SIGGRAPH 2014 Releases Emerging Tech Review

Wed 30th Jul 2014 | News

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SIGGRAPH 2014, 10-14 August, has released its list of 2014 Emerging Technologies highlights to be featured at this year’s conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Out of almost 90 submissions to the program, 24 were accepted, with more than 20 pieces from submitters outside of the United States.

Each year, SIGGRAPH-selected emerging technologies allow conference attendees to play with the latest interactive and graphics developments. The program also presents demonstrations of research in several fields — like displays, input devices, collaborative environments, and robotics — through Talks and a close partnership with the SIGGRAPH Studio.

“This year’s content is very diverse,” explained Thierry Frey, SIGGRAPH 2014 Emerging Technologies Chair. “For example, we brought forward a call for ‘invisible technologies,’ i.e. installations and projects that leave technology in the background to focus on the user/usage, and have a selection of pieces that fall close to that science.”

Access to the 2014 Emerging Technologies program is available with Full Conference, Select Conference, and Exhibits Plus pass values. Prices start as low as $50.00 USD.

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MAXON Announces Exhibitor Presence at SIGGRAPH 2014

Wed 30th Jul 2014 | News

MAXON Computer, leading developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions, is excited to announce it will demonstrate its digital content creation technology at SIGGRAPH 2014 – the annual convention for computer graphics and interactive technology professionals, taking place August 12–14, at the Vancouver Convention Center.

SIGGRAPH 2014 Booth Highlights (Booth #1422)

During Siggraph, MAXON will provide attendees with the opportunity to see the latest Cinema 4D technology and the creative role the 3D software plays in broadcast motion graphics, feature film visual effects, video games, and multimedia projects. MAXON will also provide technology overviews of the company’s recent collaborations with Adobe (a light version of Cinema 4D is now available in Adobe After Effects CC), Side Effects Software, Vizrt, Thinkbox Software, and others, which bring MAXON customers new levels of integration and improve workflow productivity with access to other leading digital content creation toolsets.

A range of Cinema 4D motion designers, filmmakers, and programmers — ‘rock stars of digital innovation’ — from leading studios including Imaginary Forces, Zoic and Aixsponza will present in the MAXON exhibitor booth (#1422) and showcase high profile projects created with Cinema 4D software and reveal tips, techniques and workflow successes.

Guest artists scheduled to present at time of writing include:

Nick Campbell is the highly acclaimed 3D animator, photographer and motion graphics designer and force behind the super popular Greyscalegorilla site, an active community and resource providing Cinema 4D motion graphics tools and training. At Siggraph, Campbell will show attendees how to make multi-layered, photoreal textures in Cinema 4D.


Casey Hupke is an LA-based Art Director for the Commercial and Games Department at Zoic. At Siggraph, Hupke will bring his enthusiastic presentation style to show less common techniques in the Cinema 4D MoGraph toolset and also show how to add animations and style with X-particles, the blazingly fast, full-featured particle and fluid effects plugin for Cinema 4D users.


Tim Clapham, Director at Luxx in Sydney, Australia, will explore various projects created in Cinema 4D for clients such as HBO and Ubisoft, to demonstrate production proven techniques that facilitate creative workflow uninhibited by technical limitations


Josh Johnson is a freelance VFX Supervisor/Artist and founder of VFX Daily, a resource for VFX with an emphasis on Cinema 4D. Johnson has worked on a variety of projects including award winning feature films, commercials, music videos and the short film late for meeting and will share techniques with Siggraph attendees for creating VFX with Cinema 4D.


M dot Strange is an award-winning indie 3D animated feature film filmmaker and head of Mysterious Dolls Studios. He will demonstrate the techniques he used in Cinema 4D to streamline the 3D filmmaking process in his latest solo animated feature film project, I am Nightmare, including storyboarding, character animation, set building, lighting, rendering, and more.

Live Streaming from the MAXON Booth

MAXON will host a live stream from its SIGGRAPH booth on C4DLive ( for live broadcasts and expanded information on guest presenters, presentation schedules, news from the show floor, and more. During live guest artist presentations, online attendees can send questions to artists in real-time.

