24 April 2014

SIGGRAPH 2014 Releases Technical Papers Data & Statistics

Computational Design of Linkage-Based Characters
This year, the Technical Papers program received a total of 505 completed submissions! After committee review, 127 of them have been accepted, accounting for a 25% acceptance rate. In addition, 46 papers, published in ACM Transactions on Graphics during the course of the last year, will be presented at SIGGRAPH 2014.
Adam Finkelstein

“As is SIGGRAPH tradition, the quality of this year’s Technical Papers content was superb,” said Adam Finkelstein, Technical Papers Chair from Princeton University. “Not only did we receive outstanding work in the traditional areas of modeling, rendering, animation, and imaging, but we also noticed two emerging fields in design/fabrication and learning.”  

For a sneak peek at what's to come, see below.

Design and Fabrication
  • Computational Design of Linkage-Based Characters
Authors: Bernhard Thomaszewski, Stelian Coros, Disney Research Zürich; Eitan Grinspun, Columbia University; Vittorio Megaro, ETH Zürich; Markus Gross, Disney Research Zürich, ETH Zürich; Damien Gauge, ETH Zürich

This paper presents a design system for linkage-based mechanical characters. The system allows users to interactively browse different design options, while a continuous optimization step improves motion quality and safeguards against singularities.
  • Interactive Design and Optimization of Free-Formed Free-Flight Model Airplanes
Authors: Nobuyuki Umetani, The University of Tokyo, Autodesk Research; Yuki Koyama, The University of Tokyo; Ryan Schdmit, Autodesk Research; Takeo Igarashi, The University of Tokyo

This paper introduces novel interactive techniques for designing original hand-launched free-flight glider airplanes that can actually fly. Based on a compact aerodynamics model, a user-designed wing configuration is interactively optimized to maximize flight-worthiness.

  • Self-Refining Games Using Player Analytics
Authors: Matt Stanton, Ben Humberston, Brandon Kase, Carnegie Mellon University; James O'Brien, University of California, Berkeley; Kayvon Fatahalian, Adrien Treuille, Carnegie Mellon University

Data-driven simulation demands good training data. In games, users explore a small subset of the configuration space. In this paper, a precomputed fluid dynamics game uses crowd sourcing to learn user behavior models that predict the most frequently encountered configurations. Precomputation is concentrated around these states, reducing model error and visual artifacts. 
  • Learning Bicycle Stunts
Authors: Jie Tan, Yuting Gu, Karen Liu, and Greg Turk, Georgia Institute of Technology

This paper presents a general approach to simulate and control a human character riding a bicycle. The rider not only learns to steer and balance in normal riding situations, but also learns to perform a wide variety of stunts, including wheelie, endo, bunny hop, front wheel pivot, and back hop.

Take Note: You definitely won't want to miss the paper presentations at SIGGRAPH 2014. Occurring from Monday through Thursday, 10-14 August, the 35 paper sessions will highlight a total of 173 technical papers.

14 April 2014

SIGGRAPH 2014 Registration Now Open!

It's Time to Register!

SIGGRAPH 2014 is returning to Vancouver this summer and we can't wait to see you there! Register now and meet us at the Vancouver Convention Centre 10-14 August for the Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques event of the year. Where else can you interact with the best and brightest in art, science, and technology?

SIGGRAPH 2014 Registration Categories 

Full Conference Access Pass*
Includes admission to ALL conference programs and events, including the Art Gallery, Art Papers, Awards Presentation, Birds of a Feather, Computer Animation Festival-Daytime Selects, Computer Animation Festival-Electronic Theater, Courses, Dailies, Emerging Technologies, Exhibition, Exhibitor Tech Talks, Exhibits Fast Forward, International Resources, Job Fair, Keynote Sessions, Panels, Posters, Production Sessions, Real-Time Live!, Reception, Studio, Talks, Technical Papers, and Technical Papers Fast Forward.

*Note: The Full Conference Access Pass is the only pass that allows access to Courses, Panels, Technical Papers, Talks, and the Reception.

