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Panels Fact Sheet
 
Fourteen panels are presented at SIGGRAPH 2000. Panel sessions give attendees the opportunity to hear the experts discuss, debate, and reveal how computer graphics and interactive techniques are applied in communications, production, aesthetic exploration, and advanced visualization.
 
"What social implications arise when you merge digital characters with real characters? With the explosion of games online, what moral obligations are developers facing as they select content for the next generation of games?" asked Aliza Corson, SIGGRAPH 2000 Panels chair and Walt Disney Feature Animation. "SIGGRAPH 2000 panels, including representation from Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, address these questions and more. For the first time, the Art Show is being pulled into the technical program with a juried panel discussing how artists use technology in their creative process."
 
Other panel sessions include a panel on virtual reality software that begins online prior to the conference so panelists can gear their discussion towards the interests of their audience, as well as a debate about the business issues surrounding open-source software and shareware.
 
Panels Highlights
 
The Actual Reality of Virtual Reality Software
Moderator:
Carolina Cruz-Neira, Iowa State University
Panelists:
Mary Cole, Atlantic Richfield Company
Carolina Cruz-Neira, Iowa State University
Bernd Froelich, German National Center for Technology
Linda Jacobson, SGI
Ken Pimentel, Engineering Animation, Inc.
Kent Watsen, Naval Postgraduate School

 
Since 1997, there has been unprecedented global growth in the number of immersive, large-scale, virtual reality installations. These installations no longer reside exclusively in research labs. Many facilities exist in high-profile industrial and public-access sites. Where are the integrated software tools to create virtual environments, manage interactive devices, handle a variety of display configurations, and provide unified interaction paradigms? Panelists present their views on the status and future of software for immersive environments. This panel begins online before SIGGRAPH 2000.
 
Computer and Video Games: The Next Generation
Moderator:
George Suhayda, Sony Pictures Imageworks
Panelists:
Tom Hershey, Sony Pictures Imageworks
Henry Jenkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dominic Mallinson, Sony Computer Entertainment of America
Christopher Weaver, ZeniMax Media Inc.

 
In 1999, computer and video games earned a total of $7.4 billion in the United States. In the same year, gross feature-film box office revenue totaled $7.5 billion. This panel examines the history and present state of game development. It focuses on how increased computing power, metadesign, media convergence, and online access will change the face of this industry. And it examines the moral obligations that developers face as they select content.
 
Designing for Convergence in the Entertainment Industry
Moderator:
Brian Kromrey, Rare Medium, Inc.
Panelists:
Michael Gough, Quokka Sports
Don Guy, Don Guy & Associates
Kevin Townsend, Rare Medium, Inc.
Jesse Schell, Walt Disney Imagineering

 
The convergence of computing, television, and communications technologies (facilitated by broadband infrastructure) is opening up exciting new vistas in the world of entertainment. Creative media companies, from traditional conglomerates to nascent Web start-ups, are overlapping and infiltrating each other's disciplines. Panelists with various perspectives and motivations present, discuss, and debate their efforts to explore what it means to "design for convergence."
 
Emotional Simulator: The Tears and Fears of Creating a Compelling Simulated Experience for Both Entertainment and Training
Moderator:
Christopher Stapleton, University of Central Florida
Panelists:
Erick S. Dyke, n-Space, Inc.
Richard D. Lindheim, USC Institute for Creative Technologies
Michael Macedonia, US Army STRICOM
Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon University
Scott Trowbridge, Universal Studios

 
The diverse industries and cultures of entertainment and scientific research are colliding to bring experience-based digital entertainment into mainstream culture and everyday life. Technology is no longer the bottleneck. The biggest challenges are ahead, in creative content and the market infrastructures that will turn simulation inventions into entertainment innovations. Can these diverse industries speak the same language, share information, and collaborate to reach common goals? Experts involved with the crossover of entertainment and simulation research share their perspectives on the obstacles and opportunities in experience-based digital entertainment.
 