MAXON Booth Location and Hours

The MAXON exhibit booth #1422 at SIGGRAPH 2014 is located in the West Building, Exhibit Hall B&C as follows:
Vancouver Convention Centre
1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3, Canada

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2014 Asian Animation Summit Set for Hanoi

Kidscreen has announced that the third-annual Asian Animation Summit will take place this year between 3 and 5 December in Hanoi, Vietnam. The event’s venue is the Sofitel Plaza, a five-star hotel located just a few minutes away from the inspiring capital city’s Old Quarter.

An initiative of KOCCA (Korea), MDeC (Malaysia), SIPA and DITP (Thailand), AAS 2015 is owned and produced by Kidscreen, and supported by Screen Australia. Organisers are anticipating that 250-300 attendees will take part this year. The event is designed to attract producers of animation who are interested in co-producing projects with Asian partners, as well as Asian broadcasters, distributors and investors from Asia and beyond.

Over the course of the three-day event, 24 projects from Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and elsewhere in Asia that are brand-new to the market and looking for financing and partners will be presented. Each day will begin with a highly informative panel discussion or presentation that explores new market trends, business models or creative techniques that are most relevant to Asian producers.

Turn Yourself into an Animated 3D Avatar with Insta3D!

Speed 3D Inc. which was established in January 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan has released its first mobile app Insta3D, the world’s first app that can turn a single photo into a person’s identical and animated 3D avatar.

App users can also customise their own 3D avatars with different outfits, accessories, facial expressions, and animated body motions, allowing people to express their creativity and share their animated 3D avatars on social networks.

“Insta3D uses face detection and cloud computing technology to analyse the facial features in the photo to generate a 3D head model on the cloud. The 3D model then is quickly sent back to the end-user’s phone for further customisation. The whole 3D modelling process takes only 10 seconds under 3G or Wi-Fi connection,” said Speed 3D CEO, Marvin Chiu in a statement.

Along with this Insta3D also provides the app users hundreds of accessories, including glasses, hair styles, and outfits. The user can further improve the avatar’s personality by changing its mood – laughing, angry, sad, or surprised, and applying different animated body languages, such us cheering, dancing, and fainting movements to the avatar. The tailored 3D avatar then can be saved and shared as photo or video to impress friends and family on social networks.

“In the future, Insta3D will regularly release new contents with more accessories and body motions through In-App purchase to our users,” added Chiu.

In order to provide high quality contents in Insta3D app, Speed 3D has joined hands with the Next Media Animation, one of the largest animation studios in the world.

“Next Media has been producing 3D animation for many years and has accumulated a great variety of 3D models and actions. We look forward to witnessing Insta3D’s utilization of these contents in a whole new direction,” said Next Media Animation CEO, Kith Ng.

Speed 3D partners up with one of the top 3D printing service providers in Japan in order to deliver the 3D-printed personalized avatars for the customers. Insta3D users will soon be able to print out their own 8-inch avatars using the highest quality 3D printing technology.

Marvin Chiu said, “We have researched many 3D printing companies in Asia, and we were amazed by the impeccable quality delivered by iJet.”

“We truly believe Insta3D’s 2D-to-3D technology for people will become a huge trend in the future,” added President of iJet, Masaru Kumehara.

All the selfie freaks can download this app on iPhone, iPad and Android Phones.

Rainmaker Entertainment elevates Tara Kemes to VP culture and talent

Rainmaker Entertainment, the multifaceted Vancouver-based animation studio, has promoted its director of talent development, Tara Kemes, to the newly created position of VP culture and talent.  Kemes, who first joined Rainmaker in 2009, will spearhead the company’s recruiting efforts while also continuing to develop the unique culture that distinguishes Rainmaker from other animation production studios as it continues to expand its creative and technical teams. Kemes reports to Rainmaker Entertainment SVP, production and operations, Kim Dent Wilder, who announced Kemes’ promotion recently.

“The community of Rainmaker’s artists and technologists comprise a unique, inspiring environment that challenges people to aim higher and think differently about the creative process,” explained Dent Wilder. “Tara’s innate ability to connect with people, her exceptional vision in marrying personalities to projects and her thorough understanding of what is required to execute the studio’s production commitments makes her an invaluable member of Rainmaker’s leadership team. Tara has demonstrated a true passion for nurturing talent and, as Rainmaker continues to expand, we believe she’ll be a tremendous asset in both growing our team and preserving the culture that defines our company.”