Full Conference One-Day Pass
Includes one day admission to ALL conference programs and events and the Exhibition (Tuesday - Thursday). Does not include reception ticket.

Select Conference Pass
Includes admission to the Art Gallery, Art Papers, Awards Presentation, Birds of a Feather, Computer Animation Festival-Daytime Selects, Computer Animation Festival-Electronic Theater, Dailies, Emerging Technologies, Exhibitor Tech Talks, Exhibits Fast Forward, International Resources, Job Fair, Keynote Sessions, Posters, Production Sessions, Real-Time Live!, Studio, Technical Papers Fast Forward, and all days of the Exhibition (Tuesday – Thursday). Does not include reception ticket.

Select Conference One Day Pass
Includes one day admission to the Art Gallery, Awards Presentation, Birds of a Feather, Computer Animation Festival-Daytime Selects, Computer Animation Festival-Electronic Theater, Dailies, Emerging Technologies, Exhibitor Tech Talks, Exhibits Fast Forward, International Resources, Job Fair, Keynote Sessions, Posters, Production Sessions, Real-Time Live!, Studio, Technical Papers Fast Forward, and all days of the Exhibition (Tuesday – Thursday). Does not include reception ticket.

Exhibits Plus Pass
Includes admission to the Art Gallery, Birds of a Feather, Emerging Technologies, Exhibitor Tech Talks, Exhibits Fast Forward, Job Fair, Posters, Studio, Technical Papers Fast Forward, and the Exhibition (Tuesday - Thursday). Does not include Electronic Theater or reception ticket.

To secure your spot at SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver as well as for more registration information, visit the SIGGRAPH 2014 website.

01 April 2014

The Perfect Combination: SIGGRAPH 2014 & Vancouver

Majestic mountains, sparkling ocean, rainforests and beautiful foliage in all four seasons make Vancouver one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It's no surprise Condé Nast Magazine named it the "Best City in the Americas."

Canada is known for its people's friendly nature, and Vancouver's citizens take great pride in their welcoming, clean, safe streets - day or night, all year round. Friendly with a laid-back vibe, Vancouver is home to a seemingly endless playground with activities and adventure for everyone. Visitors experience a modern, cosmopolitan city that blends culture and landscape.

Click here for some helpful traveling tips. 

"You're gorgeous, baby, you're sophisticated, you live well...Vancouver is Manhattan with mountains. It's a liquid city, a tomorrow city, equal parts India, China, England, France and the Pacific Northwest. It's the cool North American sibling."
- The New York Times


Enjoying SIGGRAPH 2014 this year? You're in luck. During the brief, beautiful summer months, the city comes to life with vibrant festivals, patio dining and Canada's best beaches, not to mention great outdoor opportunities.

Here's how to soak up the best of Vancouver this summer according to the Vancouver Convention Bureau:

Get a tan on Vancouver's urban beaches:  Unique for a city of its size, Vancouver has ten ocean beaches, all boasting clear, clean water and white sand.  Insider tip: For the consummate urban beach experience, head to English Bay, a stunning scallop of sand located right in the downtown core.  

All aboard for an Alaskan cruise: Summer is cruise season in Vancouver.  More than a dozen major lines embark here, offering cruises through Canada's stunning Inside Passage, packed with whales and marine life, and onto the Alaskan glaciers. 

Explore the old growth forests of Stanley Park: Larger than Manhattan's Central Park, 1,000-acre Stanley Park is an easy stroll from downtown Vancouver.  A network of biking and walking paths winds along ocean-side cliffs, past secluded beaches and deep into old growth forests. 
Dine alfresco on the patios of Yaletown: The city's trendy warehouse district, Yaletown is lined with progressive restaurants and great outdoor patios.  For some of Vancouver's best seafood, grab a table on the terrace of Blue Water Café and watch Yaletown's beautiful people stroll by. 
Shakespeare anyone? The perfect end to a day in Vancouver, Bard on the Beach is a summer-long Shakespeare festival staged in oceanfront Vanier Park.  Admire a Vancouver sunset while internationally acclaimed troupes bring the bard's classics to life.  


