Logo Rob Buckley – Freelance Journalist and Editor

Walking to New Orleans

Walking to New Orleans

The Siggraph cg show is here again but, with IBC just round the corner and NAB just gone, Rob Buckley asks who now needs to go to the conference that post forgot

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These happy few are going for the conference. If they visit the exhibition at all, it's fora break between sessions. And they're going to need them: this year's exciting choice of sessions includes everyone's favourite virtual reality primer, Visualizing Quaternions (back again after a not-quite-sold-out session last year); a brief sketch on A Believable Avatar Surrogate for both Scripted and On-the-Fly Pen-Based Control in a Presentation Environment; and not forgetting Haptics

Good news for animators is that one of the keynotes will attempt to explain The Human-Machine Merger: Why we Will Spend most ofour Time in Virtual Reality in the 21st Century. And Stuart Little: A Tale of Fur, Costumes, Performances, andIntegration.BreathingReal Life intoaDigital Character will at least help those animators with kids explain howtheir soon-to-be-favourite film was made and how it's the sort of thing mummy/daddy does at work everyday.

The cg festival should also prove a draw. Highlights include the “brain fly-through” from Fight Club by Digital Domain's Bob Hoffman; and Don Levy's work at Sony Pictures' Imageworks on the forthcoming invisibility movie, The Hollow Man.

But if only the select few will be watching, another reason maybe that bosses have started to rumble the fact that the conference is just one long careers fair. Anyone presenting a paper is more or less explaining, in public, exactly why the listeners should poach him from his current job. Attendees are also known to bring along showreels and CVs for prospective employers. The conference organisers have even been brazen enough to set up Career Centers for the convenience of those who can't afford to splurge for lunch while they're schmoozing the boss of some giant American graphics house.

Siggraph is still a “worthy” event to attend - almost a test of post machismo: “are you hard enough to survive Siggraph?” And if you are really anoraky about animation, there's nothing quite like it. So go.

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