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Spend a Week at SIGGRAPH Student Feedback 2006

Below is the feedback from the students who attended SIGGRAPH 2006 in Boston through the Spend a Week at SIGGRAPH program. The ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Pioneers sponsored the students.

We've removed the students’ and mentors’ names, and reformatted the text for consistency.

All content, grammar and spelling are directly from each student.

The Experience of a Lifetime

The week of July 30th was an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my career in computers ( which is the rest of my life). During this week, I attended the ACM SIGGRAPH convention held in my hometown of Boston. As a computer lover, but more specifically an aspiring graphic designer, the Siggraph experience was particularly meaningful. My contact and my mentor for the week were wonderful facilitators to my experience. The tour of the art gallery and the exhibit floor were absolutely astounding as I have never been surrounded by such technological and graphical feats of art all in the same area. The exhibit floor was a breathtaking experience in itself. To be around the leading companies in the computer industry as a valued " Guinea pig " of new ideas and applications was exhilarating. The Guerrilla Studio paralleled only the likes of my dreams.The quantity and quality of all the resources both technological and otherwise were simply outstanding. As if all this was not enough, to not only sit in on a tutorial but personally have my Work reviewed by the one and only Stephen Burn sealed my infatuation with SIGGRAPH. Thought is was my first year at SIGGRAPH, I hope to make sure that it is definitely not my last.

I began the week early Sunday afternoon meeting with my contact with whom I communicated via email the weeks prior to the convention who helped set my expectations for the week that was ahead of me. He quickly dispelled my expectation of " a bunch of guys in suits and briefcases" ( which I was adequately dressed for ) and told me that I should have expected the common" Comic Book Guys" of sort. In all seriousness, my contact explained to me that SIGGRAPH, as I came to see for myself, was comprised of literally thousands of diverse individuals coming from a wide range of both ethnic and technical backgrounds. Upon meeting my mentor, I was educated on the history of SIGGRAPH and the historical figures ( in the field of computer graphics and interactive technology ). From there, I was taken by my mentor the keynote address made by none other than John Rohde of Disney Imagineers ( being named indirectly after a Disney character of similar spelling, this was big for me). After the address, I was off to explore. Seeming as it was located on the same floor as the address, the Art exhibit was the first place that I felt that I should visit.

The ambiance of the art gallery, accentuated by the dim lights of the room and the vibrant lights of some of the exhibits caught my eye from the start. The idea of capturing the emerging technologies from the up and coming leaders of today's graphics world is a novel idea that I think SIGGRAPH took and ran around the world with. From the highly technical of the virtual haptic heart surgery, to the aesthetically pleasing thermal response exhibit ( heat or " cold " from touch generated flower patterns. Tokyo Students ), to the absolutely mind boggling " 3d" projection of the shape shifting house, the art exhibit was fantastic. The " refreshments" served for the mayors speech were an understandable association, but realistically, ( the boatload of candy then fruit then clam chowder was a bit hard to follow for my stomach) could have been better catered. But hen again that may not necessarily be to the fault of SIGGRAPH, and also to truly " Snack" what appeared to be a freeloading crowd ( myself included ) of that size would have been difficult. Thus, with my stomach filled and my mind " frazzled" it was time for me to hit the exhibit floor.

My experience on exhibit floor was likened to that of a child lost in a world made of candy filled with bytes and chips of all varieties. This was the first time I was exposed to such top of the lined pre-released technology in that quantity. The week before I attended a job fair of similar sorts sponsored by another week long conference that I had attended thanks to the Computer Clubhouse and the Museum of Science Boston, however, it was nothing like massive array of booths at SIGGRAPH. On the exhibit floor, I bounced around from booth to booth, from Google to ATI, PNY, Adobe ( my favorite of all ), testing out applications, watching special features ( like the digital animation of Pirates 2 ), and collecting as many free giveaways as my NVIDIA and ATI bags ( yes plural) could carry. My wrist grew tired from swiping my card at each booth so I decided to take a brief repose and go the acclaimed animation theater.

