Thursday at SIGGRAPH Asia
Thu 11th Dec 2008, by | Siggraphasia2008
SIGGRAPH Asia was officially opened today in Singapore.
The conference chair YT Lee acknowledged the huge contribution from volunteers active in the background and the unstinting support of the ACM. The story of SIGGRAPH is now being richly enhanced with the new Asian flavor.
Featured speaker Don Greenberg handed out an entertaining view of his long career at Cornell University. He showed the ground-breaking architectural fly-through of the science block created at his school in the early 60s. He’d obtained the go-ahead for the building project on the strength of the video display, which was years ahead of its time.
Turning to SIGGRAPH, Greenberg felt there was plenty of room to welcome in more raw research once again, instead of relying too much on the Media and Entertainment sector. “If we were to plot the fields of graphics research being shown, from 25 years ago to today, it would resemble the top half of an hourglass,” he said. “We are currently at the bottleneck of the glass and I think it’s time for us to expand our boundaries.”
The Lucasfilm Animation team from Singapore took over the Suntec Theatre after lunch. Dan Janevski, from the Matte Painting crew on ‘Iron Man’ showed the many wonderful ways that Matte Painting had evolved over the years. Rolling through scenes from ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘King Kong’ (1933) and ‘Iron Man’, his premise was that the suspension of disbelief was the goal for all matte painters over the ages. “Having the compositors covering up all that hard work was the next challenge,” he joked.
Kalene Dunsmoor talked brightly about other challenges for the artist, in driving the story elements of many scenes. While story is king, basic artistic principles can urge viewers to focus on any particular area of the screen. “Artists see a lot of things in reality, but sometimes they just don’t really look. Visuals have to tell a clear story.” Kalene earned a laugh when she added, “I can make you guys look where ever I want you to look.”
Steamy rain was slamming down outside in the afternoon as Lee Stringer took a packed auditorium through the TV series pipeline for ‘The Clone Wars.’ Matt Aldrich rallied some sympathy, especially when it came to sharing the assets for the game produced at the same time for the DS platform. “Working the detailed fight sequences previously seen on cinematic projection into a screen size of 256 x 192 pixels can become quite a challenge,” Aldrich said. “But we love challenges.”
This evening huge crowds danced to a very loud band played at the Arena for the Lucasfilm Animation Studio. This was billed as the ‘Blur Party in Asia’. Meanwhile, NVIDIA and the Digital Bollywood Initiative hosted a more laid back affair at the Rupee Room and The NYU Tisch School of the Arts opened up at Kay Siang Road. A very late night was had by most. Parties in Singapore are an entirely new chapter in the SIGGRAPH story. Related links:SIGGRAPH Asia 2008SLIDE SHOW