Monday, June 28, 2010

Siggraph 2010 Winners Announced; Pixar Entry Among Highlights

SIGGRAPH 2010 Announces Computer Animation Festival Winners

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SIGGRAPH announces the Computer Animation Festival’s Best in Show, Jury Award, and Best Student Project recipients for SIGGRAPH 2010 to be held in Los Angeles this July. Nominees were chosen from 750 submissions from around the globe, presented by both professional studios and students alike.

“It was difficult to narrow the pool of submissions because of the high level of quality and technical expertise,” said Isaac Kerlow, Computer Animation Festival Director from The Earth Observatory of Singapore/NTU ADM. “Attendees will experience an endorphin rush as they watch the screenings of independent and commercial films, and will get a behind-the-scenes perspective from the planned Production Sessions featuring the visionaries behind some of this year’s most successful Hollywood films. Whether you are an industry veteran or someone who just enjoys quality visual effects and animation, there is something for everyone this year.”

In all, approximately 100 films will be shown during the Computer Animation Festival. The Electronic Theater, the iconic and tribal SIGGRAPH experience, features an identical program three nights in a row, including most of the Jury Selections. Four thematic Special Screenings show the best in TV Commercials and Cinematics, Long Shorts, Student Animations, and for the first time a special focus on Chinese Student Animations. Truly an international event, the festival had entries from 49 different countries and five continents. Fifty-two of the accepted entries are international, and 18 countries are represented in the final selection.

Some of the year’s top visual effects for feature films are featured in the Computer Animation Festival including “Avatar,” “The Last Airbender,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “Iron Man 2,” “Prince of Persia,” “2012,” and “Alice in Wonderland.” Plus, eight Live Real-Time Demos, ranging from mainstream to independent work, also contribute to making the Computer Animation Festival a memorable experience.

Since 1999, the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival has been an official qualifying festival for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “Best Animated Short Film” Academy Award®. The film “French Roast” became an Academy nominee in the Best Animated Short category after winning Best in Show at last year’s Festival. For the third consecutive year, the Festival’s screenings, panels and production sessions will be open to the public, allowing general audiences to get a glimpse behind the making of computer generated effects, visualizations, and animations that is rarely available.

A complete preview video of the 2010 Computer Animation Festival is available here.

Here are just a few highlights of this year’s Computer Animation Festival films and Live Real-Time Demos:

Directed by Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, and Csaba Letayat

“Loom” tells the story of a moth being drowned in one of nature’s complex cycles. “Loom” was the final project of Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, and Csaba Letayat at the Filmakademie Baden Württemberg, Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction. The production time, including story development and preproduction, was one year.

(New Zealand)
Directed by James Cunningham

“Poppy” is an independent short set on France’s western front in World War One. Two New Zealand soldiers are trapped behind enemy lines. They find a baby in a muddy ditch, under its dead parents. One of the men wants to save it—the other does not. Based on true events, “Poppy” was written by the great-grandson of one of these soldiers. An innovative combination of motion capture with exquisite facial animation.

“The Wonder Hospital”
Directed by Beomsik Shimbe Shim, California Institute of the Arts

In this student project, a girl enters a mysterious hospital that alters her way of seeing beauty. She is given a choice between two images of her face, “Before” and “After.” As she continues on this illusionary journey, she realizes that beauty is something very different from what she expected.

“2012” — The Last Fluid Simulation
Visual Effects by Scanline VFX, Los Angeles/Munich
“2012 - The Last Fluid Simulation” shows the underlying technology that was used for more than 100 massive fluid simulation shots on “2012”. Included are examples of fully computer-generated shots with massive tidal waves, simulated ice and snow, and, finally, the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy smashing into the White House.

Assassin’s Creed 2
Cinematic by Digic Pictures for Ubisoft Entertainment
Stunningly rendered and animated, this cinematic narrative follows an assassin on the prowl in a street carnival, on his quest to reveal a secular conspiracy during the masquerades of the Italian Renaissance.

“Animated History of Poland”
Directed by Tomek Bagiński, Platige Image
A tale about 1,000 years of Polish history in the format of a musical-visual poem. The story starts with the beginning of the Polish nation in the ninth century, and shows the most important events and processes that took place until the 21st century. The project is a presentation-educational piece produced for the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai.

“Guinness World”
(United Kingdom)
Commercial by The Mill for AMV BBDO
This commercial spot shows how a pint of Guinness comes to life when poured, opening with a man striking a match and lighting a rocket as a voiceover whispers, “It’s time to bring this place to life.” There begins an exhilarating journey, bringing life to barren landscapes across the planet.

“Day & Night”
Directed by Teddy Newton, Pixar Animation Studios
When Day encounters Night, sparks fly! At first frightened and suspicious of each other, they get off on the wrong foot. But as they discover each other's unique qualities—and realize that each offers a different window onto the world—the friendship helps them gain a new perspective.

Directed by Tomoya Kimpara,
“Suiren” is a poetic science-fiction visual music piece where the ocean is a symbol of life, and machine-seeds are born to devote themselves to the creation of beautiful creatures.

Directed by Anya Belkina, Emerson College
“Upgrades” is a hilarious and breakneck-paced animated parody chronicling major upgrades in computer graphics software. Set to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumble Bee”.

“Making of Nuit Blanche”
Directed by Arev Manoukian, Visual Effects by Marc-André Gray, Stellar Scene
In this reel we explore the making of “Nuit Blanche”, an elegant and poetic short film that explores a fleeting moment between two strangers, revealing their brief connection in a hyper-real fantasy heavily dependent on visual effects.

“Visualizing Empires Decline”
Directed by Pedro Cruz, Centre for Informatics and Systems of the University of Coimbra
This information visualization project narrates the decline of the top four maritime empires in the 19th and 20th centuries. A physics engine is used to build a visual mood that conveys the tone of the empires’ decline.

“Cours Toujours”
Directed by Olivier Barré and Elise Garcette, La Station Animation
An intrepid creature throws himself into a wild pursuit of a bird, which gets him into comically frantic situations.

“Making Love”
(Sweden, Live Real-Time Demo)
Quel Solaar
This game exploration demo is an exploration of the world of the procedural one-man indie “MMO LOVE.” The demo also showcases the tools used to create assets, like sketch-based modeling, 100 percent automatic UV mapping, shader and asset management tools, and the layer-based procedural texturing tool.

God of War III
(USA, Live Real-Time Demo)
Sony Computer Entertainment of America
God of War III is the latest entry in the successful God of War commercial video game series and the first on PlayStation 3. It combines epic set pieces with exquisite fine detail, and its visuals display both technical and creative virtuosity.

About SIGGRAPH 2010
SIGGRAPH 2010 will bring approximately 25,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Los Angeles, California, USA for the industry's most respected technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, music, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web from Sunday, 25 July through Thursday, 29 July 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. SIGGRAPH 2010 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 27-29 July 2010. More than 200 international exhibiting companies are expected. More details are available at

The ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques is an interdisciplinary community interested in research, technology, and applications in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Members include researchers, developers and users from the technical, academic, business, and art communities. ACM SIGGRAPH enriches the computer graphics and interactive techniques community year-round through its conferences, global network of professional and student chapters, publications, and educational activities.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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