The theater was in one word: breathtaking. The depth of each film, whether or not it made you laugh, or cry or simply made you squint with your head tiled to the side, was simply fantastic. The " Meat and Metal" reminded me of paintings my the American artist Francis Bacon ( in particular " Painting" by Bacon). There was another film that depicted a female robot obsessed with her own image, stemming from a jack-in-the-box. Though their were no words in the authors message of caution of self image was well received by the whole audience( tear). The film with the " bellied cavemen" and the " lovestruck Satan" were by far the most comical. Last but not least, the multitude of foreign shorts were interesting as well. With my artistic juices charged, I felt it only natural to next venture into the Guerrilla Studio.

I walked into the Guerrilla Studio on Wednesday and I wanted to cry ( primarily because all of the seats were booked) But also because it was simply and absolutely a beautiful sight to behold. The room was filled with computers of all variations from wall to wall. From its array of G5 Macs ( with OS 10 might I add ) and high powered PCs all which were accompanied by the industrial sized printers on either end of the room, the Guerrilla Studio was truly Magical. The two most astounding pieces of the Guerrilla Studio were the point capture system and the holographic printing. Although I did not get to do either ( not that great of a loss - no offense) it was interesting to see how they both were done. It has been a long maintained curiosity of mine so to speaks. The day was not a complete loss however, As I got to sit in on one of Stephen Burns tutorials. Not only was it incredible to sit in on a tutorial given by the premiere photoshop expert of the day, but it was also personally amazing to find out that he as a person of color. For some reason it left me speechless Ianthe sense that i warmed my heart and gave me a sense of hope that I too could also do big thing with my skills in the future. with that motivation in mind, i sat in line and registered for the last day of the Studio.

With 6 hours to close on the last day of the studio, on the last day of the best week of my life thus far, staring into a wide screen G5, the pressure was on to create a colossal masterpiece to accurately display my photo and photoshop talents ( or something close enough that would make me smile). From my disc which contained nearly 250 photo's of flowers and the likes, I selected about thirty. Using the newly acquired " masking" techniques that I learned from Mr. Burns tutorials i embarked on what would be the largest and most demanding photoshop project that I've ever worked on. The end result was a 22.x38 collage of floral expression. during the process, I also had the pleasure of having my previous works viewed by Mr. Burn himself. He admitted that the road that I had in front of me would be long and hard, as my competition in the market and in the field were very tough, but he reassured me that with talent, skill, and dedication I would foster the techniques necessary to compete with the likes of those in the art gallery that I visited before.

All in all, SIGGRAPH was great [ sigh ]. An adventurous and breathtaking experience that i will never forget. I think everything at SIGGRAPH was well co-ordinated and ran with smooth transitioning. The location in the New Boston Convention Center was a perfect if not the only logical, place to hold such a convention of such literal and figurative magnitude. For the near future, I hope to join ACM as a student member and attend , by Gods will SIGGRAPH 2007 in San Francisco. In the distant future ( hopefully not too distant) I hope to attend SIGGRAPH displaying my contributions to the world of graphic design or Interactive technologies -- or both. What is certain for now is that SIGGRAPH was a blessed experience that I will never forget lo the many days of my life and i would like to thank the pioneers that made this possible for me and others like me. Thank you oh so very much.

When I first heard that I was going to Siggraph 2006 I was surprised and honored.

Tons of people wanted to go, not just for the tremendous experience to be gained but also for the fun and free benefits of having the scholarship. I was so happy and went to everything I wanted to.

When I first got to Siggraph I was intimidated, the convention center was huge and I was by myself. As I was browsing some interesting posters out front and learned about various things such as hair rendering and lighting done computer graphically. After that I met my friend and her mentor, and we went to register for the passes. Though I never had the honor to meet my own mentor in person she told me about useful places to go, such as the Disney key note presentation. I learned a lot from my friend's mentors as well, and I am so glad I was part of this program.

