This was the fourth year for the Sketches program, and it is evolving like a large, collaborative sketch or drawing. Each year, the contributors and Sketches committee members add new vision and form, redefine pieces, and add more detail to the drawing.

Andrew Glassner created Technical Sketches in 1994. Art & Design Sketches were added in 1995, and, in 1996, Animation Sketches. This year, Applications became a type of Sketch, instead of a separate program.

Sketches have something for everyone and provide an opportunity for intermixing ideas among people from all areas of the SIGGRAPH community. Just like the Creative Applications Laboratory, Sketches provide a common tie between the technical programs, Ongoings: The Fine Arts Gallery, and the Computer Animation Festival, bringing artists, animators, designers, programmers, technical directors, and researchers together.

Building upon the success of the SIGGRAPH 96 Sketches program, we received 215 submissions for SIGGRAPH 97 -- almost double the number of submissions in 1996. The four Sketches juries selected 100 Sketches for inclusion in this year's program.

In Art & Design Sketches, attendees saw innovative uses of computer graphics for art and design, new artistic tools, explanations of the use of technology for creating art, and social provocation. There were also two Art & Design sessions featuring panel discussions by the artists featured in Ongoings: The Fine Arts Gallery.

Application Sketches presented innovative uses of computer graphics technology for visualization, virtual reality, Web-based applications, interaction, education, and art.

Animation Sketches featured examples of new research in animation techniques, commercial use of motion capture and special effects techniques, character animation, tracking technology, dance, and illustrative Sketches describing the process of producing commercials and movie special effects. Several Animation Sketches were solicited from the Computer Animation Festival, to explain how the animations were created.

Technical Sketches featured a wide range of new graphics techniques and early ideas, including realistic rendering, non-photorealistic rendering, modeling and simulation, shading, illumination, graphics hardware, and virtual environments. Technical Sketches allow presentation of both early results (late-breaking research) and small, useful results that may not warrant a full technical paper.

This year, one-page abstracts of all Sketches were published in the Visual Proceedings. The choice of short abstracts was deliberate to allow documentation of techniques and ideas, but not to prevent future publication of full-length papers based on further development of these techniques.

The Sketches program is continuing to evolve, and its success is largely derived from those who contribute their work to it. I encourage you to submit a Sketch to SIGGRAPH 98. Sketches are a great opportunity to contribute to the annual SIGGRAPH conference, whether you are a seasoned contributor or a newcomer.

Finally, I would like to the thank the the Sketches committee members for their hard work and incredible contributions to this year's Sketches program.

David S. Ebert
University of Maryland Baltimore County
SIGGRAPH 97 Sketches Chair

Sketches Committee

SIGGRAPH 98 Sketches Call for Participation