August 6, 2007

SIGGRAPH 2007 Opens in San Diego

“SIGGRAPH is about rampant diversity.” These are the words of Joe Marks, vice president of technology at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, CA, and conference chair for SIGGRAPH 2007. “You will find dozens of great new ideas, artworks, and products every day at the conference. It’s a true intellectual and sensory feast.”

Attendees who absorb what is presented at SIGGRAPH should feel completely caught up with all that’s relevant to their vocation in the computer graphics and human-computer interaction fields, Marks explains. “If that’s the feeling that most attendees have at the end of the conference, then I’ll be happy.”

“SIGGRAPH has been and remains the focal point of my career,” admits Marks, who has worked in computer graphics and interactive techniques since 1983. “I can stay current in all my areas of interest simply by spending one week a year at the conference.”

Marks and the SIGGRAPH 2007 team put forth a special effort to curate or invite content to augment the juried works in most of the programs. “I’m hoping that attendees will notice greater novelty, quality, and relevance in this year’s content across the board,” Marks mentions. “We also worked hard to attract more co-located events, which will allow attendees to dig deeper into select topics.”

In addition to the return of the Job Fair, SIGGRAPH 2007 features two experimental programs sure to draw considerable attention. FJORG! is a live contest designed for animators, whereas IP Marketplace is a service devised to connect inventors with innovators capable of turning novel, marketable ideas into new products and services.

“Novel display and camera technologies continue to be important in the technical programs, as they have been for the last three years,” explains Marks. “The convergence of the technologies used in games and CG movies is another continuing trend. The globalization of digital art is a prominent theme this year in the Art Gallery, Computer Animation Festival, and the Guerilla Studio. Finally, the seemingly insatiable demand for educational opportunities in CG is again evident at various venues.”

Also unique to the 2007 event, featured speakers appear in lieu of the single-person keynote address. Glenn Entis, senior vice president and chief visual and technical officer, Electronic Arts, will present “Recent Accomplishments and Upcoming Challenges for Interactive Graphics in Videogames,” whereas author and comics artist Scott McCloud will deliver his talk, entitled “Comics: A Medium in Transition.”

“A career in CG is still an attractive option for many young people, even though the competition is intense,” Marks says. “If you want to remain relevant as an artist, a business professional, or a technologist, invest the time to acquire new skills and knowledge. Attending SIGGRAPH is the best way to do just that.”