SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 to Shine World Spotlight on Japan

The following is a press release.

Come November 2-5, 2015, the international computer graphics and interactive techniques community will converge in the vibrant and eclectic city of Kobe in Japan for SIGGRAPH Asia 2015. Taking place at the Kobe Convention Centre, the eighth edition of the highly anticipated ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition in Asia will once again bring together the top names in graphics, animation, art and technology.

Building on its strong tradition of providing attendees with exciting first-hand views of the latest innovations in computer graphics and interactive techniques, SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 is set to draw more than 7,000 participants from more than 50 countries. This year’s edition sees the return of crowd favorites such as the Art Gallery, Computer Animation Festival and Emerging Technologies, while hundreds of industry experts and professionals are also expected to contribute to the strong line-up of programs such as Courses and Technical Papers.

Computer graphics has constantly been at the forefront of technology development, making significant impact across the industry by changing the way we think, work, and live. SIGGRAPH Asia has been able to reinvent itself each year, much like its host city, Kobe. This year, Kobe was strategically chosen as the venue for SIGGRAPH Asia to help further grow and foster strong connections to important communities in Asia.

New sessions at this year’s edition

This year’s edition of SIGGRAPH Asia will also introduce two new programs for the first-time ever the Symposium on Education and the Symposium on Visualization in High Performance Computing.

The Symposium on Education invites people from both academia and the industry to present innovative research, methods and positions about the teaching and integration of computer graphics (CG) and interactive techniques in all areas of learning. The Symposium will also provide opportunities for educators and students to learn high-quality pedagogical content, critical thinking and research that push boundaries and expand knowledge within the CG discipline. The keynote speaker for the symposium, Dr. Joaquim Jorge, is an esteemed academic, currently a Professor of Computer Graphics and Multimedia at the Departamento de Engenharia Informática do Instituto Superior Técnico da Universidade de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal, as well as a Scientific Coordinator of the Research Group on Visualization and Multimodal Interfaces of the Institute for

Computer and Systems Engineering INESC-ID. Dr. Jorge’s keynote, Game Over? New Approaches to Teaching Engineering Courses, will cover gamification and how it can provide for smarter learning by catering to students with different profiles.

The highly anticipated Symposium on Visualization in High Performance Computing, organized for the very first time since SIGGRAPH Asia’s first edition in 2008, aims to cover the development, technology and demonstration of visualization techniques and their interactive applications. The Symposium will be featuring two very renowned experts in the field of visualization and 3D. Leading the Keynote at the Symposium will be Kwan-Liu Ma, a professor of computer science and the chair of the Graduate Group in Computer Science (GGCS) at the University of California-Davis, where he directs VIDI Labs and UC Davis Center of Excellence for Visualization. Joining him is Hirofumi Seo, CEO & President at SCIEMENT, Inc., 3D designer and SIGGRAPH 2015 Computer Animation Festival award winner, who will be presenting a special session on 3D animation.

Return of crowd favorites

SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 will also see the return of programs that have captured the imagination of attendees right from its inception. These include Art Gallery, Emerging Technologies, Symposium on Mobile Graphics and Interactive Applications and the Computer Animation Festival.

The 2015 edition of the Computer Animation Festival will consist of two main components which SIGGRAPH Asia attendees will be very familiar with – screenings and panels & talks. The Computer Animation Festival committee, comprising 30 industry players, academics and artists, has chosen a selection of stunning works from 400 submissions all around the world. An internationally recognized jury receives hundreds of submissions and presents the best work of the year in the two programs of the Computer Animation Festival, the Animation Theater and the Electronic Theater. Selections include outstanding achievements in animated feature and short films, scientific visualization, visual effects, real-time graphics, game excerpts and much more!

As part of the Computer Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 will host the Production Sessions, where the world’s most elite and talented computer graphic experts and creative geniuses explain their processes and techniques for creating compelling content. Following each presentation, attendees ask questions about the challenges and issues associated with complex productions.

This year’s Art Gallery continues to provide visitors with an immersive experience created by artistically beautiful and technically sophisticated installations. The central theme for the Art Gallery this year is “Life on Earth?” which explores and showcases the intersections of art and life, as well as the cosmos between. “Life on Earth?” also experiments with and reimagines   the

concept of life on Earth. The SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 Art Gallery committee welcomed a myriad of proposals for art works and artistic installations that utilize digital technology, including visual and sound works, performances, audio visual installations, and most reflect strong collaboration across different fields of arts and sciences.

