Greetings from sunny Anaheim, CA, where the 40th annual SIGGRAPH conference is being held this year. I arrived on Sunday just in time to go to some early sessions and see a few of the exhibits.
Going early gave me time to review the Posters display and play “spot the TurboSquid model”. This year, Andrey Kravchenko’s Masha won the contest hands down.
One of my favorite features of Siggraph is the bookstore. The emphasis this year is on non-platform specific art and technology books, including this suite from Disney.
A favorite among early attendees is the Technical Papers Fast Forward, a two-hour roller coaster ride through all the papers being presented at Siggraph. Each presenter gets exactly 30 seconds to preview his or her paper and entice attendees to come to the full presentation later in the week. The Fast Forward is one of the most popular early events at Siggraph, attracting over 2000 attendees this year. Many presenters prepare amusing and informative videos and even dress up as zombies in an effort to attract attendees to their papers.
The Emerging Technologies exhibition literally got a smile out of me when I visited the Incendiary Reflection presentation. This group from the University of Tokyo posits that emotions can be influenced by our own facial expressions. The image below left shows my actual facial expression, captured by a pinhole camera and displayed on a mirror-like surface in a frame. The image below right appeared gradually a moment later, with my own facial features lightly displaced to form a gentle smile. While it might sound a little creepy, the result actually did make me smile. Future usage could include placement in clothing retailers, where the sight of yourself smiling in that retro 70′s lapel suit might actually convince you to buy it.
The next few days will be a whirlwind of courses, papers, panels, and of course the vendor exhibition. On Wednesday, I’ll be on a panel for the Birds of a Feather meeting “Teaching CG and VFX Online” in Room 202B, 11am-12pm. Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood!