SIGGRAPH 2010 impressions

SIGGRAPH was last week,as you know. I was going to post this yesterday but I was too tired from the trip (and still am). I made a coverage for Renderosity, as usual, and you can read what I have written so far here (I will update the post when my last one is up). Luckily, this is my blog so I can write a more relaxed view (which is something I can’t do over there).

Well, I can start by saying it was one of the best SIGGRAPH conventions I’ve been to. Sure there was some bad stuff, but some other stuff (Sandbox, Disney Learning Challenge, SIGGRAPH Dailies) provided the counter balance.

The exhibit was smaller this year. I actually remember the first one I saw, back in 2004. It was big, very big… this time it was half of what I saw back then. Also the job fair was very small (and I was very surprised to see that). I don’t know why there were too few companies this time, but I am guessing it has something to do with the economic climate and the fact that all people keep telling me last year’s SIGGRAPH was one of the worst ever.

A lot of people kept telling me I had chosen the right year to skip SIGGRAPH because it had been terrible. It seems New Orleans hadn’t completely recovered from Katrina, and that had its toll on the event.

I am not going to mention a lot of specific stuff since you can get that info from my coverage, so I will mention things I liked the most. Someone asked me what was the most impressive thing I saw, and I’d have to say the Tron Legacy preview screening. For those who didn’t know, we had the chance to watch 8 minutes of Tron Legacy during the Production Session, in glorious 3D. It was totally amazing, and I can’t wait to watch the movie in december!

I’ve been a huge Tron fan for like forever. It was the first effects movie I saw (I actually saw it before StarWars), so it’s been very special for me since then and pretty much got me interested on VFX.

The keynotes were good as well. The one from Jim Morris reminded me of the Tron magic and how that movie changed my life (he didn’t talk about Tron, but he talked about movies that changed our lives in one way or another, making us wanna follow a carreer in filmmaking or CG).

The Tornado was awesome as well (Don Marinelli, I mean), talking about education and all that. I had the chance to talk to him afterwards and he told me I should go to Madeira to study entertainment and technology. So the question is, should I? Yes, no, maybe?

Some time ago, I kinda made a small innitiative or something to see if we could start a SIGGRAPH Chapter in this country. I got the usual “yes, you should do it” but none of the needed “yeah, man, how do we start this thing?” and a Chapter with one founding member didn’t make much sense. I would like, however, to try again so I went to the SIGGRAPH Village to ask for info and since people in this country is supposedly more serious about animation and CG, it may work this time.

I say supposedly because some things I see make me rethink about the “seriousnes” of some people about the industry they supposedly love (for example, I don’t know how many people from this country actually attended SIGGRAPH this year – I did, and it’s not like I am rich or something).

Besides, I am actually thinking if I should volunteer for SIGGRAPH in any way. I think I will, I just have to see what I should do and where to go.

Anything else? Well, I got the chance to meet a lot of interesting people, meet in person those who I’d only talked to via email or web, as well as touching base with people I already know. John from Reallusion put it very nicely: “SIGGRAPH is like this big family reunion where you get to see all your friends, and also meet new people.”

Among the people I met, there’s one girl (a student volunteer, and I’m not sharing the name due to privacy issues). Very lovely and friendly. Talked to her a few times and even gave me a hug on the last day (something that took me by surprise, since the only hugs I get over there are those from workmates, but I still liked it).

I also ran into this Unity guy named Tom (actually Unity is the engine we want to use for our game), so I told him I was going to stop by their booth (they were at the Intel booth, actually). So I went to the booth, and it was fun to see this guy from Blizzard show up with a brand new box of the just-released Starcraft II. Tom was so excited about that gift that he even posed for a photo (victory thumbs up and all).

SIGGRAPH was exhausting, as usual. Over the years you learn what to do to keep your strength the whole week and not dying in the middle of it, lol. I missed the Blur Party, again, and I would have gone if certain girl I know had told me they had an extra ticket before going to the party…

The motto for this year was “the people behind the pixels,” meaning they were promoting meeting and interaction with the people that make the work, instead of just promoting the work itself. If you ask me, I think they got that covered.

Another fun bit is when this guy from a local newspaper shows up (local as in from my country) to run an “article” about SIGGRAPH and what the hell I was doing there. I am not the kind of person who likes to be interviewed (I preffer to make the interview instead), but it was still kinda fun (besides, at least it was nice to know there was a countryman over there, even if it was for just one hour).

So will you make it home and go Vancouver next year? That’s gonna be the first time SIGGRAPH is being held outside the US. I am definitely going, no matter what.

EDIT (Aug 2nd): Complete list of SIGGRAPH coverage articles:

And now some pics!

DSC03057 DSC03065 DSC03070 DSC03073
DSC03118 DSC03125 DSC03164 DSC03115
DSC03188 DSC03208 DSC03209 DSC03281

That’s pretty much it, now just some footer I need to share. I got a comment on this blog a little over a week ago from someone I know (and again I am not sharing the name due to privacy issues), and it pretty much told me that the short film we’re working on was “pretty similar” to a story it’d written (I am using it instead of he, she, BTW).

I have to say as much as I like that other story, my story is very different to the one I am being made reference to, for the simple reason that I don’t need to go around stealing people’s ideas. I am very capable of writting my own stuff as I am creative enough to do it. Also, AFAIK I have not shared any real details on the story, so if this person based its statement on the info I posted on that blog post, that was not very smart because there’s no way to make a comparison between the two (Dark City has a singer AND a bar, and that doesn’t make it any similar to my story).

Unless, of course, that person had gotten a “leaked” script (or rather a script given by someone else), and that would mean I have to be more careful who to work with. Anyway, just wait for the freaking movie to come out and then you can make a comparison and list all the similarities you can find and tell me how similar (or not) they are. In the mean time, please refrain from making comments around here.

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~ by nemirc on August 1, 2010.

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