SIGGRAPH 2013 Conference
Three weeks ago, I attended SIGGRAPH conference, which is one of the largest computer graphics conferences in the world. The conference was held in Anaheim, CA. I'd attended the same conference in 2012 in Los Angeles but this time I was chosen as a student volunteer, which was a really prestigious opportunity.
The conference had lots of different types of sessions catering to variety of interests. Some of these were:
1. Technical papers: The chosen best technical papers from the past year in areas related to Computer Graphics (CG) presented by their researchers.
2. Courses: Short duration interactive classes educating attendees on a range of technical or artistic topics.
3. Emerging technologies: Showing different technologies that may not be commercially available right now, but would be awesome when they are out in next few years.
4. Production sessions: Two hour sessions where people like directors, animators, cinematographers, vfx supervisors behind movies like Star Trek, Iron Man, etc., would go into detail about how they produced such complex shots in the movies, breaking down each shot to basics.
5. Computer animation festival: It showed the best animations ranging from student to commercial works created in the past year.
6. Exhibition: Visit booths of companies like Nvidia, Canon, Intel, Auto Desk and see their latest tech offerings. You can even try Google glasses for free (I missed out on that!). Interestingly, my department from Carnegie Mellon University also had a booth here. This place also had a job fair to connect to prospective employers.
There were at least 10-15 more different types of amazing sessions.
My experience this time as a student volunteer was quite different from a normal attendee. For instance, I had a good number of shifts in different booths in emerging technologies, and working behind the scenes with people of the industry to present their booth gave you a much better insight in how things worked, and how they designed the technology.
I also met a lot of different students from all over the world who had a broad range of talents. I became friends with a lot of them in a short space of time too. I would whole heartedly recommend SIGGRAPH to anyone who is even remotely interested in computer graphics, film, games or emerging technologies. And if you're a student, don't miss out on becoming a student volunteer!