My favorite part of Siggraph was the diverse activities that they had. I really enjoyed the Guerilla Studio, where I met some new friends and made these cool holographic cards. Also there was an interesting place in the convention where you could try new devices and things that were so cool. I remember this guy who let me try his device where you could feel objects in front of you by a band you strapped on your head, I wandered through and obstacle course just using the feeling and closing my eyes. It was if I was a bat using sonar. It was the coolest. There was also a device which let you draw on a screen and you could move the objects you drew by blowing on them. I tried many things and all of them were new to me, things I could never believed if I never had the opportunity to come to Siggraph.

I also enjoyed the not so interactive features the convention provided, The Electronic theater and the various presentations. They were amazing! We all got to view the life of the Animal Kingdom attraction, Exploration Everest, as well as how Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia was made. And to sample the work of artists through the theater was awesome, they had remarkable films.

Siggraph was amazing, I never went to anything like it before. The experience, the knowledge, the memories, all so magical. With all of this I know I can understand and achieve my goals in the artistic world. I hope to go again one day, this truly was an event I never want to forget.

SIGGRAPH 2006 was a big experience for me.

At first, it was a bit overwhelming with all professionals and talented students everywhere. After the first day though, I felt more exposed to what SIGGRAPH had to offer and took full advantage of it.

Although I was without a mentor the first day, I was able to get registered and ready to go without much difficulty. The first place I had to see was the innovative technologies.

The second I stepped foot on that floor, I was blown away with all this technology that was before me. I felt like I had to give the time to each booth to gain its true genius that it presented. I was really interested by all the musical devices like the musical streams and the drums rings especially. The figures on the board that show on the monitor are the way games will be played in fifteen years and can’t wait for it. All the technology there was amazing and made me feel that the future of technology is bright and promising.

Another part of SIGGRAPH I enjoyed, although it was momentary, was the guerilla studio. In the short time I was there, I was able to experiment with the software in ways that felt unrestricted and free unlike anyway than in school. My only “complaint” about the guerilla studio was that there were many people want to use the equipment and that made access very difficult.

I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the electronic theatre and play with the electronic beach ball. The films in the show really gave me another view of showing a specific idea. Hoping to be a filmmaker, this is beneficial for me. The films that really opened my eyes to film animation were the “Paper Doll”, “One Rat Short”, and oddly enough the beer commercial with all the men in the field. I really like all the clips I saw in the animation theatre as well. Those clips only added to the enjoyable experience of the electronic theatre.

My overall favorite part of SIGGRAPH was the floor show with all those famed companies unveiling their new products and had me asking, “When is it available in stores?” But the best part of the floor show for me was the experience of the being apart of the demonstrations and making contacts with all the people I could.

To me, SIGGRAPH was a chance to see and do things no one has or has yet. The whole SIGGRAPH experience made me feel like I was a true professional even though I’m only a kid heading to college waiting to find a place in life. Though my true goal in life is to be filmmaker, SIGGRAPH has shown me another door to computer graphics or it could be a back door to film.

Whatever is it, it still there for me. The only thing is that I have to choose what it will be one day but at least now I have a choice.

Dear Siggraph 2006 Staff/Organizers,

Firstly I would just like to thank you for inviting me to Siggraph 2006, I got a lot from the experience of Siggraph which without your generosity I would never have experienced. I am an aspiring graphic designer entering my freshman year at Massachusetts college of Art.

When my teacher told me about Siggraph i immediately decided I wanted to go. It sounded like exactly what I was into plus it was local and free. I wanted to come to Siggraph because I believed that it would offer me insight into the world of digital media design, and my visit did just that. I learned more from being at the conference then from the talks to be honest, the atmosphere and the free flow of ideas were just extraordinary. Not to mention the support offered by my mentor who when I eventually met up with her was very kind and informative about what to check out and what to avoid at the conference.

