SIGGRAPH 2013 Releases Preliminary Line-Up of Production Sessions

Left Brain + Right Brain

May 10, 2013 (Chicago, IL) – SIGGRAPH 2013, 21 -25 July at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, released an early preview of its impressive schedule of production sessions that will be featured at this year’s conference and are a part of the Computer Animation Festival, which is open to the public.

“The production sessions at SIGGRAPH 2013 are your only opportunity to experience the world’s best talent in one place during one week,” says Jerome Solomon, SIGGRAPH 2013 Production Sessions Chair from Cogswell College. “Major studios share their latest creative work, allowing attendees to experience the newest and most significant achievements. In many instances this is the first time these particular topics are discussed with the public. Nowhere else but at SIGGRAPH is this type of cutting-edge content available. There are 'must see' sessions every day at SIGGRAPH. It’s very exciting for our attendees. And, this preliminary line-up is just the beginning of what we have in plan.”

The Computer Animation Festival, chaired this year by Jason R.M. Smith, is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival. Since 1999, several works originally presented in the Computer Animation Festival have been nominated for or have received a "Best Animated Short" Academy Award. This year’s selections will be featured during the Computer Animation Festival through a series of daily Festival Screenings and the iconic Electronic Theater, allowing attendees to get a glimpse behind the making of computer generated effects, visualizations, and animations

In all there will be more than 15 sessions. Following are the details on just some of the 2013 Production Sessions:

I ndustrial Light & Magic Presents:  'Cancel the Apocalypse' – The Visual Effects of “Pacific Rim”
Panelists: John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Lindy De Quattro and Eddie Pasquarello


From aliens that threaten Earth’s very existence to massive human-piloted robots, this panel will discuss the wide-ranging scope of Industrial Light & Magic’s effects work on Guillermo del Toro’s science fiction epic “Pacific Rim.” The artists will cover creative and technical challenges overcome in the areas of asset development, character animation, lighting, digital environments, advanced fluid simulation work and more.

Image copyright: © 2013 Warner Bros. Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic.

LAIKA Presents: The Seamless Fusion of Stop-Motion and Visual Effects Technologies in LAIKA's Feature Films
Speakers: Georgina Hayns, Creative Supervisor, Puppet Fabrication and Brian McLean, Director of Rapid Prototype.

LAIKA, the Oregon-based animation studio behind the remarkable features ParaNorman (2012), Coraline (2009) and The Boxtrolls (in theaters 17 October 2014) has inspired audiences -- and industry professionals -- with an unprecedented visual artistry. Animators breathe life into meticulously hand-crafted puppets while visual effects artists seamlessly enhance the performance with cutting-edge technologies. This unparalleled fusion of stop- motion and computer graphics has garnered the studio two Oscar nominations and worldwide acclaim. In this session, Georgina Hayns and Brian McLean address the key interdependent and collaborative relationships between these uniquely different but critically important departments.

The presentation will address the following:

  • The use of Maya and Zbrush to enhance practical sculpts;

  • 3D Printed material and subsurface scattering to allow puppet builders to break free of previous design limitations;

  • The advancements in color 3D printing and the enabling of puppet builders to evolve beyond prior design limitations;

  • The use of in-house developed silicones which enable character performance previously unseen in stop-motion animation;

  • The utilization of 3D Printers to pre-vis puppet construction issues and control how practical materials perform;

  • The use of laser cutting fabrics to enhance the design and functionality of the puppets costumes;

  • Production puppets will be displayed during the presentation.

Image Credit: LAIKA, Inc.

OLM Digital Presents the Anime Spirit: From Pokémon, Pac-Man to live action films
Panelists: Koichiro Sato, CGI director OLM Digital, Masashi Kobayashi, CGI Producer OLM Digital, Moto Sakakibara, CEO and creative director Sprite Animation Studios and Ken Anjyo, R&D supervisor OLM Digital

Anime has gained great popularity in the world for its unique expressiveness in contrast to western animation. OLM Digital, a digital production company in Tokyo, keeps trying new anime styles, making the Pokémon movies over 15 years. This session presents the company’s various works in 2D anime, 3DCG and live action films. The showcase focuses on how the anime spirit of OLM Digital is put into various visual forms. The brand-new Pac-Man animated TV series, which is a collaborative work with Sprite Animation Studios, is also one of the highlights of this session.    

Image Copyrights: ©Nintendo•Creatures•GAME FREAK•TV Tokyo•ShoPro•JR Kikaku, ©Pokémon ©2012 PIKACHU PROJECT, ©2012 NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. and ©2012 CAPCOM / "Ace Attorney" FILM PARTNERS

Rhythm & Hues Studios Presents: How to bake a Pi

Learn first-hand about the story behind the Oscar-winning visuals of “Life of Pi” as Rhythm & Hues takes you on a journey from script to screen through a world of vast oceans, carnivorous islands, flying fish, bioluminescent jellyfish, whales and tigers. Leaders from the visual effects team will discuss in detail how they attempted to tackle the project, share the hard lessons learned along the way and explain the complex process used to seamlessly combine live-action with extensive digital environments and hand-crafted character animation in a fully-stereo pipeline that required a total rethink of much of the traditional vfx process.

Image credit: © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Courtesy Rhythm & Hues Studios.

Sony Pictures Imageworks Presents: Take a Journey Down the Yellow Brick Road
Presenters: Scott Stokdyk, Senior VFX Supervisor; Troy Saliba, Animation Supervisor and Francisco De Jesus, Digital Effects Supervisor

Sony Pictures Imageworks, under the direction of VFX supervisor Scott Stokdyk, created the majority of the visual effects for Disney's OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL.

As a cinematic prequel to L. Frank Baum’s first book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the film explores the backstory of the wizard character. The goal of the film was to create a beautiful stylized environment for the land of Oz and bring to life computer graphics characters that accompany Oz on his journey, including Finley the monkey, the porcelain China Girl, and various creatures that surprise them along the way.

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