Vancouver has an easily walkable core, in fact, it's been named "Canada's most walkable city" by Up Magazine. Click here to view the Vancouver downtown map featuring the Convention Centre and Tourism Vancouver's Visitor Centre.

13 March 2014

Q&A with SIGGRAPH 2014 Chair Dave Shreiner

In 2014, SIGGRAPH returns to Vancouver, British Columbia

Briefly describe your past experience as a SIGGRAPH volunteer and what motivated you to serve as the SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference Chair.

I’ve been a long-time contributor to the SIGGRAPH Courses program – I’ve taught 23 courses across the years, and through that experience I started working with various SIGGRAPH committees back in 2001.  Specifically, I have been a reviewer, Webmaster of siggraph.org, member of many conference committees, and Courses Chair for SIGGRAPHs 2006 and 2009 respectively, which led me to now being  the 2014 Conference Chair.

Stepping up to Conference Chair is truly an honor for me. I have the utmost respect for the members of the SIGGRAPH community, and receiving their stamp of approval is personally valuable.  As you’ll hear most SIGGRAPH volunteers repeat, the predominant reason for volunteering is the quality of individuals with whom you get to work. SIGGRAPH has also been a great contributor to my professional success, and helping pass that to the next generation of practitioners by helping to organize SIGGRAPH 2014 is a way to repay that debt of gratitude.

What “reasons to attend” do you feel are most compelling for industry professionals?

As I mentioned, SIGGRAPH has contributed greatly to my professional career.  With the technical program (i.e., Courses, Papers, Talks, etc.) you interact with those creating the future of our respective fields.  They come to SIGGRAPH to showcase their latest and best work, speculate on the trends and directions, and interact with the experts and leading thinkers in several fields.  There’s no other place with the information density that occurs at a SIGGRAPH conference, and we’re working to make SIGGRAPH 2014 the most technically forward-looking event ever, while still respecting and honoring our roots.

As an engineer by trade, computer graphics is more than just a technical field for me.  Anyone who’s had to create an image begins to think about the best ways to present their data and convey their message. Those concepts are more about design and presentation – fields that aren’t usually included in a computer science or engineering program.  However, the SIGGRAPH community thrives on cross-pollination between the engineers, artists, animators, scientists, and human-factors communities.  One of SIGGRAPH’s strengths is precisely this exposure to things outside of your core area.  Just like international travel introduces you to new cultures, traveling to SIGGRAPH immerses you in the largest multi-discipline gathering of technology to simulate your senses.  There’s really no end of what you can learn at the conference.

Do you have a specific vision for the 2014 conference?

Most definitely!  A while ago I changed jobs.  I predicated that decision largely on watching European folks use their mobile phones.  At the time, they were playing games on very low-resolution, monochrome screens; sending SMS messages; and making the occasional phone call.  However, it dawned on me that as the technology evolved, those devices were going to become the new graphics systems, so I tried plying my trade in that industry.

Today, you merely need to look around to see how basic tenets of SIGGRAPH – computer graphics and interactive techniques – have been made available to everyone in the palm of their hand.  During my career, I have witnessed numerous graphics technology transitions: from image generators to graphics workstations to PC graphics to consoles, and now to phones and tablets. The medium has changed. And the focus that SIGGRAPH communities had been talking about for years is now in the forefront. 

So, SIGGRAPH 2014 will have an intense focus on the fusion of technology and research for mobile devices and displays.  Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or want to enter the field, one component of SIGGRAPH 2014 will provide numerous opportunities to learn how the next generation of graphics systems can deliver the kind of mind-blowing sensory experiences that SIGGRAPH has been doing for the last four decades.

Exactly how many volunteers are behind-the-scenes making the conference happen?

Two, and we only feed them Twinkies.

