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SIGGRAPH Previews 2013 Production Sessions

SIGGRAPH 2013 releases an early preview of its schedule of production sessions to be featured at this year’s conference and as part of the Computer Animation Festival.

Chicago, IL –

SIGGRAPH 2013, 21 -25 July at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, released an early preview of its impressive schedule of production sessions that will be featured at this year’s conference and are a part of the Computer Animation Festival, which is open to the public.

“The production sessions at SIGGRAPH 2013 are your only opportunity to experience the world’s best talent in one place during one week,” says Jerome Solomon, SIGGRAPH 2013 Production Sessions Chair from Cogswell College. “Major studios share their latest creative work, allowing attendees to experience the newest and most significant achievements. In many instances this is the first time these particular topics are discussed with the public. Nowhere else but at SIGGRAPH is this type of cutting-edge content available. There are 'must see' sessions every day at SIGGRAPH. It’s very exciting for our attendees. And, this preliminary line-up is just the beginning of what we have in plan.”

The Computer Animation Festival, chaired this year by Jason R.M. Smith, is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival. Since 1999, several works originally presented in the Computer Animation Festival have been nominated for or have received a "Best Animated Short" Academy Award. This year’s selections will be featured during the Computer Animation Festival through a series of daily Festival Screenings and the iconic Electronic Theater, allowing attendees to get a glimpse behind the making of computer generated effects, visualizations, and animations.

In all there will be more than 15 sessions. Following are the details on just some of the 2013 Production Sessions.

Industrial Light & Magic Presents:  'Cancel the Apocalypse' – The Visual Effects of Pacific Rim Panelists: John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Lindy De Quattro and Eddie Pasquarello

©2013 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic.

From aliens that threaten Earth’s very existence to massive human-piloted robots, this panel will discuss the wide-ranging scope of Industrial Light & Magic’s effects work on Guillermo del Toro’s science fiction epic Pacific Rim. The artists will cover creative and technical challenges overcome in the areas of asset development, character animation, lighting, digital environments, advanced fluid simulation work and more.

LAIKA Presents: The Seamless Fusion of Stop-Motion and Visual Effects Technologies in LAIKA's Feature Films Speakers: Georgina Hayns, Creative Supervisor, Puppet Fabrication and Brian McLean, Director of Rapid Prototype.


LAIKA, the Oregon-based animation studio behind the remarkable features ParaNorman (2012), Coraline (2009) and The Boxtrolls (in theaters 17 October 2014) has inspired audiences -- and industry professionals -- with an unprecedented visual artistry. Animators breathe life into meticulously hand-crafted puppets while visual effects artists seamlessly enhance the performance with cutting-edge technologies. This unparalleled fusion of stop- motion and computer graphics has garnered the studio two Oscar nominations and worldwide acclaim. In this session, Georgina Hayns and Brian McLean address the key interdependent and collaborative relationships between these uniquely different but critically important departments.

The presentation will address the following:

  • Theuse of Maya and Zbrush to enhance practical sculpts;
  • 3DPrinted material and subsurface scattering to allow puppet builders tobreak free of previous design limitations;
  • Theadvancements in color 3D printing and the enabling of puppet builders toevolve beyond prior design limitations;
  • Theuse of in-house developed silicones which enable character performancepreviously unseen in stop-motion animation;
  • Theutilization of 3D Printers to pre-vis puppet construction issues andcontrol how practical materials perform;
  • Theuse of laser cutting fabrics to enhance the design and functionality ofthe puppets costumes;
  • Productionpuppets will be displayed during the presentation.

OLM Digital Presents the Anime Spirit: From Pokémon, Pac-Man to live action films Panelists: Koichiro Sato, CGI director OLM Digital, Masashi Kobayashi, CGI Producer OLM Digital, Moto Sakakibara, CEO and creative director Sprite Animation Studios and Ken Anjyo, R&D supervisor OLM Digital

©Nintendo•Creatures•GAME FREAK•TV Tokyo•ShoPro•JR Kikaku, ©Pokémon ©2012 PIKACHU PROJECT, ©2012 NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. and ©2012 CAPCOM/"Ace Attorney" FILM PARTNERS

Anime has gained great popularity in the world for its unique expressiveness in contrast to western animation. OLM Digital, a digital production company in Tokyo, keeps trying new anime styles, making the Pokémon movies over 15 years. This session presents the company’s various works in 2D anime, 3DCG and live action films. The showcase focuses on how the anime spirit of OLM Digital is put into various visual forms. The brand-new Pac-Man animated TV series, which is a collaborative work with Sprite Animation Studios, is also one of the highlights of this session.  

Rhythm & Hues Studios Presents: How to bake a Pi

©2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Courtesy Rhythm & Hues Studios.

Learn first-hand about the story behind the Oscar-winning visuals of Life of Pi as Rhythm & Hues takes you on a journey from script to screen through a world of vast oceans, carnivorous islands, flying fish, bioluminescent jellyfish, whales and tigers. Leaders from the visual effects team will discuss in detail how they attempted to tackle the project, share the hard lessons learned along the way and explain the complex process used to seamlessly combine live-action with extensive digital environments and hand-crafted character animation in a fully-stereo pipeline that required a total rethink of much of the traditional vfx process.

Sony Pictures Imageworks Presents: Take a Journey Down the Yellow Brick Road Presenters: Scott Stokdyk, Senior VFX Supervisor; Troy Saliba, Animation Supervisor and Francisco De Jesus, Digital Effects Supervisor

©2013 Disney Enterprises Inc.

Sony Pictures Imageworks, under the direction of VFX supervisor Scott Stokdyk, created the majority of the visual effects for Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful.

As a cinematic prequel to L. Frank Baum’s first book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the film explores the backstory of the wizard character. The goal of the film was to create a beautiful stylized environment for the land of Oz and bring to life computer graphics characters that accompany Oz on his journey, including Finley the monkey, the porcelain China Girl, and various creatures that surprise them along the way.

Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Presents: Scare School 101: The Making of Monsters University

Image: ©Disney/Pixar

The filmmaking team will guide attendees through the production process of the summer 2013 Disney/Pixar film, Monsters University.  Twelve years after the original film, see how creators rebuilt the Monster world; updated familiar characters into college-age versions of themselves; designed, built and lit a campus fit for a monster; and populated the university with a student body of diverse, unique and terrifying monster types.

Walt Disney Animation Studios Presents Frozen: The Craft of Character and Cold

Image: ©2012 Disney

The team from Walt Disney Animation Studios gives a first-time, behind-the-scenes look at their November 27, 2013 film, Frozen. Attendees will learn how the team of artists and technologists created the film's characters through visual development, rigging, animation and advanced rendering tools and discover how the elements of cold - ice, snow and frost - were brought to life through new simulation techniques.


Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.