SIGGRAPH is here once again. It's that one time of the year when those in our industry ñ pioneers, technologists, inventors, educators, creators, researchers, scientists ñ all gather to share their thoughts and discoveries, with the goal of advancing the field of computer graphics.
What can we expect this year? Marc Barr, 2015 SIGGRAPH chair and professor of digital imaging and animation at Middle Tennessee State University, provides a glimpse of what's on tap, and why the show continues to beckon CG enthusiasts.
What's in store for SIGGRAPH attendees?
We have made a concerted effort to diversify and integrate our content across all our venues. In a way, this meant going back to the variety of what we were offering 20 years ago. For example, SIGGRAPH presented research in and demos of immersive and virtual environments and related technologies in the early '90s, long before any other conference.
We have brought emphasis back to this in our VR Village, which will have a dome theater and demo area, Real Time Live, and our Immersive Realities Contest, and continued this across our Papers, Courses, Panels, and Talks.
SIGGRAPH has always been a place for those who create, and this year we have added Making@ SIGGRAPH to our very popular Studio and Emerging Technologies venues.
We were one of the first places where people could see 3D printing, and our Art Gallery this year is focused on the integration of traditional art and craft processes with technology.
We have done the same in regard to content for those interested in games and mobile computing.
We have always placed an emphasis on education with our variety of Courses, and we are expanding on that this year by adding an Educators Symposium and by working with EdCamp and Code.org to provide workshops for Kñ12 educators.
What is this year's theme?
The theme for this year is Xroads of Discovery, and our graphic identity is visualized in the idea of a quilt.
SIGGRAPH's strength has always been in the intersection and diversity of people and ideas, and the many ways these elements can come together. Our attendees have always told us how they value seeing the results of research put into context and used in unexpected ways, and also how technology can be used not only to entertain and educate, but to enhance the quality of life.
The show is in LA, what's this mean for attendees?
Los Angeles is the production center of the planet, and although film drives much of our content, it is also the place where much of the R&D of all things related to the varied uses of computer graphics and the interactive uses of technology takes place.
This enables us to bring in much in the way of resources and people from the local community that isn't available anywhere else.
What will be some of the show's highlights?
In addition to the new and continuing venues I mentioned previously, our keynote speaker is Joi Ito, the director of the MIT Media Lab. His school and his own career embody our theme and graphic identity.
We also will be having a Special Session celebrating the 40th anniversary of ILM, hosted by multiple Academy Award-winner Dennis Muren.
Unlike many conferences, we don't have a single point of focus, such as games or film. We not only are a trade show, but also have content in the areas of education, research, arts, and entertainment. If your interests lie in any area related to the use of CG or interactive techniques, this is the one conference where you can see and experience it all.