Computer Animation Festival winners and Featured Speakers for SIGGRAPH Asia Revealed
November 12, 2010

Computer Animation Festival winners and Featured Speakers for SIGGRAPH Asia Revealed

SIGGRAPH Asia continues its tradition to present the best in computer graphics and interactive techniques to a worldwide audience, this year from the Coex Convention and Exhibition Center in Seoul, Korea where its third edition will be held. Set to inspire computer graphics and interactive media professionals and enthusiasts, SIGGRAPH Asia 2010 promises to showcase a line-up of never-before-revealed works that will raise the benchmarks in digital creativity. SIGGRAPH Asia 2010 will feature four exciting programs, namely, Computer Animation Festival, Courses, Technical Papers, Technical Sketches & Posters as well as a Trade Exhibition. A line-up of renowned experts will also be speaking at the Special Sessions and Featured Speakers segment.
Pushing the boundaries of Animation and Electronic Theater
The Computer Animation Festival program, a traditional favorite at SIGGRAPH Asia, seeks to uncover the possibilities in animation development. With a showcase of 108 pieces in the Animation Theater and Electronic Theatre screenings, the Computer Animation Festival will include the latest works from renowned production houses, such as Industrial Light and Magic (I.L.M) and Pixar Animation Studios as well as new pieces from highly acclaimed institutions such as Chung-Ang University, Korea, and Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

“The works selected for this year’s Festival represent the best creative sparks and freshest ideas from around the world that are set to inspire the artists, designers, researchers and scientists attending the Festival,” said Jinny HyeJin Choo, SIGGRAPH Asia 2010 Computer Animation Festival Chair.

“The Computer Animation Festival has received more entries this year, allowing us to broaden the scope of programs and include stronger content. In addition, more local computer graphics companies and individual creators have been involved in the submission process. I am positive attendees will be pleased with the abundance and variety of excellent pieces at both the Electronic Theater and the Animation Theater screenings,” added Choo.

Honoring the Best Creations
This year, the world-renowned jury of the Computer Animation Festival has selected three very special pieces as the “Best of Show”, “Best Technical” and “Best Student” award recipients.

The “Best of Show” award goes to “Poppy”, directed by James Cunningham from New Zealand production house Supercollider. Based on true events, “Poppy” is a short story about two soldiers who found a baby in a muddy ditch, under his dead parents. Working with partner Leslie Chan in a spare bedroom for a year, Cunningham explored the emotional potential of computer-generated imagery (CGI), often used in animation for children, to produce this heart-wrenching film.

“SIGGRAPH Asia is a renowned platform for showcasing the best in animation and digital media. Winning the Best of Show award for SIGGRAPH Asia is indeed an honor for me. This award demonstrates how computer animation can still convey emotions and reach out to the hearts and souls of people, just as well as a live performance,” said James Cunningham, director of the winning animated film.

The “Best Technical Piece” award goes out to “Civilization V.” from Digic Pictures, winner of the same award last year. Produced by Istvan Zorkoczy, this clip reiterates Digic Pictures’ mastery and expertise in 3D as well as computer graphics production. The world-class rendering of a beautifully detailed and realistic living world, clear cinematography and amazing surfacing made this clip stand out prominently in terms of computer graphics technology applied to storytelling.

A new award, the “Best Student” prize goes out to “Loom” by Ilija Brunck, Jan Bitzer and Csaba Letay of Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. This exceptional piece by students of the reputable film academy tells the story of a moth getting caught in a spider’s web. Viewers are taken through the moth’s struggle to face its predator bravely only to be digested into an integral part of its own trap, that is, the spider’s web. The creative ideas behind this piece outshone its competitors’ and proved to the international computer graphics community there are brilliant emerging talents that are set to take the industry to new heights.

Inspiring Tomorrow’s Talents
SIGGRAPH Asia has long been recognized as a unique industry platform that not only showcases the latest developments but also seeks to advance the community through knowledge-sharing and thought-provoking discussions.

SIGGRAPH Asia 2010 will underline this objective through its carefully selected Featured Speakers, each a master in their unique medium of creative expression.

Frank Stephenson, Design Director, McLaren Automotive, will offer participants a unique glimpse into the glitz and grind behind designing one of the world’s most fascinating speed machines. Having worked on perfecting the super car for McLaren, Stephenson will be sharing how his world-class design team constantly challenges the future by imagining what the world has yet to witness either through new technologies, new materials, or new concepts. Stephenson will also take the audience into how these breakthrough ideas are transferred to the real world with the aid of top-of-the-line computer graphics solutions.

Satirical caricaturist Professor Jae-Dong Park, a well-known personality in Korea, will be sharing his passion for art, and how drawing and sketching have evolved from pencil and paper to the computer screen. In his featured talk, Park will discuss how developments in computer graphics over the past decade have changed the way caricatures and cartoons are produced. In a session set to excite aspiring talents and industry professionals alike, Park will speak about his vision of how non-photorealistic rendering, an active research subject in computer graphics, can enrich human lives. This will complement his sharing session covering his unique and distinctive approach to caricature production.

Hyung-Tae Kim, Art Director at NC Soft wraps up SIGGRAPH Asia 2010’s Featured Speakers list. Sharing his experience in the production of the highly anticipated massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), Blade & Soul, Kim will reveal some first visual elements, such as concept art or trailers in the journey to give life to one of the most popular games today. Focusing on the creation of new characters in the game, Kim’s session will also discuss how art direction and game design can influence the way a game is played. Kim will also touch on how Blade & Soul is marketed to a worldwide audience, having first been launched to local audiences in Korea.

A gathering of top minds and future talents
More than 8,000 participants from all over the world are expected to gather in Seoul this year for yet another thought-provoking and highly stimulating interaction centered on computer graphics and interactive techniques. Once again SIGGRAPH Asia will bring together experts from the industry and academic landscape to share their insights and knowledge through the Courses, Special Sessions and Featured Speakers talk. With more than 100 animations to be screened, and close to 170 research papers and Technical Sketches & Posters to be discussed, SIGGRAPH Asia 2010 is set to blaze a trail in Seoul’s and Asia’s digital media landscape.