Computer Animation Festival Fact Sheet

The world's most accomplished digital artists presented the year's best computer-generated animation in film and video at the SIGGRAPH 96 Computer Animation Festival. Altogether, 485 pieces were considered by the jury, and 46 were selected for the evening show. The entries were from a variety of sources:

  • Feature Films and Television Commercials

  • Academic Research and Commercial Research Organizations

  • Students

  • Individual Artists

  • Government and Military Organizations

"This year's entries show incremental improvement of existing technologies -- lots of ways to do things better and faster," said Linda Branagan, Computer Animation Festival Chair. "At the high end, we're seeing movies where entire characters are computer generated. At the low end, we're seeing viable tools for producing computer animation in the hands of more and more people, including students, artists, and educators."


Naked Empire

Ned Greene
Apple Computer, Inc.

This animation depicts the Empire State Building without exterior walls. The resulting model is enormously complex and contains some 167-million polygons. It was rendered with high-quality antialiasing in a few minutes per frame using a new algorithm described in a SIGGRAPH 96 Paper: Hierarchical Polygon Tiling with Coverage Masks.

Chicken Crossing

Andrew Glassner
Microsoft Research

Chickens and roads -- who knows what brings them together? In this animated short, a valiant chicken confronts his destiny to cross the road, encountering and ultimately overcoming a wide array of obstacles. The film demonstrates Talisman, ab new architecture for sophisticated, real-time, low-cost multimedia on PCs.

Oldsmobile Caught Their Eye

Mark Voelpel
R/Greenburg Associates

A 60-second movie portraying a monumental event: the Statue of Liberty coming to life and picking up an Oldsmobile Aurora off the Staten Island ferry to examine its fine craftsmanship. Rendering and animating the first photorealistic full-motion Statue of Liberty presented unique technical and creative challenges that R/GA solved with both SoftImage and proprietary software.


Denise Minter
Pacific Data Images

Homer3 represents the first traditional 2D characters brought to life in 3D for television and is replete with inside jokes poking fun at the history of computer animation. Because of the realistic nature of 3D animation, PDI had to invent movements and gestures that didn't exist for the cel-animated characters and successfully animated facial gestures and lip sync to convey the spirit of Homer and Bart.

Atlanta in Motion

Jessica Hodgins
Georgia Institute of Technology

In this piece, control algorithms are applied to physically realistic models of humans to compute the motion of athletes as they run, dive, vault, bicycle, lift weights, and perform on the uneven bars and rings.


The Palladian Group

This piece describes how in 1202 A.D., the Italian mathematician Fibonacci uncovered a mathematical link between science and art. Ranging from contemporary studies in biology to ancient Greek architecture, it provides an excellent example of the use of computer animation in education.

Plymouth Neon Popcorn

Les Hunter
Pacific Data Images, Inc.

Pacific Data Images provided 3D animation and visual effects for a recent commercial in which a car speeds past corn fields on a rural road, popping the corn as it zips by. PDI programmers developed a new particle-animation system to create a realistic-looking explosion of popcorn. Other CG techniques employed on this spot were 3D animation, matte painting, and compositing.

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Final SIGGRAPH 96 Web site update: 25 October 1996.
For complete information on the next conference and exhibition, see: http/