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Imageworks Takes the Stage at SIGGRAPH 2006

Sony Pictures Imageworks is set to showcase its innovative and diverse range of CG work and digital effects at SIGGRAPH 2006 in Boston on July 31-Aug. 3.

This has been a very productive year for Imageworks in terms of our four active production pipelines: live-action visual effects, performance capture, all CG animation and 3-D stereoscopic work, said Tim Sarnoff, president of Sony Pictures Imageworks. Were proud to share examples of each pipeline with SUPERMAN RETURNS, MONSTER HOUSE and Sony Pictures Animations first CG-feature, OPEN SEASON.

Imageworks is a participant in every aspect of the conference including the prestigious Electronic Theater program, panels, courses and special sessions.

Imageworks will be presenting materials this year in booth #1506 on the Sony SRX-R105 SXRD 4K projector. As one of four models in the SXRD 4K projector line-up, the SRX-R105 provides an image resolution of over 8.8 million pixels at a brightness of 5,000 lumens, with stunning contrast and accurate color reproduction. These products provide high-quality, high-resolution projection in applications from visualization and simulation to digital cinema.

In its ninth consecutive year, Imageworks will present the popular life drawing class, Master Life Drawing and the Art of the Dynamic Pose, with master instructor Karl Gnass, author of SPIRIT OF THE POSE: SKETCHBOOK 1 in the Imageworks booth #1506. Gnass has been teaching drawing for more than 35 years and has worked with Imageworks for the past 10 years instructing artists at the facility each week in his life drawing class.

Master instructor Karl Gnass has been teaching life drawing classes at Imageworks every week since 1996, said Sande Scoredos, exec director of training and artist development. His life drawing classes not only improve aesthetics and animation skills but also increase powers of observation, communication, and visualization. These studio art classes are considered a staple of the Imageworks Training & Artist Development core curriculum and are available to everyone at Imageworks.

This year, Imageworks has been honored with two selections for screening in the jury-selected Electronic Theater: MONSTER HOUSE: THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD by visual effects supervisor Jay Redd and OPEN SEASON: SEPARATING THE TREES FROM THE FOREST by visual effects supervisor Doug Ikeler. MONSTER HOUSE is currently in theaters; OPEN SEASON debuts nationwide Sept. 29.

Imageworks will be offering two courses:

* The Art of OPEN SEASONJuly 30, 8:30 am 12:15 pm (Hall C)Presented by visual effects supervisor Ikeler, animation supervisor Sean Mullen and CG supervisors Max Bruce and Darren Lurie, this session will offer a detailed behind-the-scenes view of how a team of digital artists and technicians worked closely with a team of talented traditional storytellers and artists to create the first feature animated film from Sony Pictures Animation. The course will demonstrate how the most advanced technology and tools were developed from concept to screen.

* Performance-Driven Facial AnimationAug. 2, 8:30 am 5:30 pm (Room 205)Parag Havaldar, software architect, will cover the tracking, cross-mapping, and model derivation technologies used on MONSTER HOUSE. Current and forthcoming motion-capture techniques and application case studies from recent and current projects will be presented.

Imageworks execs will be participating in the following panels:

* Is a Career in Computer Graphics Possible?Part 1: Skills & TrainingAug. 1, 10:30 am 12:15 pm (Room 210)The first part of this course will be presented by Ken Muryama, director of digital production for Imageworks, and will cover skills and training on topics such as the need to stay current with technology, what new employees are expected to know, if training departments in the industry are keeping up with employees and what the overall benefits are to keeping employees trained.

* Is a Career in Computer Graphics Possible?Part 2: Dedication & ExpectationAug. 2, 3:45 pm 5:30 pm (Room 210)Presented by Jenny Fulle, evp/exec producer for Imageworks (and VFXWORLD contributor to The Digital Eye), this session will cover the expectations of companies, employers, researchers, artists and students and what the industry can do to make sure that sane and stable jobs exist in computer graphics.

* Sounding Off: How Voice Talents Bring Characters to Life in a CG FilmAug. 2, 4:45 pm 6:45 pm (Hall B2)Mary Hidalgo, casting director for Sony Pictures Animation, will participate in a special session panel that will discuss how major studios and talents use different approaches and techniques to integrate voice performance with computer graphics to create emotionally resonant computer-generated characters and stories.

Imageworks artists will also be participating in educational panels and presentations in various booths including:

* Autodesk Maya Master ClassesSuperToon Body & Face RiggingJuly 31, 9:00 am 12:30 pm (Westin Bonaventure Waterfront Hotel)Presented by senior technical animator Joe Harkins

Hyper Real Creature Anatomy FoundationAug. 3, 8:30 am 12:30 pm (Westin Bonaventure Waterfront Hotel)Presented by character set-up supervisor Erick Miller

* Autodesk Booth # 1706Aug, 1, 2 and 3, 12:00 pmSenior flame artist Todd Mesher will present material from CLICK and SUPERMAN RETURNS.

Aug. 1, 2 and 3, 2:00 pmT. Dan Hofstedt, co-animation supervisor on MONSTER HOUSE, will discuss how Maya was used in the making of the film.

* Maxon Booth # 603Aug. 1, 2 and 3, 1:00 pmApryl Knobbe, digital paint lead on OPEN SEASON, will discuss how Cinema 4D was used during the making of the film.

* Side Effects Booth # 1731Aug. 1 and 2, 10:30 amDarren Lurie, CG supervisor on OPEN SEASON, and David Stevens, effects animation supervisor from OPEN SEASON, will discuss how Houdini was used for the film.

Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. (www.imageworks.com) is an Academy Award-winning, state-of-the-art digital production studio dedicated to the art of visual effects production and character animation. Imageworks production environment facilitates four diverse pipelines, including live-action visual effects and character work, Imagemotion performance capture, all-CG animation and Imageworks 3-D stereoscopic. The company has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars for its work on SPIDER-MAN 2 and the CG-animated short film THE CHUBBCHUBBS!, as well as nominations for THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, SPIDER-MAN, HOLLOW MAN, STUART LITTLE and STARSHIP TROOPERS.

Current projects include SUPERMAN RETURNS, CLICK, MONSTER HOUSE (also in Imageworks 3-D), GHOST RIDER, SPIDER-MAN 3 and BEOWULF, as well as the first two features from Sony Pictures Animation: OPEN SEASON (also in IMAX 3-D) and SURFS UP!