Category Archives: SIGGRAPH

Jim Hagarty Photography

Blue Sky Studios’ Mikki Rose named SIGGRAPH 2019 conference chair

Mikki Rose has been named conference chair of SIGGRAPH 2019. Fur technical director at Greenwich, Connecticut-based Blue Sky Studios, Rose chaired the Production Sessions during SIGGRAPH 2016 this past July in Anaheim and has been a longtime volunteer and active member of SIGGRAPH for the last 15 years.

Rose has worked on such film as The Peanuts Movie and Hotel Transylvania. She refers to herself a “CG hairstylist” due to her specialization in fur at Blue Sky Studios — everything from hair to cloth to feathers and even vegetation. She studied general CG production at college and holds BS degrees in Computer Science and Digital Animation from Middle Tennessee State University as well as an MFA in Digital Production Arts from Clemson University. Prior to Blue Sky, she lived in California and held positions with Rhythm & Hues Studios and Sony Pictures Imageworks.

“I have grown to rely on each SIGGRAPH as an opportunity for renewal of inspiration in both my professional and personal creative work. In taking on the role of chair, my goal is to provide an environment for those exact activities to others,” said Rose. “Our industries are changing and developing at an astounding rate. It is my task to incorporate new techniques while continuing to enrich our long-standing traditions.”

SIGGRAPH 2019 will take place in Los Angeles from July 29 to August 2, 2019.


Main Image: SIGGRAPH 2016 — Jim Hagarty Photography

A look at the new AMD Radeon Pro SSG card

By Dariush Derakhshani

My first video card review was on the ATI FireGL 8800 more than 14 years ago. It was one of the first video cards that could support two monitors with only one card, which to me was a revolution. Up until then I had to jam two 3DLabs Oxygen VX1 cards in my system (one AGP and the other PCI) and wrestle them to handle OpenGL with Maya 4.0 running on two screens. It was either that or sit in envy as my friends taunted me with their two screen setups, like waving a cupcake in front of a fat kid (me).

Needless to say, two cards were not ideal, and the 128MB ATI FireGL8800 was a huge shift in how I built my own systems from then on. Fourteen years later, I’m fatter, balder and have two 27-inch HP screens sitting on my desk (one at 4K) that are always hungry for new video cards. I run mulitple applications at once, and I demand to push around a lot of geometry as fast as possible. And now, I’m even rendering a fair amount on the GPU, so my video card is ever more the centerpiece of my home-built rigs.

So when I stopped by AMD’s booth at SIGGRAPH 2016 in Anaheim recently. I was quite interested in what AMD’s John Swinimer had to say about the announcements the company was making at the show. AMD acquired ATI in 2006.

First, I’m just going to jump right into what got me the most wide-eyed, and that is the announcement of the AMD Radeon Pro SSG. This professional card mates a 1TB SSD to the frame buffer of the video card, giving you a huge boost in how much the GPU system can load into memory. Keep in mind that professional card frame buffers range from about 4GB in entry level cards up to 24-32GB in super high-end cards, so 1TB is a huge number to be sure.

One of the things that slows down GPU rendering the most is having to flush and reload textures from its frame buffer, so the idea of having a 1TB frame buffer is intriguing, to say the least (i.e. a lot of drooling). In their press release, AMD mentions that “8K raw video timeline scrubbing was accelerated from 17 frames per second to a stunning 90+ frames per second” in the first demonstration of the Radeon Pro SSG.

Details are still forthcoming, but two PCIe 3.0 m.2 slots on the SSG card can get us up to 1TB of frame buffer. But the question is, how fast will it be? In traditional SSD drives, m.2 enjoys a large bandwidth advantage over regular SATA drives as long as it can access the PICe bus directly. Things are different if the SSG card is an island in and of itself, with the storage bandwidth contained on the card itself, so it’s unclear how the m.2 bus on the SSG card will do in communicating with the GPU directly. I tend to doubt we’ll see the same performance in bandwidth between GDDR5 memory and an on-board m.2 card, but only real-world testing will be able to suss that out.

