Thursday, August 6, 2009

SIGGRAPH wrap-up

SIGGRAPH was like the anti-Palm Springs because instead of getting food poisoning, I ate like a king the entire time. Red beans and rice late on my first night was followed by crawfish etouffee, chicken and sausage gumbo, blackened catfish, jambalaya, shrimp creole and more. I bought no food at the convention center the entire time. While I didn't go in with that as a rule, I think I'm going to follow it at future SIGGRAPHs. At least the ones that offer brilliant grub just a short walk away.

It was a very unbalanced fest for The Incident at Tower 37, given the two Monday screenings back to back followed by (at least for this attendee) no further animation screenings for the rest of the week. But those two shows were quite good. Highlights included Love_Child, Anima, and Alarm. The Nominees screening was more crowded than the Young at Heart show that followed, and unfortunately there was a lot of overlap between the shows. I think that's largely why I opted out of the festival for the remaining days.

We unveiled some new Bit Films gear, from the stickers to the extra-cool Operator hats (from the film) that Jake designed and ordered. Courtesy of Jake and Taryn, I have the following two images to share:

Watching Bassam and Jarred man the Blender booth all day then stay up doing production all night was painful, but somehow they kept smiling throughout their lack of sleep. I was happy I could swing in periodically and help them wrangle their renders through the Hampshire farm. The last thing I saw as I left the floor was a silent version of the new teaser, and it looked great. No new post about it yet on the Tube site, but I'm sure one will come soon.

Helga was the focus of many New Orleans conversations as well. Brian and I met at the bar of Mulate's to discuss the division of future Helga labors, only to be interrupted by a Laika R&D guy who had been eavesdropping on our talk from the seat next to us. He had some great suggestions -- thanks, Tony! We also connected with Mark from Animux (who also had great suggestions) and look forward to a potential future collaboration with his team.

One other quick note: Please, RenderMan team at Pixar, please inject more images and movies into your presentations for future User's Group meetings. I'm as geeky as they come, but I still had to fight sleep through slide after slide of SL code. Of course the Stupid RenderMan Tricks were, as always, awesome.

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