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Fact Sheet SIGGRAPH 98
Panels Fact Sheet

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

Eighteen Panels were presented at SIGGRAPH 98. They explored the art and science of image and interface, and addressed the technical, practical, aesthetic, and social challenges we face as we build the future into the next millennium. This highly interdisciplinary program sparked animated discussions and provided thought-provoking insights from some of the top professionals in the interactive and graphics world. All SIGGRAPH 98 Panels were simultaneously interpreted into Japanese.

"The SIGGRAPH 98 Panels Program promises to launch the art, craft, and science of computer graphics and interactive media into a bold new age," said Celia Pearce, Celia Pearce & Friends, SIGGRAPH 98 Panels chair. "The overriding theme reflects a trend in the industry toward human-centered computing. From immersion to ubiquitous computing, from high-end military applications to children's toys, the new generation of computer graphics and interactive applications is all about people. Themes as diverse as social engineering to high-speed rendering can be seen in the selected panels."

What's missing from the SIGGRAPH 98 Panels? In reviewing the final list, one committee members said, "Graphics." It was an ironic comment, but his point was well taken. The emphasis is no longer on how to draw pictures on the screen but on how to make those pictures more meaningful to the human experience, and how perhaps to draw them out of the computer altogether. The majority of panel submissions dealt with interactivity, and put technology in the context of how invisible the computer could ultimately be in the human-computer interaction. Transparent technology is the call of the day.

Panel Highlights

Behavioral Modeling and Animation: Past, Present, and Future


Demetri Terzopoulos, University of Toronto
Xiaoyuan Tu, Intel Corporation


Craig Reynolds, DreamWorks Animation
Kiran Joshi, Walt Disney Feature Animation
Toby Simpson, CyberLife Technolgies Ltd.
Ken Perlin, New York University
Xiaoyuan Tu, Intel Corporation

Only 10 years after it was introduced as an advanced technique for animating graphical characters, behavorial animation is now the foundation of sophisticated systems developed by recipients of technical, scientific, and engineering Academy Awards. This panel discussed the fundamentals of behavioral modeling and animation arising from our knowledge of living systems. It summarized the state of the art from multiple perspectives and looked at how algorithms are being used in everything from children's CD-ROM's to online worlds on the Internet to feature film animation.

Feature FX: Money Pit or Gold Mine?


Patricia Rose Duignan, Rhythm & Hues


Scott Ross, Digital Domain
Jim Morris, Industrial Light & Magic
Carl Rosendahl, Pacific Data Images
Richard Hollander, Blue Sky | VIFX
Phil Tippett, Tippett Studio
Ray Feeney, RFX

The effects industry was reborn in the late 1970s with the production of "Star Wars." Since then, it has grown from one small company producing effects for George Lucas and his friends to a crowded and highly competitive business of approximately 20 companies competing for almost half a billion effects dollars in 1997. What are some of the growing pains that the big effects operations have experienced in the 80s and 90s, and how are they preparing for a healthy future?

Location-Based Entertainment: The Next Generation


Randy Paush, Carnegie Mellon University


Trevor Bryant, Sony Development
Joe Garlingon, Walt Disney Imagineering
Jon Snoddy, GameWorks
Jordan Wesiman, FASA Interactive

Location-based entertainment (LBE) is moving from speculation to reality. Following in the tracks of Virtual World Entertainment (formerly BattleTech Center) and Dave & Busters, GameWorks is now open to the public and Disney Quest has opened its doors. This panel discussed the opportunities and challenges of creating today's LBE attractions based on industry leaders' real-world experiences.

Out of the Box: Toys Break the Screen Barrier


Steve Schklair, Quantum Arts


Christian Greuel, LEGO A/S, SPU-Darwin
Andy Rifkin, Mattel Media
Erik Strommen, Microsoft Corporation
Michael Patrick Johnson, MIT Media Lab
John Sutyak, Hasbro Interactive

Transmedia applications blur the line between physical play in the real world and virtual play in the digital world. Are these applications precursors to eventual integration of the computer into more aspects of daily life? As they distribute the play experience over different media, are they still considered "applications," or have they become "toys" in which the computer is now only part of the total experience? This panel analyzed the theory and practice behind transmedia, and offered live demonstrations of transmedia products.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Invoking Ubiquitous Computing for Computer Graphics


W. Bradford Paley, Digital Image Design Incorporated


Mark Weiser, Xerox PARC
Hiroshi Ishii, MIT Media Lab
Bill Buxton, Alias | Wavefront
Steven Feiner, Columbia University
Steve Schafer, Microsoft Corporation
S. Joy Mountford, Interval Research Corporation

Industry leaders summarized their interests and research/application areas, with a focus on how ubiquitous computing (bringing the computer off the screen and into the real world) may change practice and research in computer graphics. Panelists also addressed what ubiquitous computing will need from computer graphics.

Virtual Reality as Healing Art


Galen R. Brandt, The Pacific Sands


Rita K. Addison
Hugh S. Lusted, BioControl Systems, Inc.
Tom Riess, H.M.D. Therapeutics
Myron W. Krueger, Artificial Reality Corporation
Richard Satava, Yale University/NASA
Dorothy Strickland, Stetson University/ Virtual Reality Aids

This panel featured live presentations by both practitioners and patients using VR in therapeutic and curative applications. Questions addressed included: How can we use virtual reality to heal ourselves -- body, mind and soul? Could it be that virtual healing is the "killer app" of VR not because it kills, but because it heals? In its deepest promise and most profound practice, VR as both healing modality and visionary art form is a transformative technology with extraordinary power to make and keep us well. From classic vision to cutting-edge research, this panel looked at cyberspace as a healing place, avatar as anima, virtual reality as healing art.

Visualization: The Hard Problems


David Zeltzer, Sarnoff Corporation


Ann M. Bisantz, State University of New York at Buffalo
Krzysztof Lenk, Dynamic Diagrams
Jock D. Mackinlay, Xerox PARC
Randall W. Simons, Sandia National Laboratories

New methods for visualizing complex datasets, from abstract mathematical concepts to high-speed military tactical response systems were presented by a panel representing a variety of pertinent disciplines: computer graphics, human factors, cognitive science, and the graphic arts.

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