I went into this experience expecting to see a lot of 2D design work, and I saw a bit, but really I felt the gear was towards 3D modelers and animators, which was alright because I knew next to nothing about these Fields, and now I posses an somewhat rudimentary understanding of them.

While the Siggraph experience may not have been perfect for me as a two dimensional designer I think that it is an ideal place for anyone interested in animation or information technologies.

Thank you once more for your immense generosity and I hope that I will be allowed to visit in the future as a student volunteer.

I had an awesome time at the SIGGRAPH convention last week.

The majority of the things that I saw were ideas that I did not even know were possible. The heart surgery simulator was probably my favorite part of the entire convention. It felt like I was really making cuts on a real heart. The Emerging Technologies room was amazing pretty much every booth that I stopped at blew my mind. The Guerilla Studio was another favorite room of mine. I spent hours playing with and learning all about new programs that I have never even heard about. The program Digital Studio was a lot of fun. I enjoyed my mentor a lot. On Wednesday he took me and Matt all around the Emerging Technologies room showed us all of this cool stuff that we somehow missed on our walkthrough the day before.

The exhibit room was cool but I thought it could have been better. There should have been more hands on stuff in there. I also found the lectures to be boring, but that is probably because I am a teenager and I had no idea what they were talking about.

All in all I had a great time at SIGGRAPH and if the oppurtuntiy were ever to arise again, I hope that I would be invited.

I enjoyed many different things about the Siggraph convention I recently attended.

It was the first time I had ever been to a convention even remotely like that and I did not know what to expect. I had taken Electronic Studio Art as an elective this pervious school year with my teacher and enjoyed it thoroughly, but aside from that I had no past experience with digital art or any electronics for that matter. When my teacher first told me about the Siggraph convention I was really excited because it was an opportunity for me to learn more about electronics see some interesting art as well.

One of the things that I enjoyed most about the Siggraph convention was the Emerging Technologies exhibit. Both my friends and I agreed that this was our favorite part of the convention. It was amazing to see what people can do with computers and electronics, and I had a great time testing them out.

Another part of the convention that I really liked was the Guerilla Studio exhibit. I spent a lot of time there for two reasons: There were a lot of really interesting projects that people were displaying, and because it was a really hands on exhibit that allowed me to indulge in my love of digital art by using the new versions of photoshop and illustrator on really fast computers.

I really enjoyed my experience at Siggraph and have renewed my passion in digital art.

Attending SIGGRAPH this year was one of the most amazing and memorable experiences I have had in recent years.

I have always been quite interested in the world of computer graphics, animation, and computer engineering in general, but I have never really had a chance to experience how it all works first hand until now.

From when I first stepped into the Boston Convention Center on the first day, until I left on the last day, the exhibition completely blew me away, and continued to do so long after I had left. Never in my life have I seen so many different and amazing technologies from people around the entire world. I was completely blown away by some of the emerging technologies, and honestly felt as though I had just walked into a world twenty years ahead of the one I live in.

I took great pleasure in experimenting with lots of the cool technologies in the “emerging technology” section, as well as using some of the amazing hands-on computer programs in the Gorilla Studio. I also very much liked how everything was so easily accessible, and how there were always people around to answer any of my questions or help me find certain things. Being a video-game player myself, I was thrilled to try out some of the new video game systems and video games that were on display. Another thing I found very cool was the new television displays that one can look at with special glasses and really feel like they are part of the action.

Overall, I think the SIGGRAPH exhibition was a truly amazing experience, and I am grateful that I was able to attend this year. I think it’s a wonderful way of getting kids exposed to a world they might otherwise have no way of ever seeing, and inviting them to experience some of the most amazing new technology in the world is a great thing. I very much hope that SIGGRAPH continues to invite students such as myself to attend the annual conference, and I am looking forward to one day attending the conference again!