Seriously, the exact number is difficult.  The volunteer side of the SIGGRAPH 2014 committee is composed of the various venue chairs and numbers 20 super-talented individuals.  My team would be the envy of any tech-savvy company, and these folks are doing this for the love of the organization and its cause – computer graphics and interactive techniques. 

From there, many of the venues have teams of folks who work before, during, and after the show to spread the message, collect the content, and show it at the conference.  There is also our team of content reviewers – numbering in the hundreds – who lend their expertise to find the best content for the show, and constructively comment on all the submissions to SIGGRAPH.  This all happens before an attendee steps foot into Vancouver’s beautiful convention center.

Onsite, we have an army of student volunteers who helpfully educate attendees on what’s going on, and politely direct them to the right places.  We also have a large number of venue volunteers who keep the attendee experience going full tilt – explaining, educating, and celebrating what our various fields offer.

All in all, I’d estimate that approximately 600 dedicated volunteers contribute to SIGGRAPH 2014 becoming a reality, and I hope to personally thank each of them.  They’re certainly making me look great!

In its return to Vancouver, what surprises can SIGGRAPH 2014 attendees expect?

If I told you, they wouldn’t be a surprise, now would they? :)

Let me just say that one of the best parts of a SIGGRAPH conference are the networking events – where people get together and exchange ideas, opinions, and laughs.  We’re working to provide more opportunities to doing fun things in between showing you the most forward content and experiences in the visual arts and interaction fields.

We're also making much more of the content available during conference week. The "creative" venues - the Art Gallery, Emerging Technologies, and the Studio - will be available to more registration categories, and we'll be holding some events in those venues. Everyone knows SIGGRAPH for its technical content and amazing eye candy, but those venues also showcase the interactive experiences of SIGGRAPH. 

Why should people be excited about the location?

Vancouver is one of my favorite SIGGRAPH locations (and it’ll be my 26th show, so I’ve seen a few).  The beauty of the city and its surrounding nature really excited me when it was selected as the venue for my year.  The fusion of nature and technology emphasizes what I think of when I consider SIGGRAPH: art and science converging.  The convention center and its layout are prime for providing an unparalleled attendee experience, and we’re going to be using every space available to bring the best content to you.

Explain the added emphasis on mobile technologies at SIGGRAPH.

I view mobile as more than just technology.  It’s more the fusion of several capabilities.  In a modern mobile smartphone, you have HD-capable movie camera, a high-resolution full-color display, GPS, accelerometers, high-performance GPUs, multiple processors, and connectivity to all the data the Internet has to offer in the palm of your hand.  The SIGGRAPH community has multiple research areas that worked to pioneer those technologies. It is my hope that SIGGRAPH 2014 will foster greater convergence of those research areas to make even better experiences, particularly for mobile devices. 

The technical fields pioneered at SIGGRAPH: rendering, image processing, computer vision, human-computer interaction to name a few, are all available in extraordinarily capable portable-computing systems.   I’m hoping to empower and challenge people to understand these new devices and use them in very unexpected ways.

Which part/s of the SIGGRAPH 2014 experience are you most looking forward to?

It is still early but I’m really excited to see what the SIGGRAPH 2014 team puts together.  Their ideas and energy for 2014 already blows me away.  In selecting the committee, I was looking for folks who had a knowledge and vision of the venue they were looking to manage.  I selected folks who were self-motivated and directed, and I now realize I got the best crew possible, and I’m sure they’re going to take the conference experience to the next level.  From what I’m hearing, there will be lots of interactive experiences, thought-provoking technical content, incredible visual effects, and cutting-edge research.

I’m also excited to see how one of those surprises comes together.  Let’s just say it’s an attempt to use technology in new ways, and it’ll be open to everyone at the show.

On a personal note, I’m delighted to be able to share the experience with my wife (a 20-year SIGGRAPH attendee) and my parents at the show.  My parents have heard me talk about SIGGRAPH for the last 2.5 decades, and it’s going to be great to share with them what’s been a big part of my life.

