Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review of SIGGRAPH 2013 (in progress)

[Being written... very difficult for some reason]

This is a review/synopsis of SIGGRAPH 2013.

I have been remiss in getting this review in good form for a while now.  There are several forces at work that inhibit this process, including procrastination, disorganization and and a high anxiety level.  Among other things, I have been informed that I am not qualified to run for the Executive Committee of SIGGRAPH.   Why not?  No one knows.  "We had a high level of people who volunteered this year" I am told or something.   Thats nice, does that mean I am not high level?

It is hoped that this review can be of some value to those who were not at SIGGRAPH this year, seeing it through my eyes as it were. I have been attending since 1980 (Seattle) with a few missed years and it can be hard to keep them straight.

I would love it if others would also review or create a brief synopsis of a conference they attended for those who could not attend and also for those who did attend but of course could not see everything. It will never happen, of course, but you are encouraged to do so anyway.

1. Anaheim / Size / Price / Accomodations

The convention center was convenient enough. Generally there was enough parking. There could be a few more low cost salad places around. There was a Motel 6 with good wifi for about $80.00 / night and about 5 or so miles away.

For some reason Anaheim is a destination of Islamic people from China, and they have set up Chinese Islamic restaurants there. But SIGGRAPH is generally held over Ramadan, so they are closed.

Although there were some complaints and issues with the attendance, I found it very congenial. In general, I could find people I wanted to find and run into people I wanted to run into. Some of this had to do with arranging to be at the Pioneer's dinner.

It was not made very well known, but there was an "unemployed" conference fee that would get you the full conference package for half price, or roughly $500.00. This is very important and should be made better known so that the unemployed, who are so many at SIGGRAPH, can still participate in their community and be involved, not hanging out on the outskirts as I did for so many years out of poverty.

2. Entertainment Industry Bullshit

I heard some complaints that "Anaheim" was too far for many of the precious elite of the glamourous and rewarding motion picture industry to travel from LA. Ha, ha, ha, ha, good.

The simplest way I have discovered to deal with SIGGRAPH's wild starfucking (its a technical term) and asskissing of the motion picture industry, as they demonstrated with their keynote speech and various displaying on the part of corrupt media corporations was simply to ignore them. Maybe they will go away.

3. Electronic Theatre

I don't like splatter films. I walked out.

4. Notable Technical Papers

I attended maybe 20 or so paper presentations on top of the "Fast Forward" synopsis. The most important paper that I saw involved using computation to correct for aberrations from a simple lens. It suggested that one could create a lens that would be easy to manufacture and yet exhibit interesting characteristics by being augmented with computation. The least interesting paper I saw was from Disney Research about adaptive resolution for lenticular. I liked it because it was one of those papers that I could easily do, thus giving me hope of publishing at SIGGRAPH one day.

 Disney Research is clearly on a roll, both sponsoring and creating research in various areas of interest.

I will make one ethnic notation. I do not know why, but most of the papers seemed to be given by an international crowd. Whether German or Chinese, or even American but just recently, there were an awful lot of "foreigners" giving papers this year.

5. Awards and Awards Speeches

For many years now the Keynote speech has been useless. This year I realized it was deliberately useless, that they they used the speech as a way of attracting attendees from the glamourous and stupid motion picture industry rather than having it serve its actual purpose for the SIGGRAPH community. But this year, they compensated by having what I will call "awards speeches", by each of the awards winners. That, combined with an introduction by the President of SIGGRAPH, Jeff Jortner, came very close to being what I wanted. Which was a state of the community and a vision for the future.

Award winners were Mary Whitton (Best Volunteer), Manfred Mohr (Best Artist), Nice Lady from Yale, Nice Young Guy, and Turner Whitted.

6. Pioneers Dinner / Receptions

There were very few receptions this year, that I noticed. I missed the Technical Reception because I was playing host to a few friends who did not have tickets. I probably should have attended. I did attend the Pioneers reception, and they had the guy from MIT who did the femto photography stuff speak. It was very depressing because at a young age he has already helped millions of people have a better life.

7. Trade Show

"Arrogant Putz" of the year award goes to the guy who runs Massive.

8. Emerging Technologies

No big deal.

9. Misc

Anaheim could have a mass transit system.
There was nothing at Disney, why not?
I was not invited to any of the parties.

10. Special Thanks

Thanks to Ken Perlin for sponsoring this SIGGRAPH through his project with NYU. Thanks to Greg Turk for advising me on graduate school. Thanks for JWalt for showing me around Emerging Technologies.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Michael,
    Glad I came across this
    Keep it up!