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The SIGGRAPH 2016 production sessions are huge

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It’s amazing sometimes to think how accessible SIGGRAPH is as a conference. SIGGRAPH is a research conference, first and foremost, but that doesn’t mean only researchers can learn and participate. In fact, one of the best parts of the computer graphics event is the mix of sessions and experience, many based on recent releases of massive feature films and games. That’s exactly what the Production Sessions are about. Here’s a run down of what’s in store, starting on Sunday 24 July in Anaheim.

The Making of “Pearl,” A Google Spotlight Story

“Pearl” is a Google Spotlight Story directed by Oscar winning animator Patrick Osborne. Conceived as a 360-degree experience, this VR film takes place entirely in a car and explores the gifts we inherit from our parents. The storyline collapses decades into minutes through montage, and can run on devices ranging from mobile phones to VR headgear, in real time. Panelists: Patrick Osborne, Director; Rachid El Guerrab, Spotlight Stories Project Lead; David Eisenmann, Producer, Cassidy Curtis, Tech Art Lead, Google. Sunday, 24 July, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm

“Kubo and the 2 Strings”: One Giant Skeleton, One Colossal Undertaking

For this upcoming film (in theatres August 19,) LAIKA launched an immensely powerful, 18-foot tall skeleton puppet to scale – a massive undertaking involving the studio’s interdependent and collaborative crew. A miniature version of the giant puppet will be displayed on the show floor during the SIGGRAPH event itself. Panelists for this session include: Steve Emerson, VFX Supervisor, Steve Switaj, Engineer, Camera and Motion Control, LAIKA. Monday, 25 July, 2 – 3:30 pm

The Making of Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War”

Marvel Studios, ILM, Rise FX and Method Studios will show session attendees how they created some of this smash hit movie’s most heart-stopping moments. Panelists: Victoria Alonso, EVP, Physical Production, Dan Deleeuw, VFX Supervisor, Jen Underdahl, VFX Producer, Marvel Studios; Russell Earl, VFX Supervisor, ILM; Greg Steele, VFX Supervisor, Method Studios. Tuesday, 26 July, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm

The VFX of Disney’s “The Jungle Book”

The visual effects team behind Jon Favreau’s live-action adaptation of “the Jungle Book” will discuss the creative and technical challenges behind bringing the story’s characters and stunning full CG environments to life. Panelists: Rob Legato, Production VFX Supervisor, Andy Jones, Animation Supervisor, Walt Disney Animation; Adam Valdez, VFX Supervisor, Moving Picture Company; Keith Miller, Digital VFX Supervisor, Weta Digital. Tuesday, 26 July, 3:45 – 5:15 pm

Under the Sea – The Making of “Finding Dory”

This session will take a look at how Pixar artists created the studio’s latest feature film. Top animators and technical artists will deliver a deep dive into the process behind this animated film, which required an entirely new back-end pipeline and cutting-edge technology. Panelists: Steve Pilcher, Jeremie Talbot, Jim Brown, Masah Ellsworth, Chris Burrows, Chris Chapman, Ian Megibben, John Halstead, Pixar Animation Studios. Wednesday, 27 July, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm

“Star Wars: Battlefront” – Game Development in the “Star Wars” Universe!

The DICE team reveals some of the work that went into this award-winning, visually stunning game. Topics include PBR, photogrammetry, vertex shading, fragment shading and other creative disciplines. Panelists will include: Kenneth Brown, Technical Art Director, Jonas Andersson, Visual Effects Artist, Pontus Ryman, Senior Environment Artist, Anders Egleus, Senior Visual Effects Artist, Oscar Carlén, Senior Lighting Artist, Electronic Arts Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment AB. Wednesday, 27 July, 2 – 3:30 pm

Deadpool + Colossus Our Favorite (Anti) Superheroes

Digital Domain worked on the three main aspects of “Deadpool:” Colossus, Deadpool interacting with Colossus and the Helicarrier. Blur Studio created the film’s opening title sequence and provided previs for several action sequences. Panelists for this session: Jan Phillip Cramer, Animation Director, Scott Edelstein, CG Supervisor, Digital Domain; Franck Balson, Previs Supervisor; Sebastien Chort, CG Supervisor, Blur Studio. Wednesday, 27 July, 3.45 – 5.15pm

From Armadillo to Zebra: Creating the Diverse Characters and World of “Zootopia”

The world of “Zootopia” is a vast, multi-scale city where humans never existed and animals are evolved city-dwellers. Walt Disney Animation Studios pushed the artistic boundaries of this production to create vastly different environments filled with hundreds of unique characters. Panelists: Ernest Petti, Nicholas Burkard, Brian Leach, Sean Palmer, Michelle, Hans Keim, Walt Disney Animation Studios. Thursday, 28 July, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Developing “Mass Effect: New Earth” – A 4D Holographic Adventure

This session focuses on the development of a first-of-its-kind theme park attraction at California’s Great America in Santa Clara. The experience features “holographic 3D,” using the world’s largest and highest resolution 3D LED screens combined with 4D effects. The partners behind this upcoming projects are BioWare, Cedar Fair, 3D Live and Halon Entertainment. Panelists: Robert deMontarnal, Business Deveopment, BioWare; Christian Dieckmann, VP Strategic Growth, Howard Newstate, EP, Media Networks, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company; Clint Reagan, Previs Supervisor, Halon Entertainment; Nathan Huber, Co-Founder/CEO, 3D Live. Thursday, 28 July, 2 – 3:30 pm

Industrial Light & Magic Presents the Visual Effects of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

The ILM team will discuss the range of challenges presented by bringing the latest installment of the storied “Star Wars” series to life. Panelists: Roger Guyett, VFX Supervisor/2nd Unit Director, Patrick Tubach, VFX Supervisor, Paul Kavanagh, Animation Supervisor, Polly Ing, CG Supervisor, Industrial Light & Magic. Thursday, 28 July, 3:45 – 5:15 pm

You can register for SIGGRAPH 2016 in Anaheim here.

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