Where do you see this conference going in the next 5/10 years?

Ahh, the provocative question.  The fields that SIGGRAPH has cultivated over its 40-year history are now commonplace.  Virtually every image we see in the media has been affected by technologies discussed at SIGGRAPH.  The members of our community have enabled our entertainment, education, and wonder, and some argue that perhaps the job’s done.  I’m not entirely convinced.

Just like I mentioned, as technology changes, we’re presented with options for creating new experiences and things that haven’t been possible before.  As the SIGGRAPH community is enabled to pursue evermore difficult problems, I think the collaboration that SIGGRAPH cultivates becomes ever more important. 

Sure, we live in an environment where online collaboration, information sharing, and even telepresence are realities, but there's still no substitute being in the moment in the same place at the same time. I think that's part of the human experience, and where SIGGRAPH will be blazing paths forward for decades to come. 

As a speaker, author, and technology wizard, what has been your biggest career honor to date?

Truly, being chosen as the chair of SIGGRAPH 2014 is likely the crowning achievement for me to this point(and I’m not just saying that because you’re asking).  When I first started attending SIGGRAPH, I watched in awe of those presenting and organizing the show, and really never thought I’d achieve the same.  The first time I spoke at SIGGRAPH, I was terrified because everyone knew and had accomplished more than I had at that time.  However, our community is nothing without helping each other reach new heights, and being given the opportunity to do that for the next generation of computer graphics and interactive techniques practitioners is an unparalleled honor.  

In 140 characters, describe SIGGRAPH 2014.

S2014 brings the best CGI, HCI, and IQs together to create the mosaic of tomorrow’s images, experiences, and tech in beautiful Vancouver!

(I’m not really good at Twitter :))

08 March 2014

Real-Time Live! Submission Deadline Approaching

Are you an Evil Genius? Mad Scientist? Creative Computer God?

If so, we want YOU! 

The submission deadline for the Real-Time Live! program is fast approaching. Submit your work by Tuesday, 1 April, 22:00 UTC/GMT, for consideration to present at SIGGRAPH 2014!

Real-Time Live! remains the premier showcase for the most innovative and interactive real-time graphics created in the last 12 months, packaged into a diverse and fast-paced show.

We are seeking the latest examples of real-time graphics, interactions and simulations, including:
  • Computer games
  • Real-time art explorations
  • Research projects
  • Military or industrial simulations
  • Interactive animation and graphics
  • Scientific visualizations: medical, astrophysics, astronomy
  • Interactive data visualizations and information graphics
  • Armies of autonomous penguin drones with shrink-ray bowties
As long as the submission is interactively controlled, rendered in real time, and repeatable for a live audience, it WILL be considered. Accepted work is demonstrated live on stage with a PC, game console, or telepathic device.

This year, the show will be an extravaganza with a mad science noir, fun-filled fanfare, and prizes!

What are you waiting for? 

Submit your work today!

We are looking forward to all of your submissions. Please contact the Real-Time Live! Chair if you have any questions about presentation opportunities at SIGGRAPH 2014.

26 February 2014

A Q&A with the SIGGRAPH 2014 Computer Animation Festival Chair Jerome Solomon

Jerome Solomon
Editor's note:  When not volunteering or being a great dad, Jerome Solomon serves as Academic Dean and Director of Game Design & Development at Cogswell Polytechnical College in Sunnyvale, CA.

What can we expect from the 2014 Computer Animation Festival?
We have added more categories for entry into the festival.  And, this year, we are giving more awards.  In addition, we are curating in more content than ever via our two outreach reps who are at ILM and Blizzard.

What will be the same/different?
A lot will be the same.  Last year’s Director, Jason RM Smith, did a great job.  I’m following in his footsteps.  The plan is to build off of what he did last year and also improve every aspect possible for both submitters and attendees.
Last year’s jury had a definite international make-up. What will your jury be like this year?
My jury will be international for sure.  We built criteria for jury selection.  Some of the criteria were geographical location, storytelling, anime, games, visual quality, and other criteria that aligned with our categories.  

