SIGGRAPH 2004 - The 31st international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques
Conferenece Exhibition Call For Participation Presenters Media Registration spacer

Late-breaking updates on the year's most important advances in 3D animation, games, shading, visualization, processors, APIs, career development, and more. In Exhibitor Tech Talks, SIGGRAPH 2004 exhibitors present two-hour tutorials and interactive instruction on their products and services.

Quick and Dirty 3D Sketching With SketchUp
@Last Software, Inc./Sketchup
Tuesday, 10 August, 10 am - noon
Hall G, Room 1

This important new sketching software is working its way into design offices of all kinds. Learn the basics of SketchUp, how you can benefit from using it, and how to integrate it into your work.

John Bacus
@Last Software, Inc./Sketchup
821 Pearl Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302 USA
Jbacus (at)

Reshaping the Digital Pipe: AMD64 Technology in High-End Visualization
Tuesday, 10 August, 10 am - noon
Hall G, Room 2

AMD64 Technology is revolutionizing today's digital media production process across the industry. In this session, learn how AMD64 technology is being utilized in major studios and development houses to reshape everything from pre-visualization to post-production, game development, and film distribution. Learn how AMD64 technology has helped change the landscape of digital media creation and what it can do for you.

Dan Houdek
5204 East Ben White Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78741 USA
Dan.houdek (at)

Taking 3D Programming on Mac OS X to a Higher Level: Creating High-Performance Applications Based on the Open Inventor API with Coin and Sc21
Systems in Motion
Tuesday, 10 August, 1 - 3 pm
Hall G, Room 2

Mac OS X is becoming the platform of choice of an ever increasing number of 3D developers due to its excellent OpenGL support. It is, however, lacking a framework that allows programmers to develop applications on a higher level than OpenGL itself. Coin provides application programmers with such a framework: a tool to create native, high-performance 3D graphics applications on Mac OS X based on the industry-standard Open Inventor API. Coin is tightly integrated with Cocoa through the Sc21 framework. This presentation provides a sneak preview of Sc21 and gives an introduction to high-level 3D programming using Coin and Sc21 through live on-stage creation of a Mac OS X VRML viewer.

The Power of Pixel Shaders: Using High-Level Shading Languages in Professional Applications
ATI Technologies Inc.
Tuesday, 10 August, 1 - 3 pm
Hall G, Room 1

Programmable pixel shaders are all the rage for today's computer games. But how can they be leveraged in today's workstation software applications? Learn how high-level shading languages are used to create a new generation of professional content creation and CAD applications.

Dinesh Sharma
ATI Technologies, Inc.
4555 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, California 95054 USA
dsharma (at)

Best Storage Practices for Media Rendering
Panasas Inc.
Tuesday, 10 August, 4 - 6 pm
Hall G, Room 2

Linux clusters deliver scalable, affordable computing to handle the technical demands of animation artists and directors, and to deliver increasingly real entertainment products to savvy movie-goers and gamers worldwide. The continued growth of these clusters, more capable processors, and the drive to develop more realistic models and textures together place an increased burden on traditional SAN- and NAS-based storage systems that historically have served these clusters. The Panasas ActiveScale Storage Cluster employs a cluster file system, scalable object-storage architecture, and commodity components to deliver the same price-performance benefits for storage as Linux clusters. This session examines some of the data-management challenges faced by large animation production houses and shows how the ActiveScale Storage Cluster effectively addresses those challenges.

Bruce Moxon is the Chief Solutions Architect at Panasas, a high-performance, next-generation networked storage company, where he works with customers and partners to implement shared storage cluster computing solutions for high-throughput applications. He draws on 20 years of experience in scientific and commercial HPC and VLDB systems to craft solutions to data-intensive problems in bioinformatics, media, scientific computing, seismic processing, and business intelligence applications. Mr. Moxon has deployed numerous parallel and distributed computing systems in high-profile projects for DARPA, IBM, Bank of America, NASA, Celera Genomics, and Perlegen Sciences.

