The 38th International Conference And Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques


2011 Conference Newsletter | SIGGRAPHITTI - May 2011 - Issue 2

Technical Papers Video Preview

View the Technical Papers preview video for a snippet of the spectacular work to be seen in the SIGGRAPH 2011 Technical Papers program.



Early Registration Deadline Approaching: 17 June 2011

Register and book your flight and hotel room early to Make it Home to SIGGRAPH 2011 at the most affordable rate!

Select the registration category that works for your schedule and budget and register on or before 17 June to save up to $275. International attendees should make sure to apply for a visa early.

SIGGRAPH 2011 has negotiated special attendee-only discount rates for hotels in Vancouver.
The Westin Bayshore is offering a reduced room rate of $224.00 single/double for any rooms booked by June 13 (this rate also applies for rooms already booked). After June 13 the rate will increase back to $239 single/double.

Visit the SIGGRAPH Travel & Housing page for a list of additional participating hotels and to book your hotel reservation through onPeak. Please make your hotel reservation on or before 11 July 2011. Reservations made after 11 July will be based on availability only and rates may increase. (Please note: If you are contacted by any other companies, they are not endorsed by SIGGRAPH 2011 and may not be reputable.)

Book Your Airfare through UNIGLOBE Vision and Save 5% to 30%

The 2011 SIGGRAPH Conference has partnered with Vancouver-based UNIGLOBE Vision Travel, one of the largest independent travel management companies in British Columbia, to offer delegates personalized conference air travel services including:

  • Unbiased expert travel advice including lowest guaranteed air fares. Our technology searches over 30 airline websites as well as our own special negotiated air contracts to ensure the best value for delegates.
  • Negotiated conference airfare contracts. Conference participants can save from 5% to 30% on most flights booked through Uniglobe Vision Travel.

Visit the SIGGRAPH 2011 Travel and Housing page for more information.

Emerging Technologies Sneak Peek: Interacting With the Future

SIGGRAPH 2011 Emerging Technologies feature 23 of the latest innovations from displays and input devices to collaborative environments.

"The SIGGRAPH 2011 Emerging Technologies program is unique in its interactive approach that allows people to experience the most cutting-edge developments first-hand,” said SIGGRAPH 2011 Emerging Technologies Chair, Cole Krumbholz, Co-founder of Koduco Games. “This year, conference attendees will experience the latest achievements from industry and university research labs.”

Featured highlights from the SIGGRAPH 2011 Emerging Technologies:

Hiroaki Tobita and Shigeaki Maruyama; Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

This floating avatar system integrates a blimp with a virtual avatar to create a unique system of telepresence. The blimp avatar contains several pieces of equipment, including a projector and a speaker as the output functions. Users communicate with others by presenting their facial images through the projector and voices through the speaker. A camera and microphone attached to the blimp provide the input function and support the user’s manipulation from a distance. The user’s presence is more dramatic than a conventional virtual avatar (CG and image), because the avatar is a physical object and moves freely in the real world. In addition, the user’s senses are augmented, because the blimp detects dynamic information in the real world. For example, the camera provides a special floating view to the user, and the microphone collects a wide variety of sounds such as conversations and environmental noise.

Volumetric Display Based on Vibrating Mylar Beam Splitter and LED Backlit LCD
Lanny Smoot, Quinn Smithwick, and Daniel Reetz; Disney Research

This new volumetric display produces full-color, high-spatial-resolution aerial images out in front of the apparatus. It is based on a new optical element: the large, tunable-resonance, edge-driven, varifocal beam splitter.  

Previous varifocal systems stretch an opaque Mylar mirror over the aperture of a loudspeaker. The speaker vibrates the mirror making it alternately concave and convex. A synchronized, high-speed (oscillograph) image is viewed in the mirror and swept in depth. This type of display was commercialized as Spacegraph 3D in the late 1970s, but a number of problems limited its acceptance. The loudspeaker was noisy. The image was virtual (behind the mirror), since the mirror curvature is insufficient to create real images. The systems had small viewing apertures, since the display blocked the user's mirror view. Non-standard (now obsolete) oscillograph displays were used, and the systems were bulky, since it was difficult to fold their optical paths.

