SIGGRAPH 2014 Production Sessions
July 30, 2014

SIGGRAPH 2014 Production Sessions

SIGGRAPH Production Sessions, part of the Computer Animation Festival, are  the  place where the world’s most elite and talented computer graphic experts and creative geniuses explain their processes and techniques for creating compelling content. Following each presentation, attendees are able to ask questions about the challenges and issues associated with complex productions.

An initial selection of Production Sessions for SIGGRAPH 2014 was announced in the Advance Program in June. Here are some highlights: 

Unmask the Secrets Behind "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"

Sony Pictures Imageworks created much of the visual effects for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster directed by Marc Webb. The VFX team was challenged with the introduction of new villains, extensive digital environments and CG animation. Join Sony Pictures Imageworks visual effects leads for an inside look at this "amazing" film. 

Panelists: Jerome Chen, VFX Supervisor; David Schaub, Animation Supervisor; David Smith, DFX Supervisor


Puppets, Printing, and Compositing: A Unique Collaboration in LAIKA's Animated Features

From inspiration to Oscar noms, Oregon-based LAIKA has garnered global acclaim for its unprecedented fusion of stop-motion and computer graphics within each feature film. The studio's environment embraces the hybrid of artistic puppet performance and stunning visual effects enhancements. Georgina Hayns (Creative Supervisor, Puppet Fabrication), Brian McLean (Director, Rapid Prototyping), and Steve Emerson (Co-VFX Supervisor) will discuss their interdepartmental relationships on the upcoming feature "The Boxtrolls" (in theaters September 26). They will also address the challenges, solutions – and learnings – that led to the success of LAIKA's first two Oscar-nominated films: "Coraline" (2009) and "ParaNorman" (2012). 

Panelists: Brian McLean, Director, Rapid Prototyping; Georgina Hayns, Creative Supervisor, Puppet Fabrication; Steve Emerson, Co-VFX Supervisor

Twentieth Century Fox Presents the Visual Effects of "X-Men: Days of Future Past"

This year, the ultimate X-Men ensemble was brought together to fight a war for the survival of the species across two time periods. With the visual effects work led by Production VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" showcased some of the most spectacular effects of the summer. Experts from MPC (Moving Picture Company), Digital Domain, Rhythm & Hues, and Rising Sun Pictures will illustrate the approaches used to create a wide range of VFX work, from the creation of the past and future Sentinels, to the epic RFK stadium and White House destruction and the complexities of creating mutant powers for Magneto, Colossus, Iceman, Quicksilver, Sunspot, Blink, Wolverine, and Mystique.

Panelists: Benoit Dubuc, Animation Supervisor, MPC; Lou Pecora, VFX Supervisor, Digital Domain; Derek Spears, VFX Supervisor, Rhythm & Hues; Adam Paschke, DFX Supervisor, Rising Sun Pictures



Building Blocks for "The LEGO Movie"

"The LEGO Movie" is a CG animated feature film set in a world made entirely of Lego bricks. It was critical to the filmmakers that this world maintain a highly realistic connection to the look and feel of real Lego. 

What resulted was a unique, photo-realistic, stop-motion aesthetic and animation style, with everything on screen — including the characters, sets, oceans, and explosions — being built and realized with accurate CG Lego bricks. 

Essential to the story was the dynamic construction (and destruction!) of any of these elements into component bricks. And with a desire to echo the creative possibilities of Lego itself, Animal Logic's team of "master builders" built a comprehensive Lego toolset that ensured artists could access and manipulate individual bricks, or the bricks within any asset, to create unique and spontaneous additions to the content of a shot. The results were often unscripted and highly entertaining. 

Making a CG feature entirely from bricks was a new and exciting challenge, resulting in something quite different from conventional animation processes. 

Panelists: Grant Freckleton, Production Designer; Rob Coleman, Head of Animation; Aidan Sarsfield, CG Supervisor; Daniel Heckenberg, R&D Lead