SIGGRAPH 2013: Highlights from a Great Party!
COW Library : Broadcasting : Ryan Salazar : SIGGRAPH 2013: Highlights from a Great Party!
SIGGRAPH is one of my favorite shows, and the 2013 version was remarkable! Although it's over for another year, SIGGRAPH left us with many, MANY memorable product displays and aspiring looks into the future of technology!
Despite not being as large as some other shows, SIGGRAPH holds its own quite nicely and is the must-go-show for many of the "broadcast elite." As I understand it, there were several big VIP's who circulated among the exhibits and were unidentified by the rest of the attendees or exhibitors — which makes it move up on the list of shows to catch!
NVIDIA rocked SIGGRAPH 2013 with its new flagship technology: the Quadro K6000 GPU. You'll be hard-pressed to find a faster, more capable GPU. This baby will charm you, with almost twice the graphics capability of its parent product and 5 times the previous computing performance.
Some major players in the industry had this to say about the Quadro K6000 GPU:
"The Kepler features are key to our next generation of real-time lighting and geometry handling. We were thrilled to get an early look at the K6000. The added memory and other features allow our artists to see much more of the final scene in a real-time, interactive form, and allow many more artistic iterations."
Guido Quaroni, Pixar vice president of Software R&D
"With Quadro K6000's 12 GB of memory, I am now able to load nearly complete vehicle models into RTT Deltagen and have stunning photorealism almost instantly. Instead of spending significant time simplifying the models to fit into previous hardware, we can now spend more time reviewing and iterating designs up front which helps avoid costly changes to tooling."
Dennis Malone, associate engineer, Nissan North America
"Compared to the Quadro K5000, the Quadro K6000 tripled the performance when running jobs on Terraspark's InsightEarth application. With jobs running in mere minutes, we can run more simulations and get better insight into where to drill. In this business, drilling in the wrong place is a multi-million dollar mistake, and the Quadro K6000 gives us the edge to make better decisions."
Klaas Koster, manager, seismic interpretation, Apache Corporation.
Boasting 12GB of ultra-fast GDDR5 graphics memory, rendering lavish and elaborate scenes and characters on a massive scale becomes routinely possible. 2,880 (SMX) streaming multiprocessors give this product some unprecedented 'go juice,' giving it faster computing and visualization. DisplayPort 1.2 gives it 4 displays with 4K resolution, making this unit scream with super-low latency video I/O and support for large-scale visualizations. Need a mobile workstation? Try out the Quadro K5100M! It, too, has many wonderful features. Both the Quadro K6000 and the K5100M are slated to be this fall. See more at: www.nvidia.com.
OK... so I have a soft spot for animation... I got my fill, though, at the Animation Festival! Recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival, the Computer Animation Festival contains works that encompass the most innovative and accomplished computer graphics - several have even been nominated for or have received a "Best Animated Short" Academy Award!
Life of Pi was definitely a favorite, exposing many aspects of how the film was made. For example, did you know that the tiger had 10M hair strands, with 30 control points per hair? Amazing! Animation at its finest! Look... I'm in the business, and even I thought the tiger was real!!!
See more in the Animation Preview Trailer here:
One of those technologies included the Transwall — a see-through display wall that responds to touch on both sides, providing vibrotactile feedback and audio to two people, for instance, standing on either side of the screen. Each person can actually "feel" the other through the glass!
Another cool device was the EMY Exoskeleton. Developed by the interactive robotics unit of Paris-based CEA LIST, the EMY (Enhancing MobilitY) is a full-body exoskeleton which will help quadriplegic people to again walk. The XDE framework simulates movements, contacts, and frictions between virtual objects, as well. Although not specifically a graphics technology, it was conceived by a team of 20 researchers and engineers from various research domains, including force-feedback teleoperation robots for nuclear facilities and haptic devices for virtual reality, making it a related item.