This new display uses a circular Mylar beam splitter and adds a tension-adjusting metal hoop pressed against its surface. The beam splitter is adjusted, with high Q, to a specific resonance frequency. Three rim-mounted impulse drivers apply low-amplitude sinusoldal drive. Due to the high Q, the diaphram's sympathetic vibration is large. The beam splitter folds the optical path, and the system includes a fixed-curvature concave mirror to create real images that appear out in front of the apparatus. It produces high-quality 3D images that occupy a one-third-meter cube 1/3 meter out in front of the apparatus. The image is viewable over a 30 degree viewing angle.

A Medical Mirror for Non-Contact Health Monitoring
Ming-Zher Poh, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; Daniel McDuff and Rosalind Picard, MIT Media Lab

Digital medical devices promise to transform the future of medicine with their ability to produce exquisitely detailed individual physiological data. As ordinary people gain access to and control over their own physiological data, they can play a more active role in diagnosis and management of their health. This revolution must take place in our everyday lives, not just in the doctor’s office or research lab. This project starts in the home environment by transforming everyday objects into health-sensing technology.

The Medical Mirror is a novel interactive interface that tracks and displays a user’s heart rate in real time without the need for external sensors. Currently, collection of physiological information requires users to strap on bulky sensors, chest straps, or sticky electrodes. The Medical Mirror allows contact-free measurements of physiological information using a basic imaging device. When a user looks into the mirror, an image sensor detects and tracks the location of his or her face over time. By combining techniques in computer vision and advanced signal processing, the user’s heart rate is then computed from the optical signal reflected off the face. The user’s heart rate is displayed on the mirror, allowing visualization of both the user’s physical appearance and physiological state.

This project illustrates an innovative approach to pervasive health monitoring based on state-of-the-art technology. The Medical Mirror fits seamlessly into the ambient home environment, blending the data collection process into the course of daily routines. It is intended to provide a convenient way for people to track their daily health when they use the mirror for shaving, brushing teeth, etc.

Telenoid: Tele-Presence Android for Communication
Kohei Ogawa, Shuichi Nishio, Kensuke Koda, Koichi Taura, Takashi Minato, Carlos Toshinori Ishii, Hiroshi Ishiguro; ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication

This new system of telecommunication focuses on the idea of transferring human “presence”. A minimal human conveys the impression of human existence at first glance, but it doesn’t suggest anything about personal features such as gender or age. The minimal appearance allows people to use Telenoid to transfer their presence to distant places regardless of their personal features.

Telenoid's tele-operation system is simple and intuitive. It can be controlled by even novice users. Its face-tracking system automatically captures the operator’s facial movements and expressions. Field tests revealed that most users tended to have a strange and negative feeling impression of Telenoid in the beginning, but eventually they became comfortable. Elderly people had very positive feelings about Telenoid at first sight.

Art Gallery Explores "Home" as Conceptual Category and Physical Reality

SIGGRAPH 2011 Art Gallery: Tracing Home presents exceptional digital and technologically mediated artworks that explore issues related to the concept of home in the networked age.

“The interplay of physical and virtual within our live experience enables simultaneous and discontinuous realities at the touch of a button, echo of a voice, or nudge of a sensor,” said Mona Kasra, SIGGRAPH 2011 Juried Art Chair. “This year’s Art Gallery, Tracing Home, connects attendees with a unique interactive approach to art that explores this new era of technology, from a platform that captures the story of current world disasters through tweets and stock exchange information to a computer system that allows attendees to remotely control physical aspects of a house in foreclosure.”