I found SIGGRAPH a fascinating and enriching experience.

All days of the conference were different, exciting, and offered incredibly fulfilling experiences. Everything from the Guerilla Art Studio to the fascinating and multilayered all day seminar “The Art of Story Telling” was well put together and created a one in a life time experience.

My adventure at the 2006 conference stated with what amounted to as an all day expenditure of my time in the Guerilla Studio. I found this area to be one of the best the conference had to offer. With all the open computers, programs and resources available the environment was one of help, learning, and fun. The best thing about the Guerilla Studio was the lenticualar section. While I did have to sign up for it and arrive Monday at a very early time it still gave me the awesome experience of taking one of my own pieces of graphic design and making it what I refer to as 2D/3D. This made me very happy because SIGGRAPH gave me the opportunity to have my art work, very literality JUMP off the page. Everything at the Guerilla studio, not just the lenticualar station, gave me a great time and filled my day on Sunday. Because of the late start of my group that was sadly the only thing I could partake in on that particular day other then a quick but scintillating look at the Immerging Technologies, a place that I looked forward to seeing again and I got to the very next day.

All the time spent in Immerging Technologies was time that was well spent in the expansion of my view of things that machines can do. One of the great things that I saw was the sensory water fountain. The special thing about the small water fountain on a downward cascade was that when a person put their hand near the falling water the circumference of said water would retract and then expand when the hands were move away. While it did not seem to have any foreseeable uses, it was nonetheless very fascinating to learn about. While this water trick was very exciting, it was not the best thing that was show at this event. The best Immerging Technology was the something I called the DJ of the future. This product was a round table with a glowing surface connected to speakers. What made this table one of a kind was that the table emitted different sounds and beats in accordance to what blocks were placed on it surface and how they related to the other blocks on the table. I would say it was one of the most hypnotic things I have seen in years and it caused me to spend upwards of an hour in the same position placing and rearranging blocks and listening to my created sounds.

While these two places were great experiences and very surly time well spent, for me the best thing was, hands down/bar none, the all day seminar “The Art of Story Telling.” Four fascinating men all with jobs in the industry of screenwriting presented four different but equally helpful view and information on the creation of a script. As a play write and someone who has always contemplated the profession of screen writing I found it to be the best incite to that complex world that I had ever had the privilege of receiving. All the presenters were articulate and gave great fact as well as personal views that I am sure will help me from this time on. All the speaker were knowledge able but more to the point they were fun and entertaining and made the whole day fly by with a brevity I did not know was available for a full day spent in a lecture series.

All in all SIGGRAPH2006 was great experience and one I would wish to repeat every year. I found out thing I never knew that are sure to help me in the future and I saw many a thing that I could not have even imagined seeing before. SIGGRAPH was an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life and will be one of the many driving force if I ever choice to go into a profession of technology, graphic design, or most likely screen writing.

Computer nerds unite!

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from SIGGRAPH. I had heard of the conference before but never really looked it up. My teacher, my old high school digital art teacher, said it was all about digital art. Since visual effects is my major in school, I jumped at the chance to go. My mentor worked in the animation industry for years. He introduced me to some of his friends in the visual effects area also. One even worked on one of my favorite all time movies, Tron.

I would have to say one of my favorite parts of SIGGRAPH was the "emerging technology" exhibit. That had some of the most interesting new technologies I have ever seen. All the technologies there were amazing, but there were two that caught my eye and most of my attention. They were similar in their concepts. I found the first one by following my ears. While milling around the room I heard trance music. That unmistakable rhythm of beats. I decided to find out where it was coming from since I am an avid trance music fan. After passing it a few times I finally found it. It was a cylinder shaped table that went up to my hips. There were clear hard plastic pieces with a funny shape glued to its bottom. The black shape had to be face down against the table top in order to make a certain beat. You could rotate the piece and it would make the beat faster or slower. I kept thinking to myself that this would be the next generation of Djs soon. I couldn't stop playing with it. I had always wanted to be a DJ and this was just so fun. The company is based in Barcelona . It is called " Reactable" here is the website to check it out. http://mtg.upf.edu/reactable/.

