Scott's Blog @ SIGGRAPH - Day 1

Posted By Scott Sindorf on August 11, 2008 12:00 am | Permalink
I just arrived with my fellow compatriots from uvph at the Convention Center here in Los Angeles for another fun filled SIGGRAPH.  It seems that L.A. is the favorite SIGGRAPH destination for cities. With the movie industry primarily located here in Los Angeles it makes sense, but one day I would enjoy seeing SIGGRAPH in NYC. The crowds are starting to grow, but tomorrow is the day the Exhibitions are open to the public and when the big crowds converge.  I am currently in the Geek bar (well named) trying to hear myself think over a robot to my right who is addressing the crowds as they pass by. It is also hard to miss the legions of fresh 3D animators who have Nordic hats yelling "FJORG!" Why? There is a 3d competition among this group for the best animation created within 32 hours. My question is why are they running around the convention hall as opposed to actually doing production? SIGGRAPH does know it's traditional audience: those who generally are adverse to sunlight, having spent the entire year in front of their computers.

The theme this year is "Evolve." Sounds good….and I do not believe there will be too many intelligent designers on the right fringe here who might take issue with this… but we will see. This year they changed the format for the animation festival. In the past, SIGGRAPH had various theaters showing the same animations every day, culminating in the Electronic Theater, which is usually reserved for the "best of the best." This year it is more in line with a film festival. My initial reaction was why? The animation festival in the past I always thought was well run, so why change this? Trying to keep an open mind, I will judge later if this is in fact for the better.  Today the theme for the animation festival is 3D.  We have a pass so I will report my reactions later.

Next immediately on my list is the Art and Design Galleries which this year is not to miss. Haptic technology has come a long way, and the Art and Design galleries are showcasing some of the best…and in some cases the worst….as in did you ever want to know what is like to have ants crawling around your hand and arm? Try the exhibit by which simulates this uncomfortable physical experience.  How about being pierced by a sword? Haptic technology makes this experience also possible.  On the other end of the spectrum positive haptic technology allows medical students to perform virtual surgery. This is being developed by the newly formed Butterfly Haptics.

As an old architectural student, I was pleased to a see 3D models of proposed buildings constructed by computers in the Design Gallery.  It is nice to see Architecture finally embracing this technology. I still remember being told by various Professors not too long ago that computers and architecture will never mix. As a consequence of this development, I truly felt excited for the future of design.