Go behind the year’s biggest visual effects productions, from The Mandalorian to Watchmen or the upcoming Soul, during SIGGRAPH 2020 with ‘Making Of’ sessions and talks, this August.
Originally planned to take place 19–23 July in Washington, D.C., SIGGRAPH 2020 moved online, a first for the 47-year-old annual conference, as the organizers pivoted to design an all-digital conference that is as unique as its typical in-person offering. The virtual event may not be appreciated by all, but it does have advantages, one of them being that content for most programs will continue to be available within the virtual platform through 27 October. Those who could never find ways to follow all the events happening during the show, have now an extended period to watch different conferences included in the vast program.
One such example are the SIGGRAPH 2020 Production Sessions and Talks programs, that boast an impressive lineup of more than 20 behind-the-scenes looks at the “making of” the year’s most high-profile productions in film, television, and advertising. It’s an opportunity to hear from the best minds in visual effects (VFX) through on-demand and live virtual sessions.
From The Mandalorian to Soul
Beyond sessions from Oscars heavy hitters “The Irishman,” “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” and “Frozen 2”; recent releases “Trolls World Tour” and “Onward”; Emmy nominees “The Mandalorian” and “Watchmen”; and, Pixar Animation Studios’ expected November drop, “Soul,” SIGGRAPH 2020 programming will also feature a special session on the VFX work that goes into commercial advertising.
“SIGGRAPH Production Sessions and Talks continuously inspire and energize creatives in visual effects to push new boundaries and explore the limits of their existing pipelines. As the computer graphics industry shoulders an unprecedented reinvention, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration among studios remains thrilling to witness,” noted SIGGRAPH 2020 Production Sessions Chair Derrick Nau, of DreamWorks Animation. “Our virtual lineup reflects the latest technological applications at a time when maximizing these tools is more important than ever, and I’m so excited for these creators to share their stories.”
Some highlights to check at SIGGRAPH 2020
With more than 20 ‘Making Of’ sessions and talks, it’s hard to find the time to see everything, but the virtual characteristic of this edition of SIGGRAPH makes it possible to watch some of the program afterwards. Still, here ate some of the conferences you may want to check:
- ILM Presents ‘This Is the Way’ – The Making of Mandalorian | Production Session
Thursday, 27 August, 2 pm PDT
Go behind the scenes of Jon Favreau’s hit Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” as panelists discuss not only the traditional visual effects work on the series, but also the groundbreaking real-time production methodology they developed and implemented.
- Finding the Look of Souls | Talk
On-demand: 17–28 August; Live Q&A: Friday, 28 August, noon PDT
Discover the technical approaches and solutions that emerged during the look development for the challenging designs of the soul characters for the movie “Soul” from Pixar Animation Studios.
- More With Less: The State of the Art of CG in Advertising
Tuesday, 25 August, 2 pm PDT
This session will present a view of the state of the art of computer graphics in advertising from the perspective of three industry-leading studios: MPC, The Mill, and Method Studios. Senior creative and technical staff from each studio will provide a vignette that demonstrates their unique point of view.
- Creating the Looking Glass Mask on HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ | Talk
On-demand: 17–28 August; Live Q&A: Thursday, 27 August, 9 am PDT
VFX Supervisor Nathaniel Larouche worked as an artist on Rorschach’s iconic mask in the “Watchmen” film (2009), and was presented with a new challenge for HBO’s “Watchmen” series (2019): the Looking Glass mask. Hear a firsthand account of the challenges, proprietary technologies, and VFX pipeline that went into creating the impossibly seamless, mirror-like mask.
- ILM Presents: Making ‘The Irishman’ | Production Session
Wednesday, 26 August, noon PDT
From the very beginning — including “markerless” capture work done as early as 2015 — through the end of production, three panelists will discuss the schedule, production, and technology that went into “The Irishman.” The group will even go over requirements initially imposed by Scorsese and the actors, who wanted to perform on the set as they always do. (Catch a primer for this session via Episode 37 of the SIGGRAPH Spotlight podcast.)
Productions Sessions and Talks are open to participants with Ultimate registration. Register for SIGGRAPH 2020, the 47th international conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques.