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Highlights from SIGGRAPH Asia & VRCAI, 2019

Over the past fortnight I’ve had the privilege to attend two international conferences which were co-located in Brisbane, Australia in November this year. There was way too much interesting stuff to write about; but here are some brief highlights of my experience!

Location & Venue


Getting there was a blast on Neuron Mobility Scooters. These have really taken Brisbane by storm ; amazing to see so many people embracing this method of transport.

Both conferences were flanked by Brisbane’s Southbank. Southbank offers gardens, a temple, a beach, plenty of cafes and restaurants made for lovely walks before, after and between talks.

The Brisbane Convention Centre is a heavy hitter for the city – very large, easy to navigate and well air-conditioned for the climate. Pictured here are lab mates from EPICentre, UNSW who were involved in teaching NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute workshops at the event.

Main reception area of Convention Centre.

The ‘Great Hall’ set up and looking slick for extra large Powerpoint presentations.

Demos & Tech



Demoscene was a funky addition to the conference ; showcasing a unique sub-culture of computer art and graphics. This group uses purist approaches to producing graphical content with old school devices with minimal computing power.


There were plenty of interactive exhibits to get hands on experience of VR/AR and other emerging technologies….

One of the highlights was the XR experience ‘Upload Not Complete’ by Peppercorns Interactive Media Art Inc., Taiwan. This tried to mimic the process of your consciousness being uploaded into the cloud!


VRCAI – presenting poster for my work on Holocity – see article


VRCAI – Trying out the Magic Leap with Weta Digital


VRCAI – Inception-like interactions with cityscapes through presentation: Don’t Panic: Recursive Interactions in a Miniature Metaworld by Andrew Bluff / Andrew Johnston (UTS)

Workshops

I attended parts of two ‘ACM SIGGRAPH Frontiers Workshops’ which essentially discussed the implications of future of technologies which may significantly impact the field of ‘Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques’ (and society more broadly..). These were:
1) ACM SIGGRAPH Frontiers Workshop on Computer Graphics for Autonomous Vehicles and Car Experience
2) ACM SIGGRAPH Frontiers Workshop on Truth in Graphics and the Future of AI-Generated Content


Truth in Graphics and the Future of AI-Generated Content – fireside chat from all speakers. Hao Li did a fantastic job navigating the challenging topics of the workshop and fostering positive discussion.


Alexandre de Brebisson, Lyrebird, Canada speaks about their company (Lyrebird) – the positives of cloning voice and the ethical dilemmas their company had to deal with early on.


Diana Arellano, Mackevision, Germany – on making autonomous vehicles safe for everyone through graphics and simulation techniques.

Keynotes

The keynotes were all exceptional for both conferences. I will always remember these talks where all of them reflected on their careers, past works, lessons learned and had strong messages for the future.


Keynote: VRCAI, from Sol Rogers on past experience of 15 years in digital animation, VFX and emerging technology and some thoughts for the future.


Keynote: VRCAI, from Jacki Morie on 30 years of researching & creating meaningful VR experiences.

Keynote: SIGGRAPH Asia, from Inigo Quilez on “Why Do I Create Images with Mathematics – A Journey of Innovating in Tech”.


Keynote: SIGGRAPH Asia, from Jeffrey Shaw on “Making Things Making Meaning – Frontiers in New Media”. I particularly really liked their work on preserving martial arts techniques.


Keynote: SIGGRAPH Asia, from Donna Cox on many things including the visualisation of galactic-scale scientific data. This group does truly amazing stuff with communicating data about our universe and huge geographic phenomena to a general audience.

Other

Computer Animation Festival – The Ostrich Politics short animation had some poignant parallels to our society and scientific fact ; brilliantly done!

Real-Time Live – how amazing are Air Sticks?

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