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On the Show Floor: Preview New Tools & Technology at SIGGRAPH 2015

Check out the offerings from technology developers at SIGGRAPH 2015, including product demonstrations, Exhibitor Tech Talks & Sessions and User Group meetings taking place throughout the show.

SIGGRAPH 2015, to be held August 9-13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA, promises a full program of panels, presentations, technical papers and production sessions, as well as the Computer Animation Festival, the world's leading festival of the most innovative and accomplished computer graphics.

The annual SIGGRAPH conference is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience in the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques including a three-day commercial exhibition that attracts hundreds of exhibitors from around the world. See below to get a taste of what some of the industry’s leading technology developers have on tap for the SIGGRAPH 2015 Exhibition, including product announcements and demonstrations, Exhibitor Tech Talks & Sessions and User Group meetings taking place throughout the show.

At SIGGRAPH 2015, Allegorithmic is debuting Substance Share, a new platform that enables the simple exchange of Substances, smart materials, meshes, shaders, and mesh-adaptive presets between game artists. Available exclusively to Substance Live members for the first month, Substance Share works through the browser, with Substance Designer and Painter integration to be unveiled in the fall.

Head over to booth #807 to find out about Substance, Share, updates to Substance Designer including Iray integration, and more.

AMD may not have any new products to announce at SIGGRAPH 2015, but that doesn’t mean the hardware manufacturer doesn’t have a full lineup of events planned for the show:

Monday, August 10

Tuesday, August 11

Wednesday, August 12

Autodesk’s speaker series is returning to SIGGRAPH this year from August 11-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Hosted in room 408A, the sessions, presented by industry thought leaders, will provide an in-depth overview of industry trends and emerging developments driving the future of 3D visual effects and production in film and television. Members of the Autodesk development team will also provide insights and updates on Autodesk software, including upcoming innovative applications of the technology in Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and virtual production. Sessions range in focus from Terminator Genisys and Jurassic World VFX breakdowns to cloud computing and more. A few highlight sessions include:

  • Modeling
    Tuesday, August 11, 3:45-4:15pm
    Hear about the future of modeling with Andrew Camenisch, an Academy Sci-Tech Award winner for the concept and design of Mudbox digital sculpting software.
  • Procedural Content Creation
    Tuesday, August 11, 4:30-5:30pm
    Autodesk 3ds Max team members Martin Coven and Christopher Diggins explore the impact of procedural content creation on the media and entertainment industry.
  • Virtual Production
    Wednesday, August 12, 2:30-3:00pm
    Ben Guthrie and David Morin from Autodesk discuss the effects of emerging technologies on the future of virtual production, including AR, VR, reality capture, photogrammetry, laser scanning and game engines. 

For a full list of sessions and the latest information about Autodesk at SIGGRAPH 2015 visit

Join Blackmagic Design in booth #1019 as product specialists provide daily demos of Fusion Studio, its advanced VFX and motion graphics solution, DaVinci Resolve Studio, its professional editing and color correction software, and brand-new digital film cameras such as the URSA Mini, which features a 4.6K Super 35 image sensor with global shutter and 15 stops of dynamic range.

During the demos, SIGGRAPH attendees will learn more about VFX in Fusion 8, which will be available for Mac OS X and Linux soon, and editing and new color grading features in DaVinci Resolve 12, which was just made available for public beta.

In addition, Blackmagic Design will be featuring special guest presentations on working with DaVinci Resolve Studio and Fusion Studio:

  • 11:30 a.m. with colorist Alexis Van Hurkman, whose work has been in the Telluride, Sundance, Tribeca, Hamptons and Amsterdam film festivals.
  • 1:30 p.m. with VFX artist Damian Allen, who has worked on such films as 22 Jump Street, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and This is the End.
  • 3:30 p.m. with VES Award winner and Flash Film Works compositing supervisor Jeremy Nelson, who has worked on such films as Spy, Barely Lethal and TV’s The Librarians.