The video of these and more can be seen here:
Some of the solutions that Christie now has for the industry include: the Christie HoloStation, a personal visualization system that is fully self-contained, the Christie QuadHD84 a flat LCD panel of notable size, The Christie Mirage 4K25 with its brilliant high-resolution (4K DLP Resolution at 120Hz, the first of its kind), which is a system attached to the Christie TruLife, an electronics platform with 1.2 Gigapixel processing (proprietary) and full 4096 X 2160 resolution at 120Hz for 2D & 3D, and floating point architecture.
The Christie Mirage 4K35 utilizing Christie's proprietary 4K resolution (3-chip) DLP projector series, and the interactive flat panel visualization bundle featuring multi-touch screen, quad high-def, is a new piece of tech that rises to the challenges of its users. The Christie Mirage 4K series provides 10 to 35 k lumens of light, a wide variety of input options including DisplayPort, HDMI and HD-SDI, and built-in Christie Twist for curved screens and blended array visualization applications.
Christie's proprietary 4K DLP resolution at a full 120Hz is a prime example of why the 4K series is top of the line and why Christie is an industry leader. See considerably more at: http://www.christiedigital.com/en-us/news-room/pages/default.aspx.
Keynote speakers are the cornerstone of any decent industry show, and SIGGRAPH was resplendent with them! Part of the Marc Davis Lecture Series, "Giants' First Steps" was an hour-and-a-half stage presentation like no other... the speakers shared stories showcasing both triumphs and failures, laughs and tears, about some of the biggest names in the animation world — Ron Clements, Pete Docter, Eric Goldberg, Kevin Lima, Mike Mitchell, Chris Sanders, Henry Selick, David Silverman and Kirk Wise, as interviewed by Randy Haberkamp of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Some very valuable information is bestowed upon any student who chooses to take advantage of the wisdom of these animation legends.
The Keynote Speeches can be seen here:
An after-dark film show, on a giant outdoor screen, kept attendees riveted at "SIGGRAPH After Dark." Held in the Grand Plaza and for the first time at this show, this was an event that offered many opportunities to relax and talk about the day's events while enjoying nighttime entertainment. Wednesday night, two blockbuster films, "Toy Story" and "Jurassic Park," were shown.
No, it's NOT an invasion! But it seemed that way, when Canon blasted onto the scene at SIGGRAPH 2013 with the astonishing MREAL Mixed Reality handset (this new version is quite similar to the head mounted version). The seeming reality of what you view with the help of this device is really quite amazing; it looks like it's right there, with all the pertinent tiny details are present, moving shadows, lifelike movement of the clothing (including moving and shifting wrinkles) on the Kabuki dancer; the view shifts as you turn your head and the timing is perfect. This illusion looks like reality.
Sensors mounted around the viewing area tell the handset what part of the display area we are looking at. Each handset, being located in a different area and looking at different places 'onstage' are all receiving different images of the same thing to match the angle they are viewing it from.
There were two different displays for the head-mounted units as well; the first was a scaled-down boat's motor, viewable from any angle.
This illustrated the product's use in fields other than entertainment. The implications were easy to see; medicine and science could easily use a device like this, given a proper program to view, to aid with study and understanding. The other headset display was a bunch of markers wrapped in a rectangle that projected a Canon DSLR housing model. Of the three displays, I found the Kabuki dancer the most impressive. Canon has got a real winner here.
See a 2D demonstration (that DOESN'T do the product justice) at: http://www.viddler.com/v/fc8dd0ad?secret=59013998 and more info at: http://usa.canon.com/cusa/office/standard_display/Mixed_Reality_Overview.
There is NO WAY that I can sum-up the entire show — there was just too much! These highlights, however, should demonstrate just how much of an impact ACM SIGGRAPH helps to make in the computer animation world!
Hopefully, I've convinced you to be present at this "must-go-show" next year, even if you attended or if you missed this year's phenomenal display! As always, remember to follow me: @RyanSalazar, read my blogs at: ryansalazar.net, as well as all the various articles I write (Creative COW, Broadcast Engineering Magazine, etc.) — and above all: don't forget to STAY BLOGGED-IN!