SIGGRAPH 2004 - The 31st international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques
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Sheila Hoffmeyer
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New Panels Announced for SIGGRAPH 2004

(Chicago, IL - 13 July) - ACM SIGGRAPH today announced the return of the Panels program for SIGGRAPH 2004, the 31st International Conference on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques, being held 8-12 August 2004 in Los Angeles, California.

The Panels program is a blend of debate, argument, and discussion on important topics in computer graphics and interactive techniques, and related fields. Experts and skeptics deliver opinions, insights, speculation, and summaries of recent work. The audience follows up with questions, comments, and criticism. The result is new perspective on key questions and current controversies.

"We are very excited to have the Panels program back and as strong as ever," says Jonathan Gibbs, SIGGRAPH 2004 Panel Chair from PDI/DreamWorks. "Panel topics are fresh and cross multiple industries of the technical and creative. Plus, this year's moderators and panelists read like a 'Who's Who' of the SIGGRAPH community. Each session is certain to be at full capacity."

Gibbs continued, "SIGGRAPH attendees requested the Panels program return at the 2004 conference, and they will not be disappointed by these topics or distinguished experts. This dialog offers attendees the opportunity to exponentially expand their professional knowledge."

3D Animation: Difficult or Impossible to Teach and Learn?
Moderator: Francis Schmidt, Bergen Community College
Jim Jagger, BioWare Corporation
Jim McCampbell, Ringling School of Art and Design
Craig Slagel, Electronic Arts

Teaching skills needed to animate in current 3D software is difficult. Learning the process may be even more challenging. As the only totally digital art form, 3D Animation does not fall neatly into computer science or art. However, it does share an abundance of the complexities and consternations of both fields. Panelists examine these challenges from three viewpoints -- user, creator, and educator -- and search for a consensus on what works well, what needs improvement, and future possibilities.

Building a Bridge to the Aesthetic Experience: Artistic Virtual Environments and Other Interactive Digital Art
Moderator: Dena Eber, Bowling Green State University
Brian Betz, Kent State University
Tobey Crockett, University of California, Irvine
Flavia Sparacino, Sensing Places/Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Most artists, curators, and museum educators share an important common goal: to create or curate art that viewers can appreciate and enjoy. Ideally, they also want viewers to enter an experience that is immersive and builds a connection with the work beyond the media’s surface. This discussion is an open debate on the effectiveness of using virtual environments and interactive digital works to help the viewer experience art in a richer way. Panelists discuss theory, individual artist experiences, and studies that connect the quality of the aesthetic experience to digital interactivity.

Careers in Computer Graphics Entertainment
Moderators: Rachel Falk, PDI/DreamWorks
Luke O'Byrne, The Orphanage
Hael Kobayashi, Animal Logic
Bob Nicoll, Electronic Arts
Dan Scherlis, Etherplay
Kate Shaw, Industrial Light + Magic

This discussion serves as a forum for information exchange between people interested in computer graphics entertainment as a profession. Panelists are from large, mid-sized, and small companies spanning a variety of industries including digital features, games, visual effects, commercials, and more. Topics include: required production skills, production support, entry-level positions, internships, reel and resume preparation, employment application techniques, and typical employment shortages/surpluses. Whether you are a student, an educator, or just plain curious, this panel delivers the inside angle on industry employment information.

Cultural Heritage and Computer Graphics: What Are the Issues?
Moderator: Holly Rushmeier, Yale University
David Arnold, University of Brighton
Alan Chalmers, University of Bristol
Katsushi Ikeuchi, The University of Tokyo
Mark Mudge, Cultural Heritage Imaging
Roberto Scopigno, Istituto Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione

Throughout the world, governments are allocating more financial support for projects that use technology to preserve and communicate cultural heritage. This panel considers several key related topics including the role of computer graphics in these projects as well as discussing if basic tools and techniques developed in graphics are adequate for use in cultural heritage. A primary panel goal is to discuss what we need to do to move past the current "yet-another-project" phase and build a formal body of knowledge in computer graphics and cultural heritage.

Custom Software Development in Post-Production
Moderator: Andrew Chapman, Framestore CFC
Jack Brooks, Walt Disney Imagineering
David Hart, PDI/DreamWorks
Daniel Maskit, Digital Domain
Steve Sullivan, Industrial Light + Magic

Most post-production and digital effects work employs custom software to varying degrees. Typically, this software is imperative for high-end work and is capable of producing stunning results. However, digital artists and many others find the software difficult to use and too fragile. The panel discusses these deficiencies, why they occur, and how to improve the custom software experience.

Games Development: How Will You Feed the Next Generation of Hardware?
Moderator: Christian Lavoie, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Emilie Saulnier, Vicarious Visions
James Spoto and Frank Vitz, Electronic Arts

It seems that every new high-end platform release results in more and more complex development techniques and expanded resources. For instance, videogame development teams have grown from one- or two-person operations to teams of 30+ employees. Plus, production times have grown from six months to three years (or longer). Thus, the main panel focus is to explore how we can approach the challenge of making the games that the next generation of hardware will demand. While many possible solutions exist, the challenge is finding one that allows teams to output quantity and quality while maintaining financial viability and manageable staff numbers.

Next-Generation User Interface Technology for Consumer Electronics
Moderator: Garry Paxinos, US Digital Television
John Card II, EchoStar Technologies Corp.
Evan Hirsch
Rebecca Lim, Starz Encore
Glen Stone, Sony Business Solutions & Systems

As the power and complexity of consumer electronic devices continues to increase, the potential for a more enthralling, visually exciting, and compelling user experience also increases. The purpose of this panel is to investigate application of existing tools and techniques from various disciplines within the ACM SIGGRAPH community to the next generation of consumer devices.

Complete Panels Information

Registration Information
SIGGRAPH 2004 Registration Management
11212 Waples Mill Road, Suite 104
Fairfax, Virginia, 22030 USA
+1.703.631.6288 fax
registration (at)

SIGGRAPH 2004 will bring nearly 25,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Los Angeles for the week-long conference, 8-12 August. A comprehensive technical program and special events focusing on research, art, animation, games, interactivity, and the web are planned. SIGGRAPH 2004 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services for the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 10-12 August 2004.


ACM SIGGRAPH, the leading professional society for computer graphics and interactive techniques, sponsors SIGGRAPH 2004.

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