Monday, August 3, 2009

Benjamin Button, Randy Thom, and Much More

Computer Animation Festival, Courses, Talks, FJORG!, Keynote, Birds of a Feather, Geek Bar, Emerging Technologies, Posters, The Studio, The Sandbox, Posters, Panels, Game Papers, Exhibitor Tech Talks, Technical Papers, and the Exhibition. These are the names you hear most throughout the entire week of SIGGRAPH!

There is now way I'm about to explain them all because, let's be honest, if it's too long, you won't read it. Thought I didn't know, eh?

Today was busy. And when I say busy, I mean BUSY! That's pretty much the whole week in a nutshell. There is literally just too much to see, so you have to run from one event to the next to cram as much information into your brain as possible. Mentally draining? Yes! Fatigue is setting in already and it's only 10:15pm. Here are some photos I took of the conference and even a sneak peek at the Exhibition floor, which opens tomorrow morning!

So, what did I see today? You're going to like this. Maybe it'll induce a bit of jealousy. (Rant in the comments section)

First, to start off a wonderful week of learning, the Computer Animation Festival held a Production Session covering "Building Benjamin Button." I must say that Digital Domain did an absolutely incredible job bringing this character to life! They even showed us a 50 mega pixel picture of Brad Pitt's face and zoomed in so close on his face we could see his pores in extreme detail. Gross, but how many people can say they saw that?

Next, the first Keynote speaker of the week, Randy Thom, gave a talk on "Designing a Movie for Sound." He worked on such films such as Star Wars, Forest Gump, The Iron Giant, Cast Away, Harry Potter, The Incredibles, and Coraline to name a few. This guy knows what he is talking about! This was a really insightful and new type of talk that I think gave the whole conference a perspective on designing sound for film.

I was able to see a little bit of a panel on "Getting a Job in CG for Entertainment," but had to leave early because I had student volunteer duties to attend to. The red vest continues to call my name. You would have to know SIGGRAPH to get that one.

Lastly, I was able to check out the Technical Papers Fast Forward event. Now, these are the kinds of people who innovate the programs you are using this very instant. Technical Papers cover the most detailed of new techniques that have been discovered by researchers from all over the world and it is stunning some of the work they produce! As you can see from the picture below, it was a full house. They even had to open another room for crowd overflow.

That is the first day very briefly. There is no comparison to actually attending this event. Reading about it just doesn't do justice. My advice: come next year or fall behind! This community is by far the most inspiring and motivating in the entire industry and possibly the world. No other place will provide all of these resources and opportunities like SIGGRAPH does!

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  1. This is the first time I've heard of SIGGRAPH. It's like the Comic-Con for computer animators, haha! You guys are geniuses.
    At least now you could brag to other people that you were able to see a part of Brad Pitt's face that no one else normally sees. Kinda weird, but true, right? :D