SIGGRAPH 2004 Electronic Theater
Issue: Volume: 27 Issue: 8 (August 2004)

SIGGRAPH 2004 Electronic Theater

Ryan (Jury Honors), directed by Chris Landreth, uses a novel rendering and animation style, achieved in Maya, for this "docu-animation" about Ryan Larkin, a once-influential animator who now panhandles. The short uses bizarre 3D characters to refle

Boundin', directed by Bud Luckey and Roger Gould of Pixar, shows what happens to a proud lamb, modeled in Maya and rendered with RenderMan, when it loses its lustrous coat.

During the past three decades, the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival has evolved from informal screenings by a handful of artists showing their own films to one of the industry's top international venues for CG animation and visual effects. This year, a seven-person jury reviewed a record number of submissions, 643, and narrowed the selections to 83 pieces. Thirty of these will be featured in the prestigious Electronic Theater, while 53 will be shown in the Animation Theater. In addition, 18 animations will appear in the Art Gallery as part of the Synaesthesia exhibit.

According to chair Chris Bregler, this year's festival includes examples of edgy, experimental storytelling and filmmaking through innovative visual styles and, in some instances, "just good captivating stories with heart." Highlighting the Electronic Theater is what Bregler calls "amazing short stories," in particular, the two award winners: Chris Landreth's "Ryan" (Jury Honors) and Sejong Park's "Birthday Boy" (Best Animated Short).

This year's Electronic Theater also contains an unusually high number of studio pieces utilizing new technology. "For instance, there are a lot of CG effects incorporated into 'life actions' involving faces and full bodies that look very real and are difficult to distinguish from real-life footage," says Bregler. "We have one piece, 'The Parthenon' from Paul Debevec and his colleagues at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, that blew me away because we thought it was a smart way of combining real film footage with CG, but after reviewing the materials, we found out that the entire piece is CG."

Selections of still images from the theater appear on these pages. —Karen Moltenbrey

RockFish, directed by Tim Miller of Blur, uses blended keyframe animation atop mocap for enhanced character performances.

Output-Sensitive Collision Processing, from Carnegie Mellon, illustrates a new collision-detection bounding algorithm.

Parenthese, directed by F. Blondeau, T. Deloof, J. Droulers, and C. Stampe from One Plus One, uses global illumination in this story of a man affected by time.

ILM R&D series contains feature-film segments illustrating the studio's recent R&D work for achieving photoreal performances.

The Parthenon, directed by Paul Debevec of USC, incorporates a new CG lighting technique used for visualizing digital imagery.