Conference 12-17 August 2001
Exhibition 14-16 August 2001
Los Angeles, California USA
The Computer Animation Festival is the world's most
prestigious film and video event that showcases the dazzling
and innovative imagery created by today's digital artists
A record-breaking 678 submissions were received this year.
Submissions were carefully viewed and rigorously examined
for technical excellence, innovation, artistic achievement,
content, creativity, originality, narrative quality, design,
entertainment value, production values, cultural diversity,
and a contribution to computer graphics. After exhaustive
and careful deliberation, the distinguished jury of industry
experts accepted 118 pieces, less than six percent of the
submissions. Thirty percent of the accepted pieces were student
produced, and 42 percent of the submissions were received
from the international community.
"As we enter the new century, we see that computer graphics
has evolved and matured," said Sande Scoredos, Sony Pictures
Imageworks and SIGGRAPH 2001 Computer Animation Festival Chair.
"We have advanced the technology to a state where anything
is achievable and advancement is subtle. Computer graphics
is now viewed as another tool in the larger sense of moviemaking
for visual storytelling, entertainment, and explanation. The
work selected this year takes us on a remarkable journey showcasing
the talent and brilliance of current and future trends in
art and science, and blends it with the very best imagery
depicting comedy, drama, action, adventure, fantasy, science
fiction, and science fact. The technical and aesthetic perfection
that artists reach today is evident throughout the show. Advancements
in perfecting photo realism, radiosity, motion capture, and
how-to explanations of advanced rendering techniques and seamless
integration of computer graphic elements into live action
scenes, are just a few of the highlights in an extremely engaging
and entertaining festival."
COMPUTER ANIMATION FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
Values (Best Animated Short)
Van Phan, University of Southern California Film School
This animated film was inspired by the filmmaker's relationship
with his late father. In a very minimalist manner, using primitive
shapes such as spheres, planes, and cylinders, the filmmaker
wishes to tell a story about parent-child relationships. By
simplifying the characters construction and locking the camera
to primarily a master shot, the filmmaker tells his story
mainly through the acting and lighting. By keeping the elements
to a minimum, the audience can project more of their own experiences
into the story and can be drawn closer. Less can sometimes
be more. The computer animation was done using Maya 3.0. The
film was rendered with the Maya renderer in D1 resolution
and resized to 2K for film exposure. Everything was textured
procedurally with Maya. Alias|Wavefront Composer 5.5 was used
for compositing and editing. Rendering was completed on a
Dell workstation provided by Intel.
F8 (Jury Honors)
Jason Wen, Crystalline Lens
In the distant future, an unstoppable alien power genetically
altered the entire population of a planet to serve as a labor
force. The labor is bred to believe that their sole reason
for being is the complete infrastructure buildup for an, as
of yet, intangible, supreme being. Amidst this scenario, one
individual manages to break into a face vault to steal a particular
identity and attempt a daring escape. Software: Lightwave
5.6, Project: Messiah, After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop,
and Nuendo. Hardware: 1 PIII 550, 1 PIII 600, 2 AMD Athlon
800's, KRK V8 speakers plus S12 subwoofer, Sennheiser K6 shotgun
mic, Sennheiser headphones, and Tascam portable DAT recorder.
Yasuo Ohba, Namco Ltd.
This computer graphics work, "Anjyu," refers to its composited
layers of calmness. It reflects the Ohba's feelings and emotions
during creation. Software: original. Hardware: SGI Octane.
Dominic Buttimore, The Moving Company
Commissioned by Wall to Wall Television for Channel 4, the
Discovery Channel, and ITEL, "Body Story" is a series of programs
that take the audience on six thrilling journeys inside the
human body. MPC created 48 minutes of computer animation for
six episodes which was 12 months in the making with in excess
of 350 shots. In-house software was written to effect an efficient
method of rendering such vast amounts of geometry. Other software
used: Maya, RenderMan, Shake, proprietary software, Inferno,
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Bob Hoffman, Digital Domain
The highly stylized Seussian world created for director Ron
Howard's 'Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas, is testament
to the huge strides computer graphics has taken over the past
few years. Although the film was shot entirely on stage, the
winter wonderland created for the film was generated at Digital
Domain. The film's visual effects challenged all the assumptions
of marrying 3D computer graphics with 2D work. The submitted
piece features the computer graphic landscape and atmospherics
of the film from the opening credits to the top of Mt. Crumpit
and film's sleigh ride finale - all created in computer graphics.
