SIGGRAPH 2002 Computer Animation Festival Fact Sheet

Conference: 21-26 July 2002
Exhibition: 23-25 July 2002

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
San Antonio, Texas USA

Imagination, Innovation, Realization: The Art and Science of Computer Animation

Download the Computer Animation Festival trailer (38 MB)

The SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival is the most prestigious event of its kind. It is an internationally recognized and highly anticipated showcase documenting the significant advances in technology and interactive techniques, and the seemingly unlimited creative potential of computer graphics.

The SIGGRAPH 2002 Computer Animation Festival received 640 submissions. The criteria for selection were established as clearly exceptional accomplishment in technique, innovation, design, and/or aesthetics. Based on these criteria, the jury selected 101 pieces, 36 for the Electronic Theater and 65 for the Animation Theaters. There are 19 international and 12 student pieces in the Electronic Theater. The Animation Theaters have 31 international and 27 student pieces.

"The SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival has arrived at a crossroads where the technology achievements and innovations that were featured in the past are now presented within complex and beautifully executed stories," said John McIntosh, School of Visual Arts and SIGGRAPH 2002 Computer Animation Festival Chair. "The SIGGRAPH 2002 Computer Animation Festival represents a dramatic increase in serious work that deserves to be seen in its entirety and not treated as a novelty. Today we are witnessing the results of a revolution that we have anxiously awaited. Individuals and small independent production teams are creating work that competes in quality and visualization with the most renowned studios. As a result, the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival is now an exceptional short film festival as well as a celebration of technological achievement."


The Cathedral (Best Animated Short, SIGGRAPH 2002)
Tomek Baginski, Platige Image, Warsaw
Based on the novel The Cathedral by Jacek Dukaj, this is the story of a pilgrim who arrives at the edge of the known world at the end of a long journey. Here he finds the Cathedral, a place full of secrets. The Cathedral is not only a building, and the pilgrim is not only a man. Animated and rendered in 3ds max, painted in Photoshop, composited with After Effects, and edited with Softimage DS. The artist made the piece over a period of 14 months with the support of Platige Image, a studio that supports independent projects by its artists.

John Mcintosh: "This submission was selected as the Best Animated Short by unanimous vote of the Computer Animation Festival Jury. The extraordinarily rich visualization achieved in 'The Cathedral' was a seduction for the CAF jury. It was viewed repeatedly, and each time the jury became more entranced. It is a beautiful animation -- very representative of the outstanding work we received from small, highly creative production companies in this country and internationally."

The Deserter (Jury Award, SIGGRAPH 2002)
Olivier Coulon, Supinfocom, Paris
In a prostitute's room where WWI deserters have found refuge, one of them thinks he is a bird who can finally, in one leap, rise above the events around him.

John Mcintosh: "The Jury Award is only given at the request and unanimous vote of the Jury. 'The Deserter' is another example of the fine animation and wonderful stories that were submitted this year. It is a wonderfully stylized and animated story that, while set in Europe during the First World War, remains equally relevant and poignant today.

Gorillaz "Rock Da House"
Passion Pictures, London
The evolution from 2D to 3D of virtual band Gorillaz continues with Passion Picturesı latest promo "Rock Da House." While the band members still maintain their 2D appearance, "Rock Da House" moves away from the primarily 2D environments they inhabited in previous promos by involving a 3D Ghost Rapper character and stylized 3D dancers in the background. The Passion team, led by directors Jamie Hewlett and Pete Candeland, resorted to 3D band members where complex camera moves made 2D too time consuming. Once the 2D was scanned into SoftToonz, the band members were then married up with the 3D imagery in After Effects.

Delta II Rocket Launch
Daniel Maas, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
This 100% computer graphics visualization shows the Delta II rocket launch that will propel NASAıs Mars Exploration Rover to the Red Planet in 2003. This animation, developed over a one-year period by a Cornell University undergraduate student, is intended to be dramatic and realistic as well as scientifically accurate. The animation was created using a combination of off-the-shelf and custom software, including Lightwave 5.5, Digital Fusion, and a custom distributed rendering system on a network of home-built PCs.

The Time Machine
Digital Domain, Venice, California
For these time-travel sequences from the feature "The Time Machine," the team at Digital Domain, led by Visual Effects Supervisor Erik Nash, set about creating a visual experience wherein the audience could see the world change in ways no one would be able to film or realize any other way. Custom tools and shaders were written to turn US Geological Survey data into animating and eroding terrain. The two sequences use multiple 3D and 2D software tools. Maya was used for modeling and character animation. Houdini, rendering with Mantra, was used as the primary 3D effects tool.

Panic Room
BUF Compagnie, Paris
As a character from the film attempts to break into a house, the camera follows him through floors, walls, and into impossible corners. Director David Fincher asked BUF Compagnie to seamlessly blend together computer-generated images and filmed shots, allowing for unique camera movements. To create the sequence, BUF took still pictures on location of all sets of the house. With these photo-references, BUF reconstructed the various sets in 3D with modeling and mapping. BUF used in-house software to create the animations with rendering on Mental Ray.

Vermeer, Master of Light
Interface Media Group, Washington D.C.
Through 21st-century digital technology, the National Gallery of Art brought to life the work of the 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. Creating a computer graphics model of The Music Lesson in Alias|Wavefront's Maya, the NGA engineered animations and fly-throughs of the virtual painting, gaining access to details not seen on a flat canvas and discovering new insight into the artist's techniques.

Framestore CFC, London
XBox "Mosquito" features a dramatic take on the evolution of mosquitoes, from nature's musicians to bloodsucking parasites. Director Daniel Kleinman's vision was achieved by creating CGI mosquitoes in live-action plates and digital matte paintings from a combination of sources. Close-up, mosquitoes play music, suck blood, swarm, and dance in crowds in this insect extravaganza.

Human Face Project
Walt Disney Feature Animation, Burbank, California
Over the past year Walt Disney Feature Animation's R & D team researched and developed technical processes to automatically extract human facial performances and apply these performances to other characters. The system faced three fundamental challenges. First, capturing the performance of an actorıs face with great fidelity. Second, transferring this performance to another face, of different form. Third, convincingly rendering human flesh in close-up on the big screen. Walt Disney Feature Animation developed a detailed, dynamic facial model, and can now map-capture performances to any other face that they build. The group is very close to being able to animate faces indistinguishable from real actors.

Graphical Modeling and Animation of Ductile Fracture
James F. O'Brien, University of California at Berkeley
This video demonstrates a method for realistically animating ductile fracture in common solid materials such as plastics and metals. The effects that characterize ductile fracture occur due to interaction between plastic yielding and the fracture process. By modeling this interaction, the method can generate realistic motion for a much wider range of materials than could be realized with a purely brittle model.

The Snowman
Duck Soup Studios, Los Angeles, California
Unwitting space aliens kidnap a snowman, hoping he will divulge the Earth's secrets. The aliens, unaware that the snowman has begun to melt, subject their captive to a tortuous brain probe. Sparks fly as the ship's electrical system begins to short and explode. Animation director Lane Nakamura chose Alias|Wavefront's Maya as a one-package solution for creating the story. In addition to helping to create and animate the story, Lane Nakamura also created the alien language, which he based on, of all things, the names of different cuts of meat.

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