steerable Application-Adaptive Near-Eye Displays”
Kishore Rathinavel, Praneeth Chakravarthula, and Turner Whitted, UNC Chapel Hill, NVIDIA Corporation; Kaan Aksit, Josef Spjut, Ben Boudaoud, and David Luebke, NVIDIA Corporation; and, Henry Fuchs, UNC Chapel Hill

Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater

  • Best in Show – “Hybrids” by Florian Brauch, Kim Tailhades, Matthieu Pujol, Yohan Thireau, and Romain Thirion of MoPA (France)
  • Best Student Project – “Overrun” by Pierre Ropars, Antonin Derory, Diane Thirault, Jérémie Cottard, Matthieu Druaud, and Adrien Zumbihl of Supinfocom Rubika (France)
  • Jury’s Choice – “Bilby” by Liron Topaz, Pierre Perifel, and JP Sans of DreamWorks Animation (United States)
  • Audience Choice – “One Small Step” by Bobby Pontillas and Andrew Chesworth of TAIKO Studios (United States)

Best Art Paper
“Augmented Fauna and Glass Mutations: A Dialogue Between Material and Technique in Glassblowing and 3D Printing”
Tobias Klein, City University of Hong Kong


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