B&D at computer graphics conference, SIGGRAPH

SIGGRAPH has been the leading computer graphics conference for 40 years. We headed to LA to attend, see the latest innovations and support our tech clients.

We spent most of our time on the ground supporting our clients with their presence at the event but when we had some down time, we took the chance to explore. Here’s some of our highlights:

VR might have found the perfect niche

Of all the things we didn’t expect to see at an expo in Los Angeles was a stunning recreation of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, but it’s exactly what we got. The incredible “Il Divino: Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling in VR” recreates the entirety of the most famous ceiling in the world in the Unreal Engine. It gave people a chance to see the Michelangelo’s work from a perspective that would be impossible if you visited the building itself. It’s implication for education is tantalising.

Intel’s rendering vision

It’s always worth stopping and listening when Intel talks about its future plans. The chip manufacturing giant hosted its inaugural Create event at this year’s SIGGRAPH to outline its vision for exascale computing. The company’s plan is for the technology to unlock new opportunities for fast, high-quality rendering, physical simulations and new artificial intelligence-supported workflows, expanding creation possibilities in studios. Perfect for making agency work a little easier!

Mapping CGI motion to actual robots

Disney’s most exciting innovation was its new tech designed to make it easier to create animations for physical robots. Currently when a robot tries to make fast, precise moments, its unavoidable weight and structure create vibrations. It gives all movements a noticeable ‘shudder’. It’s goal is to “automatically transfer motions created using traditional animation software to robotic characters while avoiding such artifacts.” From the looks of it, the new tech is already leaps and bounds better than what’s come before it.

And one thing we’re not so sure about (but are happy to be proven wrong!)

Haptic feedback is set to be the next frontier in VR, and people are scrambling to find the magic formula that becomes the industry standard. It means there’s a huge variety of options and ideas available. One of the more eyebrow raising ideas is LiquidMask, a liquid-based haptic device fills a VR mask with liquid to simulate an underwater environment. The liquid can change temperature and vibrate. Feels like we’ve seen everything now.