September 5th, 2012 | Natasha EnglehardtFor individuals that are unfamiliar with the annual Siggraph convention hopefully this can add some perspective to an event worth attending. Siggraph is to the computer graphics industry what Comic-con is to comic book fans. And Platt students were provided the exciting opportunity to attend Siggraph for free this year in Los Angeles. This convention seems to remain off the major convention radar for many, however for digital media designers it is worthy of visiting. Especially for those looking for a great opportunity to network with people in the Computer Graphics Industry. If companies like Walt Disney Animation, Pixar, Nickelodeon, Lucas Arts or Digital Domain are any of the places you have dreamed of working then the job fair hosted at Siggraph is reason enough to have attended. Many of these companies send their job recruiters with a complete list of current job openings and internships they are currently hiring. If that is not enough to be excited for then perhaps their famous and informative keynote speaker or demonstrations from industry professionals might entice all audiences. Jane McGonigal, the Chief Creative Officer at SuperBetter Labs was one of the popular keynote speakers at Siggraph this year. Her presentation focused on why video games make us better and can possibly change the world. She even made the following statement during her presentation on predictions for the future of gaming, “My #1 goal in life is to see a game designer nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. I’ve forecast that this will happen by the year 2023. Of course, it’s not enough to just forecast the future – I’m also actively working to make it a reality.” The games that Jane has focused on creating revolve around improving the world around her from curing disease to addressing issues of poverty, hunger, even how we can live in a world without petroleum. So many companies represented at Siggraph this year seemed to focus on what the future holds in the computer graphics world from the coming future to many years ahead. If you can dream it, chances are someone at Siggraph is in the process of creating it. From 3D printers that will take anything created in a 3D program and turn it into a tangible object that can be held in your hands, to televisions and computer monitors that are 3D without the need for a pair of glasses!
For anyone seeking tips on how to improve upon the use of digital smoke and particle effects the NVidia booth was the place to be. One of the main special effects and motion graphics designers from the latest Men In Black film gave a detailed presentation on how they created the effects seen in the film. Pixologic had one of the most popular booths at the convention, and also won the award for the longest line to wait for a piece of Siggraph swag…a free ZBrush hat! No matter what your passion is for in the world of computer graphics Siggraph is sure to have something to peak your interest. If you were not able to attend this year be sure to give it a chance next year, you’ll be glad you did! And what better opportunity than to attend for free thanks to Platt College!