SIGGRAPH in Vancouver

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There’s nothing better than sitting in a box-seat to hear about the latest research, newest technologies, and best ideas in visual effects. The brightest minds are on tap at the 45th SIGGRAPH Conference, this year setting up in Vancouver, Canada.


SIGGRAPH is one of the biggest gatherings of VFX minds for all those in the industry with time in mid-August. With a program so jammed packed, many count on quadruple-booking themselves throughout the week.  I understand there is a lot of action out there in Vancouver, and every second year the festival takes place back in the home ground of the LACC, right in the middle of the city of Los Angeles.   The weather is better in Vancouver this time of year.


The SIGGRAPH Production Sessions are always the big drawcard and this year there will be ten of them, covering the production of many of the year’s big shots. In 90-minute programs, Pixar’s Incredibles 2 team speak up about the multiple years of technology required to process the effects for this film. Many of the names here I interviewed for a 3DWorld cover article this month.


The RodeoFX crew will discuss their work on the legendary HBO series Game of Thrones, was just nominated for 22 Emmy Awards. Season 17 is full of the most epic and immense sequences, full of CG matte painting, modeling, and deep compositing.


My friend Ian Failes is moderating a panel of creative leaders, including Rob Bredow from Lucasfilm. The panel is titled ‘Generations of Houdini in Film’ and brings into focus the journey of SideFX initial release in 1996, through to the present day.  Hear unique perspectives as the panel tells stories from their use of the software, and they also give their unique perspective on the future of CG and procedural methods in compositing.
This year the Production Sessions are being extended to include the Production Gallery in Vancouver. “2018’s Production Sessions programming looks at where we were, where we are now, and where we could be,” said SIGGRAPH 2018 Production Sessions Chair Emily Hsu. “I am so proud of the incredible lineup of content and speakers we have assembled. The brilliant work and boundary-pushing creativity in every frame, sequence, and pixel in the sessions, and the experience of walking through the gallery is sure to ‘wow’ our attendees.  I think they will definitely remember this conference for many years to come.”
Syd Mead is being featured in an exhibition as part of the Production Gallery sessions, showing off more than 50 years of work from the gentleman I’ve known for about 12 years. “Progressions”, includes a retrospective from his time at college through to some of his most iconic plates from productions like Blade Runner, Aliens, TRON, Star Trek and many others.
Four years after the events of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the Avengers have been torn apart following the events depicted in the film “Captain America: Civil War.” Marvel Studios, ILM, Weta Digital, and Digital Domain will take the SIGGRAPH audience through their unique visual effects journey, as they present how they created some of the movie’s most heart-stopping moments.
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