VR Theater debuts at SIGGRAPH 2017

Recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival, the SIGGRAPH 2017 Computer Animation Festival is back in Los Angeles in July.

VR Theater debuts at SIGGRAPH 2017
“Song of a Toad” © 2017 Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Short films rendered in real time is one of the surprises for the 2017 edition of SIGGRAPH. It’s also the debut of its VR Theater for which 10 films have been accepted this year. On the computer animation front, Song of a Toad is the overall winner.

The 44th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, SIGGRAPH 2017, happens in Los Angeles from 30 July to 3 August. The world’s leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques, will present remarkable student-produced work from around the world within its Computer Animation Festival.

The SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival is the leading annual festival for the world’s most innovative, accomplished, and amazing digital film and video creators. An internationally recognized jury received hundreds of submissions and has selected the best work of the year for both the Electronic and VR theaters. The festival is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival. Since 1999, several works originally presented in the Computer Animation Festival have been nominated for – or have received – an Academy Award for Animated Short Film.

For 2017, 25 pieces have been accepted into SIGGRAPH’s Electronic Theater and 10 into the VR Theater. Two-thirds of this year’s short films were international submissions and run the gamut of genres — with everything from advertising, visualization, and simulation to visual effects and game cinematics. Additionally, short films or visual effects reels will also be shown from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Pixar Animation Studios, Weta Digital, Moving Picture Company (MPC), and Epic Games.

SIGGRAPH 2017 Computer Animation Festival Director Pol Jeremias said, “We are extremely excited about our show this year. We will be presenting many firsts, including short films being rendered in real time — a milestone for this festival — the introduction of our VR Theater, and perhaps most importantly some really incredible student work! When watching the Electronic and VR Theater films, my hope is that our attendees will become inspired by the experience and leave with new ideas.”

As the festival moves beyond the flat screen for the first time, the team invites attendees to experience the next generation of storytelling in virtual reality. The VR Theater will present morning and evening programs throughout the conference week, each featuring five VR films.

“The VR submissions we accepted push the boundaries of storytelling and technology. Over the past two years, VR has reemerged as an important and popular medium, and the projects we are showing represent the next wave of this — presentations that depict powerful new stories to see, hear, and experience. Accepted pieces range from environmental documentaries to short stories to music videos, and will really give viewers a sense of where VR is going,” Jeremias adds.

The 2017 Computer Animation Festival award winners are:
Best in Show
“Song of a Toad”
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Kariem Saleh
(Germany)

Jury’s Choice
“John Lewis Buster the Boxer”
Moving Picture Company
Dougal Wilson
(United Kingdom)

Best Student Project
“Garden Party”
MOPA
Théophile Dufresne, Florian Babikian, Gabriel Grapperon, Lucas Navarro, Vincent Bayoux, Victor Caire
(France)

Also new for 2017, the Computer Animation Festival will host two separate Director Q&A sessions featuring directors from both the Electronic and VR theaters on Wednesday, 2 August. Each panel will give attendees the chance to have an open dialogue with the creators behind the work.

Finally, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with SIGGRAPH 2017, will be presenting a special panel entitled “The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards: The Technology, the Awardees, and the Process.” The session will cover some of the award-winning technologies, the history of the work leading to the awards, as well as details of the Scientific and Technical Award process. The panel will be led by moderator Barbara Ford Grant, vice president of Digital Production Services at HBO, and will feature Doug Roble, creative director of software at Digital Domain and member of the Academy’s Science and Technology Council, among others.


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Jose Antunes

I am a writer and photographer living on the West Coast of Portugal, a place I tend to call the Atlantic Realm. An area of rugged cliffs and sandy beaches overlooking the sea, a coastal area sitting between the Atlantic Ocean waves and hills and forests with some of the most magical palaces, castles and prehistorical sites for you to visit and photograph. Little hamlets, vast fields, inviting you to a contemplative state of mind. That’s where I live, and the landscape surely makes you what you are.

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