What to see at SIGGRAPH Asia

Sense the transformation – that’s the theme this year at SIGGRAPH Asia in Hong Kong which is designed to showcase the mix of industries, hardware, software, film production, games and research and education disciplines on display. So what are the best sessions and presentations to see? With so many aspects to SIGGRAPH Asia, we thought we’d highlight just a few key ones.

Augmenting-Physical-AvatarsTechnical Papers – Augmenting Physical Avatars using Projector-Based Illumination

This paper, featuring research predominantly by Disney Research Zurich / Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zurich, looks at a process for augmenting physical avatars using projector-based illumination, designed to significantly increase their expressiveness.

Tech Papers chair Alyn Rockwood from the InterNext Graphics Institute suggests that presenters and attendees can benefit from ‘ideas’ and ‘connections’ by attending the paper sessions. “There are fresh ways of doing things, new algorithms and results. You see what others are doing and how it intersects your work. These connections result in more and better research. Presenters, of course, hone their message and get professional credit.”

Keynote speakers

Thad Starner, a technical lead on Google’s Glass, will discuss wearable computing, while Philip Rosedale who founded Second Life explores the current state of virtual reality.

MorphiumComputer Animation Festival – Morphium

A highlight of SIGGRAPH conferences is always the Computer Animation Festival where you get to see both professional/studio work plus that of indie directors and students. Morphium by Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg student Linus Stetter tells the story of two monsters fighting over a toy.

Computer Animation Festival Director Jinny Choo from K’ARTS told fxguide that the Electronic Theater component of the CAF, in particular, “represents a balance of artistic and technical excellence in computer generated animation putting together a collection of short and feature animation, game trailers, music videos, special visual effects, advertising and student work.”

Free-Hand-InteractionEmerging Technologies – HandsIn3D: Augmenting the Shared 3D Visual Space with Unmediated Hand Gestures

In the Emerging Tech exhibition, you’ll see technologies unlike anywhere else. One is HandsIn3D from CSIRO in Australia who propose a remote collaboration tool based on 3D shared space and 3D hand gestures.

Featured Sessions – presentations from Pixar, Image Engine and MPC

Killer speakers from these major animation and effects studios will cover stereo work at Pixar, the visual effects of Elysium by Image Engine and MPC’s digi-zombies for World War Z. “Pixar, Image Engine and MPC are some of the biggest animation and VFX studios in the industry,” notes Features Sessions chair Sophie Revillard. “As a whole, their productions represent a combination of the greatest talents behind the research, experiments and artistic visions linked to computer graphics.”

Mise-En-Scene-Elysian-FieldsArt Gallery – Mise-En-Scène: Elysian Fields

In this exhibit, the animated film Elysian Fields has been orchestrated as an impressive sound and visual experience. Art Gallery chair Mark Chavez from Nanyang Technological University says that “aside from saying that the work shown at this year’s exhibition is the best juried and reviewed selection of a couple hundred entries, at the SIGGRAPH Asia Art Gallery 2013 we have many innovative works on display including performance art presentations featuring emerging and established artists from across the globe.”

Mobile Graphics and Interactive Applications – Free-Hand Interaction for Handheld Augmented Reality using an RGB-Depth Camera

This research explores a novel interaction technique manipulating virtual objects in 3D space using bare hand on handheld Augmented Reality (AR) devices with RGB-Depth camera.

sigasia2013_previewTechnical Briefs – Importance Sampling for Physically-Based Hair Fiber Models

Researchers from Weta Digital and Cornell present on a strategy for importance-sampling today’s most advanced parametric hair reflectance models, allowing their inclusion in Monte Carlo physically-based rendering algorithms.

What are the tech briefs all about? The chair of the program, Baoquan Chen from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, says that tech briefs feature “original ideas or new breakthroughs that are not yet ‘maturely’ developed. The benefits for the presenters are to get timely feedback from the community, while the benefits for the attendees are to learn about ideas that are usually considered ‘bold’ or off the ‘main stream,’ and to get stimulated.”

pixar_siggraphasiaCourses – Physically Plausible Shading and Lighting on Monster’s University and Beyond

Paul Kanyuk and Davide Pesare from Pixar will look at the shading and pipeline at their studio in this course. We spoke to Kanyuk on the fxpodcast recently.

So why go to the courses? They’re a mix of invited and juried courses, and involve a rigorous process to ensure high quality. “Every juried course was assigned to two committee members and two tertiary reviewers,” says Courses chair Yizhou Yu from the University of Hong Kong. “We made final acceptance decisions based on four reviews. Finally, we accepted 12 juried courses and 6 invited courses, whose nominated speakers had accepted our invitation.”

fxguide is the official podcast of SIGGRAPH Asia 2013, being held from 19-22 November. Find out more about all the presentations and other events at the conference home page.