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SIGGRAPH 2001
Panels Fact Sheet


Conference 12-17 August 2001
Exhibition 14-16 August 2001

Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California USA
www.siggraph.org/s2001


Eighteen panels are being presented at SIGGRAPH 2001. Panels are the forums where activists, theorists, artist, engineers, and executives explore the burning issues that are defining computer graphics and interactive techniques today and tomorrow.

"SIGGRAPH 2001 panels cover a wide range of topics with panelists who are industry leaders in their fields," said Kathryn Saunders, ThinkTech and SIGGRAPH 2001 Panels Chair. "Topics range from exciting new procedures in computer game development, Internet appliances and their implications, zero-G art (art in space) to recent breakthroughs in developing realistic virtual humans. Panel sessions also delve into the future of instant messaging devices, physics-based animation and when to cheat digital mother nature to game-stories and how their narrative and simulation strategies can make them addictive."

New for SIGGRAPH 2001 is SIG-Talk booths where attendees can sound off about SIGGRAPH issues and topics that excite, concern, and annoy them. The edited clips will be played before each panel session.

"By enhancing the audience interactivity and airing the SIG-Talk clips that give attendees the opportunity to have their voice heard, I wanted to reinforce the feeling that SIGGRAPH is a conference by its members, for its members," said Saunders.



PANEL HIGHLIGHTS


Video Game Play and Design: Procedural Direction
Learn what the future holds for game design. This panel presents a snapshot of the current state of procedural simulation and its potential. Video and computer games have come a long way from their simple beginnings in the arcades. As consoles have evolved, game development has become incredibly complex, exceeded only by consumer expectations for a higher level of game art and game play. Game developers continue to rely on labor-intensive traditional methods. The cost of developing new games has risen from $1 million per title to more than $6 million. Production schedules have gone from one year to 2.5 years. Procedural simulation may change everything. For the developer, procedural simulation offers a lighter, more versatile library of assets. The payoff will be a new art form and a more cost-effective method of recreating intelligence, behavior, physics, and modeled environments.

Moderator
George Suhayda, Sony Pictures Imageworks

Panelists
Tom Hershey, Sony Pictures Imageworks
Dominic Mallinson, Sony Computer Entertainment
Janet Murray, Georgia Institute of Technology
Bill Swartout, USC Institute for Creative Technologies

A Conversation about Interactive Entertainment Experiences on Instant Messaging Devices
Do you know what you're missing out on? From mad texting that incites political revolutions to alien-fish swapping games, the usefulness, richness, and whimsy found in the world of instant messaging is often lost on North American audiences. This panel demystifies (and reasserts) the fun everyone is having in Asia, Europe and, yes, even some pockets of North America with AIM, ICQ, and Messenger, and their cell phones, cybikos, PDAs, and devices that can easily fit into a jean-jacket pocket.

Moderator
Ana Serrano, Bell h@bitat Canadian Film Centre

Panelists
Kim Binsted, i-Chara Inc.
Erin Lemon, Digital4Sight
Tom Freeland, Cybiko, Inc.
Neil Young, Electronic Arts Inc.

VIPs: Virtually Invented People

Can humans be replaced? Creating believable virtual humans is the newest challenge for animators and developers. Building these characters is presenting an intriguing, multi-disciplinary, technical challenge. This panel examines the next generation of lifelike virtual humans and discusses the social, entertainment, psychological and theological puzzles that they present.

Moderator
Kathryn Saunders, ThinkTech

Panelists
Andrew Burgess, Ananova
Barbara Hayes-Roth, Extempo Systems Inc.
R.U. Sirius, Alternating Currents
Thomas Vetter, Universitat Freiburg
Keith Waters, LifeFX

The CAVE and Beyond: VR Art in Museums and Galleries
Imagine experiencing art as a completely immersive experience. CAVES or domes are immersive, interactive Virtual Reality (VR) systems. They deliver unique artistic, entertainment and education experiences. Worldwide, there are a growing number of such systems open to the public on a daily basis. This panel examines the historical strengths and weaknesses of using VR in public spaces and the challenges of creating VR experiences for different kinds of audiences.

