Siggraph 2017


It was my first visit to Siggraph in LA – but it most certainly will not be my last.

LA provided the opportunity to reconnect with some of my favourite Byron Bay Film Festival’s filmmakers – as well as Adam Glick, Product Specialist/Designer for the Foundry’s Project Bunsen – a  large-scale cloud-based visualization framework that prepares and optimizes engineering, architectural, and other CAD and CAM data outputting to platforms including rendering and animation, virtual reality, augmented reality, and real-time game engines.

Adam and I go waaaaay back, as our fathers worked together establishing Vidcom in Auckland New Zealand which I like to think of as the Weta of the 70’s. My father credited much of the success of the business to the technical genius’s he managed to bring on the team such as Ian Richardson (above right) who went on to form Omnicom which then became Omnilab, and the late John Henry – later known as Swami Neelamber. Vidcom was New Zealand’s largest  independent studio and post house where they pioneered video, post production, VFX and telecine processes – and it was a wonderful playground for me as a young child.

Back to Siggraph…

I enjoyed a first hand look at some amazing new innovations through the exhibition and VR Village at the Conference Centre – including Neurable – a Brain-Computer Interfacefor Virtual and Augmented Reality and the Mill’s Strata – Strata: A Biometric VR experience.

But on top of Siggraph itself I was invited to join HP’s M&E Advisory Board where some of their newest innovations were unveiled and discussed with their top thought-leaders. My peers included heads of departments from ILM, Disney, Animal Logic, The Moment Factory  and Nvidia’s Vice-President Terry Brown. There’s an embargo on sharing any information around what we saw and discussed – so I’ll say no more…

What I will share though is that I had a great time following the event at the Siggraph Opening Party at the Space Centre, with Hubert Krzysztofik, Director of Engineering at The Virtual Reality Company, who I met at the HP board – it’s not every day that you party with a space shuttle…

I ended my whirlwind stay in LA with another very select event – IMAX’s Filmmaker’s Symposium from which I went to straight LAX. This was an intimate group of no more than 20 of us, along with some of the most amazing minds and leaders from IMAX. I was joined by Daniel Bury –  who is an amazing 360 Creator and gun for hire, Dan has done a lot of work over the years for Sydney’s RapidVR – and is now basing himself in Europe and is another ‘one to watch’.

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