But, I believe we’ll immediately see great speed improvements in GPU rendering of huge datasets since the SSG will circumvent the offloading and reloading times between the GPU and CPU memories, as well as potentially boosting multi-frame GPU rendering of CG scenes. But in cases where the graphics sub-system doesn’t need to load more than a dozen or so GBs of data, on board GDDR5 memory will certainly still have an edge in communication speed with the GPU.

So, needless to say, but I’m going to say it anyway, I am very much looking forward to slapping one of these into my rig to see GPU render times, as well as operability using large datasets in Maya and 3ds Max. And as long as the Radeon Pro SSG can avoid hitting up the CPU and main system memory, GPU render gains should be quite large on the whole.

Wait, There’s More
On to other AMD announcements at the show: The affordable Radeon Pro WX line-up (due in the fourth quarter of 2016), refreshing the FirePro branded line. The Radeon Pro WX cards are based on AMD’s RX consumer cards (like the RX 480), but with a higher-level professional driver support and certification with professional apps. The end-goal of professional work is stability as well as performance, and AMD promises a great dedicated support system around their Radeon Pro line to give us professionals the warm and fuzzies we always need over consumer level cards.

The top-of-the line Radeon Pro WX7100 features 256-bit 8GB memory and workstation class performance, but at less than $1,000, which I believe replaces the FirePro W8100. This puts the four-simultaneous-display-capable WX7100 in line to compete with the Nvidia Quadro M4000 card in pricing at least, if not in specs as well. But it’s hard to say where the WX7100 will sit with performance. I do hope it’s somewhere in-between the Quadro M4000 and the $1,800 M5000 card. It’s difficult to answer that based on paper specs, as the number of (OpenCL) Compute Units vs. the number of CUDA cores are hard to compare.

The 8GB Radeon Pro WX5100 and 4GB WX4100 round out the new announcements from SIGGRAPH 2016, putting them in line to compete somewhere between the 8GB Quadro M4000 and 4GB M2000 and K1200 cards in performance. Seems though that AMD’s top-of-the-line will still be the $3,400+ FirePro W9100 with 16GB of memory, though a 32GB version is also available.

I have always thought AMD brought a really good price-to-performance ratio, and it seems like the Radeon Pro WX line will continue that tradition, and I look forward to benchmarking these cards in real world CG use.

Dariush Derakhshani is a professor and VFX supervisor in the Los Angeles area and author of Maya and 3ds Max books and videos. He is bald and has flat feet.

G-Tech 6-15

SIGGRAPH: Autodesk updates Maya, Maya LT, Shotgun, more

Autodesk was at SIGGRAPH with their latest design animation solutions, updating Maya to 2017 and adding a plug-in for 3ds Max. Maya 2017 features integrated rendering with Arnold, new motion graphics tools and numerous features and enhancements. Autodesk also announced that Solid Angle’s Arnold renderer will support 3ds Max with a plugin called MAXtoA.

Maya 2017 includes a full set of 3D tools for creating motion graphics. The MASH procedural toolset, first introduced in Maya 2016 extension 2, has been improved with new nodes and new capabilities that allow designers to quickly create unique animations and motion effects. Maya 2017 also features a more intuitive UI and improvements to 3D text tools that enable artists to work faster.

Autodesk has also updated its 3D animation and modeling software for indie game developers, Autodesk Maya LT, to version 2017, as well as Autodesk Stingray 1.4, the newest version of its 3D game engine and realtime rendering offering.

One of the most significant updates for Maya LT is the time editor, a new tool that helps indie game developers streamline animation of complex characters. Additional updates include improvements to existing animation tools and a new way to organize the tools and user interface (UI) into customized workspaces.

Maya LT 2017 is available via subscription. Subscribers of Maya LT receive access to Stingray 1.4 as part of their subscription.


Pixar open sources Universal Scene Description for CG workflows

Pixar Animation Studios has released Universal Scene Description (USD) as an open source technology in order to help drive innovation in the industry. Used for the interchange of 3D graphics data through various digital content creation tools, USD provides a scalable solution for the complex workflows of CG film and game studios. 