A showcase from Asia and around the world

Featuring the latest hardware, software, technologies and inventions from around the world, SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 will continue to draw top names and organizations from both within and outside of Asia, including Amazon Web Services, Digital Hollywood Japan, Forum 8, Google, Intel  Corporation,  Isotropix,  Khronos   Group,   Multi-plAtform   Game   Innovation Centre (MAGIC) – Nanyang Technological University Singapore, Pixar Animation Studios, Polygon Magic and Tokyo Designer Gakuin College, to name a few.

Intel will be showcasing some of its new processor technology and how it accelerates game and media, while Pixar Animation Studios will be demonstrating the latest RenderMan features in version 20, which are currently making waves on Pixar’s upcoming feature film, Finding Dory, along with some stunning examples.

Continuous learning opportunities

SIGGRAPH Asia also will offer a variety of exciting workshops this year, organized by leading developers and animation studios including Pixar Animation Studios and Square Enix Co., Ltd. Participants in these workshops can look forward to product updates and detailed hands-on presentations introducing them to the latest developments in product innovation. SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 exhibitors will introduce their latest developments; demonstrate software, hardware and systems; answer questions; and talk about how their applications improve professional and technical performance.

Some of the workshops, exhibitor talks and sessions taking place at SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 include:

  • Pixar Animation Studios – The Art and Science of RenderMan, which will be kicked off with a screening of their latest short, “Sanjay’s Super Team”
  • Intel Corporation – Memory Sharing in the Compute Architecture of Intel Processor Graphics
  • Isotropix – Clarisse iFX: A new approach to 3D
  • Khronos Group – Khronos Graphics, Compute and Vision APIs – including Vulkan Next Generation GPU Acceleration
  • Google – Render more on Google Cloud platform and Zync
  • Square Enix – Physics simulation R&D, AI Academy Series: AI workshop for blackboard architecture and Introduction of digital game AI

A gathering of esteemed innovators

True to its aim to inspire further innovations and promote stimulating discussions, SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 will offer participants the opportunity to meet and network with an international set of computer graphics and interactive techniques luminaries. Leading the line-up of Keynote Speakers at SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 is Bart Decrem, President & Principal Lobbyist at The Hobby. Mr. Decrem is a Silicon Valley based entrepreneur who has worked on a number of high profile projects. Among others, he oversaw the launch of Firefox 1.0 and launched one of the first iPhone startups (Tapulous, 2008). Mr. Decrem has been responsible for 25 number-1 App Store hits, which is still a record on the Apple App Store. In his keynote, Mr. Decrem will talk about his experience developing iPhone and smartphone hits that resonate with hundreds of millions of gamers. Mr. Decrem will also discuss current projects under development.

SIGGRAPH Asia covers a wide range of technical fields, and to that, will be featuring a second Keynote speaker, Satoshi Tadokoro, who is a president at the International Rescue System Institute and a project manager at the Japan Cabinet Office ImPACT project. Tadokoro will be sharing his learnings from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, discussing the use of robotics for disaster response and recovery.

Also, for the first time this year, SIGGRAPH Asia is proud to host seasoned professionals in the industry for a Pioneers’ Panel, in which three industry pioneers from key fields will share reflections from their careers to aspiring researchers. These speakers are:

  • Takeo Kanade, U.A. and Helen Whitaker Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, who will share his experiences in computer vision and robotics;
  • Tomoyuki Nishita, Professor Emeritus at The University of Tokyo, who will share his work in computer graphics and animation;
  • Steven Feiner, Professor at Columbia University and CHI Academy Member, who will discuss some of his work in human-computer interaction and virtual/augmented reality

Kanade, Nishita and Feiner are also seasoned SIGGRAPH Asia participants, having participated in previous editions. The panelists’ advice will range from the expected (How to identify life- changing career opportunities? How to select great research questions?) to the unexpected (How to deal with the intricacies of academia, including organizational politics and malicious competitors?).

Yoshifumi Kitamura, the Conference Chair for SIGGRAPH Asia 2015, believes that this year’s edition will provide a completely different experience to participants – whether new or returning. “The theme for this year’s edition of SIGGRAPH Asia is a combination of revolutionary and evolutionary – the balance and harmony between disruptive innovation and the growth of the creation of new technologies. We received an overwhelming number of submissions this year, well beyond our expectations for each of the programs. I believe attendees to this year’s edition of SIGGRAPH Asia can expect to see and experience variety of exciting and high quality content and stand to benefit from the infinite possibilities and opportunities to learn and discover something new and different each day of the event.”

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