Special Sessions Fact Sheet

Jerome Solomon, Industrial Light & Magic
Jessica Hodgins, Carnegie Mellon University

Conference: Sunday 5 August - Thursday 9 August
Exhibition: Tuesday 7 August - Thursday 9 August

Special Sessions Provide Unique Industry Insights

SIGGRAPH 2007 Special Sessions offer interactive productions that are dynamic, exciting, and fast-paced. Leading experts in computer graphics, interactive techniques, and beyond offer enlightening insights on the art, science, trends and breakthrough concepts that will define the future of digital technologies.

"Special Sessions provide a rare opportunity to obtain a behind-the-scenes perspective from industry experts," stated Jerome Solomon, SIGGRAPH 2007 Special Sessions Co-Chair from Industrial Light & Magic. "We have an amazing line up of world-class talent presenting incredible work in 'Shrek,' 'Spider-Man 3,' and the Oscar winner, 'Happy Feet.' We are also showcasing the results of a new, exciting animation contest - FJORG!. Nowhere else but at SIGGRAPH can you find such opportunities to obtain real experience and innovative insights from industry leaders."

A Few Highlights From SIGGRAPH 2007 Special Sessions:


Bringing 30-foot-tall robots to life in this summer's blockbuster film, "Transformers" incorporated some of the most complex modeling and animation ever attempted at Industrial Light & Magic. Since the film features 14 fully computer generated characters (some containing more than 10,000 individually controllable pieces of geometry), entirely new graphic systems had to be developed to make this not only feasible, but also production friendly - a challenge not to be underestimated. From oil filters and axles to pistons and body panels, each piece had to have the ability to be individually controlled while operating within a substantially complex system. The experts behind the film will discuss these challenges and successes.

Industrial Light & Magic Participants:
Scott Farrar, Visual Effects Supervisor
Miles Perkins, Director of Marketing and Communications
Russell Earl, Associate Visual Effects Supervisor
Scott Benza, Animation Director
Jeff White, Digital Production Supervisor
Richard Bluff, Digital Matte Supervisor

"Happy Feet": Thawing the CG Pipeline

Due to its strong connection with traditionally animated films, CG filmmaking has historically been a realm of limited editorial control. Story, characters, environments, and even camera moves are firmly locked prior to commencement of production. This panel examines the implementation of a much more live-action approach to CG filmmaking.

On "Happy Feet," Animal Logic strove to engage a live-action director with the CG filmmaking process by providing familiar tools, procedures, and terminology to work with. From real-time lensing stations, motion capture, auditions, and screen tests to casting and crew, the challenge was to free up the CG filmmaking process and create an environment in which the director had many live-action parallels.

Animal Logic Participants:
David Peers, Layout & Camera Director
Aidan Sarsfield, Character Supervisor
Nick Hore, Training Supervisor
Ben Gunsberger, Lighting Supervisor
Justen Marshall, R&D Supervisor

Shrekology, The History of an Ogre

Unique insights into how the "Shrek" world evolved over the life of the franchise, both technically and creatively. The speakers, who have held key roles on all the "Shrek" films, share stylistic conceits, technical overviews, production tips, and anecdotes, illustrated by abundant behind-the-scenes material and visual breakdowns.

PDI/DreamWorks Participants:
Philippe Gluckman, Visual Effects Supervisor
Raman Hui, Co-Director, "Shrek the Third"
David Smith, Storyboard Artist
Matt Baer, Head of Effects

"Spider-Man 3" - Triple Play

The leading artists on "Spider-Man 3" reveal the creative challenge and technical achievement in creating the triple threat of the movie's dangerous villains. For the first time, Sony Pictures Imageworks produced fully articulated, performing CG characters entirely composed of dynamically generated particles and fluids. These digital characters, which embodied key-framed performance animation, interacted with each other and with live-action characters in real and synthetic environments. Academy Award-winning Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Scott Stokdyk, Digital Effects Supervisors Ken Hahn and Peter Nofz, and Animation Director Spencer Cook (all returning for their third "Spider-Man") explore their experience in bringing these legendary characters and this series to life.

Sony Pictures Imageworks Participants:
Sande Scoredos, Executive Director Training & Artist Development
Scott Stokdyk, Visual Effects Supervisor
Peter Nofz, Digital Effects Supervisor
Spencer Cook, Animation Director
Ken Hahn, Digital Effects Supervisor

Presentation of the Winners of the First International FJORG! Viking Animation Event

In a Viking ceremony, special guest judges present awards to the winning team in the FJORG! competition. Attendees are encouraged to wear their finest Viking garb. The session includes video highlights of the event and the animations produced by the FJORG! finalists. Also featured: the FJORG! teams that receive the most votes in the attendee "popular vote."

Patricia Beckmann-Wells
DreamWorks Animation

Samuel Lord Black
Autodesk, Inc.

SIGGRAPH 2007 Special Sessions begin Monday, 6 August at 6:00 pm and close Wednesday, 8 August at 7:00 pm.

Complete Special Sessions information

SIGGRAPH 2007 will bring an estimated 25,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to San Diego, California, USA for the industry's most respected technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web from 5-9 August at the San Diego Convention Center. SIGGRAPH 2007 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 7-9 August 2007. More than 250 international exhibiting companies are expected. Registration for the conference and exhibition is open to the public.
More details

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGGRAPH sponsors SIGGRAPH 2007. ACM is an educational and scientific society uniting the world's computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.