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SIGGRAPH 2003 Computer Animation Festival Fact Sheet

Conference: Sunday 27 July - Thursday 31 July 2003
Exhibition: Tuesday 29 July - Thursday 31 July 2003

San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California USA

"Each year, the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival celebrates what is best about our industry," said Darin Grant, Digital Domain and SIGGRAPH 2003 Computer Animation Festival Chair. "The Computer Graphics community is an enigmatic blend of technologists who create imagery and artists who drive technological advancement. Our festival commemorates not only the breakthroughs of our scientists, but also the characters that are created by our artists. This year's show provides insight into this symbiotic relationship. Whether the piece is a fascinating story captured and told through the use of computer generated images, a creatively edited breakdown of the visual effects work from a professional studio, or a scientific showcase that gives us a glimpse at the edge of our ever-expanding technological horizons, it always represents the best that our industry has to offer each year."

The SIGGRAPH 2003 Computer Animation Festival jury selected 76 pieces from 635 submissions. Pieces were selected based on creative and technical excellence. Twenty-five will be shown in the Electronic Theater and 52 in the Animation Theater. There are 13 pieces in the Electronic Theater and 18 pieces in the Animation Theater from studios and production companies from around the world. There are 13 international and 5 student pieces in the Electronic Theater. The Animation Theater has 28 international and 14 student pieces.

SIGGRAPH 2003 COMPUTER ANIMATION FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS:

ETERNAL GAZE (Best Animated Short)
Sam Chen
A poignant story about an artist, his art, and reciprocated love. Inspired by the life of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Alberto Giacometti, the film follows Giacometti through the last nine years of his remarkable life and journeys into the depths of his famously tortured psyche. Along the way, we experience the human conditions of despair, love, and hope that are as much a part of Giacometti's art as they are about the artist himself.

"ETERNAL GAZE" was selected as Best Animated Short because at its heart, it is a compelling story about an artist. The fact that it is entirely computer generated is quickly lost in the telling of the tale, and that is what makes it brilliant.

TIM TOM (Jury Honors)
Maud Bonassi, Supinfocom/One Plus One
"TIM TOM" is the tale of two fantastical characters, Tim and Tom, who want to meet but are hindered by their creator, a giant omnipotent hand. With nods to the masters of the past and their animation techniques, "TIM TOM" brings life into characters whose emotions and thoughts are expressed through their notepad faces.

This piece was selected because it is a perfect example of how computer graphics has enabled us to continue the work started by our predecessors. It is a beautiful piece that encompasses all that is inherent in the art of animation versus live-action. It's the type of short that no one can see without walking away with a sense of wonder and amazement.

XXX
Joanna Capitano, Digital Domain
In "XXX," director Rob Cohen set out to create a new kind of action hero. In order to keep our hero at the heart of the avalanche sequence, Digital Domain utilized many techniques. The avalanche begins as an exploding charge that extends cracks in all directions. Particle shaders in Houdini were used to model subdivided geometry that would break apart. As the actor snowboards only inches ahead of the cascading wall of snow, greeenscreen elements of the actor were blended with live-action stunt plates and a computer-generated avalanche.

Polar Bears "Gary's Fall"
Joanna Stevens, Passion Pictures
Captive polar bears Gary and his son Shane are playing football with an old tin. Just as mum Claudia warns Shane not to fall into the recently emptied pool, Gary falls in instead. He ends up with both of his arms in plaster, sticking out sideways, prompting the other polar bears to tease him relentlessly. This hilarious piece of computer animation was produced over a seven-month period by animation house and post facility MacGuff Ligne in Paris using Maya for the animation and their own proprietary software MGLR (MacGuff Ligne Rendering) for the rendering and compositing.

Dawn
Joe Demers, NVIDIA Corporation
In "Dawn," the NVIDIA demo team created an attractive, realistic-looking real-time character to show off the power of programmable shading and vertex processing on state-of-the-art hardware. Through the use of multiple texture layers, vertex shading, high-dynamic-range environment images, and real-time blend shape animation, the team was able to produce a demo that pushes the boundaries of the expectations of real-time graphics.

Exigo
Gabor Marinov, DIGIC Pictures
Through the realistic fantasy world of the Exigo computer game, this animation portrays the death of a nameless soldier in the land of the Mordens. In making the animation, DIGIC Pictures assembled a team of experienced Hungarian CG artists. Their primary goals were to fully execute all details, reflected in extremely thorough models, several-gigabyte character textures, and fineness of movement, and to create a visual world that uses graphics originally yet remains photorealistic, moving the viewer deeply both in detail and as a whole. Software: Maya, Lightwave, Pixar's Photorealistic RenderMan, and Shake.

MEKARATE
Hiroyasu Shimo, Kobe Design University
An office worker whose failures require him to work overtime is haunted by a self-destructive wish and becomes anti-social. This animation helps to push the outer limits of what is considered an "animated short" through its use of the abstract and its integration of viscerally disturbing yet artistic imagery. It leaves viewers questioning their own reality through innovative character design and hyperkinetic animation.

ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET
Wilhelm Landt, The Soulcage Department
In a Harlem street scene in the 1920s, two characters interact through a seemingly independent series of events. H.H. Sablin just wants to read his daily newspaper while his bench neighbor, Pit Doogey, very busily prepares a barbeque lunch, inflicting his needs on his unsuspecting co-star. This piece recalls the Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin silent movie era with its use of comic timing, misdirection, and exaggeration.

Poor Bogo
Thelvin Cabezas, Ringling School of Art and Design
All Bogo wants is to have some fun! Inside the wonderful world of a young girl's imagination, Bogo has the best time in his life, constantly laughing, playing, and eating candy. Life couldn't get any sweeter. When this beautiful world is confronted by boring and cruel reality, all the joy quickly fades away. Software: Maya 4.5, Renderman 11, Shake 2.5, Photoshop 7, Premiere 6, Sound Forge. Hardware: Dell workstation, Samsung SyncMaster 210T.

Industrial Light + Magic R&D SIGGRAPH 2003
Jason German, Industrial Light + Magic
This overview of R&D work done at Industrial Light + Magic in the past year focuses primarily on the characters in "Hulk," "Terminator 3," and "Harry Potter 2." Highlighted topics include creature skin and muscles, skin rendering, motion capture, rigid and deformable dynamics, image-based modeling, digital doubles, fluid and smoke simulation, 3D compositing, cloth simulation, and new animation techniques.

Tic Toc
Katrin Arndt, Institut of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
This delightful, toon-rendered music video follows the exploits of two naughty girls on their night out. Through an intriguing blend of fast cuts and animation impossibilities, the film takes us on a journey into a nightlife where land sharks are bartenders and nightclub attendees are masses of bouncing heads