Vancouver hosts SIGGRAPH 2011 computer graphics conference

Computer animators, artists, and researchers are descending on Vancouver for the 38th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. The conference is the annual gathering for the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH). It’s the first time the event has ever been staged outside the U.S.

Peter Braccio, chair of the SIGGRAPH 2011 conference, explained that Vancouver is an ideal setting. SIGGRAPH crosses many different fields, including animation, art, education, film, research, video games, and visual effects. “That’s why us coming up to Vancouver is a fantastic fit,” Braccio told the Straight, “because Vancouver is a centre of excellence in all our communities.”

Running Sunday to next Thursday (August 7 to 11) at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the conference focuses on everything to do with computer-generated images and how people interact with computers.

On the phone from his office at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California, Braccio said that the five-day event offers an opportunity for the public to see the latest in computer magic. A basic one-day pass costs $45. It gives attendees access to what Braccio called the “experience-level” events. That includes the Art Gallery; Emerging Technologies, which gives people the chance to see the latest interfaces, such as the Mommy Tummy, “a pregnancy experience system”; Dailies, presentations of unique computer-graphics solutions, such as how the Chimaera tail-swipe attack was created for God of War 3; and the Studio, a hands-on workshop area.

A one-day pass for SIGGRAPH 2011’s Computer Animation Festival is $50. The festival will screen dozens of juried selections in categories including time-based art, scientific visualization, visual effects, real-time graphics, and narrative short film.

SIGGRAPH 2011, Braccio suggested, is great for those with an interest in art, animation, games, user interfaces, or even technology for technology’s sake. “There’s a little something for everybody,” he said.