I learned through a coding friend and local organization that makes learning code accessible to anyone that SIGGRAPH would be held in Los Angeles the very next week. I've always had a mild fascination with graphics and possess a love for animated films so when this opportunity arose for an exhibits only pass I decided to go, even though it was last minute, it's a great opportunity.
There were plenty of things to keep one busy on an exhibits-only pass. I was really fortunate to attend talks presented by Disney, Pixar, and some sub-contractors that worked on Disney properties such as characters from Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy II.
Character creation for Beauty and the Beast with Framestore.
A cool insight into making of some of the household items in the latest version of Beauty and the Beast including images of the real-life objects that some of these items were modeled after. One particularly cool factoid I learned of was while there was a full-sized wardrobe filmed with the actors to interact with, it ended up easier for the CG to render the full wardrobe. It should be noted that to the presenter's knowledge, Mrs. Potts was not related to the Utah Teapot.
Open Source at Pixar: Open Timeline io
This was a quick rundown of a new open-source project at Pixar which is designed to work with a flexible pipeline. Since it's was new, there was a brief introduction that allowed me to follow this talk fairly well.
Open Source at Pixar: USD &Open Subdiv
This was a talk to discuss established open-source projects at Pixar that are not new so there was no real introduction to make it easy to follow, I obviously did not have the prereq knowledge to understand this one well.
The Walt Disney Company Panel: The future of Technology at Disney Animation
Panelist from Disney & Industrial Light & Magic(ILM) discuss a variety of topics in vague ambiguous terms that provide little, if any, actual information on the future of technology at the company. I can honestly say that I understood everything talked about in this talk perfectly and learned nothing. Disney employee volunteers at the back of the room were far more interesting to listen and talk to pointing to cool projects being done in the industry such as Pearl.
Chaos Group - Guardian's of the Galaxy II
Using V-ray rendering plugin to model Rocket's fur (which is sometimes dirty and clumpy) and Baby Groot. I was surprised that the CG industry, at least for this project, seems to need to duplicate rendered images to match the work of other vendors.
I really enjoyed the research posters section where I learned of problems that people are trying to solve that I had no idea existed. Some that seemed really cool included topics such as providing sound when interacting with objects in virtual reality(vr), vr in water, making images more secure by making them difficult to photograph using cameras (so unfinished work or sensitive information cannot be captured on a cell phone or other small cameras.