With this initial release, Pixar is opening up its development process and providing code used internally at the studio.

“USD synthesizes years of engineering aimed at integrating collaborative production workflows that demand a constantly growing number of software packages,” says Guido Quaroni, VP of software research and development at Pixar.

 USD provides a toolset for reading, writing, editing and rapidly previewing 3D scene data. With many of its features geared toward performance and large-scale collaboration among many artists, USD is ideal for the complexities of the modern pipeline. One such feature is Hydra, a high-performance preview renderer capable of interactively displaying large data sets.

“With USD, Hydra, and OpenSubdiv, we’re sharing core technologies that can be used in filmmaking tools across the industry,” says George ElKoura, supervising lead software engineer at Pixar. “Our focus in developing these libraries is to provide high-quality, high-performance software that can be used reliably in demanding production scenarios.”

Along with USD and Hydra, the distribution ships with USD plug-ins for some common DCCs, such as Autodesk’s Maya and The Foundry’s Katana.

 To prepare for open-sourcing its code, Pixar gathered feedback from various studios and vendors who conducted early testing. Studios such as MPC, Double Negative, ILM and Animal Logic were among those who provided valuable feedback in preparation for this release.


SIGGRAPH: Maxon Cinema 4D updates to R18

By Brady Betzel

During SIGGRAPH 2016, Maxon announced an update to its Cinema 4D to R18. The new release is scheduled to ship this September. While I am planning on doing a full review of R18 once it becomes available, I got a preview of the update from Maxon US president/CEO Paul Babb and Maxon Cineversity tutorialist-staple and VP of operations for Maxon US Rick Barrett. Once you hear Barrett’s voice you will know who I am talking about; he’s definitely given a lot of us some great tips and awesome entry into working in Cinema 4D.

My three favorite updates based off my preview are: the Voronoi Fracture Object, Object Motion Tracking and Thin Film Shader (and a bonus the OpenGL viewport display previews Reflections, Ambient Occlusion and Displacement Mapping).

Voronoi Fracture Object works in conjunction with dynamics and allows you to quickly break through a wall or even procedurally slice and dice vegetables as Babb and Barrett showed using spline or polygon shapes.

Building on Cinema 4D’s existing Motion Tracking, Object Motion Tracking allows the user to track models and other 3D-based objects into real-world footage with less back and forth round-tripping in Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D via Cineware. In Maxon’s example, they used puff balls purchased from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store as track points, measured the physical distance between them, tracked the objects in Cinema 4D R18, entered the distance between the puff balls and boom! A sweet Transformer-like helmet was tracked with the actor’s head movement needing only minor adjustments.

While there are many other big updates, I was oddly entranced by the Thin Film Shader. If you ever have trouble building materials with that oil slick type of glisten or a bubble with the rainbow-like translucence, Cinema 4D R18 is your friend.

I can’t wait to see some of the presentations that Cinema 4D and the team from GreyScaleGorilla.com have in store, along with other 3D artists. Check out their lineup, and follow them on Twitter @gsg3d. With so many updates like the enhancements to the OpenGL viewport, it will be a long wait until Cinema 4D R18 is released to the public. Check out www.maxon.com for their updated website, Cineversity’s Cinema 4D R18 highlights video, and follow them on Twitter @maxon3d.

Brady Betzel is an online editor at Margarita Mix in Hollywood, working on Life Below Zero and Cutthroat Kitchen. You can email Brady at bradybetzel@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter @allbetzroff. Earlier this year, Brady was nominated for an Emmy for his work on Disney’s Unforgettable Christmas Celebration.


Today: AMD/Radeon event at SIGGRAPH introducing Capsaicin graphics tech

At the SIGGRAPH 2016 show, AMD will webcast a live showcase of new creative graphics solutions during their “Capsaicin” event for content creators. Taking place today at 6:30pm PDT, it’s hosted by Radeon Technologies Group’s SVP and chief architect Raja Koduri.

