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SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 Virtual Edition Begins!

This year’s Conference, headlined by keynotes from Oscar-winning director Glen Keane and VFX supervisor Paul Franklin, kicks off its extensive program of live and pre-recorded sessions, running through December 13.

The SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 Virtual Conference kicks off today with an expansive and diverse set of pre-recorded sessions, and extends through to the live and premiere sessions taking place between December 10-13, 2020. The SIGGRAPH Asia virtual edition offers insights into ground-breaking areas of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Keynote Speakers this year are Glen Keane and Paul Franklin.

Academy Award-winning animator Glen Keane, the Director of Over the Moon, is one of two keynote speakers at the Conference this year. Moderator Ian Failes, a well-known Australian VFX & Animation journalist and editor of befores & afters, will lead a conversation with Keane on the Continuous Evolution of Animation. The second keynote will be presented by Paul Franklin, VFX Supervisor & Creative Director from Double Negative. Paul is and one of the world’s leading visual effects designers with over 30 years of experience in filmmaking. He has won two Academy Awards and two BAFTAs.

Extended Reality (XR) Program

This year’s XR program at SIGGRAPH Asia follows the success of last year’s debut program and will showcase the latest research and development results in XR including state-of-the-art solutions for interactive technologies, immersive installations, storytelling, new approaches for creative expression, novel displays, and collaboration within VR, AR, and MR Environments. Some of the world-leading experts will lead live demonstrations and inspire audiences to create realities and experiences in ways that have not been possible until today. The featured XR speaker is Dr. Ivan Poupyrev, who heads a team at Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP). ATAP focuses on designing for future digital lifestyles. Poupyrev’s recent projects include Jacquard (mass-producible clothes that can sense multi-touch) and Soli (a miniature radar for gesture sensing). He will help viewers explore what is possible with extended reality. Poupyrev’s session on ‘Technology Woven In’ will be live on 10 December, 1 – 2pm SGT/GMT+8.

All other XR presentations will be available on the virtual platform on-demand between 4-13 December 2020, and their live Q&A sessions on Cinematic VR, Art & Games, Telepresence, and Connecting the Real and the Virtual will take place between December 10–13.

Game Design

As games become more hyper-realistic, several speakers who are at the forefront of game design will present at SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 what they have learned and how they are building expertise at the cutting-edge of technical applications in game design for cinematics, machine learning, Big Data and VFX. Some of the sessions to note are The Last of Us Part II, which offers insights into the intricacies of post process effects; Ubisoft China’s novel strategy for generating synthetic training data for 2D and 3D pose estimation of animals by using an end-to-end machine learning pipeline called ZooBuilder, that takes input of a video of an animal in the wild and produces the corresponding 3D animation; and Brian J. Pohl, and Linda Sellheim from Epic Games will present the Unreal Fellowship, an intensive blended learning experience designed to help experienced industry professionals in film, animation, and VFX.

Virtual Reality

15 specially selected VR Theater videos will also be available on SIGGRAPH Asia’s virtual events platform on-demand from December 4 onwards, so attendees can watch them from the comfort of your own homes, at your own pace.

Emerging Technologies

A highlight of any SIGGRAPH Asia event, among the emerging technologies showcased this year include pandemic inspired wares, such as a wearable hand sanitizer; a wearable mask with LED display that is capable of sensing lip motion and speech; and ZoomTouch is a robot-human interaction system that allows an operator or a group of people to control a robotic arm via the video call application from anywhere in the world using DNN-based hand tracking.

Art Gallery

The ever-popular Art Gallery at SIGGRAPH Asia has been organized this year by Art Center Nabi, the mainstream platform for creation of media art. Featured are a curated session and a submitted session, which has attracted more artists to participate in the event this year. Art Gallery serves as a place for artists to share and voice out their opinions, and there are even more than normal selected artworks compared to the previous editions, and the submitted session consists of three programs: Installation, Generative Art Printing, and Open Projection Mapping.

To learn more about SIGGRAPH Asia 2020, visit

Source: SIGGRAPH Asia 2020

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.