SIGGRAPH 2019: The Tone

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SIGGRAPH 2019: The Tone

Every year Siggraph excels at bringing all the latest information in computer graphics to one place. This year: L.A. And it has not disappointed.

There’s always a major theme that appears very obvious and most years it’s accompanied by an underlying tone that you can only feel when attending the event. The obvious theme this year is machine learning, however there has been a very large presence from the main game engine providers.

There have been numerous Birds of a Feather (flock together) and talks in some of the smaller rooms on the advantages and disadvantages of using game engines for production workflows.

The talks have been wide and varied from architectural visualization with RTX GPUs showing near real-time updates on a single card, to MPC discussing the benefits of Genesis – their on set shoot assistance tool that utilises USD on the back end with Unity doing all the heavy lifting.

The rise in use of the game engines in all arenas – from engineering to animation – seems to be bubbling in the wings with people looking at utilising completely different pipelines for distributed workflows and workforces, and trying to work out best practices.

Some of the discussions highlight different companies employing version control software such as SVN or Perforce (similar to games companies) tied in with Shotgun for checking in and checking out changes from multiple locations with multiple staff. And all the issues that this introduces. Add in new workflows introduced by using formats/processes like USD and it’s the new Wild West of pipelines and technologies.

It truly is a hybrid workflow of using the VFX pipelines with games engines and all the crossover techniques. It’s not a science yet and doesn’t fit all projects, but it’s definitely the underlying tone of the conference.

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