On Monday after our poster presentation, we can fully enjoy the conference!
First thing I chose to do is to join the Panel talk offered from research leaders at University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Intel, Ford Motor, and Microsoft on the Topic “The Renaissance of VR: Are We Going to do it Right This Time?” In which, we know that VR is not new, all these veterans have tried on VR/AR even before I was born. The key information is that due to the hardware is achievable by normal people now, it may be a good chance for the VR/AR to get into people.
Secondly, I go to the large hall to listen to the Keynote speech offered by MIT media lab director Jochi Ito. Then I know that MIT media lab (MML) does not hair tenure professor since they want to keep the research active and new. In term of the research, MML focuses on iso-discipline area, which is the total empty space in the research. That is so cool. He also purposes the manufacture power of Shenzhen, China and the innovation from that region. I feel that it sounds like it is because Shenzhen does not have regulation on copy rights (sometimes rules become the boundary, but I still feel that the ignorance of copy rights is not a good sign for long term development).
The most amazing thing is the ILM 40 year anniversary! OMG it is like life dream comes true. I sat in the first group of chairs just below those big hero who
worked with the first Star Wars movie. They talked about how they make the first Star Wars, why they start the ILM at the beginning as to create the special effects, specifically about mechanic motors system to make capturing the same scene from same camera angles possible. In this way, multiple layers of footage can be obtained. Then the films can be composted as what happens now in digital version production. However, since the event only lasts about one and half hours, I think they talked too much about the old days. But at the end, ILM X Lab is announced with out surprise. Mr. Rob Bredow gives an amazing demo about how interactive high quality rendering can be achieved in the cloud and stream into the tablet to give more story from different characters’ point of view. I personally feel that ILM X Lab shows everything they have for the advanced movie production this time. But I still feel that expose so many details about one story line to the audience is still not a good way for VR/AR experience. Too much brain is used and we are looking for entertainment right? But without doubt, this is an amazing new direction!
In the afternoon, it is time for some academic topic! Face Reality technical paper section attracted so many audiences, including the supervisors from ILM and other studios. Four presentations covers a lot of the technologies on how to represent facial animation either in real time or high resolution model sequences. The EPFL’s paper is really interesting. To follow the paper in more detail you can access the document at here. And it is also amazing to say hi to my old friend Laura. And also have a chance to meet the super star Dr. Hao Li. His facial retargeting work with depth sensor, super amazing experience in ILM and Weta, and multiple hits on SIGGRAPH really make me speechless. To work with him as a post-doc really jumped into my mind during the meeting with him.
Then it is the reception, where the people meet and talk. I meet another amazing professor Mark Sagar from New Zealand. He is the leader of Baby-X project (as shown below).
I got the information about Baby-X from FX Guide (Thanks for my colleagues from DreamWorks to tell me this amazing website!) At that moment I could not help and sent him a email to show my excitement about his ambition project. He comes to SIGGRAPH this year alone and I recognize him in the reception. He is really nice to share his work and we really have a good conversation. This is also the first time Baby-X is revealed in SIGGRAPH so I best wish him a successful presentation during the Real-time Live! event. And I also notice that the research leader of Microsoft also attends SIGGRAPH 2015! But that is another story I will talk about in next post.