The other technology that was like the reactable was something that was developed by MIT students. This one was different though. It had plastic pieces just like the other one, but this one had menus you could choose from. You would connect one small round piece to the "anchor" piece, to bring up the menu. Then you would choose the from the different options with the anchor piece. Another difference with this one was they were promoting the table top that you used and the program. The guy told me he used to to play video games as well as the music program.

Of course there were other things than the music technologies. There were quite a few games actually. One game had you suck up shadows of gnomes or gremlins. The shadows represented actual 3d creatures that were running around a screen. You couldn't see the screen, so you had to hunt for the shadows. They gave you a mock vacuum cleaner to suck up the gremlins. Another game was "rock climbing" sort of game. I put that in quotes because I wasn't sure if you were allowed to actually climb on the wall. The game "board" was just like an indoor rock climbing wall, where each stone would light up, depending on which game you played. MIT had also created a robotic teddy bear for children in hospitals who are cut off from people. This is an amazing idea. The teddy bear reacts to faces, so if it recognizes a face it will raise its arms, like it wants to be picked up. Of course the teddy bear talks, well babbles for now. The down side to it was the teddy bear wasn't as soft and cuddly as you would think. Of course this was just a prototype.

The exhibition all was awesome as well. Who wouldn't like free stuff, or shwag, from big time companies! But aside from the free stuff, every big time graphics company was there. Lucas arts, rhythm and hues, adobe, Disney, Google, Nvidia, ATI, second life, and a plethora of other companies. Also there were many art schools there. I found that funny. I actually got some graduate school information for myself, one for visual effects and another for game design. Wacom was there with their new two thousand dollar tablet. The newest one where the tablet is actually your screen and you can draw right on it. My friends and I spent hours playing with that thing.

Then there was the wonderful guerrilla studio. There was something there for everyone. This is the place where you got to create pieces of art work then take them home with you. There was a printing place where you could print very large pieces of art work, which my teacher was very giddy about. There also was a stop motion station where you could create your own stop motion movie. I made a movie about killer bunnies.

One of the biggest things I was excited to see were the people that worked on The Lion, the Witch, and Wardrobe, from rhythm and hues. It was really amazing to see what kind of methods they used to make Aslan. There was a movie that they put together about all the steps they took to create Aslan. Also how they created the centaurs. They filmed the actors with their normal costumes on, but they had funny lime green pants on. That way the visual effects artists could go in and attach the horse half for the legs.

Unfortunately I didn't go see the keynote speaker, a man from Disney. In all honesty I really didn't want to, Disney hasn't amazed me in a while. That and the line to see him was out the door, around the corner and down the hall. Seriously, I have pictures. Siggraph was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It sounds cheesy but it was true.

I enjoyed many different things about the Siggraph convention I recently attended.

It was the first time I had ever been to a convention even remotely like that and I did not know what to expect. I had taken Electronic Studio Art as an elective this pervious school year with my teacher and enjoyed it thoroughly, but aside from that I had no past experience with digital art or any electronics for that matter. When my teacher first told me about the Siggraph convention I was really excited because it was an opportunity for me to learn more about electronics see some interesting art as well.

One of the things that I enjoyed most about the Siggraph convention was the Emerging Technologies exhibit. Both my friends and I agreed that this was our favorite part of the convention. It was amazing to see what people can do with computers and electronics, and I had a great time testing them out.

Another part of the convention that I really liked was the Guerilla Studio exhibit. I spent a lot of time there for two reasons: There were a lot of really interesting projects that people were displaying, and because it was a really hands on exhibit that allowed me to indulge in my love of digital art by using the new versions of photoshop and illustrator on really fast computers.

