First SIGGRAPH Asia sees significant participation from the region's talents

Half of entries in Computer Animation Festival and Art Gallery are from Asia

For Immediate Release

Singapore, 10 November 2008 - Recognising Asia's rising importance in the computer graphics and digital media industries, the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) is bringing the highly regarded SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques to the region this year - the first Asian version of the SIGGRAPH Conference in its 34-year history.

The inaugural SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 will be held 10-13 December at the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre. There are nine main programmes in SIGGRAPH Asia, mirroring the successful format that SIGGRAPH in North America has offered annually to interactive and digital media practitioners worldwide:

  • Art Gallery: showcasing digital media artwork utilising a range of formats
  • Computer Animation Festival: featuring animation pieces, visual effects, and other interactive platforms, including real-time graphics
  • Courses: workshops and hands-on sessions for practitioners and enthusiasts
  • Educators Programme: sharing best practices in developing talent in the industry
  • Emerging Technologies: demos and installations of upcoming industry benchmarks
  • Job Fair: connecting employers to the industry's talent
  • Sketches & Posters: exchanging breakthrough ideas through stimulating forums
  • Technical Papers: presenting new and provocative work in the industry
  • Exhibition: collating products and services to aid purchase decisions

Asia leads the pack with provocative new ideas
Asia is fast making its mark globally in the field of computer graphics and interactive techniques, and SIGGRAPH Asia has the numbers to support this. Half of the pieces displayed at SIGGRAPH Asia's Art Gallery were developed in the region. The move to include Asia in ACM SIGGRAPH's event calendar was also spurred by the increasing enthusiasm and interest generated from the region. According to the ACM, Asian submitters to the SIGGRAPH Technical Papers programme increased by an overwhelming 300 percent from 1998 to 2005.

Not surprisingly, 30 percent of the materials accepted were from Asia. With 14 universities across Asia represented, sessions will be chaired by some of the region's top minds in the field of computer graphics and technology, such as Ken Anjyo of OLM Digital, Inc; Tong Xin of Microsoft Research China; and Hyeong-Seok Ko of Seoul National University.

Bringing the industry's luminaries to Asia
In addition to the Technical Papers sessions, SIGGRAPH Asia has also invited Don Greenberg, Director of Cornell University's Program of Computer Graphics, and Rob Cook, Vice President of Advanced Technology at Pixar Animation Studios, as featured speakers at the conference. Recognised as one of the pioneers in computer graphics and an award-winning researcher in the field, Greenberg will be sharing his perspective on how computer graphics will continue to expand its boundaries and make its mark in many other disciplines in the digital age. Rob Cook, the first industry professional to receive an Oscar for software, will draw on his vast experience in motion picture rendering and present a behind-the-scenes perspective on how Pixar's 3D graphic films are made.

SIGGRAPH Asia is also offering visitors Special Sessions highlighting some of the most important developments in the industry. Fans of "Star Wars" will be delighted to hear from Lee Stringer and Matt Aldrich of Lucasfilm Animation Singapore on the intricacies behind the creation of the TV series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and the game Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance. Other highlights will be a panel discussion on the issues and challenges of setting up a new production studio in Asia and an update on global developments from eminent universities, such as the University of California, Berkeley, Cornell University, and Carnegie-Mellon University.

A visual effects feast from Asia's best
Animation enthusiasts in Asia can expect an extravaganza of special effects screenings at SIGGRAPH Asia. The Computer Animation Festival (CAF), traditionally a popular offering at SIGGRAPH in North America, will display a range of selected screenings, from feature films to games and visual effects. Asia, particularly China, Japan, and Korea, contributed close to half of the entries at the CAF this year. A total of 685 submissions from 44 countries were received.

Among the exciting line-up at CAF, visitors will have the opportunity to take a first look at the new Capcom game Street Fighter IV by Polygon Pictures Inc.; the alternate ending to "I am Legend"; and Sony Pictures Imageworks' "Speed Racer: Car Flip".

"More than 70 percent of the pieces presented in the Computer Animation Festival are being shown for the first time, and they represent the work of both internationally renowned production houses, as well as creative students who may be the industry stars of tomorrow," stated Jinny Choo, Chair, Computer Animation Festival Chair.

Propagating the latest techniques for Asia's practitioners
For enthusiasts in computer graphics, SIGGRAPH Asia offers unique educational opportunities through innovative courses led by international experts. Finding Your Place in Digital Production is specially tailored for young practitioners aspiring for a place in this dynamic industry. Conducted by professionals from Animal Logic and Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, the course will present an insider's view of what the industry today expects from its practitioners and the skills required. Another interesting highlight in the Courses programme is a workshop led by Kevin Geiger, President and CEO of Animation Options LLC and Director of the non-profit Animation Co-op, who will share his unique organisational insight into better planning and managing a production pipeline and workflow. Titled CG Production Principles: Keeping Your Money on the Screen and Off the Floor, Geiger's course will draw upon his vast experience in the animation and effects industry, including more than 10 years with Walt Disney Feature Animation, where as CG Supervisor on "Chicken Little", he and his team created a comprehensive CGI pipeline from scratch and set a new standard for cartoony 3D character animation.

"In finalising the 20 courses to be included in SIGGRAPH Asia, the committee has paid special focus to the topics that will be relevant to Asia's audience, while keeping in mind the importance of upholding the renowned standard of ACM SIGGRAPH that our visitors are accustomed to," noted Matt Adcock, Courses Chair, whose committee is composed of industry luminaries who carefully evaluated and selected the courses for SIGGRAPH Asia.

Uncovering the next breakthrough
More than just the sharing of the latest techniques, SIGGRAPH Asia will also explore thought-provoking and speculative ideas that push the boundaries of computer graphics applications. Presented as part of the Sketches and Posters programme, participants can discuss, question, and analyse novel ideas and concepts that may define the future of computer graphics and interactive techniques.

Besides viewing the preliminary concepts behind Double Negative's fire simulation and rendering for "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army", participants at SIGGRAPH Asia can also discuss five never-seen-before sketches by Lucasfilm Ltd, ranging from general approaches to movie-making to specific features, such as "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", "Iron Man", and the TV series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars".

The Emerging Technologies programme is an equally highly anticipated showcase of new and speculative techniques that are redefining the interactive and digital media industry. As part of the programme, Flaneur: Digital See-through Telescope is just one of the many unique technologies displayed. Flaneur is an innovative navigation system developed by Keio University, which acts as a digital telescope that allows viewers a first-person viewpoint of buildings, shops, and objects as they find their way on a map.

Growing the talent pool in Asia and beyond
True to its mission to be a driving force behind the growth of the computer graphics and interactive techniques industry, SIGGRAPH Asia will also feature a job fair that will connect professionals in computer graphics with potential employers. A total of 100 positions from close to 15 employers, including well-known local and international names, such as Double Negative, Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), and Ubisoft, will be looking for the region's best talents for a global portfolio of industry positions.

Additionally, to help nurture young talents in the industry, SIGGRAPH Asia has recruited 135 volunteers from 17 countries around the world to play a part in putting together this premier industry event. The volunteers will take on responsibilities that will give them a chance to meet and work with leading international computer graphics professionals.

SIGGRAPH Asia promises to be the event for Asia's top talents
SIGGRAPH ASIA is set to be the cornerstone event for computer graphics and interactive techniques in the region. Alyn Rockwood, SIGGRAPH Asia Conference Advisory Group Chair remarked: "In the same way that SIGGRAPH is a much anticipated and pre-eminent industry platform for the meeting of the industry's best, so too will SIGGRAPH Asia be the definitive event for Asia's rising professionals and enthusiasts in the field of computer graphics and interactive techniques. With governments across Asia investing billions of dollars into the development of the local interactive and digital media sector, and production houses ultimately recognising the vast talent pool that could be tapped in the region, SIGGRAPH Asia has an important and significant role to play. We are confident that SIGGRAPH Asia will be a successful and rewarding experience for all participants."

Complete details on SIGGRAPH Asia 2008


For more information, please contact:
Agnes Heng
Tel. +65 6500 6732

Safina Samian
Tel. +65 9761 1336

Pallavi Misra
Tel. +65 9437 0714

About SIGGRAPH Asia 2008
SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 presents the continent's first conference and exhibition devoted exclusively to computer graphics and interactive techniques. To be held at Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Singapore, SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 will feature an international conference from 10-13 December 2008, showcasing works that provoke thoughts, explore ideas in innovative ways, address contemporary issues, interactively engage viewers in discovery, and stimulate their intellect and creativity through art, computer animation, courses, education, technology, papers, sketches, and posters. SIGGRAPH Asia also includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 11-13 December 2008. Marking its entry into Asia, the first SIGGRAPH Asia is expected to bring together 6,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals and enthusiasts from Asia and beyond. SIGGRAPH Asia is sponsored by ACM.
More information about SIGGRAPH Asia

About ACM
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGGRAPH sponsors SIGGRAPH Asia 2008. ACM is an educational and scientific society uniting the world's computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.