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SIGGRAPH Asia completes its first hybrid edition in Tokyo

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This year’s edition of SIGGRAPH Asia, on the theme “LIVE! », Marked the very first hybrid edition in the history of ACM SIGGRAPH. SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 overcame significant obstacles and challenges due to the pandemic and successfully concluded its live program at the Tokyo International Forum in Japan. From December 14 to 17, the event brought together more than 3,000 participants from 41 countries and regions. The on-site event was conducted in accordance with COVID-19 regulations set by government, local authorities and the exhibition industry, ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants in person.

“Despite a lack of clarity on what to expect from COVID-19, we decided in the summer of this year to conduct the very first SIGGRAPH Asia hybrid,” said Shuzo John Shiota, conference chair of SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 and CEO of Polygon Pictures. Inc. “This turned out to be a big undertaking as COVID continued to hamper our progress. Under adverse conditions, we were able to create an illustrious conference, offering excellent insight into today’s world of computer graphics and interactive techniques, as well as rekindling the SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia community spirit, both online and on-site. I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who has contributed to this tremendous endeavor.

“I am extremely proud of what the SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 team has achieved this year, putting on an incredible show on site and online,” added Prakash Ramajillu, Managing Director and Division Director of SIGGRAPH Asia (Technology, Digital Media , entertainment and mobility), Koelnmesse Pte Ltd. “Feedback from the global computer graphics community has been very positive, reaffirming our position to continue hosting the hybrid event despite the many curved balls being thrown at us due to COVID-19. It’s amazing how this industry is so closely linked and supports each other. We look forward to creating an even bigger meeting for the computer graphics industry next year in Daegu, South Korea! “

The conference featured a wide range of program sessions; Nearly 130 speakers presented in person, while approximately 400 presenters joined the virtual platform to discuss the latest industry developments and the future of the computer graphics and interactive techniques industry. The exciting lineup included distinguished speakers such as Toru Katsumoto, Executive Vice President and CTO of Sony Group Corporation, and Matt Omernick, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Akili Interactive. Toru Katsumoto’s session on “Creativity x Technology – How to Fill the World with Emotions” reviewed the history of innovation in the creative industry and discussed the possibilities offered by technology made available to creators. in the fields of music, films and games. Matt Omernick’s session on “Video Games as Medicine” discussed how digital therapeutics like EndearvorRx are changing the face of medicine and how cognitive health and entertainment will coexist harmoniously in the future.

Other highlights of the conference include the Featured sessions program, which invited industry leading figures such as Bandai Namco Studios, Weta Digital, DNEG, DNEG Animation, Kamizake Douga, MacLean Visual Effects, Sola Digital Arts, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, SQUARE ENIX, Toei Animation, Ubisoft Entertainment, providing exclusive information to the community on the remarkable visual effects work behind films like Dune, Shang Chi and the legend of the ten rings, Blade runner, Apple TV Foundation series, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Wish dragon, Ron was wrong, all now available on demand on the virtual platform.

the Technical documents The program continues to be SIGGRAPH Asia’s flagship program and featured 94 specially selected papers. SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 technical papers adhere to the highest scientific standards and are chosen through a rigorous and highly refined peer review process. This year, SIGGRAPH Asia sent most of the presenters to the Tokyo International Forum, to respond live to questions from local and online participants.

the Trade exhibition presented nearly 30 virtual and on-site exhibitors presenting the latest developments in hardware and software applications in the space of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Companies and brands include FORUM8, IMAGICA GROUP, Digital Hollywood University, KONICA MINOLTA, Amazon Web Services, BANDAI NAMCO, Carpe Diem Solutions, CyberAgent, ELSA Japan, Houdini SideFX, Huawei Russian Research Institute, NVIDIA, NHK Art, iPresence and SkyVision . iPresence has created a virtual tour of the SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 exhibition, which allows remote participants to enter the exhibition hall from anywhere in the world.

Exhibitors’ presentations covered technical topics such as the use of Houdini in medical product design and medical visualization; creation of digital content on AWS; IMAGICA GROUP and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology R&D on creating video content for their innovative displays on how to provide viewers with visual experiences; and NTT Human Informatics Laboratories share the cutting edge Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games project and the world of live entertainment in the Age of the Metaverse.

The Experience Hall, which is held in the same location as the trade show, includes the art gallery, emerging technologies and XR showcases. In the art gallery, 15 cutting-edge works were selected from 147 submissions, addressing questions of what future rituals, behaviors and fashions will look like in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The curatorial committee of the art gallery also organized a tour of the gallery for the Japanese public during the days of the exhibition. In addition, Art gallery conferences were held virtually to discuss the future of art and the role of art galleries in the face of new factors such as the pandemic and NDT.

The Emerging Technologies program, on the theme “Awaken Our Bodies”, presented 19 exhibitions onsite and online, which included new and high-quality 3D projection mapping technologies, haptic interfaces, robotic avatars and virtual humans, input interfaces, music experiences and virtual reality experiences with new sensations such as humidity, temperature, wind and smell. Live demonstrations and question-and-answer sessions were held simultaneously for delegates on-site and online.

Participants explored the XR program to find out 19 technologies and immersive experiences like Dislocation, which examined the internal processes that develop during a dislocation and offers a visual representation of a person being forced under extreme circumstances. Another interesting XR showcase was the Dementia Eyes – a mobile AR experience that simulates the visual symptoms of senile dementia based on the pathology and experience of medical workers with patients. Live demonstrations and question-and-answer sessions were held simultaneously for delegates on-site and online.

Live drawing performances and CG Production Meetup also took place at the Experience Hall Talk Stage in the Experience Hall. the live drawing performance by BANDAI NAMCO Studios, Ubisoft Entertainment, SQUARE ENIX and SAFEHOUSE were very present on site. These live performances were recorded and will be uploaded to the virtual platform for the online participants. CG production meeting presented 48 companies from the Games, Interactive Techniques, Computer Graphics and Animation space, and attracted more than 300 students for the 2 sessions on December 15 and 16.

Live in real time!, a virtual technology showcase presented live to our attendees onsite and online, closed SIGGRAPH Asia 2021. As part of the hybrid event, five local presenters presented their live demo at the Tokyo International Forum, while the other four broadcast their demonstrations live.

Artists and creators recognized at SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 – Prizes

SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 has awarded the following artists and creators various awards in recognition of their premier works:

The winners of Real-Time Live! are:

The annual computer animation festival, with its electronic theater and animated theater screenings, showcased the latest, most compelling and innovative animated works of the past year, both by through in-person screenings and the online platform.

The winners of the Computer Animation Festival are:

  • BEST OF THE EXHIBITION: Twenty something (United States), Director: Aphton Corbin
  • BEST STUDENT PROJECT: Return of the Waves (France), Directors: Manon Cansell, Alejandra Guevara Cervera, Edward Kurchevsky, Francisco Moutinho de Magalhães, Hortense Marian
  • BEST STUDENT PROJECT: The tears of the Seine (France), Directors: Yanis Belaid, Eliott Benard, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Filipino singer, Alice Letailleur
  • JURY SPECIAL: Only one child (United Kingdom, Switzerland), Director: Simone Giampaolo

The Emerging Technologies program will also soon announce its winner of the “Best Online Demonstration Award”.

Registration may be closed, but the virtual platform remains open and accessible for attendees to watch on-demand content until March 11, 2022. Next year’s edition, SIGGRAPH Asia 2022, will be held at EXCO , Daegu, South Korea, from December 6. -9, 2022. Visit http://sa2022.siggraph.org for more details.

Source: SIGGRAPH Asia 2021

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Dan Sarto is publisher and editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.

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