Seoul, South Korea – The third annual SIGGRAPH Asia captured the imagination of the computer graphics and interactive techniques community this week with a wide spectrum of digital innovations. Over 7,600 professionals and enthusiasts from 45 countries attended the conference and exhibition in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, for four days of research, development and industry insights that will push the boundaries of computer graphics and interactive techniques in years to come.
“SIGGRAPH Asia has outdone itself once again. The high caliber of the works on display clearly reflects the strengthening digital media scene in Asia. The array of inspiring ideas presented over the past four days has also created a lot of excitement in the industry and helped raise its profile locally and regionally,” said Hyeong-Seok Ko, conference chair, SIGGRAPH Asia 2010.
A Window to Tomorrow’s Lifestyles
In its third edition this year, SIGGRAPH Asia 2010 continued to demonstrate its relevance through the presentation of best results in peer-reviewed research. Some of the fields covered in this conference included character and crowd animation; sampling and filtering; geometric and volumetric reconstruction, modeling and rendering; computational imaging and video. A comprehensive showcase of emerging technologies, supporting today’s hottest trends in smart phones, social networking and 3D graphics, complemented this line-up, with several sessions aimed at helping the community keep up-to-date with tools and technologies that support tomorrow’s lifestyles.
To bolster the ubiquitous mobile technology, Introduction to Processing on Android Devices taught designers, artists and students how to implement Java programming on Android phones. Additionally, the Poster display A System for Activity Visualization of Game Experience on a Smart Phone detailed a game-simulation system that can allow game developers to connect with users’ activity schedules through their smart phones.
With the social media revolution edging mobility and social networking closer, the Poster display Life Twitter: Connecting Everyday Commodities with Social Networking Services envisioned a system that uses sensor bundles to automatically “twitter” users’ activities to the social network. This means that in future, users of the social network can get their status updated instantly, without having to separately describe it in a connected session.
New Perspectives on Familiar Favorites
Visitors to SIGGRAPH Asia 2010 also enjoyed production related sessions with a focus on 2010’s blockbusters and other film and game releases. Award-winning production teams, who have played a part in the makings of many popular productions, shared insights and secrets into creating animations and visual effects which have awed audiences over the past year.
One of the well-received sessions was Bulldozer Trash from ‘Toy Story 3’. In this Special Session, attendees were introduced to the rubbish dump death scene in Toy Story 3, focusing on the new and interactive tools that were used to create the iconic scene. Proving its position as an industry-leading piece, Disney and Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Story 3 was also selected by SIGGRAPH Asia’s program committee as a feature in other programs, such as the Course ‘Toy Story 3’ Double Feature: Characters and Lighting led by Brian Green, and the Technical Sketch entitled Simulation-Aided Performance: Behind the Coils of Slinky Dog in ‘Toy Story 3’.
For science-fiction fans around the world, the Star Wars franchise, which entered the twentieth century with three prequels, two games and a television animation series, is the epitome of what computer graphics and special effects could achieve. At SIGGRAPH Asia 2010, Lucasfilm speakers presented a variety of programs including a Special Session Creating New Games from Lucasfilm Favorites, the Computer Animation Festival Panel session ‘The Clone Wars’: Setting the Bar for TV Animation and the screening of animation clip ‘Star Wars, The Clone Wars’: The Zillo Beast Strikes Back.
Finally, the Special Session Photomodel and Sequence Light Setup on ‘Iron Man 2’ laid truth to the fact that many special effects enthusiasts are still hooked on the excellent fight sequences in the movie chart-topper. Attendees were amazed by the revelation that some of the “natural sets” were in fact created virtually by photo modeling and lighting sequences.
2010 was also the year when 3D movies and entertainment dominated box offices across the globe. Mirroring this trend, the technology responsible for this revolution, known as stereoscopic 3D, was extensively discussed at SIGGRAPH Asia 2010, with a good number of sessions looking at the intrinsic details of developing 3D movies, animations and games. Stereoscopy from XY to Z by Nvidia and Walt Disney Animation Studios discussed rendering techniques and artistic concepts, providing a better understanding of stereoscopy and how to make it work more effectively for viewers. Additionally, a hands-on introduction to 3D displays in the session Build Your Own 3D Display had attendees fully immersed in building their own low-cost stereoscopic displays.
