As many readers may be aware, SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 has been staged in Brisbane in the middle of November. This was the first time for the event to be staged in Australia. I was up there to interview, and network and take in that buzz I have to admit to missing over a few years.
The Brisbane show was dubbed the Dream Zone, and featured some iconic industry figureheads who are at the cutting edge of the VFX and animation industries; both here in Australia, but mostly from everywhere else.
There was a full house for the first Business and Innovation Symposium, attracting such interest, there was standing room only for some of the sessions. SIGGRAPH communities have been supportive of innovation in modern Hollywood and Silicon Valley for the last 40 years. The Asia-Pacific region’s population of 4.4 billion people will create giant market possibilities, and the aim of BIS is to play a lead role in the region’s innovation.
The venue was as central as it could possibly be. The riverfront of Brisbane shone with special visual offerings and the trade show floor, while admittedly smaller than a Singapore or Tokyo show, bright with some heavy lifters like AMD, Lenovo, Lucasfilm, and Weta Digital. There was also one of the most intriguing Technical Papers collections in the show’s memory. This show was the 12th edition of SIGGRAPH Asia, and attracted 5,120 visitors and participants from 50 countries and regions, featuring over 800 speakers. Also, 68 exhibiting companies and brands participated, and they came to Brisbane from over 15 countries and regions.
The Featured Sessions Program’s Chair, Mark Elendt, was pleased to be able to put together his dream panel in the Dream Zone. “It featured the world’s largest studio creative heads, including Animal Logic, Pixar, Framestore, Industrial Light & Magic, and Weta Digital. What was extraordinary is that, after listening to them discuss their pipelines, I had more questions than answers. It was thought-provoking and created a lot of discussions afterward, way past the actual session, which takes us forward into the future, and that’s what’s fantastic about SIGGRAPH Asia.”
A Gold sponsor of SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 was Unity Technologies, and local providers of this immensely versatile technology were on hand to show off several examples of the technology.
Another program new to SIGGRAPH Asia, and one very close to the heart of the Conference Chair, Tomasz Bednarz, Demoscene, fascinated a lot of visitors. One of the Demosceners’, Greg Newton (Ziggy/Defame), commented that “SIGGRAPH Asia has completely exceeded my expectations.” He felt the reception for the Demoscene presentations and talks had been excellent, “Because with the live show, for example, the live shader coding, people are actually interested in how graphically, in a coder’s point of view, does that come together? So, we’ve really just broken all the elements down and people have been so attracted to it, to understand how it works.”
The four-day conference included a diverse range of juried programs, such as the Art Gallery / Art Papers, Computer Animation Festival, Courses, Doctoral Consortium, Emerging Technologies, Posters, Technical Briefs, Technical Papers and XR (Extended Reality). Curated programs include Business & Innovation Symposium, Demoscene, and Real-Time Live!
SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 returns 17 – 20 November 2020 in Daegu, South Korea. The theme is Driving Diversity, and the event will be the 13th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference in Asia.
I will be part of the jury for the Computer Animation Festival, chaired by Dan Sarto. SIGGRAPH Asia 2020’s Conference Chair is Jinny HyeJin Choo, Guest Professor and researcher, at the Korea National University of Arts (K’ARTS) in South Korea.