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Hieron
05-11-2010, 06:22 PM
I'm quite familiar with physics conferences, and while quality varies, it is a good way to stay up to date about the things going on in the field and meet some people.

Now that my PhD is nearing an end, and my interests and work are shifting towards CGI (and interactive techniques actually) I'm interested to head for Siggraph and immerse in the ins and outs for a week.

However, due to my background, I'm not really familiar with anyone that ever went there.. Could anyone share a few thoughts or experiences?

jasonwestmas
05-11-2010, 06:58 PM
I think this would be an ideal time to go and look at some new tech at siggraph. I think this Mainly because I believe we are starting to dig the CG industry out of a technical stalemate and starting to push things. Not sure if NT is ready yet but they are at last looking in new directions with Core.

Last time I went was back in 2004 in L.A., the latest versions of LW 8 were being shown off at the time so it was a lot of been there, see that from my perspective. As a whole XSI's popularity was starting to take off and there seemed to be a lot more small companies that were just starting to get noticed or snuffed out. I think the biggest attraction at that time was how Pixologic's Zbrush 2 brought displacement capabilities into our own living rooms and not just in the big studios.

What I really enjoyed was the behind the scenes of Lord of the Rings and Shrek2. They went into some detail about how certain shots were made. These were two big movies that showed off their tech at the time. I was really glad to see that. I think there was some matrix stuff there as well but I must've missed that.

safetyman
05-12-2010, 05:54 AM
I thoroughly enjoyed going to SIGGRAPH (4 times), and it is well worth it -- you won't be disappointed. There is so much to see and do that you will never get to it all. The highlights for me are the showing of all the submitted shorts, and the booths with all the companies showing off their latest stuff. The tech courses are sometimes too technical for me, but you might enjoy them since you are pretty much a Dr. now. Truly an amazing show.

I agree with Jason about the behind the scenes stuff. Not only do you get to see how the big boys do things, you get to meet the actual folks who do the work so you can ask them questions to pick their brains. Plus, you might get to meet Mr. Vaughn!

Twisted_Pixel
05-12-2010, 06:04 AM
I've been meaning to post a similar thread, so thanks for kicking this one off :)
Decided to treat myself to a trip this year and Siggraph is the destination.

Any hints at the must sees, do's and don'ts are welcome.

Would be interesting to know if any others are crossing the big pond for the week also.

Titus
05-12-2010, 10:00 PM
I'm quite familiar with physics conferences, and while quality varies, it is a good way to stay up to date about the things going on in the field and meet some people.

Now that my PhD is nearing an end, and my interests and work are shifting towards CGI (and interactive techniques actually) I'm interested to head for Siggraph and immerse in the ins and outs for a week.

However, due to my background, I'm not really familiar with anyone that ever went there.. Could anyone share a few thoughts or experiences?

This year is my 14th siggraph. It's an overwhelming experience, be sure to read all the information available at their website.

Hieron
05-15-2010, 04:33 PM
Thanks for the info guys, sounds like a very interesting conference to go to then.

Perhaps I should register quickly, with the dropping euro it gets more expensive every day :)

Jarno
05-15-2010, 06:26 PM
SIGGRAPH can basically be split into three parts:

The tech show, with all the booths from all the companies showing all their products.
The scientific conference, with the paper session about the top research.
The classes, where people go to learn about a topic.

As you've gone to some physics conferences then you'll be familiar with the conference aspect. SIGGRAPH turns it up to 11, with popular papers presented in large halls accommodating a thousand people it seems. The organization of it all, and the quality of many presentations, is quite impressive to see. On the downside, the scale of it all makes it a bit impersonal, with very limited opportunities to interact with the researchers about their work. Also, what it presented is often just a subset of what is in the paper in the proceedings, so if you miss a presentation you usually don't miss much that isn't written in the paper. On the flip side, presentations can show more pretty result images and animations due to the page limit of the papers.

The classes are more useful in learning new things. They don't present new results, so not much use if you are already up to date with the research. The class notes are typically just a copy of the slides and the important papers in the field. So attendance is of greater value than just reading the notes. The counterforce to attending classes is that they last an entire session (2-3 hours), which takes a fairly big bite out of your time. Clashes with interesting paper sessions are inevitable. One class or three papers? Oh the many choices.

The show is what you do in between, where you go to the NewTek booth to make it look like it's THE hip place to hang out on the show floor.

---JvdL---

Philbert
05-19-2010, 06:52 PM
I also enjoy the Emerging Technologies area with stuff like this touchable holography device.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-P1zZAcPuw