Stereoscopic 3D was also discussed at the Technical Papers session Stereoscopic 3D Copy and Paste, one of the many widely attended Technical Papers sessions at SIGGRAPH Asia 2010. Additionally, the Technical Paper Content-Adaptive Parallax Barrier for Automultiscopic 3D Display introduced a new approach that will allow significant improvements in the resolution and brightness of autostereoscopic displays, also known as ‘glasses-free 3D’.
Where Innovations and Digital Creations Thrive
Over 100 companies displayed the latest in computer graphics hardware, software and services across the trade floor, reinforcing the profile of SIGGRAPH Asia as a networking and collaboration platform for industry and academia. Nvidia, a world leader in visual computing technologies, promoted its recently launched Quadro professional graphics solutions and 3D Vision Pro technology to the worldwide audience at SIGGRAPH Asia 2010. These new solutions target graphics professionals from a broad range of industries, including engineering, design, and video production.
“SIGGRAPH Asia was a perfect venue to feature our latest Quadro line and the industry's newest applications that are GPU accelerated,” said Daniel Shapiro, director of marketing, Quadro Line of Professional Graphics Solutions, Nvidia. “Attendees saw first-hand how the incredible performance and productivity breakthroughs enabled by the Nvidia Fermi architecture are driving a new era of computational visualization.”
Autodesk saw an overwhelming response to its Mudbox competition, where attendees were each given 60 minutes to sculpt and texture a given character. Providing a display of what the future of digital entertainment could look like, Autodesk had a packed schedule of sessions by leading production studios which have successfully created works using Autodesk products. The list includes DIGITAL IDEA, FXGear, Harmonix and Rising Sun Pictures, covering popular film and games such as the Harry Potter Series, The Lord of the Rings and Rock Band.
Complementing Korea’s Rising Digital Media Scene
As host to SIGGRAPH Asia 2010, Korea’s computer graphics community came out in full force, as evidenced by the extensive presence of Korean companies and universities taking part in the event. Eight films produced in Korea were selected for screening at the Computer Animation Festival, including Memories of the Song by Jin Sung Choi of Brian’s Film and Mom by Wooksang Chang of Chung-Ang University.
In addition to well-known content creators such as NCsoft Art Director Hyung-Tae Kim and satirical caricaturist Professor Jae-Dong Park, Korea was also represented by top research institutions such as Ewha Womans University, Jeju National University, Korea Institute of Science and Technology and Seoul National University.
The Electronics and Communications Research Institute Korea (ETRI) also presented a suite of early research works that have the potential to contribute to digital content creation in the future. These include an interactive 3D digital screen, a real-time pre-visualization device and a 3-dimensional clone creation method which combined motion capture and modeling.
To reach out to an even bigger local audience, 10 courses were conducted simultaneously in dual languages – English and Korean - while the Technical Papers program included a special Korean language session, presenting four technical papers from acclaimed institutions.
A Hot Pot of Culture, Creativity and Innovation
With its unique position at the crossroads of technology and traditions, SIGGRAPH Asia has once again staged an event that combined digital innovations with the region’s rich cultural influences. From animation pieces that merged the latest techniques with Asia’s traditional heritage such as Children by Japan’s Trident College of Information Technology and The Birthday Gift by China’s AIVFX Inc. to research that tackled localization and globalization such as the Poster display A Japanese Text-Based Mobile Augmented Reality Application and Course Cross-Cultural User-Interface Design, SIGGRAPH Asia underlines how technology can bridge societies across the globe.
Scott Owen, President of ACM SIGGRAPH commented, “Over the course of three years, SIGGRAPH Asia has grown to become the defining computer graphics and interactive technology conference and trade show in the region, with attendee numbers increasing year after year. At the same time, Asia’s digital media scene has grown by leaps and bounds, offering visitors research and works that continue to bring the industry to new heights. In time to come, I am confident that SIGGRAPH Asia will develop its own distinctive edge, complementing Asia’s growing reputation as a hub for the world’s most creative digital media talents.”
The next edition of SIGGRAPH Asia is taking place in Hong Kong from 12 to 15 December 2011. SIGGRAPH Asia 2011 will be chaired by Zhi-Qiang Liu, Professor at the School of Creative Media, City University, Hong Kong. Professor Liu has taught in three Universities in Canada, the University of Melbourne, and City University of Hong Kong, SAR, China.
For more information about SIGGRAPH Asia 2010, please visit www.siggraph.org/asia2010.
For more information about SIGGRAPH Asia 2011, please visit www.siggraph.org/asia2011.