We receive so many submissions from around the world that it only makes sense for the jury to be international and diverse.  We already have secured Dr. Jim Foley from Georgia Tech, whose co-authored texts have been called "the bible of computer graphics". Plus, we have Greg Butler, who is an Oscar-nominated VFX Supervisor and Head of FX from MPC.  LAIKA has sent us Georgina Hayns Head of Puppet Fabrication.  This is just the beginning. The jury will be amazing.  But, I can’t spill all the beans just yet!  

That said, to get your work in front of this type of talent is an amazing opportunity for people.   The question is, “When will you ever get eight of the most talented people representing the best studios on Earth in one theatre on the Disney Lot to look at your work?”  The answer is NEVER… except if you submit work to SIGGRAPH. But, people must submit work before Tuesday, March 4th, because this is our hard deadline!

SIGGRAPH's "Animation Mother" has been a symbol of the Computer Animation Festival for several years.
 What were some of the more helpful things that you learned from last year’s chair?
To not cry when there is so much work and pressure that you want to cry.  I never saw Jason cry :)  Seriously, it was amazing. He is steady and has great leadership skills.

What do you expect to be some of the more difficult challenges in putting the show together?
The hardest part seems to be the timing of everything and how it all comes together. There are simply a lot of facets to the show that are outside of our control.  So, we have to collaborate with vendors, studios, conference management, ACM, and the individuals delivering content to make it all happen.  Some people think we control everything.  But, I think we have just been lucky for 40+ years straight.  Go figure.

Students have had success with submission getting major recognition.What do you think are some of the reasons behind this trend?
The jury simply wants to put forth the world’s best work.  We don’t care where it comes from or who it comes from.  So, we don’t look at work and say “Ohhhhh, this is student work so let’s be nice and lower the bar”.  We also don’t say “Oh, well, this came from studio X so it’s in.”  I’ve seen student work and studio work get cut.  We also maintain our morals and consistent grading practices.  So, jury members volunteer to step out of the room if they are associated with any work that was submitted.  The bar for SIGGRAPH is high.  Period.

The elegant and inspiring Vancouver Convention Centre is conveniently located downtown.
What type of reaction are you expecting from the local Vancouver film community?
We are expecting a positive response just like the last time we were in Vancouver.   It has a rich tradition of filmmaking and supporting the arts.  Also, recently high-level creative and technical work has grown quite a bit in this city.

Who should be submitting to the Computer Animation Festival?
Any person or company that has a piece of work that they think is worthy and of high quality in any category.  Some categories that people often overlook are Games, Visualizations and Simulations, and Real-Time Graphics.  I would love to see more types of work in these areas.  I also think there are many people who are not sure if they should submit.  If you have recent work that is done and looks great, I think it’s worth submitting.   It’s simply a few forms and you need to upload your work. So, it is be a fairly easy process.  We are seeing more submissions pour in each day.

 What do you consider to be important aspects of a submission – story line, technical details, etc?
I think innovation is important.  So, this may be creative innovation in story, visual quality, sound design or it may be technical innovation in the techniques (tools that produce visually amazing results).  I think the projects that really stand out are those that amaze or drive emotion in the human spirit.

You have years of both studio/commercial experience and now have crossed over into education.What motivated you to make the switch?
The industry is a lot of fun.  But, it is also very hard work.  I moved into academia to help other people do what they want to do. I wanted to bring my experience and knowledge to students.  But, to also be very honest with them about the realities of this type of work.  You have to be dedicated, talented, determined, focused, smart, and alert: you cannot sleep a lot!  You have to love this type of work to do it.  So many of the students at Cogswell College are like this.  I see our smartest students walking around the hallways and I think, “Oh my goodness, do they look tired!”  And then I think, “Wow, they might have what it takes.  They work diligently  at their homework because they love what they are doing.”