Exploring New Roles for Interactive Virtual Characters
Moderator:
Ryohei Nakatsu, ATR Media Integration & Communications Research Laboratories
Panelists:
Rodney Berry, ATR Media Integration & Communications Research Laboratories
Larry Friedlander, Stanford University
Donald Marinelli, Carnegie Mellon University
Claudio Pinhanez, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

 
Many researchers and trials are trying to introduce interactivity in movies, theater, and performance. But what is the purpose? What do people gain by having a conversation with Einstein or role-playing Juliet? What types of new experiences and feelings are available via interaction with interactive virtual characters? How can a narrative structure survive in the context of interactivity? And can we integrate interactive technologies and the techniques, knowledge, and crafts of the traditional arts and media? This panel examines the explorations and experiences of five researchers and artists who have been deeply involved in making interactive characters and environments.
 
The Healing Powers of Virtual Reality
Moderator:
Skip Rizzo, University of Southern California
Panelists:
Larry F. Hodges, Georgia Institute of Technology
Hunter Hoffman, University of Washington
Skip Rizzo, University of Southern California
Dorothy Strickland, North Carolina State University
Benjamin Watson, University of Alberta

 
In the past few years, virtual reality (VR) has become a viable tool for cognitive and behavioral mental health applications. Much as an aircraft simulator tests and trains piloting ability under a variety of controlled conditions, virtual environments can present simulations and inputs that are useful for mental health applications. In this panel, VR and mental health scientists discuss the use of VR to assess and treat patients with phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, burn- and cancer-related pain, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and learning disabilities.
 
How Free is Free Software
Moderator:
William Lorensen, General Electric Company
Panelists:
Larry Gritz, Pixar Animation Studios
Bill Hibbard, University of Wisconsin
William Lorensen, General Electric Company
Will Schroeder, Kitware
Michael Tiemann, Cygnus Solutions

 
It takes time and money to design and build computer software. Yet some people and companies develop software and give it away or charge a ridiculously small fee. What motivates people and companies to give up a source of income? Are the developers on ego trips or really providing a service to the industry? Is free software a threat to companies that sell competing software? What is the cost of using "free" software? Panelists describe their motives and experiences with open-source software and shareware.
 
Interactive Storytelling: New Genres and Directions
Moderator:
Celia Pearce, Celia Pearce & Friends
Panelists:
Steve di Paola, Muse Communication
Alex Mayhew, Independent Artist
Janet H. Murray, Georgia Institute of Technology
Celia Pearce, Celia Pearce & Friends
Sarah Roberts, California Institute of the Arts
Michael Thomsen, Interactive Institute

 
Artists, academics, and commercial designers engage in a lively discussion about the changing role of author and audience in the realm of interactive narrative. They address the nature of both storytelling and authorship in the framework of interactive fiction, and search for an aesthetic of interactivity that allows an artist to give control to the audience while at the same time cultivating a unique voice.
 
James Brown: Putting a New Face on the Godfather of Soul
Moderator:
Jill Smolin, Cinesite Visual Effects
Panelists:
Mark David Brown, Andre Bustanoby, and Joshua Kolden, Digital Domain
Paul Debevec, USC Institute for Creative Technologies
Jill Smolin, Cinesite Visual Effects

 
Since the early days of computer graphics, researchers and artists have been fascinated by the possibility that they could create a credible digital simulation of the human face. In the "Experience Music Project," a group of artists and technicians from Digital Domain combined science and art to recreate James Brown as a dancing, singing, funk phenomenon. This panel presents a look behind the process of integrating cutting-edge research, practical production, and traditional art and animation to set new technical standards and provide a unique, incredible entertainment experience.
 
No Art Jargon!
Organizers:
Diane Gromala, Georgia Institute of Technology
Noah Wardrip-Fruin, New York University

Moderator:
Noah Wardrip-Fruin, New York University
Panelists:
Richard Brown, Royal College of Art
Laura Beloff, Artist
Alex Galloway, Mark Tribe, and Martin Wattenberg, Rhizome.org
Andrew Stern, Designer, Artist, and Engineer

 
Artists who discuss their work in Art Gallery Talks I & II (Monday and Tuesday, noon - 1 pm) present a panel discussion on how they use technology in the creative process.
 
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