The Capsaicin event at SIGGRAPH will showcase advancements in rendering and interactive experiences. The event will feature:
▪ Guest speakers sharing updates on new technologies, tools and workflows.
▪ The latest in virtual reality with demonstrations and technology announcements.
▪ Next-gengraphics products and technologies for both content creation and consumption, powered by the Polaris architecture.

A realtime video webcast of the event will be accessible from the AMD channel on YouTube, where a replay of the webcast can be accessed a few hours after the conclusion of the live event. It will be available for one year after the event.

For more info on the Caspaicin event and live feed, click here.


Vicon at SIGGRAPH with two new motion tracking cameras

Vicon, which makes precision motion tracking systems and match-moving software, will be at SIGGRAPH this year showing its two new camera families, Vero and Vue. The new offerings join Vicon’s flagship camera, Vantage.

Vero is a range of high-def, synchronized optical video cameras for providing realtime video footage and 3D overlay in motion capture. Designed as an economical system for many types of applications, the Vero range includes a custom 6-12 mm variable focus lens that delivers an optimized field of view, as well as 2.2 megapixel resolution at 330Hz.

With these features, users can capture fast sport movements and multiple actors, drones or robots with low latency. The range also includes a 1.3 megapixel camera. Vero is compatible with existing Vicon T-series, Bonita and Vantage cameras as well as Vicon’s Control app, which allows users to calibrate the system and make adjustments on the fly.

With HD resolution and variable focal lengths, the Vicon Vue camera incorporates a sharp video image into the motion capture volume. It also enables seamless calibration between optical and video volumes, ensuring the optical and video views are aligned to capture fine details.


The Foundry’s Katana now supports Windows

The Foundry has updated its look development and lighting tool Katana to version 2.5. This updates includes support for Windows, allowing more artists working in VFX, broadcast and animation to take advantage of the tool. Additionally, the toolset is easier to install and supports a number of plug-ins including RenderMan, V-Ray, Arnold and 3Delight.

Used in studios from Industrial Light & Magic and Pixar to Atomic Fiction, Katana allows artists — working in short- and long-form — to turn creative lighting setups into “recipes” that can be shared amongst the team, cutting down the time it takes to turn out complicated shots.

Katana 2.5 is available now as a beta release and will be shipping soon. Supported platforms are Linux RHEL Centos 6 and Windows 7 64-bit.

“Katana has become the bedrock of our pipeline,” reports Kevin Baillie, co-founder at Atomic Fiction (The Walk, Flight). “Big scenes, experimental lighting set-ups, we can throw anything at it and it’ll give us production-ready results that we can share up and down the chain. With timelines getting shorter and shorter, you need tools like Katana around; there’s no other way to get the work done.”

To request a trial as part of the beta program, email sales@thefoundry.co.uk.


Review: Red Giant Trapcode Suite 13, Part 2

By Brady Betzel

In my recent Red Giant Trapcode Suite 13 for After Effects review, Part 1, I touched on updates to Particular, Shine, Lux and Starglow. In this installment, I am going to blaze through the remaining seven plug-ins that make up the Trapcode Suite. Those include Form, Mir, Tao, 3D Stroke, Echospace, Sound Keys and Horizon. While Particular is the most well-known plug-in in the Suite, the following seven all are incredibly useful and can help make you money.

Form 2.1
Trapcode Form 2.1 is best described as a particle system, much like Particular, but with particles that live forever and are used in forms like cubes. If you’ve used Element 3D by Video CoPilot you probably know that you can load objects from Maxon Cinema 4D into your Adobe After Effects projects pretty easily and, for all intents and purposes, quickly. Form allows you to load these 3D OBJ files and alter them inside of After Effects.

When you load the OBJ file, Form applies particles at each vertices point. The more vertices you have in your 3D object, the more detail you will have in your Form. It is really a cool way to create a techy kind of look for a HUD (heads up display) or sweet motion graphics piece that needs that futuristic pointillism type look. The original function of Form was to create particle grids that could be exploded or tightly wound and that would live on forever, as opposed to Particular, which creates particle systems with a birth and a death.

