From what I see and hear, everybody seems happy at SIGGRAPH Asia in Singapore. The exhibition floor is busy; the quality of talks is high, the Electronic Theater has been praised for its quality selection, and everyone notes the intimate feeling and family flair in the air.
The inaugural SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 was formally opened on Tuesday, Dec 11, in true Singaporean style: with festive opening speeches by the Conference Chair YT Lee and by distinguished government representatives.
One of the hot topics at AnimfxNZ was 3-D stereo and digital cinema. Dave Scammell, the President of SohoNet, ran a panel on the issue with Steve Schklair from 3ality Digital, Patrick von Sychowski from Adlabs/Reliance India, and Habib Zargarpour from Electronic Arts Los Angeles.
Joseph Olin is the President of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Just like that Other Academy, on which it's modeled, the AIAS exists to recognize and reward outstanding accomplishments in video games. The Academy is 12 years old, has 15,000 members, and acknowledges the best of the gaming best every year through the Interactive Achievement Awards.
Tom Willits, Creative Director at id Software, provides insight in his talk about the gaming industry.
Carolyn Soper is a Vice President of Disney Animation Studios, and has been working on the upcoming Disney feature Bolt. She walked AnimfxNZ attendees through the process of building a hamster named Rhino.
According to Henry LaBounta, Chief Visual Officer for EA Black Box, Game Art Direction has three main focus areas – the look of the game, the characters and animation, and the graphic design (menus, user interface, and fonts) – and most of the unsolved problems are with the characters and animation.
AnimfxNZ 2008 began with a song. A contingent of Maori gathered to perform a 'powhiri', or New Zealand traditional welcome. The foreign visitors and speakers lined up so the kaumatua could determine if they were friends or foes. Thankfully, there were no enemies among them, and the conference was able to proceed.
One cannot help feeling that there is something very special in the way Maria Elena Gutierrez has put together this festival: her cultivation of industry figures, her contacts with other festivals, and her warmth as a hostess. Or maybe it’s the chocolate.
Well, I’m torn. Shall I go to the presentation on “Hair shells and bi-quad transition rig on Shrek the Halls and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” or to the “Humanizing virtual agents: the role of speech technology in effective human-machine interaction?” Maybe if they made a rule that titles had to be short, like “Beards and boundaries” and “Talk to me, Mac,” I would feel less anxiety about making these choices.
Here at the VIEW Conference there is another vapor in the air besides water: a palpable sense of worry. You can see it on the faces of the digital hipsters listening attentively to representatives of Pixar and DreamWorks, consigning their show reels with all the courtesy and ceremony of a Japanese businessman presenting his business card.
My first Pictoplasma was an eye-opening affair set in the avant-garde city of Berlin.Combining a day-long “character walk” of installations set in fascinating locations, with screenings and lectures featuring the artist/creators themselves, it was a revelation of what a festival could be.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is trying out some new elements this year, including a new venue (the Canadian Museum of Civilization), a new free shuttle bus between venues and new additions to programming, like a live art presentation by Daniel Barrow, who uses an overhead projector and narration to create something called "manual animation."
From the shores of enchanting Rio to Sao Paulo’s urban hustle and bustle, I was lucky enough to attend Brazil’s 2008 Anima Mundi festival. This is the only festival I know about that starts in one city for a week and then moves to another town for another week of festivities. While this makes it one of the longest festivals, I think most people would want it to last even a little longer.
Word coming from the Bay Area is that the Totoro Forest Project auction at Pixar was a stellar success. The world's top film animators, comic book artists and illustrators came together after creating original works of art inspired by the iconic animated film My Neighbor Totoro for an auction to benefit the Totoro No Furusato (Totoro's Homeland) National Fund
If you haven't heard about the amazing Totoro Forest Project fund-raising exhibition/auction, which will be held Sept. 6th at Pixar, then you are missing out on some fabulous artwork being sold for a great cause. Spearheaded by Pixar art director Dice Tsutsumi, the event features artwork from some the top animators and illustrators working today. Check out this artwork!