I thought that I would write a report of the trip to Singapore and Siggraph Asia.
First of I would have to say that the trip to Singapore was a very good experience and I got to meet a lot of interesting people in the business. I don’t think I have ever meet that many animators in the same place before.
The reason for the trip to Singapore was that the lab I’m in, here at Kanagawa institute of technology, was going to exhibit one of their projects at the emerging technologies. It was the Scritter project, which I have been writing about before, that got the honor of being accepted to Siggraph Asia 2012.
My job in the team was to create some of the material that was going to be used to showcase the system. That of being able to show stereoscopic and normal 2D film on the same screen at the same time. Since I was eager to try this out on some of my own animations I decided to render out two animation clips using stereo cameras in Maya. After some trials and reading up on stereo camera setup I got some good results that worked really well on the Scritter 2x3D system. We also used filmed material, that we had shoot on the first day in Singapore using a stereo camera from Sony. It was my and Khamlas job to convert the film files into a format that could be used for the 2x3D software.
Khamla and I also worked in the Scritter booth, to show the system to all the people that visited Siggraph. It was really fun to talk to so many people that were interested in the project. Our lab actually won a prize for our booth at emerging technologies.
But all of the time was not spent in the booth, we also got the opportunity to go around and see the many different exhibitions and sessions they had. One of the high moments was the recruitment talk that DreamWorks had. It was really interesting to listen to what new things we can expect from them and how their company looks like. I even got the chance to ask them what they look for in an animation reel. They said that what they really wanted to see was good acting in the characters, to give them that special touch that makes them alive. They also talked about the importance of body mechanics, to have some good run or walk cycles in the reel.
I also attended a session that Pixar had, about their Render Man. It’s so fun to see how many smart solutions they have on how to optimize their rendering process. Like for example how they only calculate the things that can be seen from the camera, but still get a good quality on the light and shadows in the scene without using all the photons of the entire area.
I was quite late for the session so I had to stand in far back of the room since all the chairs was already occupied.
At the end of the first day of Siggraph they had a mingle party where every one could walk around and socialize.
They had food:
We stayed in Singapore for one week, which gave us some extra time to go sightseeing since Siggraph was only held for three days. Singapore is an extremely beautiful city and a place I will definitely go back to.
Among the things we did was to go to the midnight safari. This was really fun and we saw a lot of exotic animals. But since it was during the night, and no camera flashes was allowed, there is little photos of it. But I did try.
Some flamingos in the dark.