Form

Form 2.1

A simple way to think of how Form works is to imagine the ability to take simple text and transform it into “particles” to create a sandy explosion or turn everyday objects into particles that live forever. From Grids to Strings and Spheres to Sprites, with enough practice you can create some of the most stunning backgrounds or motion graphics wizardry inside of Trapcode Form, all of which is affected by After Effect lights and cameras in 3D space.

I was really surprised at how powerful and smooth Trapcode Form can run. I am running a tablet with an Intel i7 processor and I was able to get very reasonable performance, even with my camera depth-of-field turned on.

Mir 2.0
Trapcode Mir is an extremely useful plug-in for those wanting to create futuristic terrains or modern triangulated environments with tunnels and valleys. Mir is versatile and can go from creating smooth ocean floors to spiky mountain tops to extreme wireframe structures. Some of the newest updates in Mir 2.0 are the ability to add a spiral to the Mir landscape mesh you create (think galaxy); seamless looping under the fractal menu; ability to choose between triangles and quads for your surfaces; the really cool ability to add a second pass wireframe on top of your surface for that futuristic grid look; texture sampling from smooth gradients to solid colors; control of the maximums and minimums under z-range (basically allows for easier peaks and valleys); multi-, smoothridge, multi-smoothridge and regular fractals for differing displacements on your textures; and improved VRAM management for speedy processing.

Mir 2

Mir 2.0

These days GIFs are all the rage, so I am really impressed with the seamless loop option. It might seem ridiculous but if you’ve seen what is popular on social media you will know it’s emojis and GIFs. If you want to prep your seamless loop, check out this quick video from Trapcode creator Peder Norrby (@trapcode_lab).

Simply, you create beginning and end keyframes, find the seamless loop options under the Fractal category, step back one frame from your end loop point, mark your end-of-work area, go to the loop point (which should be one frame past where you marked the end to your work area) and click Set End Keyframe. From there Trapcode Mir will fill in the rest of the details and create your seamless loop ready to be exported as a GIF and blasted on Twitter. It’s really that easy.

If you are looking for an animated GIF export setting, try exporting through Adobe Media Encoder and searching “GIF” in the presets. You will find an “Animated GIF” preset, which I resized to something more appropriate like 1280×720 but that still came out at 49MB — way over the 5MB Twitter upload limit. I tried a few times, first with 50% quality at 640×360, which got me to 13.7MB. I even changed the quality down to 5% in Media Encoder, but I kept getting 13.7MB until I brought the size down to 320×180. That got me just under 4MB, which is perfect! If you do a lot of GIF work, an easy way to compress them is to use http://ezgif.com/optimize and to fiddle with their optimization settings to get under 5MB. It’s quick and it all lives online.

As with all Trapcode Suite plug-ins (or anything for that matter), the only way to get good is to experiment and allow yourself to fail or succeed. This holds true for Mir. I was making garbage one minute and with a couple changes I made some motion graphics that made me see the potential of the plug-in and how I could actually make content that people would be blown away with.

3D Stroke

3D Stroke

3D Stroke
One plug-in that isn’t new but will lead into the next one is Trapcode 3D Stroke. 3D Stroke takes the built-in After Effects plug-in Stroke to a new level. Traditional Stroke is an 8-bit plug-in while Trapcode 3D Stroke can run on the color-burning 32-bits-per-channel mode. If you want to add a stroke along a path that interacts with your comp cameras in 3D space, Trapcode 3D Stroke is what you want. From creating masks of your text and applying a sweet 3D Stroke to them to intricate 3D paths that zoom in between objects with a HDR-like glow, 3D Stroke is one of those tools to have in your After Effects tool box.

When using it I really fell in love with the repeater. Much like Element 3D’s particle arrays, the repeater can create multiple instances of your paths or text paths to create some interesting and infinitely adjustable objects.

