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Submissions for SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival Due March 14

The SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival (CAF), chaired by acclaimed computer graphics researcher, Paul Debevec, is now open for submissions. Animations chosen for the festival will be shown at the prestigious Electronic Theater at the San Diego Civic Theater or in the Animation Theater screening rooms at the San Diego Convention Center Aug 5-9. The submission deadline is March 14, 2007. Electronic submission deadline: 5:00 pm PT. This year's categories include:

* Animated Short (story- or character-based, any medium)* Art (abstract and experimental)* Broadcast (commercial, music video, design)* Cinematic (pre-rendered videogame animation)* Real Time (video game play, interactive art and scientific visualizations)* Research (explaining and/or demonstrating new computer graphics or interactive techniques)* Visual Effects (not story- or character-based)* Visualization (scientific, medical, architectural)* Other (any work that does not fit the categories above)

Tips for completing your animation:

* The jury will pay special attention to pieces that are groundbreaking through either their art or technology. Pieces that present a new visual technique, an innovative style of animation or that develop or apply new computer graphics techniques to the realm of CG filmmaking will all receive particular consideration. Also, films that creatively explain, visualize, or demonstrate how new techniques are employed in their groundbreaking achievements will be given special consideration. As with any other film festival, story, character design, animation, lighting and music are also important factors considered by the jury.

* Length is an important factor considered by the jury. A three-minute film with great visuals and an engaging story will be more attractive to the jury than the same material presented in eight minutes. This is particularly true for the Electronic Theater, which strives to present an overview of the state of the art in computer graphics in a two-hour show. A breathtaking, never-beforeseen visual experience that's just a minute or two will be hard for the jury to pass up.

* Submit and render with as high resolution as possible. Since 2005, the majority of the Electronic Theater show has been in high- definition resolution (1920x1080 pixels, 24fps or 30fps). This year, the CAF is working with Sony's SXRD group to provide native 4K playback of 4096x2160 pixels for 24fps pieces as well -- if you can render at that resolution, imagine seeing it in motion! Standard definition material (640x480) is acceptable, but it will look soft by comparison. For the jury submission, movie file uploads of up to 500MB can be up to 1280x720 pixels. Consider taking advantage of the increasingly popular 16:9 wide screen format; 4:3 pieces won't use as much of the screen.

* Figure out music licensing as early as possible. It's terrible to make important creative decisions using a temporary music track and then have to re-conceptualize the piece if the necessary performance rights cannot be obtained. Using original music composed just for your piece is encouraged. More information on music licensing is available on the CAF website.

For 30 years, the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival has been the world's premiere event for the most innovative and groundbreaking animations made using the computer. And since 1999, the CAF has been an Academy-qualifying festival for the Best Animated Short Academy Award for the CAF's "Best of Show" films.

Animated films can be uploaded electronically for the selection process at resolution of up to 1280x720 pixels, and animations accepted to the Electronic Theater segment of the show may be screened at resolutions of up to 4096 x 2160 pixels. The online submission web pages are now active: see the festival web page for this year's submission formats and procedures:

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Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.