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September 2015

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Page 5 of 51 4 POST SEPTEMBER 2015 BITS & PIECES SIGGRAPH 2015 IN REVIEW LOS ANGELES — Last month, the annual SIGGRAPH show returned to Los Angeles, celebrating its 42 nd conference and exhibition, and drawing more than 14,800 attendees from over 70 countries. The spotlight was on independent and studio-made films and games; the newest developments in emerging technologies; hands-on experiences for future application; the "how-to" behind cutting-edge productions; and the merging of traditional hands-on processes with new technologies. "Los Angeles provided us with an amazing and inspiring backdrop that coalesced with this year's conference theme, 'Xroads of Discovery,'" says Marc Barr, SIGGRAPH 2015 conference chair. "I'm so pleased to see that we were truly able to live up to that theme of the intersections — across art, science and technology. This conference has become the go-to conference for the latest in computer graphics research and interactive techniques, and 2015 again lived up to that reputation." The Computer Animation Festival is always a show highlight, span- ning the disciplines of visual effects, animation, research & development, games, advertising, and education. Production sessions brought in talent- ed and elite computer graphics experts to go through the processes and techniques used to create the compelling content featured in blockbust- er films from the past year as well as upcoming releases, including The Peanuts Movie (look for Post's coverage in our November issue). The program also celebrated Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) 40th anniversary with a special event. The debut of VR Village featured dedicated realtime immersion with the hottest VR/AR content, with Nomadic Virtual Reality, Tabletop Aug- mented Reality, Full-Dome Cinema, and live demonstrations in a 360-de- gree immersion dome. Emerging Technologies showcased the latest inter- active and graphics technologies in the 3D, virtual reality, and projection mapping industries, including practical applications such as the Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment used in phases of automotive design. Silverdraft's Devil compact supercomputer was used to perform realtime ray tracing for the demo. Aside from Ford's VR application, there was also lots of VR action on the show floor, with exhibitors such as AMD and Chaos Group offering some impressive looks at what they have going on. AMD (www.amd. com) featured an immersive VR experience of an historically accurate recreation of the Wright Brothers first flight, showing off AMD Radeon graphics. The 360-view video was created by artists at Zypre, a virtual reality company based in LA, headed up by James Knight, co-president and CEO, who worked with James Cameron on some early motion-cap- ture techniques for Avatar. Chaos Group ( also showed an immersive trailer for the upcoming film, Crimson Peak ("The Crimson Peak VR" experience) created by the artists at Legend3D in Maya and rendered with V-Ray. Nvidia ( introduced DesignWorks VR, a GPU-accel- erated toolset that addresses the VR needs of professional designers. DesignWorks VR is a set of APIs, libraries, and features that enable VR headset and application developers to deliver high quality VR experienc- es. DesignWorks VR has components that enable VR environments like head-mounted displays (HMD), immersive VR spaces such as CAVEs and other immersive displays, and cluster solutions. Autodesk ( announced its latest extension releases for Maya 2016 and 3DS Max 2016 (both available now). The Maya 2016 Extension 1 offers a brand new text tool that makes it easy to create branding, flying logos, title sequences, and other projects that require 3D text. 3DS Max 2016 Extension 1 provides Geodesic Voxel and Heat Map solvers that allow artists to create better skin weighting faster. Post's complete coverage of the SIGGRAPH 2015 show can be found at Also, see our Special Section on "VR" in next month's issue. OptiTrack offered live body motion capture demonstrations. AMD's Wright Brother's VR demo. 3D structure, Shogyo Mujo, designed by Josh Harker, with projection animation developed by BARTKRESA design and projectors by Christie Digital Systems. More than 30 perfectly mapped animations and an extensive set of realtime looks offered constantly changing artwork. The Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment, featuring the Devil compact supercomputer, performed realtime ray tracing.

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