SIGGRAPHITTI Issue 5 - July 2014

“Box” (United States) © 2014 Tarik Abdel-Gawad, Bot & Dolly

Preview the 2014 Computer Animation Festival

The SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival is the leading annual festival for the world's most innovative, accomplished, and amazing digital film and video creators. Our internationally recognized jury selects outstanding achievements in time-based art, scientific visualization, visual effects, real-time graphics, and narrative shorts.

At this summer's showcase in Vancouver more than 100 pieces will be shown. Press play below to catch a sneak peek at some of those to be featured or click here. For even more CAF updates and to share your thoughts, check out the #SIGGRAPHcaf conversation on Twitter.

2014 Festival Awards Announced

SIGGRAPH 2014 is pleased to announce this year's Computer Animation Festival award recipients. With more than 100 pieces scheduled to be shown at conference, these 2014 award winners stood out among the many and were chosen by an expert panel of jury members from an initial pool of more than 450 submissions.

Since 1999, the festival has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for nominations in the "Best Animated Short" Academy Award category. Read on to find out this year's winners and, with luck, potential Oscar nominees (plus one recent winner!).

Box (United States) [pictured at top of page]
Directed by Tarik Abdel-Gawad, Bot & Dolly
Paper World (Hungary)
Directed by Dávid Ringeisen, László Ruska, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design
Home Sweet Home (France)
Directed by Pierre Clenet, Alejandro Diaz, Romain Mazenet, Stéphane Paccolat, Supinfocom Arles
Wrapped (Germany)
Directed by Roman Kälin, Falko Paeper, Florian Wittmann, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Gravity (United Kingdom)
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Esperanto Filmoj
VFX work submitted by Framestore, United Kingdom
Kinematics (United States)
Directed by Jessica Rosenkrantz, Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, Nervous System
The Crew (France)
Directed by Maxime Luère, Dominique Boidin, Rémi Kozyra, Unit Image
Ryse: Son of Rome (Germany)
Directed by Chris Evans, Peter Gornstein, Martin L’Heureux, Crytek
Three, "The Pony" (United Kingdom)
Directed by Dougal Wilson, Blink Productions
VFX work submitted by MPC
For details on each of this year's winners and to learn about the selection process, click here.

Unmask the Secrets Behind  “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” © 2014 Jerome Chen, David Schaub, David Smith, Sony Pictures Imageworks

The Amazing Production Sessions

SIGGRAPH Production Sessions, part of the Computer Animation Festival, are the place where the world’s most elite and talented computer graphic experts and creative geniuses explain their processes and techniques for creating compelling content. Following each presentation, attendees are able to ask questions about the challenges and issues associated with complex productions.

An initial selection of Production Sessions for SIGGRAPH 2014 was announced in the Advance Program (p. 22) this June. Click here for a complete list of sessions then check out some highlights below. 

Unmask the Secrets Behind "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"
Sony Pictures Imageworks created much of the visual effects for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster directed by Marc Webb. The VFX team was challenged with the introduction of new villians, extensive digital environments and CG animation. Join Sony Pictures Imageworks visual effects leads for an inside look at this "amazing" film.
Panelists: Jerome Chen, VFX Supervisor; David Schaub, Animation Supervisor; David Smith, DFX Supervisor
Puppets, Printing And Compositing: A Unique Collaboration in LAIKA's Animated Features © 2014 Brian McLean, Georgina Hayns, Steve Emerson, LAIKAPuppets, Printing, and Compositing: A Unique Collaboration in LAIKA's Animated Features
From inspiration to Oscar noms, Oregon-based LAIKA has garnered global acclaim for its unprecedented fusion of stop-motion and computer graphics within each feature film. The studio's environment embraces the hybrid of artisitc puppet performance and stunning visual effects enhancements. Georgina Hayns (Creative Supervisor, Puppet Fabrication), Brian McLean (Director, Rapid Prototyping), and Steve Emerson (Co-VFX Supervisor) will discuss their interdepartmental relationships on the upcoming feature "The Boxtrolls" (in theaters September 26). They will also address the challenges, solitions – and learnings – that led to the success of LAIKA's first two Oscar-nominated films: "Coraline" (2009) and "ParaNorman" (2012).
Panelists: Brian McLean, Director, Rapid Prototyping; Georgina Hayns, Creative Supervisor, Puppet Fabrication; Steve Emerson, Co-VFX Supervisor
Twentieth Century Fox Presents the Visual Effects of "X-Men: Days of Future Past"
This year, the ultimate X-Men ensemble was brought together to fight a war for the survival of the species across two time periods. With the visual effects work led by Production VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" showcased soem of the most spectacular effects of the summer. Experts from MPC (Moving Picture Company), Digital Domain, Rhythm & Hues, and Rising Sun Pictures will illustrate the approaches used to create a wide range of VFX work, from the creation of the past and future Sentinels, to the epic RFK stadium an dWhite House destruction and the complexities of creating mutant powers for Magneto, Colossus, Iceman, Quicksilver, Sunspot, Blink, Wolverine, and Mystique.
Panelists: Benoit Dubuc, Animation Supervisor, MPC; Lou Pecora, VFX Supervisor, Digital Domain; Derek Spears, VFX Supervisor, Rhythm & Hues; Adam Paschke, DFX Supervisor, Rising Sun Pictures
Building Blocks for "The LEGO Movie" © 2014 Grant Freckleton, Rob Coleman, Aidan Sarsfield, Daniel Heckenberg, Animal LogicBuilding Blocks for "The LEGO Movie"
"The LEGO Movie" is a CG animated feature film set in a world made entirely of Lego bricks. It was critical to the filmmakers that this world maintain a highly realistic connection to the look and feel of real Lego.
What resulted was a unique, photo-realistic, stop-motion aesthetic and animation style, with everything on screen — including the characters, sets, oceans, and explosions — being built and realized with accure CG Lego bricks.
Essential to the story was the dynamic construction (and destruction!) of any of these elements into component bricks. And with a desire to echo the creative possibilities of Lego itself, Animal Logic's team of "masterbuilders" built a comprehensive Lego toolset that ensured artists could access and manipulate individual bricks, or the bricks within any asset, to create unique and spontaneous additions to the content of a shot. The results were often unscripted and highly entertaining.
Making a CG feature entirely from bricks was a new and exciting challenge, resulting in something quite different from conventional animation processes.
Panelists: Grant Freckleton, Production Designer; Rob Coleman, Head of Animation; Aidan Sarsfield, CG Supervisor; Daniel Heckenberg, R&D Lead

