Well, I missed posting last week. So my apologies on that. I attended Siggraph two weeks ago. I’ve been attending it on and off for over 10 years now. For those of your who don’t know what Siggraph is, well shame on you. SIGGRAPH stands for “Special Interest Group on Computer GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques“. Yeah, I know a stretch for a name but oh well. It has been going on since 1974. It’s been a who’s who in the visual effects and animation industry. Hundreds of companies come in to show their current development on new products and/or latest upgrades. There is an Electronic Theater which shows the latest movies/shorts student and professional. Most of the companies are in the engineering, graphics, motion picture, or video game industries. There are also many booths for schools which specialize in computer graphics, visual effects, or animation.
There are different talks and lecture going on the main floor or in special areas requiring an upgraded tickets. Many visual effects/animation companies will give in depth lectures on their current work of the year and the tools they used to make them. Also a big draw is the technical papers portion where the science behind the art is discussed. Job fairs are hosted. New and emerging technology is on display.
An ever increasing portion of the event is the emerging and hugely invested new sector of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). I’d say for the last few years this portion has grown exponentially. The potential and capital investment in this new arena is staggering. A whole wing was developed the last few years just to experience this new tech. A lot of it was very interesting and a lot of it was still in it’s infancy much like when the internet came on the scene. Google, Amazon, Occulus, and many more had a presence at the event.
Sadly, the Visual Effects and Animation portion of Siggraph has seen a decline over the past several years as both have taken a hit in how those businesses are run. This is apparent in the many companies that have been forced to close their doors.
If you get a chance though, it is still very worthwhile to attend Siggraph and see all these great companies and vendors under one roof. It is especially great time to network, catch up with old friends who have move on to other studios, and make new connections. It gives you an unique ability to chat with software and hardware companies, and interject your thoughts and experience with their tech.