I walked out of SIGGRAPH on Thursday, August 3rd feeling sad but full.

It was an amazing experience and I know I got lots out of it, but I was still sad to leave. SIGGRAPH was a very intense and exciting place. It took me the first few days just to get acclimated to the enormity of the BCEC and the variety of opportunities offered there. Every night I would look through all the different things going on the next day and mark the ones I was interested in, but even so I know I barley scratched the surface of what the conference offered. Being able to go to this conference at such a young age gave me an appreciation for graphics as a career. This huge event was filled with so many people and skill levels that I think I finally understood the magnitude of the field.

Having a mentor was great. My mentor helped me take full advantage of the experience, from helping me register to explaining the significance of the teapot exhibit. The place is very large and my mentor helped me get the most out of it without getting overwhelmed.

I loved the emerging technologies and the art exhibit rooms, but my favorite area was the guerrilla studio. I felt like I entered into a totally different mindset when I walked in there. I got to imagine, create and print an amazing large format print. I got to take advanced Photoshop classes and talk to people whom where on the leading edge and willing to share their wealth of knowledge. The environment there was really amazing. The room had an air of possibility, like no idea was too big or too much. It was very inspiring to be there. The entire conference was an extraordinary experience and I am so glad I had the opportunity to attend.

I first walked through the front doors of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center with three goals in mind:

Determine what employment was available in the computer graphics industry, discover what new technology is going to be on the market for CG animation and art, and find out if the college I am going to be attending this fall is in fact the right place to be at this time. Strangely, everything panned out in the most perfect fashion and in ways I can only describe as nothing short of miraculous.

My first day at the convention, I was greeted by my mentor. After getting registered, receiving instruction on how the general convention was going to run, listening to several interesting explanations of the posters section of the convention, I had finally determined that Boston had been under a crisis when it failed to open more than one public restaurant outside of the convention hall. Despite signs, more guidance by my mentor, and a map, I managed to get myself lost in the convention center on more than one occasion. That was Sunday and by the time I was part way through the day, I had a fourth question I needed answered; where on earth was everything?

The second day ended up being a repeat of the first, save that the number of times I found myself completely turned around was significantly less. I had the opportunity to sit in on the keynote address. A friend of mine and I had found seats in the hall early and were no more than ten rows away from the front of the audience. Our seating was perfect and Mr. Rohde was a significantly better speaker than those presenting the work done on the Chronicals of Narnia the day before. Perhaps it has more to do with the fact that my personal skills involve art and literature rather than technical mathematics and programming. However, the Narnia speakers nearly bored me to tears with their presentation of a hair. A single strand can only hope to be entertaining for so long. Mr. Rohde on the other hand presented not only the importance of visual appeal and historical and cultural correctness, but the art of storytelling through a media significantly different than that which most work with. I was able to leave with a lot of valuable information regarding the art of story telling and the number of ways it can be used to guide and enhance multiple subjects. Later, another friend of mine showed me a photo she had taken of the line outside waiting to get into the hall Mr. Rohde had been speaking in. I was more than thankful I had gotten in early.

Trying to move from one home to another is stressful. Trying to do it during a convention is like taking that level of stress and cubing it. Most days I attempted to arrive by nine and get home by six. Tuesday ended up being a late day. I did have the opportunity to see the second half of the presentation “recreational Computer Graphics”. As a folk dancer with a heart for the Asian culture, and the daughter of a folk dancer, I was delighted I managed to arrive as early as I did; Celtic knot work and origami are beautiful, and learning ways to create both was a thrilling experience. I arrived just as the lecturer was beginning his speech on camera shutters and my own brief background in photography was soon wishing it could find a camera and test everything presented.

