SIGGRAPH 2004 Animation Theater
Issue: Volume: 27 Issue: 9 (September 2004)

SIGGRAPH 2004 Animation Theater

Oddworld Stranger CG Intro, directed by Lorne Lanning, provides a glimpse into the game world, created in Maya, that's inhabited by a bounty hunter called Stranger.

Pfffirate, directed by Xavier Andre and Guillaume Herent of Supinfocom/One Plus One, is a 3ds max production featuring an inflatable pirate who defends his boat against a determined bird.

eiu esperu, directed by Damien Stumpf and Mickael Lorenzi of Supinfocom/One Plus One, uses Maya models to tell the story of an old man waiting for the rain to fall so he can save his garden.

The 2004 SIGGRAPH Animation Theater featured a selection of projects illustrating revolutionary ways of implementing the still-young medium of computer graphics within the diverse fields of visual arts, entertainment, and science. Some of the pieces were selected for their artistic level, others for their compelling storytelling. And, there are those that represent technical achievement in the advancement of computer graphics, animation, or visual effects.

According to chair Chris Bregler, this year's Computer Animation Festival, which includes the Animation Theater and the prestigious Electronic Theater, contained an unprecedented breadth of animations. "We had variety—submissions from the major film schools, the major studios from New York City to London to Brazil, and individuals, all of which tell engaging stories or focus on edgy topics, or are just plain funny," he says. "In particular, we had a lot of strong short stories, so the jury had to be especially selective. As a result, a lot of big studio pieces and short-story projects—which would have been selected a few years ago—didn't make this year's cut."

To accommodate the 53 works that were selected for the Animation Theater, the jury assigned them to one of four shows, titled Paraphernalia, Magic, Commercials/VFX, and Twisted, which played at different times during the conference and exhibition.

"There is a definite edge to the show, some of it expected and some of it a surprise," says Bregler. "There are even selections that reflect the current times in which we live."

Several still images from the theater appear on these two pages. —Karen Moltenbrey

First Life, directed by John Bair of Edgeworx, uses 3ds max and photographic effects to simulate the cosmic events that formed Earth.

1 May, directed by Daniel Zdunczyk of Virtual Magic, is a 3ds max-created hyper-realistic rendering with simulated motion dynamics.

The God, directed by Konstantin Bronzit, uses Softimage|XSI and Mental Ray to illustrate a god's quest to eliminate a pesky fly.

Tetra Pak: Forests, directed by Frederic Planchon of the Moving Picture Company, shows greenery, created with BioNatics' tree simulation software, sprouting in unsuspecting spots along a London street.

The Pier, directed by Jason Bennett of Ringling School of Art and Design, tells an unusual fish tale that was generated in Maya.