What valuable lessons do you try to teach your students for making it in this business?
There are honestly too many to list.  I try to counsel them depending on what they need that day at that moment.  I care about our students as individual people.  The definition of success in their eyes is most important to me.  So, how I guide each of them based on my experience is different.  It’s an organic process.

On a personal level, what are your favorite parts of the SIGGRAPH conference?
First, I love our community.  For me, it’s a family and we are growing each day.  Every new person at SIGGRAPH is always greeted with warm open arms.  This is simply how SIGGRAPH is.  It’s an amazing thing to experience.  As far as conference content, I’m a big fan of Emerging Technologies. I just love to see how software meets hardware meets art.  In Emerging Technologies, you see some of the most amazing things.  Since these are physical exhibits, you really do have to be at SIGGRAPH in that room to see it and interact with it.

For someone coming to SIGGRAPH for the first time, what are your recommendations?
My recommendations are to be prepared to feel really dumb.  SIGGRAPH has this special way of making you feel like you are dumb and lazy.  This is because the smartest, most creative,and most amazing people in the world are sharing their knowledge and skills with you for five straight days.  You leave SIGGRAPH extremely excited and motivated.  You look at old problems in new ways.  You leave thinking about things you have never thought about before.  So, be humble, and learn all you can from everyone you meet and everything you experience.

 Finally, who was one of your greatest influences in your career?
For me, that has to be my father the late Gabriel William Solomon, who was an attorney and civil rights leader for people less able to defend themselves.  He literally risked his life to help others.  So, I feel I owe him. I have to do my part to give back too.  I just happen to help others via SIGGRAPH and teaching at Cogswell College.  It’s less risky, Dad. :)

07 February 2014

Past SIGGRAPH Technical Papers Presenters Recognized by the Academy

Paul Debevec
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its scientific and technical achievements award recipients who will be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation this year.   According to Paul Debevec, Vice-President of ACM SIGGRAPH from the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies, several of these awards recognize computer graphics innovations originally published or presented at SIGGRAPH conferences.

“It’s wonderful to see some of SIGGRAPH’s brightest researchers being honored for contributions which have impacted the motion picture industry,” says Debevec – who also is a 2010 sci-tech award winner.  “In many cases this recognition follows years of difficult and complex work.”

Here are the details on the SIGGRAPH Technical Paper presenters who will be recognized: 

To Thomas Lokovic and Eric Veach for their influential research and publication of the fundamental concepts of deep shadowing technology.  The technique was first presented at SIGGRAPH 2000. 

Providing a functional and efficient model for the storage of deep opacity information, this technology was widely adopted as the foundation of early deep compositing pipelines.

To Matt Pharr, Greg Humphreys and Pat Hanrahan for their formalization and reference implementation of the concepts behind physically based rendering, as shared in their book “Physically Based Rendering.”  The book explains, formalizes, synthesizes, and implements over one hundred articles from the SIGGRAPH technical papers program including several articles by the book’s authors.

Physically based rendering has transformed computer graphics lighting by more accurately simulating materials and lights, allowing digital artists to focus on cinematography rather than the intricacies of rendering. First published in 2004, “Physically Based Rendering” is both a textbook and a complete source-code implementation that has provided a widely adopted practical roadmap for most physically based shading and lighting systems used in film production.


To Eric Veach for his foundational research on efficient Monte Carlo path tracing for image synthesis.   Key pillars of this work appeared art SIGGRAPH 95, “Optimally combining sampling techniques for Monte Carlo rendering”, and SIGGRAPH 97, “Metropolis light transport” (both co-authored by Leonidas Guibas.). 

Physically based rendering has transformed computer graphics lighting by more accurately simulating materials and lights, allowing digital artists to focus on cinematography rather than the intricacies of rendering. In his 1997 Ph.D. thesis and related publications, Veach formalized the principles of Monte Carlo path tracing and introduced essential optimization techniques, such as multiple importance sampling, which make physically based rendering computationally feasible.

For more details on all of these awards, click here.