Later that week I attended the Electronic Theater Matinee presentation and wished I could create everything presented without coding knowledge. My favorite movies were “Doll Face” and “One Rat Short”. “Doll Face” satisfied my love for impressive computer-generated imagery. There are two images that are most prominent in my mind when I think of it; the doll putting lipstick on her lips, and her broken face as seen at the end of the clip. The secondary movement of her lip under the pressure of the lipstick was striking, as was the final scene. “One Rat Short” satisfied my love for a good story. So often in the CG world, one finds impressive imagery that could steal hearts from the far reaches of the world, but a storyline that is so poor that the media simply isn’t worth viewing. I can’t help but wonder if the videogame industry shouldn’t stop hiring CG artists and employ better creative writers.

My mechanical pencil and I have a special relationship. I click, it obeys. In most cases, that means I spend hours drawing figures on printer paper and trying to clean them up enough to scan onto a computer. The new screen tablet Wacom presented in the exhibition hall made me consider finally breaking nearly all ties with my slightly-less-than reliable pencil. While I didn’t have the budget to acquire this heavenly new piece of technology, I was able to get my hands on an easy-to-use animation program that I plan on spending all of my free time utilizing. The exhibition hall ended up granting my second desire as I was able to wander freely and discover what companies were there to flaunt their feathers and all of their technological attachments.

It wasn’t until the last day when my first and third goals- and prayers- were met. I had been wondering “out of all the people that would kill to be standing where I am now, why I am here? What is my purpose at this convention?” I had spent the week checking every available resource and that last day my question was answered. Clearly the verse “seek and you will find” has merit.

The Guerrilla Studio is one of the best exhibits available at SIGGRAPH and I hope there will never be a year when it goes without it. At said studio I was introduced to a woman who presented herself as an accomplished artist and a professor at a visual arts college. Taking a deep breath, I presented my dilemma to her;

“I am going to be a freshman in college at a small liberal arts school and I can’t make heads or tails what I should be doing there. I love CG art, but I don’t want to spend all day warming a seat and a keyboard as I type code for someone else’s production.” At least that was the gist of it. She had an amused smile on her face when she answered. The long and short of it was that I was in the right place. I had an art and computer science department open to my disposal. She recommended that I dabble in both, but get a broad liberal arts background to avoid the “sweatshop scene” of the twenty-first century. That day I walked out of the studio with three pieces of art, a light head and a feeling of confirmation. After roughly 6-12 months of anxiety and some six months of continuous confirmation (that I somehow failed to heed), I know that I was being strategically placed.

In the book entitled “My Life”, SIGGRAPH may very well get its own chapter. I had decided before I arrived that I would have to return the following summer, such was my excitement. By the time it was over, that initial feeling of overwhelmed euphoria had multiplied exponentially. I am not the owner of a huge company, nor am I the computer science major endeavoring to change the face of the computer graphics world- yet. I am a city kid with (supposedly) a good head and a need for a clear direction that eventually leads up and into a place where I can make a difference, express myself, do what I love and enjoy the talent of others. Lastly, I want to find a place where I never stop learning and people come with volumes to teach. SIGGRAPH pointed out a door.

My experience at this year Siggraph Conference was great.

I was able to thoroughly enjoy myself, while at the same time, soak up as much information as I could in the various areas of the conference that I spent my time.

Bar far, my favorite part of the conference was the area called “immersing technologies.” Some of the representatives show me some technological advances that I would have never imagined a mere possibility. One cool thing was a dance game that was based on your shadows. The computer analyzed my shadows, and unfortunately, informed me that my dance skills need work.

Another cool thing in immersing technologies was a human pong game. Instead of using paddles, we actually used our hands!!! This whole time, I though my XBOX was soo tech savvy, but my time spent in immersing technologies was a wonderful reality check for me.

My other favorite part of the conference was the “gorilla studio” which had a bunch of interactive programs available for use on the computer. I had a great time experimenting with some of the new programs available on Mac OS X. A also had fun creating a clay animation movie through the use of many slide puts together.

Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to participate in this great conference.