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SIGGRAPH 2015’s STUDIO - Creative Disruption

This year’s Studio spotlights projects in alternative fields involving new foundations in computer graphics, particularly those using interesting UIs to interact with the physical world.

Creative Disruption is the desired break in existing patterns of behavior of the target audience in response to a highly creative product and/or message.

The Studio at SIGGRAPH 2015 presents projects from alternative fields that utilize and build new foundations in computer graphics–particularly those that extend beyond traditional screens and into the physical world through novel interactivity. The Studio also provides a forum for engagement and collaboration between attendees and industry professionals.

The focus this year as described by the Program’s Chair, Reid Baker, is disruptive impact-driven practices in making, building, hacking, and creating while enabling people to help shape the world we live in. This is accomplished through fun and exciting ways to explore, craft, play and share. Baker’s goal is to focus on what’s relevant and exciting in the future of making and creating, while helping grow accessibility to the conference.

“Studio exemplifies the interactive techniques found throughout SIGGRAPH, with the unique blending of content that starts with our [projects], [hands-on courses], and [talks] from innovators in a range of fields,” stated Baker. “The greatest benefit of The Studio—for attendees and contributors—is that it provides a platform to directly interact in ways not found in other areas of SIGGRAPH or any other conference. The diverse group of participants will be able to work together on projects exchange ideas and learn new skills across a broad range of important and innovative subjects.”

The Studio incorporates different areas which include Studio Central where attendees work together on a variety of projects that range from the Kinetic Sculptures Contest to creating paper portraits in 3D. Attendees also have the opportunity to participate in Computer Classroom for Courses where they can be part of a broad range of courses from computer graphics software to designing and programming custom machines and controllers. The */CTRL+P is where all 2D printing occurs at The Studio and participants are able to print in a variety of media including paper, canvas and t-shirt. The 3D Tool Shed offers a hands-on experience with advanced machines such as 3D printing, CNC milling, laser cutting and more.

The selection process for Studio participants at SIGGRAPH 2015 is through general submissions, which encompass a number of programs including the aforementioned Courses, Talks, Emerging Technology and more. “This process allows for a broader reach of content, while ensuring it meets and exceeds the high bar for excellence for SIGGRAPH by bringing it through the jury selection process,” said Baker. “The most important aspects of selecting strong Studio works is in understanding how effective the content is at providing a hands on experience that attendees can directly learn from.”

The Studio also makes a huge impact on content creation through direct experiences such as developing a skill (i.e., Unreal Engine 4 or creating Android Apps) that an attendee always wanted to try, but hadn’t, by collaborating with professionals in the industry. “We’re really hoping that (and encouraging) attendees really take advantage of the Studio by exploring hands-on projects and courses that challenge them to do something outside of what they may not normally consider part of their professional or academic interests, such as creating a programmable Kinetic sculpture or designing a t-shirt that can be printed on site,” said Baker.

Baker shared that he is most excited about content coming from the Games and Wearables sections of the program. Through The Studio, he’s providing the opportunity for attendees to try a range of hardware devices and technologies that many may still not get to experience day-to-day, including 3D printing technology, laser cutters, scanning technology, CNC machines or large format printing, among others. Most of the content for this year comes from ‘professional makers,’ who bring the spirit of the Maker Movement into professional settings, and sharing it with the conference attendees.

Within the Games segment, there will be two full talks sessions focused on creating unique worlds by innovative game developers. One of these developers, State of Play games, will provide attendees a way to experiment with their unique process of creating physical paper craft sets similar to their game, Lumino City, and then capture and bring it into a digital play experience of their own. This will be a great opportunity for many attendees to use laser cutters and other tools to make something of their own.

The Wearables content includes a talk from the Mi.Mu Gloves Project. Imogen Heap will be joining us remotely as we talk with the team on the innovative gestural interface. Studio will also provide an opportunity to work directly with members of the Gloves Project to hack and explore the gloves themselves.

SIGGRAPH 2015 The Studio highlights include:

  • Studio Courses:
    • Digital T-Shirt Design and Printing

Attendees learn best practices for designing graphics for digital direct-to-garment printers and then they are able to enter their creations in the T-Shirt Design Competition.

  • Kinectic Sculptures:  Creating Programmable Art

In this course, attendees learn the basics of computer control of movement and of kinectic art.  They can use the resources provided by The Studio to have their sculptures showcased in a live contest event.

  • Design Machines

This course is where participants use the Modular Machines that Make Construction Kit to design, program, and build machines and interfaces such as controls, user interfaces and kinematics.

  • Studio Talks:
    • Building Fantastic Worlds, Studio Games Talks 1 and 2

Two full talk sessions with some of the most innovative and creative game developers such as State of Play Games, Funomena, and Croteam, among others.

  • Studio Projects:
    • Making it Real:  Crafting a World with Lumino City

State of Play Games will present a hands-on project that teaches the process of crafting a physical set (like Lumino City) with a various tools and techniques before transforming it I to a digital play experience.

  • Mirror Mirror:  An On-Body Clothing Design System

An interactive personal clothing-design system where virtual designs are projected on the body and observed in a mirror’s reflection and final designs are then exported for fabrication of real garments.

Baker concluded that the Studio at SIGGRAPH provides many hands-on opportunities across projects and courses, which offer attendees a strong foundation that will enable them to go further in creating their own works. “Within the Studio, there are opportunities for just about anybody to build, craft, play, make and share in meaningful experience.”


SIGGRAPH is the world's largest conference on computer graphics, and is attended by tens of thousands of computer graphics professionals. SIGGRAPH 2015 will be held from 9-13 August, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

SIGGRAPH is one of the most highly respected venues for the presentation of new computer graphics technology and research.

For more information about SIGGRAPH 2015, go to

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