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Media Fact Sheets
8-13 August 1999
Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California USA
Sixteen panels are presented this year at SIGGRAPH 99. Panels are a forum for free-flowing discussion of the art, science, and business of computer graphics. This highly interdisciplinary program sparks animated discussions and provides thought-provoking insights from some of the top professionals in the computer graphics and interactive worlds.
"SIGGRAPH 99 panelists from Asia, Europe, and the Americas survey a very wide range of issues, from digital protection of intellectual property to advanced techniques for practical visualization of massive datasets," said Jeff Jortner, Sandia National Laboratories and SIGGRAPH 99 Panels Chair. "Naturally, several Panels focus on issues that affect the large visual effects industry in California. Examples from recent feature films illustrate how animators and engineers simulate and control crowd behavior. Managers, producers, and creators explore visual effects production issues and how they apply today's research to tomorrow's problems."
Other Panel sessions are already moving beyond tomorrow to think about the future of experiential art or interweaving reality with virtual reality to establish another paradigm: mixed reality.
Panel Highlights
CG Crowds: The Emergence of the Digital Extra
From stampeding dinosaurs to crawling ants, crowds have been used more and more and in film production in recent years. Beyond behavioral simulation, what are the challenges of creating a crowd system for use in a feature film? How usable is a pure behavioral system, and how much "manual" control must be provided when the goal is to create crowds that help tell a story? How do you simulate and render the behavior of thousands of characters? This panel compares some of the solutions implemented for a number of different feature films.
Organizer: Juan Buhler, Pacific Data Images
Panelists: Jonathan Gibbs, Pacific Data Images
Christophe Hery, Industrial Light & Magic
Dale McBeath, Pixar Animation Studios
Saty Raghavachary, Dreamworks SKG

Digital Watermarking: What Will it Do for Me? And What it Won't!
Digital watermarking has received increasing attention and concern as the need expands for protection of intellectual property rights and integrity of digital information. The first generation of watermarking systems has focused on still image and video files, in which the high redundancy can be used to embed the watermark. As the need for protection moves beyond the image, we face challenging new requirements to watermark everything, including 3D images, holographic graphics, VRML and XML files, and stereo audio. In this panel, world-class digital watermarking experts and end-users (artists and content providers) discuss and debate the issues, such as what can be watermarked, how useful watermarks are, and standardization activities.
Organizer: Jian Zhao, Fraunhofer Center for Research in Computer Graphics, Inc. and MediaSec Technologies LLC
Panelists: Eckhard Koch, MediaSec Technologies LLC
Joe O'Ruanaidh, Siemens Corporate Research
Minerva Yeung, Intel Corporation

Experiential Computer Art
Is interactive computer art at the forefront of contemporary art, or is this an esoteric medium that indulges only a few? Where is it going? Where has it been? This panel attempts to answer these questions and begin a dialogue with the audience on issues surrounding interactive computer installations as an artform.
Organizer: Lucy Petrovich, University of Arizona
Panelists: Maurice Benayoun, Z.A. Production
Tammy Knipp, Florida Atlantic University
Thomas Lerner, Laurent Mignonneau, and Christa Sommerer, ATR Media Integration & Communications Research Laboratories
Get Real! Global Illumination for Film, Broadcast, and Game Production
In this new era of computer-generated virtual sets and environments, the stakes are raised if we hope to mix and match reality with synthetic imagery. This panel discusses the practical implications of using global illumination techniques to deliver realism in film, broadcast, and game production. For those who strive for absolute realism in their work, panelists reveal specific "tricks of the trade," learned through experience, for using global illumination programs to create highly realistic, virtual environments. Panelists review successful examples of fabricated realism in the entertainment industry from a historical standpoint and discuss case studies with industry.
Organizer: Stuart Feldman, Discreet Logic
Panelists: Craig Barron, Matte World Digital
Scott LeLeur, Design Visualization Partners, Inc.
George Murphy, Industrial Light & Magic
Dave Walvoord, Rhythm & Hues Studios
Visualizing Large-Scale Datasets: Challenges and Opportunities
Despite unprecedented growth in the volume of data from both computational simulations and instrument/sensor sources, our ability to manipulate, explore, and understand large datasets is lagging behind. Visualization transforms raw data into vivid 2D or 3D images that help scientists reveal important features and trends in the data, convey ideas, and communicate their findings. However, the massive data volumes create new challenges for visualization researchers and industry, and make previous visualization approaches impractical. The new generation of visualization methods must scale well with the growing data volumes and cope with other parts of the data analysis pipeline, such as storage and display devices.
To accelerate development of new data manipulation and visualization methods for massive datasets, the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy have sponsored a series of workshops on relevant topics. This panel discusses the data and visualization concepts that have emerged from the workshop series, including innovations in data handling, representations, telepresence, and visualization.
Organizer: Kwan-Liu Mah, Institute for Computer Applications in Science and Engineering
Panelists: Steve Eick, Visual Insights/Lucent Technologies
Bernd Hamann, University of California, Davis
Philip Heermann, Sandia National Laboratory
Christopher Johnson, University of Utah
Mike Krogh, Computational Engineering International Inc.
Visual Storytelling
When cinematic storytelling is at its best, the visual imagery furthers the narrative by establishing the world in which the story takes place and setting the emotional tone as each sequence unfolds. While this is a well-understood practice in traditional filmmaking, the language of digital filmmaking is just now being developed. Using "A Bug's Life" as a case study, the members of this panel examine this issue by presenting the creative goals that drove the project and discussing the creative and technical directions they pursued to accomplish these goals.
Organizer: Bill Cone, Pixar Animation Studios
Panelists: Sharon Calahan, Ewan Johnson, Tia Kratter, Glenn McQueen, and Bob Pauley, Pixar Animation Studios
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