Tao
Trapcode Tao is new to the Trapcode Suite of plug-ins. Tao gives us the ability to create 3D geometry along a path, and boy did people immediately fall in love with this tool when it was released. You can find tons of examples and tutorials of Tao from experts like VinhSon Nguyen, better known as @CreativeDojo on Twitter. Check out his tutorial on Vimeo, too. Tao is a tricky beast, and one way I learned about it in-depth was to download Peder Norrby’s project files over at http://www.trapcode.com and dissect them as best I could.

Tao

Tao

If you remember Trapcode 3D Stroke from earlier, you know that it allows us to create awesome glows and strokes along paths in 3D space. Trapcode Tao operates in much the same way as 3D Stroke except that it uses particles like Mir to create organic flowing forms in 3D space that interact with After Effects’ cameras and lights.

Trapcode Tao is about as close as you can get to modeling 3D geometry inside of After Effects at realtime speeds with image-based lighting. The only other way to achieve this is with Video CoPilot’s Element 3D or by using Cinema 4D via Cineware, which is sometimes a painstaking process.

Horizon 1.1
Another product that I was surprised by was Trapcode Horizon 1.1. In the age of virtual reality and 360 video you can never have too many ways to make your own worlds to pan cameras around in. With a quick Spherical Map search on Google, I found all the equi-rectangular maps I could handle. Once inside of After Effects, you need to import and resize your map to your comp size, add a new solid and camera, throw Horizon on top of your solid, under Image Map > Layer, choose the layer name containing your spherical image, and BAM! You have a 360-world. You can then add elements like Trapcode Particular, 3D Stroke or Tao and pan and zoom around to make some pretty great opening titles or even make your own B-Roll!

Echospace

Echospace 1.1

Echospace 1.1
Trapcode Echospace 1.1 is a powerful section in the Trapcode Suite 13 plug-in library. It is one of those plug-ins where you watch the tutorials and wonder why people don’t talk about it more. In simple terms, Echospace replicates layers and creates interdependent parenting links to the original layer, allowing you to create complex repeated element animations and layouts. In essence it feels more like a complex script as opposed to a plug-in.

Let’s say you want to create some offset animation of multiple shape layers in three-dimensional space, Echospace is your tool. It’s a little hard to use and if you don’t Shy the replicated layers and nulls, it will be intimidating. When you create the repeated layers, Echospace automatically sets your layers to Shy if you enable Shy layers in your tool bar. A great Harry Frank (@graymachine) tutorial/Red Giant Live episode can be found on the Red Giant website: http://www.redgiant.com/tutorial/red-giant-tv-live-episode-8-motion-graphics-with-trapcode-echospace.

Sound Keys 1.3
The last plug-in in the massive Trapcode Suite v13 library is Sound Keys 1.3. Sound Keys analyzes audio files and can draw keyframes based on their rhythm. One reason I left this until the end of my review is that you can attach any of the parameters from the other Trapcode Suite 13 plug-ins to the outputs of the Sound Keys 1.3 keyframes via a pick whip. If I just lost you by saying pick whip, snap back into it.

If you learn one thing in the After Effects scripting world, it’s that you can attach one parameter to another by alt+clicking (command+clicking) on the stopwatch of the parameter that you want to be driven by another parameter and dragging the curly-looking icon over the other parameter. So in the Sound Keys case, you can attach the scale of an object to the rhythm of a bass drum.

Soundkeys Color Orientation

Sound Keys 1.3

What I really liked about Sound Keys is that it not only can create a dynamically driven piece of motion graphics, but you can also use the audio meters it draws to visualize the audio. You see this a lot in lyric music videos or YouTube videos that are playing music only but still want a touch of visual flare, and with Sound Keys 1.3 you can change the visual representation of the audio including color, quantization (little dots that you see on audio meters) and size.

Easily isolate an audio frequency with the onscreen controls, find the effect you want to drive by the audio, and pick whip your way to dynamic motion graphic. If I was the graphics designer I wish I was, I would take Sound Keys and something like Particular or Tao and create some stunning work. I bet I could even make some money making some lyric videos… one day.

