5 Important Discoveries from Siggraph 2014

I recently attended Siggraph in Vancouver and noted some pretty interested industry trends.

1. VR (Virtual Reality) is about to be huge

It seemed that almost half the booths at Siggraph had an Occulus Rift, Morpheus or head tracking technology. And their demonstrations were mind blowing.

I played a game called 'The Gallery' that almost convinced me to switch to gaming. Because I saw first hand how VR will completely change the entertainment industry.

2. Home 3D Printing will soon become a thing

It wasn't that long ago that 3D printing was a novelty, but it's now picking up steam in a big way.

Form Labs demonstrated their new second generation printer that's twice as fast as the previous model:

FormLabs.gif

The 'ink' (resin) is relatively cheap, and it comes with it's own software to help non-3d users use it.

Shapeways (commercial printer) also displayed some really impressive models that can now be printed in over a dozen materials including Platinum, food safe ceramic, brass, wax, silver and many more.

3.Facial Tracking has gotten a lot better

Although it was once regarded by many in the CG community as being more 'trouble than it's worth'. Facial tracking is now making a big comeback.

^DI4D's markerless facial rig

The number of facial capture booths this year were hard to miss.

They're also being used in productions like, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes & Captain America - they gave presentations where they revealed how facial tracking was used for almost all CG characters.

4. So is Motion Capture

Motion-Capture.gif

It's hard to beat human performance, and whilst it was once a shaky, horrible mess (ahem) it's getting a lot better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lezfSnO9n5g

5. Procedural Everything!

Get ready to be replaced by a script.

It sounds crazy that one day characters could animate themselves, but it's already happening.

Programmers are looking at numerous procedural solutions to improve pipelines and reduce overheads. It's primitive at the moment, but this is just the start.

Check out the Technical Papers video for more examples of computers doing things once reserved for artists. It's a good time to be a programmer :)

More Photos from Siggraph 2014

Definitely the coolest haircut out of anyone there.

The Blender 'Birds of a Feather' meeting

One of the slides I felt compelled to photograph, just in case anyone needs to be reminded again :P

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Before the screening of the Computer Animation Festival - which was awesomely inspiring.

Animal Logic presenting a talk on how they achieved that hyperrealistic lego look in the Lego Movie.

A real costume from 'Guardians of the Galaxy', wheeled out at the start of the Production Session talk.

And the best part about Siggraph: Networking! This was a 3D printing meetup.

And of course, an obligatory photo with Ton at the Blender booth.

On the last day I held a Blender Picnic in the park. It rained the entire time, but it was still fun :)

Hope to see you next year at Siggraph in LA!

Andrew Price