First up on Kemes to-do list is leading Rainmaker’s recruitment efforts at the upcoming SIGGRAPH conference and exhibition, held in Vancouver from 10-14 August. Staffing up for its recently announced production of Bob the Builder television series for HiT Entertainment, Rainmaker will have a strong presence within the event’s Job Fair which typically attracts thousands of computer graphics and interactive technology professionals and others from art, animation, music and gaming to  research, science and education.

“Vancouver offers a wealth of opportunities for creative talent and the SIGGRAPH Job Fair definitely helps us get out in front of thousands of potential team members,” added Kemes.  “The challenge for us is in identifying the people who have the talent, vision and desire to make an impact on this industry and who also share Rainmaker’s desire for a sense of comradery and community among our team members.  We’ve hired about 100 people since the beginning of the year and with our current production commitments will likely hire another 80 or more artists and technologists before the end of the year.  And while that expansion is welcomed, it’s also extremely important to all of us at Rainmaker that we maintain the independent studio spirit that makes Rainmaker such a supportive creative environment.”

Rainmaker Entertainment currently has two films in production: its 27th Barbie DVD movie for Mattel, and a feature film based on the popular Sony PlayStation game Ratchet and Crank. The Company’s television division, Mainframe Entertainment, is in pre-production on Bob the Builder for HiT Entertainment, while developing a new version of its iconic television series ReBoot.

Passionate about nurturing talent and encouraging people to follow their dreams, Kemes has served as Rainmaker’s frontline ambassador since joining the company in 2009 as its Manager of Talent Development.  Promoted to Director of Talent Development in 2010, Kemes expanded Rainmaker’s employee roster for its production of the animated feature film Escape from Planet Earth through recruitment efforts that included one-on-one relationship building, industry job fairs and visits to school campuses.

Prior to 2009, Kemes worked as recruitment manager in the video game industry for Canada’s Relic Entertainment and Nexon, among others. From 2001 through 2005, she worked with Mainframe Entertainment, the previous incarnation of Rainmaker, first as a facility production assistant and then as a member of the television animation company’s human resources department.

A graduate of the University of British Columbia with a BA in Asian Studies and Japanese, Kemes moonlights as an instructor at the Vancouver Film School.

Swimming with the Sharks in ‘Sharknado 2: The Second One’

When actors, chainsaws, and shark-filled tornadoes come together onscreen, it’s television magic. Such is the case with Sharknado 2: The Second One, which delivers even more excitement than the original Sharknado of 2013.

Behind the whirlwind accompanying the Sharknado phenomenon resides a group of talented artists at The Asylum in Burbank, California – all skilled at creating impressive visuals with LightWave 3D software.

“From the outset, the entire Sharknado 2 project was challenging but perhaps a little easier than ‘the first one,’” said Emile Smith, VFX supervisor on Sharknado 2. Smith credits LightWave 3D and its robust features to deliver final renders in a very short time. “We use LightWave for 99 per cent of everything. We used a lot of the new Dynamics tools as well as the TurbulenceFD plugin [from Jawset] to generate the actual Sharknado, which is exactly what you might think it is – a monster tornado, filled with amongst other things, hungry angry sharks.”

The opening teaser of Sharknado 2 takes place on an airplane in the middle of a storm. This presented the challenge of generating art-directable volumetric clouds that allowed the plane to fly through a ‘Sharknado’ before landing in New York. “This sequence brought in every effect we would use in the film, except for a water surface,” explains Smith. “There was a lot of digital double work for the latter part of the film and the volumetrics of the final Sharknado sequence will entertain for sure. Perhaps some people will even be impressed by how real the VFX looks. Of course, if it didn’t look real, it wouldn’t be funny.”

Placing debris (and the sharks) inside the cloud formation was where the crew started to have a lot of fun in LightWave. The creative brief called for the creation of an animatable 3D tornado; LightWave allowed the animators to animate the tornado before handing it over for simulation and rendering.

