January 2005 MEETINGS IN PROGRESS
The Members of the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) are an eclectic, headstrong bunch. And by headstrong, we mean brainy. In a 30-year span, the annual SIGGRAPH conference has grown from a handful of computer graphics enthusiasts to a diverse group of researchers, artists, developers, filmmakers, scientists, and other professionals who share an interest in computer graphics and interactive techniques.
The 31st International Conference covered an amazing range of topics: molecular interiors; galactic visions; responsive machines; extra-human intelligence; alternative realities. These are creative adventurers showing off the world’s most advanced achievements in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The SIGGRAPH conference committee counted heavily on the technical support from AVW-TELAV to bring to life the visions of the program chairs; visions which may not be available to the public for years to come. So this was to be a meeting of world-class experts – theirs and ours.
When these 27,000-odd “creatives” converged at the Los Angeles Convention Center to participate in the equivalent of ten concurrent General Sessions, we didn’t panic. We joined them. In fact in joining forces with a team of interactive experts from New York University, we presented the digital effects of a bleeding edge computer game designed to involve audience member participation.
A dozen, helium-filled, four foot diameter weather balloons covered with a special reflective fabric were sent bouncing throughout the audience. As the balls were batted about by a very enthusiastic crowd of 3,000 attendees, 20 cameras mounted in the ceiling tracked the movement of each ball. The signal from each camera was fed into specially programmed computers, which sent the game audio and video information to the AVW-TELAV projection systems. A 53’ foot wide screen provided the audience with a view of a virtual game board showing the live motion capture effects. This pre-show event was reproduced for five showings throughout the conference week.
AVW-TELAV crew members interfaced with a myriad of volunteers to insure each portion of the conference was a success. And there were many portions. From the Technical Program sessions, the Cyber Fashion Show, Exhibitor Tech Talk sessions, to the Emerging Technologies and Art Show we kept our team of over 50 of our technicians fully engaged to keep things flowing smoothly.
To complete the aim of efficient immersion for the brightest minds in the computer graphics industry, AVW-TELAV techs implemented Presentation Management System to assist over 500 presenters. Also, a 25-station Internet Access area and all staff office needs were handled as part of the total audio visual package from AVW-TELAV.