Peek Behind the Scenes: 10 Can’t-Miss Talks from Industry Luminaries at SIGGRAPH

by Rick Champagne

To understand the future of the graphics industry, the industry heads to SIGGRAPH.

The annual conference, taking place this year in Los Angeles, from July 28 – Aug. 1, has long been the premier showcase for the latest research and innovations.

This year is no different: The brightest minds from academia and business, including dozens of NVIDIA partners, will converge at the show.

Hear from award-winning titans of film and television, and from visionary studios like Weta Digital, Pixar, MPC, Magnopus, Digital Domain and Technicolor.

Discover the newest techniques for real-time virtual production, digital humans, AI, 3D content creation and rendering, color grading and much more.

Learn about NVIDIA’s latest research and how NVIDIA RTX is accelerating AI, VR, real-time technologies, ray tracing, data science and over 700 software applications.

Here’s a sampling of 10 top innovators in media and entertainment speaking at SIGGRAPH 2019:

  1.       The Future of Filmmaking with Rob Legato and Ben Grossmann

Learn from award-winning filmmakers Legato and Grossman about bringing classic filmmaking techniques to complex computer-generated productions like Disney’s The Lion King using VR and real-time game engines. The duo have won over 50 major awards and nominations, including Oscars, VES awards, BAFTA awards, Primetime Emmys and HPA awards.

  1.       Progress Toward Real-Time, Photo-Realistic Digital Human

This panel will shed light on the latest tools and techniques in the field of digital humans, from facial performance and human locomotion to the fully autonomous future of two-way dialog and behavior modeling. Moderator Danielle Costa, vice president of visual effects for Marvel Studios, will be joined on stage by Doug Roble, senior director of software R&D at Digital Domain; Vladimir Mastilovic, director of digital humans at Epic Games; and Simon Yuen, director of graphics and AI at NVIDIA.

  1.     Production GPU Rendering for Captain Marvel

Learn how Digital Domain used GPU rendering for the final production renders on Captain Marvel. Hanzhi Tang, digital effects supervisor and head of lighting at Digital Domain, will walk through the shots and sequences, and share the tremendous speed and benefits of path tracing with NVIDIA GPUs.

  1.       Interactive Spectral Lighting at Weta Digital

See how Weta Digital’s real-time renderer Gazebo has implemented NVIDIA OptiX and RTX hardware. Weta Digital’s Kimball Thurston will talk about how the technology enables artists to accelerate iteration times and creative decisions throughout the pipeline, with more predictable representations of how the final render will appear.

  1.       MPC Genesis: Real-Time Raytracing in Virtual Production

MPC’s virtual production platform, Genesis, is a multi-user distributed system that incorporates mixed reality and traditional techniques like motion capture and camera operation. Francesco Giordana, principal architect at MPC Film, will talk about Genesis and how MPC is improving the quality of the real-time graphics with NVIDIA RTX and MPC’s OptiX-based path tracer.

  1.       Feature Film Color Science With EFILM’s Joachim Zell

Joachim Zell, vice president of technology at EFILM, will discuss how his company is helping filmmakers realize the creative intent of their work by allowing them to compose a look in camera and maintain it from onset, through dailies, and to digital intermediate.

  1.     Introducing Foundry’s ML-Server: a Sandbox for Deep Learning VFX tools          

Dan Ring, head of research at Foundry, will introduce ML-Server, an open-source client/server system that enables rapid prototyping, experimentation and development of machine learning models in post-production software. Ring will also focus on simplifying machine learning tools to put them into the hands of artists and technical directors working in visual effects and animation studios.

  1.       Bringing Arnold Renderer to the GPU 

Adrien Herubel, lead GPU engineer at Autodesk, will present everything you need to learn about Arnold, the Academy Award-winning production renderer for visual effects in film and feature animation. Herubel will cover how Arnold was instrumental in the shift toward physically based light transport simulation in production rendering, explore its ability to produce artifact-free images of dynamic scenes with massive complexity efficiently, and share an exclusive peek at the latest developments to Arnold GPU, accelerated by NVIDIA OptiX.

  1.       Adding GPU Acceleration to Pixar Renderman

Max Liani, senior lead engineer at Pixar, will discuss photorealistic rendering in modern movie production and present the path that led Pixar to leverage GPUs and CPUs in a new scalable rendering architecture. Learn about RenderMan XPU, Pixar’s next-gen physically based production path tracer, and how they solve the problem of heterogeneous compute using a shared code base. Liani will also discuss Pixar’s partnership with NVIDIA to create the technology to enable art and creativity in future feature animation and live-action visual effects blockbusters.

  1. NVIDIA Omniverse: An Open, USD-Based Collaboration Platform for Constructing and Simulating Virtual Worlds

Join NVIDIA’s Michael Kass, Frank DeLise and Tae-Yong Kim for a deep dive into NVIDIA Omniverse, which allows teams to interactively collaborate to create, animate and render 3D worlds using industry-standard creative software. Explore the modules that make up Omniverse and how they create a seamless experience for end users.

See the many other incredible talks being presented this year by visiting the NVIDIA SIGGRAPH 2019 schedule and register for the conference today.

Image courtesy Digital Domain. ©2019 MARVEL