SIGGRAPH 2011 Art Gallery highlights include:


Anya Belkina, Emerson College

A 12-foot-tall suspended inflatable sculpture, MOSTON conjures a technology-driven amalgamation of Moscow and Boston with its three-dimensional form of mutated Russian nesting dolls and two-dimensional surface design of printed artwork and documentary footage projection.

tele-present wind
David Bowen, University of Minnesota

This installation consists of a field of x/y tilting devices connected to thin dried plant stalks installed in the gallery, and a dried plant stalk connected to an accelerometer outdoors. When the wind blows, it causes the stalk outside to sway. The accelerometer detects and transmits this movement in real time to the grouping of devices in the gallery.

Open House
Patrick LeMieux, Duke University; Jack Stenner, University of Florida

Open House is an installation that allows visitors to telematically squat in an actual Florida home undergoing foreclosure after the United States housing collapse. Virtual markets transformed this otherwise livable property into a ghost house. Prior to the collapse, movements of global capital seemed like a distant reality, but it was imaginary systems of value, not bricks and mortar, that asserted ultimate authority. Open House temporarily resists eviction by mirroring the market and creating hybrid subjects who occupy both virtual and physical space. Cross the threshold, open the door, flicker the lights, and rattle the shutters. 

The Garden of Error and Decay 
Michael Bielicky, HFG/ZKM Karlsruhe; Kamila B.Richter, HFG/ZKM Karlsruhe
Programmer: Dirk Reinbold
Sound: Lorenz Schwarz

In this data-driven narrative of current world disasters, the artist, Twitter users, and stock-exchange information all influence the storytelling.

View the entire Art Gallery.

Art Papers Stimulate Future Trends

In addition to core topics related to digital arts and interactive techniques, Art Papers will also explore the theme of SIGGRAPH 2011's juried Art Gallery: Tracing Home.

Noted Art Papers include:

Collaboration with the Future: An Infrastructure for Art+Technology at the San José International Airport 
Matt Gorbet, Gorbet Design, Inc.; Susan Gorbet, Gorbet Design, Inc.; Banny Banerjee, Stanford University

This paper summarizes development and implementation of a three-part infrastructure for the ongoing program of technology-based public artwork at Silicon Valley’s newly expanded airport. The physical, technological, and human infrastructure provides flexibility and opportunities for future artists and future technologies while providing a robust framework for ongoing maintenance and evolution of the program, and mediating between the needs of artists and the constraints of an airport.

Conserving Digital Art for Deep Time
Francis T. Marchese, Pace University

Displaying digital art in the late 20th and early 21st centuries can be challenging. Exhibiting this same art in the distant future may be impossible, unless today's artists, conservators, and curators adopt new thinking and practices. Established software engineering methods for dealing with aging systems can provide a new model for conservation of digital art and a foundation for enhancement of art history scholarship.

View the full schedule of accepted Art Papers.

Production Sessions Explore Key Scenes in Killzone 3, “The Smurfs”, “Kung Fu Panda 2”, “Rango”, and More

Learn how world-class creative and production talent created the computer animation and visual effects in some of the Computer Animation Festival’s most provocative works.

The Creation of Killzone 3
This talk details various aspects of designing and developing videogames at Guerrilla. It highlights methods that are very similar to methods used in the CGI industry, and it illuminates some of the most important differences. And it covers the complete breadth of videogame development from artistic design to production pipelines and tool and engine development. Image provided by Guerrilla Games.


The Smurf-olution: A Half-Century of Character Development
Sony Pictures Imageworks animation supervisor Troy Saliba, and leading members of their Vancouver animation team take the Smurfs from the most primitive pencil sketch to a contemporary 3D stereo rendering. Image provided by Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Fire & Water: The Yin and Yang of Creating the Final Battle in “Kung Fu Panda 2”
The climax of the CG-animated movie “Kung Fu Panda 2” is an epic battle featuring a flotilla of boats, an ancient Chinese-styled city, thousands of wolves armed for battle, action featuring hundreds of characters in a single shot, stylized graphic lighting, fantastical cannon fire and explosions, and a set of effects-supported Kung Fu moves. This talk provides a unique insight into the making of a CG-animated movie that goes beyond the traditional idealized concept of the pipeline.


Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Getting Dirty: Bringing the Digital Feature “Rango” to Life
This in-depth discussion focuses on the production of Industrial Light & Magic’s first animated feature “Rango”. ILM’s unique approach to the genre brings a new dimension to the animated feature, giving “Rango” the visceral quality that the company is best known for in its visual effects work. The presenters review all aspects of the work from initial asset development through animation, simulation, lighting, and compositing. Image provided by ILM.

New Solutions for New Challenges
The Industrial Light & Magic team delves into the effects created for four of 2011’s largest summer films, dissecting the challenges and revealing their solutions. The panel breaks down the visual effects challenges presented on this year’s slate of films including: “Super 8”, “Cowboys & Aliens”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”, and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”.

See the Best Computer Graphics Products at the Exhibition

The SIGGRAPH Exhibition continually delivers the year's largest, most comprehensive exhibition of products and services for the computer graphics and interactive techniques marketplace and if current sales trends continue, SIGGRAPH 2011 will be larger then last year.

Fueling the growth is the 21 first timers that have already confirmed their participation at SIGGRAPH 2011. Nineteen of the 21 exhibitors are from outside the United States, representing six different countries. The Exhibition will be the only place you can see the best computer graphics products from all over the world.

The 2011 Exhibition provides attendees up-close and hands-on experiences unlike any other. Witness the newest hardware systems, software tools, and creative services from hundreds of companies, while exploring products, systems, techniques, and inspiration that are creating the next three generations of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Also take time to meet with potential new vendors and reconnect with the organizations you currently do business with.

View the latest list of SIGGRAPH 2011 exhibitors.

View more information on becoming a SIGGRAPH 2011 exhibitor.

The SIGGRAPH Symposium: The Business Think Tank

New this year, The SIGGRAPH Symposium: The Business Think Tank introduces an opportunity to discuss issues related to finance, strategy, culture, and creativity in the computer graphics industry.

The symposium is a full day of conversations, discussion groups, and two enlightening keynote sessions intended to spark frank and honest interaction about the industry in the 21st century. The symposium's case studies, industry-specific stories, inspiring keynote presentations, and unstructured, enlightening conversations explore shared issues and challenges, along with solutions for success.  

Registration for The SIGGRAPH Symposium is now available. Attendance for this event will be very limited.

Explore Vancouver at SIGGRAPH 2011

The vibrant mix of urban and natural environment combined with its creative energy makes Vancouver the ideal host city for SIGGRAPH 2011.

With a large percent of its population active in SIGGRAPH's major communities: art, academics, film production, gaming, VFX, research, and more, Vancouver welcomes the exploration and innovation that this year’s conference brings. Surrounded by water on three sides and nestled alongside the Coast Mountain Range, Vancouver is home to spectacular natural scenery and a bustling metropolitan core.

Explore everything Vancouver has to offer. For detailed information about Vancouver’s tourist attractions, visit the SIGGRAPH 2011 Vancouver page or contact The Greater Vancouver Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Vote in ACM SIGGRAPH 2011 Election by 6 June 2011

ACM SIGGRAPH members are encouraged to vote for the positions of President, Vice-President, and Director-At-Large.

Please cast your vote by the deadline of 12:00 noon EDT on 6 June 2011. If you would like to learn more about the candidates, they have submitted candidate statements. For more information about the election and how to vote, visit the SIGGRAPH web site.

SIGGRAPH in the News

Follow the latest SIGGRAPH news online.

Vancouver Fun Facts

What Vancouver-based 2D animation studio’s goal is teaching children tolerance through education?

Vancouver-based 2-D animation studio, Big Bad Boo, founded by native Vancouverites Aly Jetha and Shabnam Rezaei, strives to teach children tolerance through education.

Issue Sponsor: Jon Peddie Research

Jon Peddie Research is a technically oriented marketing, research, and management consulting firm. Based in Tiburon, California, JPR provides specialized services to companies in high-tech fields including graphics hardware development, multimedia for professional applications and consumer electronics, entertainment technology, high-end computing, and Internet access product development.


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