At SIGGRAPH 2015, Chaos Group will explore new applications for V-Ray’s advanced Virtual Reality tools. Booth #807’s VR Bar will feature installations from Steelblue, Nurulize, and Legend3D, giving attendees a chance to immerse themselves in architectural and film projects crafted for the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard.

The popular “V-Ray Days” series returns August 11th and 12th with special presentations from Method Studios (Guardians of the Galaxy), Legend3D (Crimson Peak VR) and independent filmmakers Ruairi Robinson (The Leviathan) and Kevin Margo (CONSTRUCT).

Both “V-Ray Days” will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Room #510) starting at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday (8/11) and 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday (8/12). Additional presentations from Atomic Fiction’s work on The Walk and “The Ningyo"'s Miguel Ortega are also expected.

In the Chaos Group booth, guest speakers from Google Cloud Platform and Autodesk will present their V-Ray workflows. First looks at upcoming products like V-Ray for NUKE, V-Ray for MODO, as well as recent additions to V-Ray for 3ds Max and Maya will also be on hand, and shown each morning starting at 9:30 a.m. Chaos Group will also be guest speaking at NVIDIA's booth (#500) to showcase advances in GPU rendering.

To see the full booth schedule, including times for The V-Ray Theater, visit the Chaos Group’s SIGGRAPH website.

Epic Games has jam-packed schedule at SIGGRAPH 2015, including Unreal Engine games @ The MIX and Unreal Engine 4 “Showdown” demo @ VR Village running throughout the conference. Also planned is a  SIGGRAPH Birds of a Feather session, Epic Games Unreal Educational Event, with speakers including Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri, Lead VR Engineer Nick Whiting, Education Evangelist Luis Cataldi, Senior Technical Artist and Designer Alan Willard, and esteemed faculty from USC, UCLA, LA Film School, SUNY Sullivan.

The two-part Designing Epic Experiences production session features Epic Games Senior Animator Gavin Moran, Senior Environment Artist Ryan Brucks, and Senior Graphics Programmer Brian Karis discussing the virtual reality game cinematic, A Boy and His Kite, as well as Epic Games Lead VR Engineer Nick Whiting, Weta Digital Head of R&D and VR Supervisor Alasdair Coull, and  Weta Digital Software Developer Daniel Smith.

The Advances in Real-Time Rendering, Part I course, led by Epic Games Senior Engine Programmer Daniel Wright, will present state-of-the-art and production-proven rendering techniques for fast, interactive rendering of complex and engaging virtual worlds. The Unreal Engine: Level Design for Unreal Tournament course, hosted by Epic Games Senior Technical Artist and Designer Alan Willard and Educational Evangelist Luis Cataldi, will provide hands-on experience in Unreal Engine level design workflows and best practices for asset creation by building a level for Unreal Tournament.

The Convergences in Film and Games Technologies panel, moderated by FXguide’s Mike Seymour, will see Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri and peers from Pixar, ILM, Side Effects, The Coalition, Crytek and EA discuss the relevant convergences in film and game production processes and technologies.

Epic Games will also present a Dailies presentation on A Boy and His Kite with “Real-Time Open World Challenges,” narrated by Epic Games Senior Environment Artist Ryan Brucks, and a Real-Time Live! session, Pushing Photorealism in “A Boy and His Kite,” presented by Epic Games Lead Rendering Engineer Nick Penwarden.

Fabric Software is launching Fabric Engine 2 at SIGGRAPH 2015. The second generation of the development platform features the Canvas visual programming system that was previewed earlier this year, as well as integration with Pixar’s RenderMan and The Foundry’s MODO. Major studios such as Double Negative, MPC, Hybride and Psyop are now using Fabric Engine in production and will demonstrate how Fabric fits into their pipeline at SIGGRAPH.

