Will Wright, Partly Cloud, Robots, Cyborgs, and the Final Frontier

Posted By Josh Corken on August 07, 2009 12:30 pm | Permalink
Tuesday, the Exhibition opened. The line started to form at least 30 minutes before the floor actually opened, but we were able to watch Autodesk's demo reel from where we were standing. Autodesk always has one of the best spots at the exhibition. Probably because they dominate the 3D software world. No big deal.

What was the first thing we did when they let us in? What do you think?! We rushed to the Pixar booth to get in the already enormous line to get a poster. They give posters and teapots out every year and you will NOT understand how crazy people are for them until you stand in a line that weaves through the entire exhibition floor to get one. This is no joke. I bet if you search Pixar teapot line in YouTube, you will find some footage. Here's the line (we are literally at the front of it too):

The exhibition is always awesome. Free stuff and plenty of big company recruiters to talk to. But, that didn't keep me away from the keynote speaker of the day, Will Wright. Some of you may know him as the creator of The Sims and Spore. An extremely talented man and one funny speaker. This was the best keynote of the whole conference, in my opinion. I think everyone can agree. He spoke about perception and how we react to certain things in the visual world.

Many of you have seen the latest film from Pixar and very popular Box Office sensation, "UP." If you saw that, you must have seen the beautiful short animation featured before called "Partly Cloudy," by Peter Sohn. He spoke about the struggles he went through while directing this film and how he managed to convince the big boys at Pixar to let him do it.

Really an amazing success story by one of the nicest, most modest speakers at this convention. Probably one of the best I've ever been to in my time at SIGGRAPH. Congratulations to him and the team at Pixar for such a beautiful film.

That last part of this title will make sense in a second. Some of the coolest stuff you get to see at SIGGRAPH comes from the production sessions, where they invite artists who work on features such as Terminator, Transformers, and Star Trek. They show behind the scenes footage and breakdowns of exactly how they put certain shots together.

It's brilliant and quite depressing when you see how talented the teams at the major studios are. I wasn't able to stay for the entire session because the Pixar presentation was halfway through this, but I got to see so much about the making of the new Terminator Salvation! It was funny to hear how much work went into making a CG Arnold Schwarzenegger and getting his permission to use him in the movie. You know he's the governor of California now, right? How weird!