SIGGRAPH Asia Friday
Fri 12th Dec 2008, by | Siggraphasia2008
The halls were well populated despite the parties that went to all hours last night.
Daniel Maskit chaired a collection of quick Sketches this morning called ‘Art & Robots.’ This included a demonstration of some lighting pipeline tools by Kathy Roberts and Graham Jack from Britains’ Double Negative feature VFX studio. Kathy showed the dnSpangle, a ‘shotbuild’ OpenGL lighting tool. This system can build a list of elements in Maya with a single button, with no changes required.
Just noting from the Job Fair here that Double Negative is set to open a studio in Singapore in the very close future. Singapore is truly becoming an attractive place to work.
Rob Cook took the theatre stage also today to deliver the Second Featured Keynote. A true legend from Pixar, he also concurred with Don Greenberg in his speech yesterday, calling for a doubled effort to lean towards scientific research at the SIGGRAPH conferences. Meanwhile, the reference to the art of CG was never far away. Cook gave some quotable quotes through his talk, while walking us through the history of the company’s successful animated films. From ‘Luxo Jnr’ to ‘Finding Nemo’ to ‘Ratatouille’.
He said CG is just another way of painting a picture. The difference is that with Pixar, the painter is the team and the brush is a computer. The challenge is to not get lost in that, and to keep the story in sight at all times.
Why do the new paradigms keep renewing in technology? Cook seemed to like those deep quotes: ‘Artists think of things they don’t know are impossible, while technologists are too proud to say ‘no, it can’t be done’. He recommended Thomas Kuhn’s book, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” as a good read.
At the end of the speech, a question was asked from the audience by his former teacher Don Greenberg about what the next generation of artists be taught. To which Cook suggested a solid base of basic fundamental Computer Science and Engineering as well as some creative pursuits. Left brain, right brain balance. His reasoning was that even for artists wanting to pursue work in CG, there is a tremendous range of jobs well away from the computer. It’s all about the story and how that can be told and refined.
After that session, I needed to refuel and took off to the show floor. A gathering of minds was underway at the SIGGRAPH Village, hosted by the crew of Yokohama in 2009. Great to meet more faces for the Japanese show. I needed some battery changes before taking the bus over to the Marina Barrage.
The Marina’s lookout peers out over a large fresh water reservoir that is part of the most ambitious engineering feat since so much of the city was reclaimed. Singapore never ceases to amaze me. Related links:SIGGRAPH Asia 2008Thomas KuhnSLIDE SHOW