Fabric Software is hosting a SIGGRAPH user group at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Room 405) on Tuesday August 11, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Sessions include Fabric Engine 2, a preview of what’s coming next in Fabric Engine 2.1 as well as customer presentations from Double Negative, Hybride, MPC and Psyop. See the full schedule and register at

A joint invitation-only party, hosted by Fabric Software and Isotropix, follows the Fabric user group on Tuesday evening. Double Negative chief technology officer Graham Jack is presenting how Fabric Engine and Clarisse fit into the Dneg pipeline.

Visitors will have additional opportunities on Wednesday, August 12 to see how MPC is using Fabric Engine in production:

  • 12:40 pm As part of NVIDIA’s Best of GTC Theater (Booth #500), MPC global head of VFX operations Damien Fagnou will present Dekko, a real-time preview framework built with Fabric and the NVIDIA OptiX ray tracing engine.
  • 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm Fagnou will also present on the MPC and Fabric Engine pod at Pixar's RenderMan Art & Science Fair. Register here to attend.

Faceware Technologies will be rolling into SIGGRAPH 2015 with an important new update to, and demo of, their award-winning, real-time facial motion capture solution, Faceware Live. This update will greatly benefit game developers and animators in previs and real-time facial performances needed for games, films, and live events and performances.

High-end innovative graphics software developer Isotropix will take part in SIGGRAPH 2015 in Los Angeles on the exhibition show floor in booth #1001. Isotropix speakers will hold presentations covering Clarisse iFX 2.0 new features and latest developments. In addition to these presentations, the Isotropix team will make demonstrations of Clarisse iFX 2.0 throughout the exhibition.

During the event, leading industry professionals will be on hand at the Isotropix booth to share their experience with Clarisse iFX and talk about how they used it in some of their most recent projects:

  • Massive environments in Clarisse: How Tippett Studio is using Clarisse to dress and render environments for 180 degree dome rides
    With Alex Hessler, CG Supervisor at Tippett Studio
    Tippett Studio is creating a 100% computer generated film for an immersive dome ride. Clarisse's ability to handle massive amounts of geometry has made it a central tool for the entire production process.
  • Clarisse gets physical
    With Emmanuel Turquin, R&D Lead – Rendering at Double Negative
    Discover how Clarisse has become Dneg's main renderer. Learn how Clarisse's SDK allowed DNeg's RnD to create a fully proprietary physically plausible rendering framework seamlessly integrated to the Clarisse application.
  • Scattering and Referencing to Simplify Pipeline at Double Negative
    With Kai Pedersen, Generalist/Lighting TD at Double Negative
    A look inside how Double Negative is leveraging Clarisse' procedural nature and powerful referencing to allow lookdev and lighting to handle tasks that would often rely on Layout animation and FX departments.

Click here to see the full presentation schedule at the Isotropix booth.

In addition, this year Isotropix will hold a joint user group meeting and party with Fabric Software on Tuesday, 11th August 2015 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Double Negative CTO Graham Jack will join the event and make a presentation on how Clarisse and Fabric Engine fit in Double Negative pipeline.

Lenovo will be announcing two new products at SIGGRAPH 2015, but the company is keeping mum about what attendees can expect until the day of the show. Last year at SIGGRAPH, Lenovo announced a completely redesigned line of tower workstations, the ThinkStation P-series. These systems focused on power, a great user experience and durability to last and last. If you missed it last year and want to see what else they have up their sleeve, be sure to check them out on the show floor inside the NVIDIA, Intel and Luxion booths!

At SIGGRAPH 2015, MAXON Computer will showcase the latest developments to Cinema 4D Release 17, a milestone release of the company’s cornerstone 3D animation, graphics, VFX, visualization, and rendering software.

Drop by booth #715 to see presentations from iconic 3D artists, including feature and indie filmmakers, visual effects artists and motion graphic designers, who will share fresh perspective, the latest techniques and a behind-the-scenes look at the Cinema 4D workflow for award-win

ning feature films, television shows and commercials, video games, and medical/architectural visualization.

Check for a list of the guest presenters, presentation schedules, and more.

Come visit NVIDIA at SIGGRAPH 2015 (booth #500) to hear leading companies like Harley-Davidson, Pixar, Allegorithmic, DAZ 3D, and SpaceX discuss how today’s technologies are accelerating and streamlining the design process.