Miance Marc, Attitude Studio
Interview of a young French virtual personality. Eve Solal
has worked for French fashion magazines as a top model and
radio disc jockey. Fully animated with motion capture (vicon),
all the 3D work was done on Maya. Proprietary development
for skinning and facial animation.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Terri Sasaki, Square USA, Inc.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within defines the current state
of the art in fully synthetic moviemaking. It breaks new ground
by presenting a fully computer-rendered world populated not
by insects, robots, or toys but by realistic human characters
who can act and directly involve the audience. Ambitious use
of new modeling and procedural animation methods, high-quality
rendering, and new forms of special effects have been combined
with traditional character animation and innovative motion-capture
technology to create a theater experience unlike anything
movie audiences have yet seen, and which is likely to spawn
an entirely new genre.
Fruits of Labor
Rand Cabus, Giant Studios
The film is a quirky tale that centers around a small creature
the animators named Guy and his misadventures with an apple.
The action takes place in a gorgeous park-like setting, infused
with luminous tones and rich detail. Our unfortunate little
star trips on a grape and lands head first in an apple that
is on a picnic table. His ensuing struggles and the results
make for a Charlie Chaplin-like comedic sketch that is a tour
de force of Giant Studios' new animation aesthetic.
John Donkin, Blue Sky Studios
"Ice Age" is a fully computer graphics animated feature film
from Blue Sky Studios and Twentieth Century Fox. Set against
the on slought of the Ice Age, the story revolves around three
characters: a woolly mammoth, a sabre-tooth tiger, and a giant
sloth. Together this unlikely group of characters takes an
unexpected passenger, an abandoned human baby, on a journey
home. Blue Sky's propietary renderer CGIstudio(tm) is featured.
Alias|Wavefront's Maya is used for modeling and animation.
Nothing Real's Shake software is used for compositing.
Julie Haddon, PDI Dreamworks
Metropopular is an animated short film about what the cities
of America would say to one another if they could talk. Frantic
about a popularity contest in which these cities are competing,
they jockey for top position while arguing between themselves.
Highlighting their separate personalities, each city had his
or her own reason why they should be ''America's favorite
Yves Metraux, Industrial Light + Magic
For Pearl Harbor, ILM created vistas of period battleships
under attack and computer graphics planes in combat at Pearl
Harbor and in other battles. Simulation software was written
for the huge smoke billowing from destroyed battleship row
and new rigid body software was developed for the destruction
of planes and ships. Other developments included: new environmental
lighting techniques to enhance the realism of rendered planes
and ships; new crowd and sailor placement software using motion
capture, including data from a daylight motion capture solution;
and new match animation tools created to deal with complex
plates and set extension needs.
Rule Based Dynamic Simulation for
Wave of Death
Stephan Trojansky, CA Scanline Production
A Rule Based Dynamic System has been used to produce this
fully computer-generated dam breaching sequence, which differs
significantly from conventional keyframe animation or pure
dynamic simulation. Instead of animating each chunk, fragment,
dust, water, or mist element separately, a software was developed
to combine all dynamic behavior, interactions, and dependencies
in one big rule system. With the Rule Based Dynamic Simulation
the control of the whole visual effect sequence was extremely
simplified, which reduced the amount of work dramatically.
Sequence from ''Monsters, Inc.''
Karen Hartquist, Pixar Animation Studios
Using a sequence from Disney/Pixar's ''Monsters, Inc.," Pixar
Animation Studios' submission is a continuous progression
starting with storyboards, then polys and final lighting,
showing our newest cloth and long fur technology. "Monsters,
Inc." is the largest scare factory in the monster world. Sulley
is one of its top scarers and Mike is his scare assistant.
Their job is to gather the kids' screams which power the monster
world. When Sulley accidentally lets a little girl, Boo, into
Monstropolis, life turns upside down. While trying to get
Boo home, they make a discovery that changes the monster world
Rendering Translucent Materials
Henrik Wann Jensen, Stanford University
This animation demonstrates a new practical model for rendering
translucent materials. Translucent materials, such as marble,
milk, and skin have a soft and smooth appearance that cannot
be simulated with standard lighting models. The importance
of correctly rendering translucency is demonstrated, and the
animation shows how the traditional hard computer graphics
look can be eliminated. This model is described in detail
in the SIGGRAPH 2001 Paper: A Practical Model for Subsurface
Where is Frank?
Angela Jedek, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
''Once upon a time'' from different perspectives or a story
from cool cowboys, a fly, and the ride of things. Animated
by hand. Hand drawn textures in Indian ink. Software: Maya
3.0 NT. Adobe Photoshop 4.0.