SIGGRAPH Asia speakers industry FOCUS

The featured speakers at the first-ever ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia will provide a fascinating insight into the industry. Rob Cook, vice president, advanced technology, of Pixar Animation Studios will give a peak Behind the Scenes at Pixar. The talk takes you behind the scenes at Pixar Animation Studios for a look at how its 3D computer graphics films are made. Don Greenberg. director of Cornell University Program of Computer Graphics, Computer Graphics Pioneer will speak on the subject of The Expanding Boundaries of Computer Graphics. Cook was the co-architect and primary author of Pixar’s RenderMan software, which creates photo-realistic computer images. In 2001, he received an Oscar for his contributions, the first ever given for software. In the last 10 years, all but one film nominated for a Visual Effects Academy Award has used RenderMan. The process starts with development of the story and continues with modelling the geometry, animating the characters, simulating things like water and cloth and hair, defining the look of the surfaces, putting lights in the scene, and rendering the images. Making a computer animated film requires close collaboration between artists and technical experts in many areas of expertise and is a great example of the value of bringing different disciplines together. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Duke University and a Master of Science degree in Computer Graphics from Cornell University. At Cornell, he worked on simulating realistic surfaces, taking computer-generated images beyond the distinctive plastic look they had at the time. In 1981, he joined Lucasfilm/Pixar, where he developed the first programmable shader; programmable shading is now an essential part of GPUs and game engines as well as high-end renderers. He was the first to use Monte Carlo techniques in computer graphics, which was essential for simulation of complex, realistic lights and camera effects. His camera techniques were especially important in the visual effects industry, because they allowed computer-generated imagery to match the motion blur and depth of field of live-action footage when the two were combined. In 1987, he received the ACM SIGGRAPH Achievement Award in recognition of these contributions. Greenberg has been researching and teaching in the field of computer graphics for more than 40 years. His primary focus has been on advancing the state of the art in computer graphics. His current computer science research projects involve realistic image generation, parallel-processing algorithms for rendering, new graphical user interfaces, and computer animation. His current application projects include ornithology and the search for the ivory-billed woodpecker, medical imaging and virtual surgery, architectural design for a green environment, and new types of computer displays, from electronic paper to touch-sensitive table displays. He has taught courses in computer graphics in computer science, computer-aided design in architecture, computer animation in art, and technology strategy for business. Many of his graduate students have gone on to become leaders in the fields of computer graphics, computer animation, and computer-aided design for architecture. Six former students have won Hollywood’s Technical “Oscars”, and five have won the prestigious SIGGRAPH Achievement Award. In his featured talk, “The Expanding Boundaries of Computer Graphics,” he challenges the new generation of computer graphicists – those who will take great professional risks to solve big problems – to dream impossible dreams and extend the influence of computer graphics to many other disciplines. For four fascinating days, SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 will feature creative, scientific, and educational work that provokes thought, explores ideas in innovative ways, addresses contemporary issues, engages viewers in discovery, and stimulates intellect and imagination. All members of the computer graphics community in Asia and throughout the world are invited. Register early and save with discounted fees. Select your hotel accommodations. And finalize your plans to be in Singapore for this historic event. SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 takes place in Singapore on 10 – 13 December, 2008. For more information, please visit: ASIAIMAGE

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