Training for Careers in Animation and Technology
Vancouver Film School
Wednesday, 11 August, 10 am - noon
Hall G, Room 1

Interested in a career in 3D animation? This session includes a screening of outstanding student work, a comprehensive overview of the Vancouver Film School's 3D animation programs and admissions requirements, discussion of career opportunities, and a question-and-answer period.

Larry Bafia
Vancouver Film School
200 198 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1H2 Canada
larry (at)

PCI Express* Technology: A Breakthrough Technology for the Graphics Industry
Intel Corporation
Wednesday, 11 August, 10 am - noon
Hall G, Room 2

PCI Express technology, a new I/O interconnect technology replacing PCI and AGP in 2004 systems, promises to offer a plethora of performance advancements for the graphics community. In this session, Intel experts discuss the performance attributes of PCI Express-enabled workstations and rendering-farm applications, and give insight into the availability of PCI Express graphics capability.

Allyson Klein
Intel Corporation
2111 NE 25th Avenue
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124 USA
allyson.klein (at)

The Making of "Ruby: The DoubleCross"
ATI Technologies, Inc.
Wednesday, 11 August, 1 - 3 pm
Hall G, Room 1

This talk describes the making of the real-time 3D animation "Ruby: The DoubleCross," which is showing in the Computer Animation Festival. Topics include the process of creating this stunning animation from the initial concept to the finished real-time demo and the content-creation and graphics-engine sides of the demo, including detailed discussion of the shading techniques using Direct3D HLSL shaders.

Callan McInally
ATI Research, Inc.
62 Forest Street
Marborough, Massachusetts 01752 USA
callan (at)

COLLADA: An Open Interchange File Format for the Interactive 3D Industry
Sony Computer Entertainment
Wednesday, 11 August, 1 - 3 pm
Hall G, Room 2

Alias, Discreet, and Sony Computer Entertainment introduce COLLADA, to dramatically improve today's content pipeline with an open and extensible, collaboratively designed interchange file format that enables existing and future tools to scale up to the exciting challenges of the next wave of interactive content development.

Remi Arnaud
Graphics Architect
Sony Computer Entertainment
919 East Hillsdale Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Foster City, California 94404 USA
remi_arnaud (at)

Middle-Earth: Imagination Made More Real
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
Wednesday, 11 August, 4 - 6 pm
Hall G, Room 1

A showcase of New Zealand's creative technology companies specializing in cutting-edge animation, simulation, 3D modeling, augmented reality ...

Jeremy Gimbel
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
12400 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1120
Los Angeles, California 90025 USA
jeremy.gimbel (at)

Exhibitor Sessions

NVIDIA Corporation
Bea Langsdorf
NVIDIA Corporation
2701 San Tomas Expressway
Santa Clara, California 95050 USA

HLSL Shader Workshop: Introductory
Monday & Wednesday, 10:30 am and 3:45 pm
Tuesday & Thursday, 1:45 pm
Meeting Room 402A

Try your hand at writing shaders and other real-time effects! This hands-on workshop introduces real-time shader programming with the Microsoft DirectX 9.0 High-Level Shader Language (HLSL). Attendees learn how to harness the power of the latest GPU technology through a language as familiar as C while using a powerful shader IDE. Developers learn how to integrate shaders with their applications and create new effects that are only possible with HLSL. All machines used for the labs are the latest AMD64-based computers with NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GPUs. The workshop also includes tips for writing efficient shaders and strategies for debugging them. The workshop is intended for experienced graphics programmers familiar with fundamental 3D graphics techniques, including simple matrix math.

