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Fact Sheet SIGGRAPH 98
Computer Animation Festival Fact Sheet
Computer Animation Festival Program

19-24 July 1998
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Florida

"The computer graphics industry has reached a point of maturity that sees us exploding into a truly new world; a place where computer graphics is simultaneously a medium, a process, and a product; a place where the line between these three separate 'things' is actually unclear," said Ines Hardtke, National Film Board of Canada, SIGGRAPH 98 Computer Animation Chair.

"This is extraordinary. It is mind changing. Computer animation is jumping off the screen. It runs through us and connects us through our senses, through our perceptions, through meaning and, experience. Technology no longer limits our animation. It now affords us aesthetic and methodic choices and the creative freedom that comes from that. These trends are strongly illustrated in the works selected for the SIGGRAPH 98 Computer Animation Festival."

A record-breaking number of more than 650 submissions were juried for the SIGGRAPH 98 Computer Animation Festival. It featured a broad, international selection of the industry's most outstanding animations, performances, and interactions:

  • The Computer Animation Festival was made up of four venues: Electronic Theater, Animation Theaters, sigKIDS Theater, and Classics Show.
  • One third of all accepted work was from international contributors.
  • One third of all accepted work was student work.

Electronic Theater Highlights

The Electronic Theater presented the excellence that defines the breadth and the scope of our industry.

Hand-Drawn Spaces
Riverbed, USA

Hand-Drawn Spaces is a virtual performance in which dancers move across three projection screens and the spaces in between. The figures are modeled and rendered as three-dimensional sketches, and are animated by the intricate choreography of Merce Cunningham. The composition was created with motion fragments that were motion captured, key frame reduced, footstep extracted, and then assembled into long-format sequences with motion flow editing.

Character Animation

The character animation in the SIGGRAPH 98 festival saw us inside the characters and no longer stuck on the outside of their models.

The Smell of Horror
Mitch Butler

Flip, a good old southern boy, drives to a strange dark house to test for toxic fumes. An eager little man answers the door, starting Flip's unusual day.

Chris Landreth
Alias | Wavefront

What happens when you transform a theatrical play into an animation? One answer to this is explored in "Bingo": an animation based on the short play "Disregard This Play" by Chicago's Neo-Futurist Theatre Company, a story dealing with the age-old question: "What if a lie is told long enough and loud enough?" "Bingo" is the first animation to be fully produced with Alias | Wavefront's Maya animation software. It is completely spellbinding in terms of where technology applied to performance is taking us.

Polygon Family
Polygon Pictures

A family of four. An ordinary life. A delicate expression of habit and gesture. Beautiful and completely effective in its aesthetic.

Film and Special Effects

Pacific Data Images
DreamWorks, USA

The story of a disillusioned ant whose personal struggles force him to become a reluctant leader. In this clip the hero, Z, unwittingly joins legions of army ants destined for battle. "Antz", an all-computer-animated feature film, is the first release resulting from a co-production pact between Pacific Data Images and DreamWorks.

Nobuto Ochiai

The pilot film for an original full computer graphics movie. Set in an imaginary Asian city in the near future, it tells the story of a child who is trying to survive in a city ravaged by civil war.

1998 Oscar winners ... Attendees learned how the Titanic
was built and sailed. They saw why "Geri's Game",
with its flawless character animation and
extraordinary storytelling, received 1998's Oscar for best animated short.

Building and Sailing the Titanic
Digital Domain

Highlighting the myriad of digital tools used to bring the Titanic back to life, this montage demonstrates the unprecedented digital achievements of this Academy Award-winning film.

Geri's Game

Geri, an old man, plays chess in the park, against himself. Somehow, he manages to win every time. Age and treachery WILL overcome youth and skill.

Student Work

Beautiful, disturbing, certainly extraordinary student work was accepted.

The Goner
Peter Kaboth

And the mercy seat is waiting ...

Jin Wan Park
Pratt Institute

The story of a bug and a man - a metaphor for dictatorial relationships. Grotesque environments are created through Metaball facial expressions.

The Eccentric Circle
Dun Zhao
Academy of Art College of San Francisco

This beautiful character animation brings Dali's famous paintings to life in 3D.

Still Life
Scott Curtain
Ringling School of Art and Design

Does destruction promote evolution? A mechanical vulture violently enters the corpse of a car crash victim in an attempt to become human.


Pieces were accepted that illustrate the reach to integrate other senses into our experience.

Tapio Takala
Helsinki University of Technology

St. Marienkirche, located in Neubrandenburg, Germany, is a 13th-century gothic cathedral. It was ruined at the end of World War II and is currently being rebuilt as a concert hall in which the first concerts will be held in the year 2000. This film demonstrates the architectural design of this concert hall through visual and aural simulation. The beginning shows the current state of the Marienkirche building and demonstrates the computer model of its redesigned interior. Simultaneously unechoic "dry" piano music is heard. When the concert hall is entered, we hear the music rendered according to the real hall acoustics. The simulated soundscape changes according to direction and distance of the grand piano and the position of the camera.

Music for Unprepared Piano
Robin Bargar
National Center for Supercomputing Applications

Data-driven simulated physically-based synchronization of sounds and graphics, performed by a particle system of tennis balls and golf balls, fired from a firehose into a piano. Particle system collisions control all sounds. A homage to John Cage.


Rendering with Natural Light
Paul Debevec
University of California at Berkeley, USA

This technical/creative piece describes how a series of differently exposed photographs can be used to accurately record lighting information in a scene, and how such lighting information can be used to illuminate synthetic objects with natural light. The technique is demonstrated in a short animated film.

Visual poetry

Yasuo Ohba
Namco Ltd.

The many and colorful creatures of this piece, through their crowding, their motion, their forming of curling towers, help the viewer to imagine a joyful and bright "Kazematsuri," a festival celebrating gentle breezes.

SIGGRAPH 98 Interactive Experience

Cinematrix / Evans & Sutherland

Cinematrix* returned to the SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater with new games and old favorites. Audience members participated and became pixels in the world's largest video game. Cinematrix has updated its system to run on the world's most popular computing platform: Intel and Windows NT. Evans & Sutherland has joined forces with Cinematrix to showcase REALimage, its extreme-performance OpenGL acceleration technology -- the graphics power of a mainframe compressed into a single VLSI device. Graphics acceleration IS the cornerstone of interactivity.

* Cinematrix Interactive Entertainment Systems featuring Kinoetic Adventure

Animation Theaters

The Animation Theaters were approached with a fresh look and presented the excellence that defines the depth of our industry. Selected works were presented in several programs in the hope that offering several "contexts" will ultimately mean that more people will see and appreciate this work.

Animation Theater Programs:

  • Art & Character Animation I, II and III
  • Commercials, Visualization, Rides
  • Entertainment, Effects
  • Funnies
  • International Work I and II
  • Student Work I, II and III
  • Technique
  • Tools of the Trade

sigKIDS Theater

A first for SIGGRAPH, the sigKIDS Theater presented the excellence of our industry that does and will inspire our youth. SigKIDS Theater was a collaborative effort between the Computer Animation Festival and the sigKIDS program. The intent was to inspire kids and the people with kids in their lives (educators, parents, people who produce work for kids) by showing them what is possible with computer animation, through works that are excellent in their use of storytelling, through powerful messages as they relate to our kids, the viewer.

Classics Show

The Classics Show, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the SIGGRAPH conference, presented the excellence of our history. It is this work that has led us to where we find ourselves today.

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