Vancouver’s SIGGRAPH 2018 brings together science, technology, art and entertainment

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Credit: Courtesy of SIGGPRAH

On the occasion of its 45th anniversary, the annual infographic conference pays tribute to art and the First Nations of Canada

For the third time, Vancouver has the chance to host SIGGRAPH.

The influential conference, hosted by ACM SIGGRAPH (the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques), is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. At the Vancouver Convention Center through August 16, the five-day event covers innovations in everything from computer graphics and virtual reality to video games and digital art. The theme of SIGGRAPH 2018 is Generations — Celebrating the Past, Present and Future.

Roy C. Anthony, Toronto-based vice president, creative development and operations, with graphics software developer Ventuz Technology Group, is the chair of this year’s gathering. “We’re really excited to be back in Vancouver,” Anthony said at a press conference on Aug. 13. “Vancouver is an incredible city, it is growing. There is a lot of investment in digital and interactive industries here.

Digital arts and entertainment is a large sector that continues to grow and fragment into other subdomains, Anthony said. He cited investments in VR, augmented reality (AR), games and interactive media, as well as “a rich population of permanent artists who are encouraging new thinking about how to deal with screens that aren’t. dishes ”.

For the benefit of outside guests, Anthony also pointed out that film and television production is a huge industry in Vancouver. The region is home to six major studios and several smaller actors, he said.

“Vancouver is a nice, walkable, close-knit community that we love to visit,” added Anthony. “Potentially 20,000 jobs in the digital arts and entertainment industry, including 8,000 in film. Vancouver is therefore a very, very good choice for SIGGRAPH. We’re all on production, we’re all on VR here in 2018, and we’re all on the arts. “

The conference, which Vancouver also hosted in 2014 and 2011, is a big boost to the local economy. “SIGGRAPH 2018 organizers expect between 14,000 and 15,000 participants from over 30 countries,” said spokesperson Dan Harary.

For the full SIGGRAPH 2018 program, click here. Among the highlights:

Immersive Pavilion
New in 2018, the Pavilion houses virtual, augmented and mixed reality projects. It includes the Vrcade, offering games and experiences (check out the vacation simulator); the Village, for large-scale projects; and the VR Theater, as part of the conference’s Computer Animation Festival. Don’t miss the debut of “Cycles, the first VR short film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Art Gallery
This special exhibit, which draws inspiration from Indigenous communities in the Vancouver area and across Canada, includes pieces such as Mask of transformation. Created by artist Heiltsuk Shawn Hunt with the team at Microsoft Garage, the interactive installation features the Microsoft HoloLens.

Technical documents
A nerd’s dream come true since the launch of SIGGRAPH in 1973, this part of the conference is one of the most prestigious venues for researchers in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Technical papers accepted for presentation and publication at SIGGRAPH have helped advance fields such as medical imaging and high performance computing. Trend this year: artificial intelligence, sound simulation and manufacturing (think 3D printing).

Production gallery
Part of the Experience Hall, this gallery features costumes and other memorabilia from films like Black Panther and Solo: A Star Wars Story. It also presents a retrospective of 50 original works of art by futurist and industrial designer Syd Mead, known for his work on Aliens and both Blade runner movies.

Emerging technologies
This year’s Emerging Technologies program focuses on home, health and entertainment. Among the projects on the bill: augmented reality which allows the virtual extension of film sets; an interactive system that allows users to retrieve an image of water in the air; and a device that uses electric current to change the taste of things.


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