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  Reports from SIGGRAPH 2001
The Demoscene

Erin Callihan
24 July 2002

Size does matter. Just ask those involved with Demoscene. Afterall, what other multimedia fits onto a floppy disc these days?

For 20 years, an underground movement has been thriving on creating visually stunning and inventive animations. Animations that are better than most you've seen on television and in film. And the mind-boggling part is that these animations run in real-time and are compressed so effectively that they are less than 64KB in size - and yes, that includes the code, models, textures and sound.

They call these animations "demos" and describe them as "a standalone program whose sole purpose is to impress and entertain the user. It usually contains visual effects, music and graphics" ( They encompass a broad range of programming and 3D techniques, including procedural geometry, and real-time ray-tracing and shading.

On Wednesday, panelists Theo Engell-Nielsen (hybrid/NEMISIS), Eric Haines (Autodesk, Inc.), Saku Lehtinen (Remedy Entertainment), Vincent Scheib (The Demoscene Outreach Group and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Phil Taylor (Microsoft Corporation) explored how the demoscene came to existence and where it is heading. They also shared some technical tricks used in demos.

What was also expressed on Wednesday is that these "artistic producers," who are constantly testing the cutting edge of computer graphics technology, are doing so strictly for the pride and the recognition.

What better place than SIGGRAPH to show off?


Official SIGGRAPH 2002 Panels Descriptions


The annual conference is a chance to see friends you might only see at SIGGRAPH.


SIGGRAPH is the name of the show. ACM SIGGRAPH is the name of the organization.

Photos from SIGGRAPH 2002


This page is maintained by
Jan Hardenbergh
All photos you see in the 2002 reports are due to a generous loan of Cybershot digital cameras from SONY