Sketches & Posters: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is a sketch or poster a publication?
Sketches & Posters are publications. Both submission types will be published in the ACM Digital Library after the conference. This is one of the important changes for the SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 Sketches & Posters Program. We hope it will encourage you to submit your work.
2. Will my sketch or poster preclude publication of my idea in future conferences and journals?
No. The SIGGRAPH Asia Technical Papers program will not consider sketches and posters as prior publications, in that they do not prevent you from submitting a more detailed or complete paper in the future. The policies of other conferences and journals may vary, but citing prior oral presentations on related topics is generally optional, not required.
3. Can I submit work I've published or submitted elsewhere?
No, Sketches & Posters is dedicated to presenting new, unpublished work. Work that is under review elsewhere (for example, by a journal or another conference) cannot be submitted to the Sketches & Posters program. Such dual submissions are widely considered unethical.
4. Can I submit work to Sketches & Posters and then submit a more complete description to other conferences (for example EGSR, SGP, or SCA) while the work is still in review by SIGGRAPH Asia 2009?
No. See Question 3 above.
5. How should I write up work that is based on a recent paper I wrote but extends that work?
Submissions with new, incremental results based on previous publications are a common occurrence. You must reference the original paper(s) and clearly explain what in your submission is new. To consider the work for acceptance, the jury expects about 30% new material that goes beyond the previous publication.
6. Can I submit work that I did for my thesis?
Yes, provided that work has not already been extracted from the thesis and formally published.
7. My SIGGRAPH or SIGGRAPH Asia paper was rejected. Can I submit an abstract about the same work to Sketches & Posters?
Yes, provided it is not currently in review or scheduled to appear elsewhere. Notification of Technical Papers acceptances will happen well before the Sketches & Posters submission deadline. This will leave you a few weeks to prepare a one-page abstract about the work and submit it along with additional materials, using the normal Sketches & Posters submission mechanism.
8. My company has a great new product that is of general interest to the SIGGRAPH community. Can I submit an abstract about it?
A simple product announcement is not appropriate for the Sketches & Posters program. However, a methods or systems description of the engineering design and algorithms behind the product could be appropriate.
9. Can my company have a dedicated session in which we present a collection of sketches about various aspects of a large project?
No. You are welcome to submit a collection of related work. However, the jury will evaluate the submissions individually and decide whether to accept each one individually, so each must stand on its own. For those that are accepted (for sketch presentation), we can't promise that they will be presented together in a single session. They may be grouped into sessions with other sketches that present similar techniques.
10. Why do you only accept electronic submissions?
The jury has a small amount of time to review a large number of submissions. Electronic submission allows the jury to start the review process almost immediately. It also saves the time and costs involved in shipping submissions to the jury members.
11. Can I submit earlier papers or technical reports as supporting materials?
No, the jury already has its hands full and will not have time to read them. The acceptance decision will be made based on your one-page submission. However, you can provide URLs for the works in your submission or supplemental documentation, so if a specific question arises, jurors can download the works themselves.
12. Do I have to submit a supporting video of my work?
You're not required to, but it is often a good idea. The power of a video during the jury process cannot be stressed enough. The jury has a small amount of time to review a large number of submissions. Seeing the video can answer many questions that the jury might ask after just reading the abstract. It is a shame if the phrase "I wish they had provided a video" is uttered during the jury meeting. In particular, the jury is unlikely to accept work about animation if they haven't seen the animation.
13. My submission is about production effects, but the studio won't give permission to submit a supporting video because the movie hasn't been released yet. What should I do?
First, be certain that you will have permission to show the actual effects at the conference. If possible, submit a video that uses non-sensitive stand-in models or scenes to illustrate the techniques in question, with an explanation that the real thing will be shown at the conference. Contact the Sketches & Posters Chair to see if some special arrangement can be worked out. If all else fails, submit the abstract without a video, but with a supporting document listing in detail what the contents of the video will be, illustrated with still frames if possible.
14. My video files are larger than 100 MB. What should I do?
Do everything possible to make them smaller. The total size of your uploads should be below 100 MB. Jurors in various locations around the world will need to download the submitted videos, and we need to keep the total size of all submissions reasonable.
First, remember that the total length of your animation must not exceed five minutes. The jurors won't have time to watch more than that. Also, remember that the sketch presentation itself is only about 15 minutes long, and if you have more than five minutes of animation to show, there won't be much time left for your talk. So if your animation is longer than five minutes, you need to shorten it.
Next, try to decrease the image resolution and/or use a better compression technique. You can also try a higher compression rate at the cost of a slightly reduced image quality.
If you have tried very hard to do all this but still can't get the size down, contact the Sketches & Posters Chair and explain the specifics of your situation in detail, and we'll see what we can work out.
15. Can I submit a supporting videotape in VHS NTSC or PAL format?
Unfortunately, no. Supplemental videos must be uploaded in digital form to save everyone the effort of making and shipping multiple copies of videotapes.
16. Do you have any advice on how to write my abstract so it will be accepted?
First of all, make sure your submission is exactly one page long. The jury has a small amount of time to review a large number of submissions. To maintain fairness, we have to enforce the same length and a uniform submission format. Submissions that are longer than one page will be rejected without review.
Non-native English speakers may wish to make use of the English Review Service to check for grammar and readability before submitting their abstracts. Please note that to use this service you will need to send your work a few weeks before the deadline.
It should be immediately obvious at the beginning of your abstract what the new contribution is. Just one or two sentences such as: "We present a new method that's N times faster." Or: "We have conducted a new study comparing A and B." Or: "Effect X in feature film Y presented a new challenge." Or something similar.
Try to focus on one or two key ideas. One page is not a lot of space. For example, it is almost impossible to summarize all the contributions of a regular, eight-page paper in one page. Remember that the jury members have very limited time to "get it", so keep it simple.
You should cite previous work where appropriate. Of course, there is not space for a huge bibliography, but a few key references are helpful. If you propose to present work that extends previous work of your own, cite the previous work and explain what is different. For example: "We build on our previous work  by ..." If there has been previous work by several others, choose one major work to cite and state why your work is different. For example: "Unlike previous work, such as , we ..."
There are few graphics techniques and applications that result in absolutely no visuals. Submit supporting images or video to illustrate your work. The jury is more likely to accept a sketch if they can examine the results.
Examples of various types of successful abstracts from the past may be found in the ACM Digital Library from 2006 or earlier.
17. Why are submissions rejected?
Submissions that are longer than one page will be rejected without review. For technical ideas, several phrases are commonly heard just before rejection: "There's not enough new here." "It's not clear enough. I don't understand it." "There's not enough evidence to demonstrate the claims." "I'm not impressed by the results." "This has been done before." Try to get the reviewers excited, thinking: "Hey, this is a talk I would like to attend!"
For art sketches and posters, these phrases are often heard: "It's technology-driven rather than concept-driven." "There are too many ideas/projects rolled into one." "The execution seems antithetical to the concept."