By Violet Murakami, Assistant Professor Digital Arts
On July 25, 2 instructors and 5 students from Hawaii Community College’s Digital Media Arts program entered the Los Angeles Convention Center and discovered the world of SIGGRAPH 2010, the premiere conference of Computer Graphics and Interactive Media in the world. For 5 days, the five DMA students: Denyse Woo, Shawn Pila, Regina Arurang, Nicholas Chang, Kopa Nae’ole, and two instructors Steve Parente and Violet Murakami attended numerous workshops, panel discussions, technical paper presentations, computer animation film screenings, how-to presentations and were introduced to the latest technological advances in computer graphics. The conference showcased a wide range of activities and events from the behind-the-scenes of visual effects in films such as Avatar, the Last Airbender, Iron Man 2 to the presentation of technical papers such as “From Data to Diagnosis: The Intersection of Biomedical Applications and Computer Graphics” to Emerging Technologies and Exhibition to workshops on the latest stop-motion software or video game design, the conference was overwhelming to some. Their website has this to say about the conference, “Immerse yourself in this year’s best work in animated storytelling, scientific visualization, advertising, games, and feature films. The Computer Animation Festival presents five days of screenings, talks, panels, and live demos.”
This is what some of the attendees had to say about the experience –
Kopa Nae’ole – Student/Graphic Design
“My trip has been really good and I am really enjoying it. The convention was kind of overwhelming because there are a lot of new things I haven’t learned before. I found the new technology portion of the event very interesting because it gave us a preview of what’s to come in the next five years or so.”
Nick Chang – Student/Computer Graphics
“This is my first experience at SIGGRAPH and I have to say it is pure amazement. This is the first time I am actually experiencing it firsthand. It’s just mind-blowing because you have all these professionals and people in the industry giving you tips and a really good insight on the industry. It’s a place for networking and getting your name out there.”
Denyse Woo – Student / Filmmaker
“This is my first year at SIGGRAPH and I didn’t think there would be much for me to see in regards to my field, but I am now realizing how much digital animation and film all merge together. I was anti-CGI until I came here. My eyes were wide open. It made me realize how much we needed CGI to make things possible.”
Shawn Pila – Student/Digital Photography
“Siggraph2010 was pretty much a reality check for me. I realized how much more I needed to learn, and figured out what I needed to do, to get where I want to be. Networking was huge and I met some really cool people. Overall, it was an amazing trip!!”
Steve Parente –Lecturer/ 3D Animation & Graphic Design
“There was a lot of information here and trying to attend everything that I wanted to attend was rough because there was a lot of things going on at the same time. But I really enjoyed it! My favorite part of the whole convention was listening to some of the top animators explain how they broke down each shot. It was great seeing them acting out each scene and then bringing the characters to life.”
After the convention as over, the group made a trip to the Rhythm and Hues Studios where they toured the facilities of the Academy Award-winning visual effects company responsible for some of the amazing visual effects in films such as Babe, The Golden Compass and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
This trip was funded by a grant from Alu Like Inc. Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Program through the U.S. DOE, Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.