The 41st annual Computer Animation Festival at SIGGRAPH 2014 will showcase more than 100 of the best examples of computer animation from the past year. Of the 450-plus festival submissions, just over a hundred were accepted — and only nine were selected to receive top honors in their respective categories. Considering the exceptional creativity and technical skill evident in the pool of entries, the decision process must have been a difficult one for the SIGGRAPH jury.
“Each piece in the festival is truly something special on its own merit,” said Jerome Solomon, SIGGRAPH 2014 Computer Animation Festival Director. According to Solomon, more categories have been added to this year's festival, expanding the festival's ability to incorporate and recognize various branches of computer animation. "The new categories enrich the diversity and richness of the show," he explained.
The SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards. Since 1999, several works originally presented in the Computer Animation Festival have been nominated for or have received a "Best Animated Short" Academy Award. In the words of CAF Director Jerome Solomon, "There's no other stage in the world comparable to SIGGRAPH’s Computer Animation Festival."
This year's Computer Animation Festival winners are as follows:
Best in Show
Box (see image, above)
Directed by Tarik Abdel-Gawad, Bot & Dolly
“Box” explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection mapping on moving surfaces. The short film documents a first-ever live synchronized performance using 3D projection mapping, robots, and actors.
Directed by Dávid Ringeisen, László Ruska, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design
“Paper World” is an image film for the World Wildlife Fund Hungary where the values that WWF stands for become visible metaphorically on the level of a micro-world.
Best Animated Short
Home Sweet Home
Directed by Pierre Clenet, Alejandro Diaz, Romain Mazenet, Stéphane Paccolat, Supinfocom Arles
A house uproots herself and goes on an adventure.
Best Student Project
Directed by Roman Kälin, Falko Paeper, Florian Wittmann, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
The deterioration of one is the foundation of another one's life. The world, with its never-ending interplay of eating and being eaten, takes on new dimensions when the unexpected forces of nature clash with the existing structures of our society. The only constant is change.
Best Visual Effects
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Esperanto Filmoj.VFX work submitted by Framestore, United Kingdom
“Gravity,” this year’s VFX Bafta and Oscar winner, turns filmmaking on its head. Rather than adding visual effects to a live-action plate, the film is around 80% computer generated, with the live-action elements (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney’s faces), integrated seamlessly with their CG spacesuits and surroundings.
Framestore VFX pros Per Karefelt, Matthias Baas, Vincent Bonnet, Alexis Wajsbrot, Sylvain Degrotte, Christopher Lawrence, Juan-Luis Sanchez, Russell Lloyd, Nathan Walster and Michael Blain will be on hand for a special SIGGRAPH 2014 session, "Don't Let Go," from 9 to 10:30 am on Thursday, August 14. They will discuss Framestore's visual effects work for "Gravity," specifically: volumetrics in space, destruction of the ISS in a single shot, simulation as a multi-stage production tool and creating the Earth as a backdrop.
Best Visualization & Simulation
Directed by Jessica Rosenkrantz, Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, Nervous System
This video visualizes Kinematics, a system for designing and simulating flexible structures for 3D printing. Kinematics generates customized designs composed of 10s to thousands of hinged, interlocking modules. The designs are computationally folded using rigid-body physics into a smaller form for fabrication by 3D printing.
Directed by Maxime Luère, Dominique Boidin, Rémi Kozyra, Unit Image
The concept of this full-CGI trailer consists of juxtaposing the two worlds valued highly by car lovers: aesthetically pleasing advertisements and action scenes. The features of the game, such as the novelty of the multiplayer aspect and the feeling of freedom in an open world, are highlighted through this concept.
Best Real-Time Graphics
RYSE: Son of Rome
Directed by Chris Evans, Peter Gornstein, Martin L’Heureux, Crytek
With Ryse, Crytek decided to focus on characters and emotion to serve the game and story. Ryse is an eight hour game with an additional 110-minutes of linear storytelling content. The submission shows gameplay and cutscenes, both utilize the same assets and can be rendered in real-time.
Best Commercial Advertisement
Three, "The Pony"
Directed by Dougal Wilson, Blink Productions. VFX work submitted by MPC.
The pony’s bouncy moves were created using a photo-real CG digital double and extensive R&D to translate human movement to a horse. The film cuts seamlessly between CG and real-life footage. Fur was created using MPC's Furtility tool, and environments were altered using compositing and matte painting.
Want to see more? Check out the 2014 Computer Animation Festival trailer.