Starting last Monday through the end of this week is SIGGRAPH 2011, a conference/exhibition in Vancouver concentrated on the latest and greatest computer graphics technology.
Pixar made some exciting announcements about its RenderMan platform, including a release later this fall of RenderMan for Maya 5.0. And, as always, the RenderMan team showed off their annual RenderMan Walking Teapot, seen above. This year's theme is racing, in honor of Cars 2 (last year's was Mr. Potato Head for TS3). Titled "The Road to Point Reyes," the background for the official image of the teapot is a rendering from Pixar made in 1983, at which time that was state-of-the-art graphics. Attendees of the conference could stop by the Pixar booth to pick up their very own walking teapot, too. Oh, and La Luna got a screening at SIGGRAPH last night. I want to see it so badly . . . lucky SIGGRAPHers.
Some talks at the conference include Pixar discussing the difficult ocean sequence in Cars 2, Disney talking about the difficulties involved with Rapunzel's hair in Tangled, technicians from the Mouse showing off the tech used to convert traditional 2D films to 3D, Pixar's Mitchell Kopelman chatting about lighting Tokyo in Cars 2, among lots of other interesting things from the talented technicians behind Disney, Pixar, Kung Fu Panda 2, Rio, Rango, and others.
Although the talks usually don't get recorded or uploaded, let's hope some of these see the light of day outside the walls of SIGGRAPH; they sound very interesting.
Many people focus on the more "creative" sides of filmmaking and animation, but the technical aspect is just as important--although Story is king, without the tech to tell the story, we wouldn't have all of the great films we do now.