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.
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.
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.
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.
Johannes Wolters dives into fmx/08, which this year offered an even greater number of stimulating discussions on the state of artistic and technological visual content.
Peter Plantec previews the speakers, presentations and parties that will make fmx/08 the most fun media conference of the year.
My first reaction to Kung Fu Panda was, (bored, Droopy voice), whoopee, here we go again: hopeless slob (Jack Black, who else?) makes good in spite of himself, done with that trademark DreamWorks unattractive angular character design.
Mea culpa, friends. I just saw a lengthy promo reel for the film hosted by Ol’ Bullet-head himself, Jeff (nyah-nyah Michael, I’m still a player, what are you doing these days?) Katzenberg – and I am blown away. This is going to turn into an Anton Ego review (end of Ratatouille Anton that is), but here we go.