Summing Up
In the end, the Trapcode Suite v13 is an epic and monumental release. The total cost as a package is $999, and while it is a significantly higher cost than After Effects, let me tell you: it has the ability to make you way more money with some time and effort. Even with just an hour or so a day I feel like my Trapcode game would go to the next level.

For those that have the Trapcode Suite and want to upgrade for $199, there are some huge benefits to the v13 update including Trapcode Tao, GPU performance upgrades across the board, and even things like the second pass wireframe for Mir.

If you are a student, you can grab Trapcode Suite 13 for $499 with a little verification legwork. If you are worried about your system working efficiently with the Trapcode Suite you can check the technical requirements here, but I was working on an Intel i7 tablet with 8GB of memory and Intel Iris 6100 graphics processor. I found everything to be very speedy for the limitations I had. Tao was the only plug-in that wouldn’t display correctly, but rightly so, as you can read the GPU requirements here.

If I was you and had a cool $999 burning a hole in my After Effects wallet I would pick up Trapcode Suite 13 immediately.

Brady Betzel is an online editor at Margarita Mix in Hollywood, working on Life Below Zero and Cutthroat Kitchen. You can email Brady at bradybetzel@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter @allbetzroff. Earlier this year, Brady was nominated for an Emmy for his work on Disney’s Unforgettable Christmas Celebration.

SIGGRAPH’s 43rd Computer Animation Festival winners

The winners of SIGGRAPH’s 43rd Annual Computer Animation Festival have been announced. For 2016, submissions were evaluated by an expert jury of proS who span the visual effects, animation, research and development, games, advertising and education industries.

This 2016 award categories and winners are:

Best in Show
Borrowed Time (USA), directed by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj, and produced by Amanda Jones. It runs seven minutes.

A weathered sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on.

Jury’s Choice
Cosmos Laundromat (Netherlands) submitted and produced by Ton Roosendaal.

In this short, Franck, a depressed sheep, sees only one way out of his boring life, until he meets with the quirky salesman Victor, who offers him any life he ever wanted. The piece was created as a pilot for a feature film project that, if it happens, will be the first free, open-source animated production.

Best Student Project
Le Crabe-Phare (France), directed by Mengjing Yang, Gaëtan Borde, Benjamin Lebourgeois, Claire Vandermeersch and Alendandre Veaux.

The Crabe-Phare is a legendary crustacean. He captures the boats of lost sailors to add them to his collection. But the crab is getting old, and it is more and more difficult for him to build his collection.Crabe-Phare © 2016 AUTOUR DE MINUIT

The 2016 Computer Animation Festival is comprised of two programs: the Electronic Theater and Daytime Selects. An evening event, the Electronic Theater will contain over 20 primarily narrative-driven short films from around the globe, showcasing technical excellence, art and animation.

In addition to juried pieces, this year’s theater will feature curated works such as Disney Pixar’s Piper and Disney Animation Studios’ Inner Workings.

The Daytime Selects program has been revamped for 2016 and will offer four varied sessions. They will include

·  Break it Down – A chance for attendees to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how movie magic is created, featuring demonstrations of visual effects from major studios and a glimpse at how standard techniques can be used in new ways. Participating studios include ILM, MPC, Framestore, Weta, Digital Domain, Pixar, Spin VFX, OLM, Mr. X, and many more!
·  The Arcade – An audience experience that focuses on games from concept art through technology to implementation in cinematic and realtime. The show touches on everything from look development through to the accomplishments being made today with modern realtime engines.
·  Demoscene – A representation of an international computer art subculture that specializes in creating self-contained programs that produce audio-visual presentations. It is designed for computer scientists, GPU lovers, shader architects, and extreme realtime graphics artists who exhibit programming, artistic and musical skills within highly constrained limitations.
·  Winners Circle – A celebration of Computer Animation Festival award winners from the past seven years for attendees who wish to revisit some of their favorite winning content from Electronic Theaters.

Click here to view the trailer for the 2016 Computer Animation Festival. To learn more about the festival and this year’s selections visit conference website.