HLSL Shader Workshop: Advanced
Monday & Wednesday, 1:45 pm
Tuesday & Thursday, 10:30 am and 3:45 pm
Meeting Room 402A

In this hands-on session, attendees develop a variety of next-generation advanced shader effects using the Microsoft DirectX 9.0 High-Level Shader Language (HLSL). The focus is on practical, high-quality techniques that can easily be integrated with attendees' ongoing and future projects to help set them apart from the pack. Topics include High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) and Pre-Computed Radiance Transfer (PRT) lighting techniques as well as implementation specifics such as floating-point filtering, and floating-point blending. All machines used for the labs are the latest AMD64-based computers with NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GPUs.

The workshop also includes strategies for writing performant shaders, as well as an overview of potential applications in graphics and general-purpose scenarios. The advanced session is for experienced coders who are already conversant with writing shaders and want to take their knowledge to a higher level.

Shader Model 3.0 Unleashed
Tuesday, 1:45 - 3:15 pm
Wednesday, 3:45 - 5:30 pm
Thursday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Meeting Room 401

The latest GPUs, like the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 and others from the GeForce 6 Series, support significant new features, such as reading textures in vertex programs, advanced flow control in fragment programs, floating-point filtering, floating-point blending, and geometry instancing. This talk dissects practical examples of Shader Model 3.0 in action to enrich visual complexity and improve performance.

Transforming Production Workflows With the GPU
Monday, 3:45 - 5:30 pm
Wednesday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Thursday, 1:45 - 3:15 pm
Meeting Room 401

The rapid pace of GPU performance advances comes in parallel with the increasing convergence among films, games, and surrounding media. Games are being recast as films, films create matching games, and the technology of imaging is increasingly shared among all facets of the storytelling media. This talk covers high-performance, practical, real-time applications of shading technology for expressive and realistic shading to complete and complement the best of movie effects. Examples are primarily via the NVIDIA FX Composer shader authoring tool, with application for games and DCC users, whether they're programmers or artists.

GPU Performance Tools and Analysis Techniques
Monday, 1:45 - 3:15 pm
Tuesday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Thursday, 3:45 - 5:30 pm
Meeting Room 401

The complexity of modern GPUs requires the use of a sophisticated toolset when creating, debugging, and tuning your real-time applications. Leveraging our intimate knowledge of the GPU and driver, NVIDIA has created a suite of performance analysis and optimization tools that identify performance bottlenecks and report critical performance metrics. This talk showcases the toolset for performance optimization while tackling bottlenecks in an actual application, through a step-by-step case study using NVPerfHUD, FX Composer, and other tools.

Image Processing With the GPU
Monday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Tuesday, 3:45 - 5:30 pm
Wednesday, 1:45 - 3:15 pm
Meeting Room 401

Programmable GPUs supporting 32-bit floating-point calculation are extremely well-suited for many image-processing tasks. this talk examines various methods for harnessing the power of the GPU for pixel processing. Attendees learn about pixel buffer objects, multiple-draw buffers, floating-point filtering and blending, getting data quickly to and from the GPU, and high-dynamic-range (HDR) and GPU-based paint applications.

Kaydara User Group
Faster, Smarter, and More Flexible: A Sneak Preview of MOTIONBUILDER 6

Tuesday, 10 August, 4 - 6 pm

Presentations and demonstrations of Kaydara's most innovative and groundbreaking 3D character animation technology. An in-depth look at the latest version of its renowned application, MOTIONBUILDER 6. This session also features presentations by special guests.

Exciting new features in MOTIONBUILDER 6 include enhanced IK and FK keyframe capabilities; interchangeable character setups with added support for props, constraints, and custom properties; tools for managing motion curves dynamics; and a simplified and customizable user interface. Heralded as one of the best real-time 3D character animation solutions on the market, MOTIONBUILDER 6 allows users to create animated content quickly and easily for games, films, web, and broadcast.

Kaydara demonstrates MOTIONBUILDER 6 in Booth 1300.

Annie Bélanger
Kaydara Inc.
4428 Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Suite 300
Montréal, Québec H2W 1Z5 Canada
info (at)

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Conference 8-12 August, Exhibition 10-12 August.  In Los Angeles, CA