NVIDIA will be showcasing its rendering and light simulation software, and the company’s latest suite of design tools that make it virtually impossible to tell the real from the rendered.

Live demonstrations will show how users can visualize their creations with physically-based rendering, as well design and collaboration workflows. In addition, attendees can see how Ford Motors is using virtual reality in product design, or strap on a headset to experience how WETA Digital is using VR to create immersive cinematic entertainment.

Next door, in the Visual Computing Theater, NVIDIA will present a dozen talks each day, featuring experts, partners and customers like Allegorithmic, Audi, Blue Marble 3D, Blur Studio, CATIA, Daz 3D, ESRI, Immersive Design Studios, Lightworks, Moving Picture Company, Pixar, Saatchi & Saatchi, and SpaceX. They’ll share how they are incorporating NVIDIA’s latest tools and technologies for design visualization. NVIDIA’s Visual Computing Theater is open to all attendees Sunday through Thursday; get the full schedule here.

The 2015 SIGGRAPH Conference will feature a dedicated space for the world’s most advanced virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. Dubbed VR Village and located in Exhibit Hall G, the joint initiative from ACM SIGGRAPH and Emily Carr University of Art + Design includes a curated selection that offers attendees an opportunity to explore these emerging storytelling formats. Among the presentations to be spotlighted is Holojam, a nomadic VR experience developed by Dr. Ken Perlin and his students at New York University (NYU) that’s made possible with tracking by an OptiTrack motion capture system.

For Holojam, participants will don untethered GearVR headsets and be transported into a virtual space, where they’ll contribute to an evolving 3D sculpture using “wands.” Up to five people will share the area at once, moving around freely and appearing to one another as stylized avatars.

Participants will be tracked at wrists and ankles, in addition to the headset and wand, with their positioning captured by OptiTrack Prime 13 cameras in a 32’ x 34’ area and tracked using rigid body solves in OptiTrack’s Motive software. The OptiTrack system’s real time tracking data will be multicast via Wi-Fi into the Unity game engine running on each headset. Bystanders will be able to view the evolving virtual sculpture, and even scrub through it in time, on a large monitor next to the exhibit, and the interactive virtual sculpture will remain on display until the conclusion of the conference.

For more information, visit OptiTrack on the show floor at booth #515.

At SIGGRAPH 2015, PipelineFX (booth #801) will give the world a sneak preview of Qube! 6.8 and its brand-new UI, which includes two highly-requested features: a new submission interface and a centralized preference management system. With Qube! 6.8 slated for a late August release, this demo will be the first time attendees get a window into how Qube! is becoming more visual.

Additionally, PipelineFX has organized a Birds of a Feather panel on cloud rendering that will feature representatives from Google Cloud Platform, Scalar Studios, and Arc Productions.

The “Straight Talk on Cloud Rendering” panel will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Room 507 at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, August 11, 2015 and will cover everything from the options around utilizing premise, private and public cloud resources to the costs and gotchas that are usually discussed behind the scenes.

Pixar Animation Studios will present insights into the development of RenderMan’s advanced RIS technology at SIGGRAPH 2015. To do full justice to the range of possibilities that RIS enables, a major new Art & Science Fair will be held on Wednesday August 12th at Club Nokia at LA Live, in which RenderMan experts will share their vision of the future of cinematic rendering and showcase how RenderMan is making waves in the production industry, including previously undisclosed early production shots from upcoming Pixar feature films.

The format of Pixar’s RenderMan Art & Science Fair will consist of ten demonstration areas where SIGGRAPH attendees can explore different aspects of rendering related technology from both Pixar and RenderMan partners including Pixar’s production pipeline and research department, while also mixing with colleagues from the industry. Highlights will include the latest updates on RenderMan’s connectivity to Blender, Cinema4D, Houdini, Katana, and Maya, Pixar’s support of open interchange standards, a preview of metered licensing technology plus new cloud features in Tractor, and more. The main Feature Presentation of the evening will focus on RenderMan's RIS architecture along with an announcement of upcoming developments. Also presented will be a special screening of Pixar's latest animated short film, Sanjay's Super Team.

