SIGGRAPH: Saying goodbye

Posted By John LePore on August 07, 2009 12:00 am | Permalink
At 3pm on Thursday, the bagpipes started blaring Amazing Grace over the convention center P.A. signaling the end of the convention and I actually felt a little sad as everyone was ushered out of the main hall. I've had a great week here in The Big Easy - met a lot of fascinating characters, had my mind blown by new technology and techniques, and ate way too much batter-fried seafood.
Looking back, many of the things that stood out to me as a lens-flare-loving motion graphics guy were new products that we can slip into our workflow.
Seeing a demo of the upcoming version of the go-to fluid simulation package, RealFlow 5. In response to users need for more efficiency, speed, and polygons, the NextLimit rep announced the new RealFlow RenderKit, which allows the software to only calculate fluid simulation for what is happening within the frame, dramatically saving time and processing power.
Immediately following my presentation at the Maxon booth about Cinema4D's role in PerceptionNYC's workflow, Chris Smith gave a presentation about his CSTools, a free package of camera and lighting rigs for Cinema4D. I had been familiar with his tools as a fun set of elements to assist users with mastering the complex art of camera work in a 3D app, but after seeing his presentation I developed a new respect for these tools as a way of bringing very realistic and flexible cinematography into your scene.
Other quick points of interest I came across were SynthEyes dirt-cheap 3D tracking, seeing Psyop's Florian Witzel discuss their techniques and workflow on several projects, including some compositing tricks for Absolut Vodka and making massive ocean waves for a Milk spot.
Looking back, the biggest points I'm taking away from this years Siggraph are:
- the motion graphics and visual effects realms are continuing to intertwine even deeper.
- the cold faceless software developers are really nice people who are trying to make our work easier, and really appreciate our input.
- the Hampton Inn ice bucket makes the best iPhone speaker amplifier.
Looking forward to next year!