The Animation Theater at the 2005 annual SIGGRAPH Conference
The Computer Animation Festival at the annual SIGGRAPH conference is divided into two parts: the Electronic Theater and the Animation Theater. The Electronic Theater has the reputation of showcasing the best of the best animations. However, this year's Animation Theater was on a par in seemingly all respects. In fact, some of the funniest and the most moving animations I saw at SIGGRAPH 2005 were presented in the Animation Theater.
Chohon is my personal pick for best animation at SIGGRAPH 2005. Chohon is an animation featured in the Animation Theater’s 'Escape' category and the only animation to literally give me chills. No words were needed to convey the powerful emotions in this tragic love story. Chohon is set in Korea in 1940. An injured Korean soldier fighting the Japanese rule is given refuge and care
There were only a handful of really funny animations at this year’s Animation Festival, but some of those were real side-splitters. The one that made me laugh the most was Food For Thought by Ian Yonika of the Ringling School of Art and Design. Food For Thought was in the Laugh category of the Animation Theater and it certainly was not misplaced. Food For Thought has a simple environment and characters. The story is also simple, yet hilarious. The expressive facial animation in Food For Thought increases this hilarity tenfold. The characters are two monsters whose facial expressions and mannerisms make them seem more like children. The story goes like this, in order to get some fruit that they cannot reach from a tree, the larger monster boosts the little monster up into its branches. The little monster then gets greedy and refuses to share, taunting the larger monster as it eats the fruit. The larger monster gets angry and soon finds another, funnier, way to get the fruit out of the tree and punish his selfish friend at the same time.
This year’s Animation Theater was not all fun and games. The teach category included educational animations as well as animations featuring recent technological advancements. One of these was Surgical Planning in Congenital Heart Disease by Means of Real-Time Medical Visualization and Simulation. This animation showed how using a 3D simulation, surgeons could plan where to place an incision on a patient's heart in order to best access the defect they need to correct. Another animation in the teach category was Image-Based Material Editing. This animation was a demonstration of a new technique that allows an objects material in an image to be replaced with a new material without the careful reconstruction of the geometry and lighting that would normally be required. The new method even allows objects to be made to be translucent or transparent.
The Electronic Theater this year was incredible, but the funniest and the most moving animations I saw at SIGGRAPH 2005 were in the Animation Theater. From the hilarious to the heartrending to the inspiring, this year’s Animation Theater had it all.