written by John Morgan Brewer and Jessica Brown of the LSU Shreveport Animation and Visual Effects Program
Monday nights' Evening Theater began with the introduction of host Miles Perkins, senior staff at Industrial Light and Magic. He kicked off the award ceremony by paving the way for Scott Farrar, visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic. Scott presented the awards for SIGGRAPH's 2009 animation festivals. Out of 770 submissions the following were selected for three categories. Best of Show Nominees:
Engel zu Fust (Angel Afoot) Studio Soi GmbH & Co Germany French Roast The Pumpkin Factor France
Silhouettes of Jazz Dominik Kaser, Martin-Sebastian Senn, Mario Deuss, Mark Pauly, Niloy J. Mitra Switzerland
Jury Award Nominees:
Dix The Mill United States
Love Child Digital Media Design Education Center Taiwan
Anima Supinfocom Valenciennes France
Student Prize Nominees:
Dim Sum Ringling College of Art and Design United States
Incident at Tower 37 Hampshire College United States
Project: Alpha The Animation Workshop Denmark
WTF (Well Told Fable) Award
Friends? Sveinbjorn J. Tryggvason Iceland
Unbelievable Four Sukwon Shin United States
Fernet 1,882 “Mini Cab Company” Pickle Visual Effects & Animation Argentina
And the winners are:
Best of Show: French Roast
Jury Award: Dix
Student Prize: Project: Alpha
The real-time rendering talks focused on real-time computer graphics, their capabilities, and the production value that is associated with each.
Flower, as played on the PS3 by John Edwards, engineer at ThatGameCompany, featured an interactive free-roaming landscape in which flower peddles could be controlled as a character to complete various sequential goals throughout the games vast landscape. The color palette exhibited natural hues, drawing the gamer into a tranquil setting pocked by barren areas- a clear juxtaposition and potential problem to be set right by the graceful life of your wind driven peddles. After meandering through serene pastors and rejuvenating the scarred landscape the player completes the level and all is well in the land of Flower.
The next real-time presentation featured Tatsuo Unemi of Soka University in Japan. He displayed DT4 Identity SA, a psychedelic visual experience that is sure to invoke a sensory overload cascade. This real-time treat mirrors, pardon the pun, your image using the computer camera and converts it into stylized digital art. As a visual stimulant this seemingly impractical software could serve as a very popular college pastime in the late night ambiance of psilocybin-induced wonderland. With at least four different variations in which you image could be filtered through the DT4 will no doubt allow for hours of self-reflection.
The third presentation in the real-time evening theater was entitled Froblins and was played by Abraham Wiley. Froblins consisted of 3000 characters that roam the world mining gold ore, searching for food or a camp for sleep. The computers artificial intelligence manages the Froblins on their mission for collective preservation. With a more sinister intent the player can generate noxious gas clouds to send the Froblins scurrying away in fear. The player can also summon ghosts of dead elders as a way to cause pandemonium amidst the hive automation.
The fourth and final presentation was Electronic Arts Fight Night 4. This game was played on the Xbox 360. Iron Mike Tyson was played by Frank and Will Wright was played by Jenny. After several rounds the victor, Will Wright, in his Hawaiian shirt, bested Mike by delivering a hay-maker capable of knocking the block off the most feared contender. This bout displayed both aesthetically appealing graphics as well as a highly sought after rhythm that is necessary in developing a popular game.
All in all real-time theater night exhibited the leading edge in state of the art gaming technology and computer graphics. The Computer Animation Festival Evening Theater showcased the festival winners along with demos all of which were very intriguing and worthwhile.