Autodesk’s series of conferences for the 2023 edition of SIGGRAPH will take a peek behind cutting-edge technology and the year’s biggest blockbusters. Prepare to be awestruck!
As SIGGRAPH celebrates 50 years, inviting everyone to join the event in Los Angeles or online starting August 6th, the event, considered the premier conference for computer graphics and interactive techniques worldwide, reflects on half a century of discovery and advancement while charting a course for the bold and limitless future ahead.
There is so much happening this year at SIGGRAPH that it’s hard to choose what to follow. Here is one suggestion which will allow you to, according to the information available, “wander the rich oceanic island of the Metkayina Village, carry out infiltration missions to defeat a mysterious evil, and follow the Lord of Dreams as he journeys across timelines and worlds with the creative minds behind James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, the upcoming action-adventure game Project TH, Netflix’s The Sandman, and other incredible projects.”
The announcement for the Autodesk Vision Series 2023 could not be more tempting. As Autodesk states, “preparee to be awestruck by the likes of Wētā FX, Untold Studios, Rising Sun Pictures, EVR Studio, IGNITE Animation, Arcturus, RADiCAL, and much more as they take the stage to share a peek behind cutting-edge technology and the year’s biggest blockbusters.”
Six conferences on August 8th will compete for your attention, and if you’re eager to know ALL about new technologies you’ll not be able to resist finding the time to watch them. It starts with “ At the End of the Time Tunnel: Shaping the Future of Media and Entertainment” from Autodesk, which reveals the exciting possibilities that lie ahead in media and entertainment, and continues with “Untold Anywhere: Boundaryless Creativity in the Cloud” where the people behind the world’s first fully cloud-based studio, Untold Studios, share experiences about their BAFTA and EMMY-nominated team working on hit shows like The Sandman, Citadel, and The Crown as well as their VES-winning creature work for the likes of Frito-Lay’s Push It and ACIP-winning Virgin Media’s Highland Rider.
From OpenUSD to AI-powered 3D motion capture
OpenUSD, which now has its own alliance, will be the theme for the next conference, “An Industry Connected: The Path to True Interoperability in VFX with OpenUSD”, where a panel of technical leaders explore the role of Universal Scene Description (OpenUSD) in fostering open data exchange across the visual effects industry. From traditional filmmaking to virtual production and immersive experiences, the team of experts will delve into how USD opens the door for seamless connectivity – not just between a single studio’s departments, but across studios, vendors, and devices.
The following conference on August 8th, “Producing Hyper-Realistic Digital Humans with AI for VFX and Games” explores EVR Studio‘s creative pipeline for producing hyper-realistic digital humans and spaces for console games, XR content, and VFX. With plans to create, extend and utilize next-generation CG and AI learning data, this session will transport you into the future of film, TV, and games production.
Time to look at the glorious 150-second long fight sequence from Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, which was epic to watch but even better to create. Under the title “No Sleep Till Brooklyn: THAT Fight Sequence from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” Wētā FX’s CG Supervisor, Jo Davison, will discuss the techniques used to create this action-packed sequence assembled from 18 individual shots… and how a metronome system and complex retiming of shots allowed the sequence to play into the hard-rock action beats and created that awesome Beastie Boys feel.
The Autodesk Vision Series conferences ends, on August 8, with “Keeping It Real-Time with AI-Powered 3D Motion Capture” where leaders from RADiCAL show how they’re developing the world’s most powerful computer vision technology focused on detecting and reconstructing 3D human motion from 2D content. They will also discuss their forthcoming expansion of the proprietary AI as well as a democratized end-to-end browser-based content creation engine.
The transformative power of AI
The second day of conferences, Wednesday, August 9, 2023, starts with “Exploring the Transformative Power of AI in Media & Entertainment”, where a panel of industry luminaries – including both the people making AI tools and those using them in production today – talk about the exciting possibilities and impact of machine learning on the media and entertainment industry.
Next comes “Capturing Emotion for Avatar: The Way of Water”, with Wētā FX sharing how, thirteen years after the original film, they returned a new facial animation system that enabled them to successfully depict the emotional narrative and expressive nature of the Na’vi. The new Anatomically Plausible Facial System (APFS) workflow played a pivotal role in the film, as it was used to create 15 principle-speaking CG characters with over 3,000 facial performances tracked, solved, and animated for the film.
With “The Art of Authentic Storytelling in Animation” the series of conferences continues, this time with Jamy Wheless, CEO & Animation Director at IGNITE Animation Studios and Professor at Auburn University sharing his extensive journey in the industry – from creating the award-winning short film, ANDY: A Dog’s Tale to teaching aspiring artists the art of storytelling, and more. Besides learning about his creative process, yolu’ll also have the chance to hear the incredible story of how he launched an animation studio during the pandemic alongside a global team of talented professionals – reinventing the standards of a truly next-generation studio.
It’s still with the pandemic as background that the next conference arrives: Under the title “Creating VFX in a Remote-First Workflow” Ian Cope, Executive Producer at Rising Sun Pictures, explores how a remote-first workflow and Autodesk tools assisted in the creation and delivery of exciting sequences on blockbuster feature films and streaming content. Take a behind-the-scenes adventure through the latest work from initial concepts to final delivery.
The series of conferences from Autodesk ends with “Delivering Blazing-Fast 3D Live Action with Accelerated Volumetric Video” in which you’ll learn how creative teams can achieve performance gains and visual-quality improvements with Arcturus’ Accelerated Volumetric Video (AVV) Codec and how it has enabled interactive storytelling for Vertigo Games’ spine-tingly adventure VR game The 7th Guest and Dimension’s creation of virtual production crowds.