Siggraph 2011 highlighted that working together is the key to standardisation
Collaboration was the buzzword flying around the Vancouver Convention Centre in August. Topping the news on the exhibition show floor was the release of Alembic 1.0 (www.alembic.io) from Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). This open-source project supports the better sharing of assets in the CG creative industries through a new interchange format designed to handle the massive animation data sets found in high-end visual effects and animations at the likes of Lucasfilm Animation and ILM.
Other interesting collaborations included Autodesk and Disney’s new partnership to develop the XGen tool, as used to create the impressive hair in feature films ‘Bolt’ and ‘Tangled’. Disney believes that getting its technology out there not only helps others get up to speed, which is useful when it comes to recruiting talent, but also helps establish the company as a tech leader. In it for the long-term benefits, Disney’s focus on XGen combined with Autodesk’s broad development play off each other well, making the future of hair, grass, feathers debris and more look exciting. But despite the announcement, neither party is ready to state how or when the technology will be deployed into Autodesk products – although we suspect Maya will be a given.
The Foundry is a pioneer when it comes to successful collaborations, keeping up pace with progress on Katana through its technology share with SPI. Moving Picture Company and Digital Domain are already using the look-development lighting tool, and with no other solutions dealing with the same level of complexity out there right now, and big studios already placing orders, Katana’s recipe-based approach to scalable lighting is likely to be huge.
Time passes quickly at Siggraph, and a bill packed with talks, papers, screenings, awards, exhibitions, panels, events and the job fair resulted in many satisfied faces. Hosted by Canada for the first time, Siggraph attendees experienced the beautiful city of Vancouver which, with tax credits making it a hotspot for top studios and high quality schools nurturing the next generation of artists, was the perfect setting for Siggraph 2011.
Amongst the many software updates geared for Siggraph, here are just a few:
Although comparisons have been made between Mari and ZBrush/Mudbox, The Foundry is actually looking to take it more down the Photoshop route…
The Foundry is 100% behind Alembic and making great use of SPI’s open source OpenColorIO technology across its entire range of its products, keeping the company right at the forefront of cutting-edge tech. Realising that there’s a need for a high-end general-purpose image-editing system has opened opportunity to develop an intuitive 2D painting application… Could this be competition for Photoshop? Based on The Foundry’s tools, tech and experience to put to use here, we think it could be!
Missed Siggraph 2011? Siggraph Asia is on its way!
Siggraph Asia 2011 will be held in Hong Kong between 12 and 15 December. Visit www.siggraph.org/asia2011 to learn more.