Computer Animation Festival:
24 July 2002
"For over 25 years, SIGGRAPH has celebrated
the achievements of artists, scientists, programmers, and interactive
designers. The computer animation festival is the most prestigious
of its kind."
– John McIntosh, Computer Animation
Sit back, relax, and get ready to be wowed. You are about to witness
three and a half hours of bliss.
If you’ve been to SIGGRAPH in the past, you are aware of
the popularity of the Animation Theatre (AT) venue. What you may
not know is that this year the bar has been raised. For the first
time in SIGGRAPH history, every theatre submission has been carefully
juried by a select group of the industries best, guaranteeing the
audience the most elite collection of entertainment. Another change
in this year’s format is that every submission will be shown
in its entirety, regardless of length (each animation ranges from
30 seconds to 24 minutes). Thirdly, the animation festival length
has been narrowed to 3.5 hours, rather than the four hours it has
ran in the past, to ensure that only the best of the best will be
If you’re not wowed yet, I’ll try to clarify just how
select these pieces are.
There were 640 total submissions from around the world, including
281 international submissions and 338 student submissions. The Electronic
Theatre (AT’s "Big-Brother") will boast 37 pieces,
while the AT will flaunt 65 highly-touted works, which have been
organized into four collections: Commercials, Promos and Shorts;
Film Clips, VFX and Shorts; Visualizations, Video Games and Shorts;
and Strictly Shorts. The Electronic Theatre and the Animation Theatre,
collectively known as the Computer Animation Festival (CAF), are,
in the like of all festivals, considered a celebration.
"The Computer Animation Festival is an affirmation of vision,
intelligence and creativity," expresses CAF Chair, John McIntosh
(School of Visual Arts, New York, NY).
The Animation Theatre resides in two neighboring screening rooms
which alternate viewing schedules, allowing SIGGRAPH attendees to
better fit their hectic schedule. So whether you sit and watch the
AT in its entirety or watch a few minutes between your other SIGGRAPH
sessions, prepare to laugh, gasp and stare in awe and the diverse
collection of animation.
Vizzavi’s "Tennis" and "Chicken Smiles"
commercial spots ignited roaring laughter from the packed theatres
on the first day of the AT, while Mikros Image SA’s "Les
Crabes" was equally as fun to watch. Feature films, such as
"Dinotopia" and the "Sum of All Fears," explained
their special effects through wireframe renders, while gamers enthusiastically
recognized "Tekken 4" and "The Wolfman." The
visually stunning "Le Conte du monde flottant" held a
mystified captive audience for 24 minutes.
So if you want to take a break from the SIGGRAPH chaos, step into
the dark, quiet Animation Theatre – where the only thing missing
is the popcorn.