Pixar’s RenderMan Art & Science Fair begins on Wednesday, August 12th at 5:30pm in the Club Nokia at LA Live, 800 W Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles 90015. For more information, visit the Pixar booth (#945) on the show floor.

Shotgun Software will be out in force on the show floor at SIGGRAPH 2015, showcasing the latest tools and features in Shotgun at booth #317 with a full lineup of top customers to demo how they use Shotgun in their pipelines. Presenters include Cospective CEO Rory McGregor, Pixomondo VFX supervisor Mahmoud Rahnama, Method Studios senior pipeline developer Seth Lippman, Framestore global head of pipeline Jesse Lucas, Jaunt VR head of production Bucky Collum, and Autodesk technical marketing manager Ken LaRue.

Shotgun Meetup
August 11, 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.
This year's client “board meeting” combines Shotgun, Pipeline Toolkit and RV in one jam-packed session. Shotgun will be unveiling the latest updates, tools and features, giving a sneak peek into the company’s future plans, and holding an open Q&A with Shotgun CEO Don Parker and his team to address everything from uber-technical pipeline topics to general challenges facing studios.

Pipeline Awards
August 11, 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. (During Shotgun Meetup)
The Shotgun Meetup will wrap up with the 2nd Annual Pipeline Awards, where the users can celebrate the pipeline community and get inspired by examples of excellence in tool development, integration, engineering and usage.

The Foundry will be broadcasting live from booth #309 at SIGGRAPH 2015, with a roster of guest speakers that includes New Deal Studios’ Matthew Gratzner and Jeff Jasper, Ready at Dawn Studios texture artists Jo Watanabe and Brandi Parish, LAIKA’s Peter Vickery, Tippett Studios’ Charles Rose, Atomic Fiction’s Kevin Baillie, fxguide’s Mike Seymour, DreamWorks Animation’s Andrew Hepp and Roberto Jauregui, Cluster Studios’ Armando Ricalde, and Villusion Studios’ Barry Zundel.

The Foundry booth theatre schedule can be downloaded here.

Motion capture specialist Vicon will showcase its new intelligent flagship camera platform, Vicon Vantage, for the first time in the U.S. at SIGGRAPH 2015. Vicon will also host a series of customer presentations, in-booth demonstrations and workshops at its booth (#729), and power virtual reality applications at the event taking place on August 10-13 in Los Angeles, California.

Guest speakers at Vicon’s booth will take attendees behind-the-scenes on their latest projects and include:

As a finalist in the Real-Time Live Immersive Realities (VR/AR) Contest, Vicon customer Artanim, a non-profit foundation dedicated to the development and promotion of motion capture, has been selected to demonstrate its "Walking through a pharaoh's tomb” project, showcasing an immersive platform that combines Vicon motion capture systems with virtual reality headsets. SIGGRAPH attendees will have the opportunity to try the platform at the VR Village, as well as at the Vicon booth.

The Real Virtuality demonstration during the Immersive Realities Contest and at the VR Village will use 16 Vicon Bonita cameras to power a number of virtual reality applications. In south hall G, the VR Village will showcase real-time immersion in tomorrow’s virtual and augmented realities with live performances and demonstrations. Some of the contributors at the VR Village include Artanim, Dr. Ken Perlin from NYU and the S3D Centre at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

3D motion tracking technology specialist Xsens is releasing MVN Studio 4.2, an upgrade to their motion tracking software. Live demos at SIGGRAPH 2015 will show how the company’s inertial motion capture suits work with Autodesk MotionBuilder, Unity 5 and Faceware products. (Download the full schedule here.)

Real-Time Live! also features the work of Hsin-Chien Huang, who used Xsens MVN on The Inheritance, a performance art piece that took dancer movements and turned them into a narrative of visual sculptures.

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.