There’s a particular scene in the film where a single taxi completely surrounded by man-eating sharks is stuck on a flooded New York City street. Parts of the scene were shot on location, while other elements and environments were completely green screened. “The visuals tell the story of the two occupants climbing onto the roof of the cab while several sharks are swimming around and sizing them up,” says Smith. “With LightWave, the multiple elements in the passes and layers for this sequence came together quickly.”

“This project was on a very tight timeline. LightWave’s ease of use and really straightforward nature helped The Asylum crew hit the deadline we were presented with,” says Mark Hennessy-Barrett, VFX artist on Sharknado 2. “Because LightWave is a really forgiving piece of software to use, we were able to break the rules and take immense liberties in the rendering engine to get the job done and out the door.”

Nick consolidates its lead with 211 TVTs in wk 30 of TAM TV ratings

Nickelodeon continues to stun its competition for second week in a row.

Nick has garnered 211 TVTs (as against 201 in wk 29) this week riding on the popularity of its character Ninja Hattori among other tent poles as well. Turner’s mainstay Cartoon Network maintains its second position with 193 TVTs (193).

Following closely is Pogo with 190 TVTs (179) at number three; Disney dropped to number four with 188 TVTs (190) and Hungama at five with 175 TVTs (172).

The most watched show in the genre was Pokemon on Hungama followed by Oggy and the Cockroaches on Cartoon Network.

In terms of the reach of the channels, Cartoon Network’s 39 per cent beat Nick’s 37 per cent, closely followed by Pogo with 35 per cent.

Note: The data provided in the article is for All India, TG: CS 4-14 ABC, 0700-2200 Hrs given by a channel and the ratings are in absolute numbers of Television Viewership in Thousands (TVTs).

Prime Focus’ visual effects add zing to ‘Kick’

Prime Focus, the global media and entertainment industry services leader, is wooing audiences with its stunning visual effects in ‘Kick’, Salman Khan’s latest action thriller. The creative services provider has delivered around 1000 visual effects (VFX) shots, over a span of 90 days. Besides VFX, Prime Focus has also provided flawless Digital Intermediate (DI) services and supplied a wide range of equipment for the film’s production process.

Merzin Tavaria, Co-founder and Chief Creative Director, Prime Focus, said, “As a producer, we have worked on several projects with Sajid Nadiadwala in the past, but as a director it was an absolute delight to work with him on Kick. Having worked with Sajid before really helped us to understand his vision and recreate that on-screen; it was an extremely gratifying experience for the team.”

“One of the interesting sequences was of a camera pulling out backdrop of Poland city from Dr. Shaina Mehra’s window, Jacqueline Fernandez’s character in the movie. The sequences were shot against green screen considering the actual location in terms of lighting and camera movement, our challenge was to match seamlessly with this approach and create a backdrop of Poland that had consistency in each of the shots. With a variety of plates to work with, our team created a vast cityscape with buildings, street filled with traffic and people. And finally, the team had to match-move the live camera to achieve a realistic background movement that took care of various technical aspects such as depth of field and parallax. Another important shot includes the action packed robbery sequences which involved heavy custom layered compositing, the whole idea was to keep the VFX as seamless as possible, subtly blending in unnoticed – we wanted the VFX to be totally undetectable.” said Reupal Rawal, Prime Focus’ VFX Supervisor.

For the introduction shot of the character ‘Devil’, it was very important to create an impactful and power packed scene. To achieve this, the team did extensive compositing work on the shot and enhanced it with CG elements such as dust and shattering glass, for a real feel. In addition, extremely impactful CG was delivered to enhance the overall look of the scenes that included Salman Khan’s famous jump from the Palace of Culture and Science, a skyscraper in Warsaw, Poland.

Being a Salman Khan movie, it was very important that the film is a visual experience. To achieve that Prime Focus’ Sr. Colorist, Ashirwad Hadkar maintained consistency in the look to add that extra zing to the overall feel of the film. The movie has many catchy songs, each with a unique treatment. The team set a refreshing, upbeat, glossy and colorful tone that corresponds perfectly with the theme of the songs.