Elliot Kotek © 2014

About the Keynote: Elliot Kotek

Elliot Kotek, co-founder of Not Impossible Labs, has been selected as the SIGGRAPH 2014 keynote speaker, joining us at the Vancouver Convention Centre this August. Kotek currently serves as the content chief (and co-founder) at Not Impossible Labs and acts as editor-in-chief of He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Beyond Cinema, and former editor-in-chief of both Moving Pictures and
A former M&A/Biotech venture Captial attorney in Australia and New York, Kotek holds a Law Degree, a BS in Pharmacology & Toxicology, studied at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, and completed UCLA's Professional Program in Screenwriting. he's become a recognizable figure in taking stories based in the sphere of science and technology, and ensuring that they are not only accessible, but that they serve to inspire. The feature documentary "140," which Kotek co-produced, is the first ever user-generated film made utilizing social media. "Little Larry," which Kotek wrote, received a Directors Guild of Canada nomination, and his current productions include the documentaries "Queen Mimi" with Zach Galifianakis and "The People Sign," which highlights the work of music interpreters for the hearing impaired.
For more on Not Impossible Labs and Elliot Kotek, visit our keynote page.

First-Timers Focus

Will SIGGRAPH 2014 be your first time attending a SIGGRAPH conference? It can be a little overwhelming, so we're providing this First-Timers Focus guide to the best, most exciting content for first-time attendees. Browse through First-Timers to start planning your schedule for your first SIGGRAPH.
A sampling of our suggestions is outlined below.
Ready, Steady . . . SIGGRAPH
Sunday, 10 August 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Contention Centre, West Building, Rooms 118-120
Feast - A Look at Walt Disney Animation Studios' Newest Short
Thursday, 14 August 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom B/C
alphaBot Workshop: Constructing Robots, Translating Language
Wednesday, 13 August 2:00 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A

Creating Content to Drive Destiny's Investment Game: One Solution to Rule Them All © 2014 Shi Kai Wang, Natalya Tatarchuk, Bungie, Inc.

Games Focus

The SIGGRAPH 2014 Games Focus spotlights content fit for the creators, visionaires, and pioneers of the game industry. Featured content hails from the world's leading studios, including 2K Games, Inc., Activision, Blizzard, Inc., Bungie, Inc., Crytek, EA DICE, Microsoft Game Studios, Ubisoft Entertainment S.A., and many others. 

Topics within the Games Focus include: advances in real-time character rendering and asset pipelines, real-time character animation in video games, new solutions for game navigation, amazing advances in hardware and software collaboration, and much more. Explore a sampling below then start planning your week.

Destiny Character-Animation System and Lessons Learned
Tuesday, 12 August 2:00 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 211-214
Real-Time Live!
Tuesday, 12 August 5:30 PM - 7:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Ballroom C/D
Monday, 11 August 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 118-120

Mobile Focus

If you're a Mobile Developer or Designer, Android Developer, iOS Developer, Art/Creative Director, Digital Media Designer, User Experience Designer, Web Producer/Designer, Product Manager, or Technical Manager, the Mobile Focus guide is your key to a highly productive SIGGRAPH 2014.  

Preview some of our suggestions below then click here for the full focus guide!

OpenGLES for 3D Graphics on Mobile
Wednesday, 13 August 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM | Marriott Vancouver Pinnacle Downtown, Pinnacle Ballroom
Moving Pictures: Make the Most of the Mobile
Tuesday, 12 August 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 109/110
Shape Collection
Monday, 11 August 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom B/C

Appy Hour Submissions Deadline: 17 July

Have you been slaving over your keyboard to create the next mobile app masterpiece all on your own? Join us at the debut Appy Hour cocktail reception during SIGGRAPH 2014. Appy Hour is the place for independent app developers to show off their apps to attendees ... all while enjoying a drink!
In addition to libations, Appy Hour gives developers the opportunity to solicit feedback from peers, cultivate new ideas, and make important connections to help move future efforts along. Whether your app incorporates augmented reality, computational photography, image manipulation, location-based gaming, or anything else you can make mobile devices do, come show it to our audience. SIGGRAPH will provide you with the following:
  • A spot to set up shop with your devices
  • A sign with your name, logo, and app screen-shot
  • That drink we mentioned
Submit today through 17 July for the chance to display your work


The ACM SIGGRAPH Awards prrogram recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the computer graphics community through their research, teaching, service, or writing. The awards are presented at conference each year, with nominations submitted in advance at

Join us Monday, 11 August for the Award Presentation from 11:00 AM - 12:45 PM PST immediately preceding the Keynote Session. Then, attend the Award Talks from 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM PST in the West Building, Ballroom CD of the Vancouver Convention Centre. Presented below are this year's distinguished recipients, by category.

Noah Snavely
Cornell University
Thomas Funkhouser
Princeton University
Harold Cohen
University of California, San Diego
Scott Lang
Bergen County Academies


To learn more about each individual award, click here.