Moderator
Josephine Anstey, University of Buffalo

Panelists
Donna Cox, National Center for Supercomputing Applications and University of Illinois
Horst Hortner, Ars Electronica Futurelab
Daniel J. Sandin, University of Illinois at Chicago
Paul Sermon, University of Salford
Jeffrey Shaw, Zentrums fur Kunst und Medientechnologie

Game Stories: Simulation, Narrative, Addiction
From Monopoly to "The Sims" to improvisational theater, some of the most engaging media experiences ever produced have been described as "game-stories". We may sense that the hold power of the game-story is related to play, simulation, and narrative, but in general, we aren't sure how. This panel takes the often vague idea of the game-story and pins it down to concrete examples. The panelists are game theorists, game designers, and game players. They ask if there is a middle ground between game and story, or if game-stories exist in a space of their own. They ask what makes the games we call "interactive narratives" work, and how we can make them work better.

Moderator
Noah Wardrip-Fruin, New York University

Panelists
JC Herz, Joystick Nations Inc.
Henry Jenkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Celia Pearce, University of Southern California
Ken Perlin, New York University
Eric Zimmerman, gameLab

Immersed in Anxiety or a Process to Healing: VR Meets Mental Health
Virtual Reality (VR) has gone from the realm of "expensive toy" to that of functional technology. VR combines real-time computer graphics, body tracking devices, visual displays, and other sensory devices to completely immerse a participant in a computer-generated virtual environment. This is much like the environment created by an aircraft simulator. These environments can be developed to target human behavioral and cognitive practices - creating processes that can be used for mental health applications.

The participants in this panel have designed and developed VR applications that target a wide spectrum of mental health areas. The panelists will discuss their work using VR to assess and treat those with phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, burn and cancer related pain, traumatic brain injury, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disabilities. Following the presentations, the guest panelist, Mark Wiederhold, assumes the role of "devil's advocate" and challenges the panelists on topics of concern (ethical/legal, accessibility, digital divide, certification for use, side effects, long-term usage, limitations for use, and social ramifications). The panel will also discuss the advances that will be needed to progress this technology into the 21st century.

Moderator
Albert "Skip" Rizzo, University of Southern California

Panelists
Larry F. Hodges, Georgia Institute of Technology and Virtually Better Inc.
Hunter Hoffman, University of Washington
Albert "Skip" Rizzo, University of Southern California
Maria T. Schultheis, Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corp.
Dorothy Strickland, North Carolina State University and Virtual Reality Aids, Inc.
Benjamin Watson, Northeastern University
Brenda K. Wiederhold, VRHealth.com

Guest "Challenging" Panelist
Mark Wiederhold, CyberPsychology & Behavior Journal

Internet Appliances: New Horizons for the Web
Internet appliances are now appearing regularly. While some of these devices are capable of presenting rich media technologies, many are not even capable of presenting full HTML. Enhanced graphics, sound, and animation have not been feasible on many of these devices. Yet many have much more capabilities than even today's personal computers. What is the future of these devices? Will this drive a "lowest common denominator" approach to these devices, or will other factors influence their capabilities? Will Web-based advertising continue to wane? What will continue to drive the development of this technology.

Moderator
Mickey Mantle, Gracenote

Panelists
Gregory Abowd, Georgia Institute of Technology
Seamus Blackley, Microsoft Corporation
Kent Libbey, Excite@Home
Andrew Luan, Metricom, Inc.

Size Matters: Digital Cinema Distribution
How will we be watching movies in the near future? Digital cinema is gaining momentum and becoming a more viable reality. This panel reviews the remaining hurdles in making, distributing, and delivering digital films. The panelists will discuss the issues and challenges of getting digital cinema out into the public domain.

Organizer
Karen Raz, Raz Public Relations

Moderator
Charles Poynton, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Fellow, and Author

Panelists
Allen Daviau, Cinematographer, ASC
James H. Korris, University of Southern California
Bob Lambert, The Walt Disney Company
Joshua Pines, Industrial Light + Magic
Allen Witters, WAM!NET

 


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