Invisible Rabbit makes dreams visible

“Carrots are good for health and at Invisible Rabbit we treasure them.
A good creative is like a good carrot; juicy enough to sustain interest and healthy enough to pay the bills. So bring it on.” With this motto, Nupur Bhargava, director of Invisible Rabbit Studios spoke to’s Niyati Handa on what makes them different from other animation studios and their future projects.

Why did you name the studio ‘Invisible Rabbit’?

We liked the whole story of Alice in Wonderland and the rabbit, who navigates the story; we found that concept very interesting; and we chose to be invisible because animators anyway are known to work behind the camera rather than in front of it. What you see on screen is the character that is being animated so that’s the origin of the name Invisible Rabbit, we are doing are work quietly and burrow our way through.

What kind of work is the studio involved in? What’s your USP?

We are a boutique studio; we started six years back in a one room space. Our main focus has always been designs and direction; these are the things which make us different from other animation studios.

We do all kind of work, depending on the client’s requirement. Once the client gives us a brief of the project and concept, we accordingly figure out whether the project should be executed using 3D, 2D, stop motion animation or even combining them.

We don’t have a lavish office place, neither are we a large team, but we have fine artists who work on project basis and deliver quality well within set timelines. We have a team specialising in 2D as well as 3D animation, so as and when a project comes by we can meet the requirement of the project.

How do you ensure that any project that you take up is financially viable?

For each project we ensure that we keep a certain budget aside for the infrastructure and softwares that we would require to procure. In the animation Industry, big companies fire people when there is a loss, in our case most of our team members are free lancers, so we never have to face such anomalies. We coordinate with artists from various cities with the help of tools like Team Viewer when required. We only buy licensed softwares like Maya and Adobe Suits.

We take up assignments only if they interest us and are financially beneficial to a certain extent, at the end of the day we are running a business and can’t afford to run into losses, even if we don’t end up making profits.

What kind of challenges or hurdles do you face?

This industry is a people oriented business and its very important that everyone in the team be it the animation artist, rigging artist or the lighting artist have to be on the same page at all times.

We believe in doing our ground work and pre-visualise things much in advance to avoid any glitches, though things are difficult at times, but nothing is impossible. It’s not always important to have big studio with 50 people around you. You don’t require many people to achieve things, if you know what you want, you should plan enough and co-ordinate well.

We don’t face any problem as such; we have a very good team. There is one senior animator onboard, who has been in this field for over 20 years, for him working with me is not about the fact that we pay him on time; we respect each other as individuals and professionals and that’s what is most important.

What kind of work have you been involved with recently?

We have just finished a promo video for ‘Kahani Masters’, a contest that Disney India is running along with Toonz Animation. It was a good experience; we had a total of five people involved in executing the video. Currently, we are working on some interesting concepts. We will definitely do short films in future, I am also writing stories for the same. We are over a billion Indians, so we should at least have half a million animation films every year! What say?

What are your final thoughts on the current state of the animation industry?

The worrying factor for me is that there is no stability in the industry, there are studios opening and closing everywhere all the time, this takes a toll on the overall growth of the industry. Another major hurdle that Indian animators face is that the audience is not mature enough to increase consumption of animation, which is not the case in developed markets like Japan and US.

India has been in animation for long now, all we need to do is create a lot more home grown content, rather than only depending on outsiders. We should do animation in such a way that even youngsters of this country show keen interest in getting into the space.

Vertex Volt

Vertex Volt is looking for skillful and enthusiastic artists for our Studio.

 We are well known for our visual effects and animation in Indian Television and Films.  Vertex Volt has made its mark as an innovator by filling its studio with masterful artists, cutting edge technicians and a dynamic management and support team. We are committed to creating an environment that nurtures creativity and rewards talent and determination. We are based in Andheri West suburb of Mumbai and have a friendly working environment.


Roto artist : 0-1 year

Compositing: More than 1 year

Matte Painting: More than 1 year

Concept Artist: More than 1 year

Particle and Dynamics: more than 1 year

Modeling: more than 1 year

Texturing: 0- 1 year

Rigging: more than 1 year

Animation: : 0-1 year

Lighting & Rendering: more than 1 year

To Apply –

Email: / career

Provide us with your Resume, Salary expectations and Showreel link.