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  Reports from SIGGRAPH 2001

Symposium on Computer Animation in Fast Forward Panel

By Tai-San Choo

Much like Fast Forward Papers Preview scheduled earlier in the week, organizers used this fast paced session format to review this year’s papers from the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA). The symposium was held earlier in the week on July 21 and 22 at the Marriott Riverwalk, a few blocks away from the conference convention center.

This was the first year of the symposium, which was created to provide a larger forum of discussion and interaction amongst researchers in the area of computer animation while at SIGGRAPH. Paper deadlines for SCA came after that of SIGGRAPH allowing applicants more time and a more specialized field.

Of the 53 papers submitted to SCA, 22 were selected for presentation. This Fast Forward session allowed presenters a three-minute interval to summarize and explain the issues in their paper. Presentations were limited to only 5 PowerPoint slides in addition to a title slide and speakers could place anything on these slides in order to present the basic ideas of their papers.

However, organizers decided to make things a little more exciting and/or difficult for presenters by disallowing any video presentation during the presentations. This being a session made up of papers exclusively on computer animation made image-only presentation of ideas a definite challenge. Also PowerPoint slides were set on auto-advance and could not be controlled by presenters.

Session organizer Michael Gleider most likely decided on this format in order to keep the pace up and allow all 22 papers to be reviewed given the short 2 hour segment. Also present on the panel were SCA chairs Michiel van de Panne and Nancy Pollard, as well as program chairs Michael Cohen and Jessica Hodgins. Van de Panne acted as the session gong man, although he was never needed.

The actually session went quite smoothly despite the challenging circumstances. Paper presenters discussed a wide variety of computer animation related topics including those covering improved methods of motion capture, new non-photo realistic rendering styles, techniques on model structuring, and a score of other subjects.

Some interesting highlights from the session include impromptu reviews by van de Panne and Hodgins, who filled in for missing presenters. Van de Panne had to do his on the fly for a session no-show, and was able to explain the paper based only on what he remembered from his earlier review of it.

Overall, this new Fast Forward format is a nice way to briefly review selected papers to the conference for attendees. However, in order to really appreciate these studies attendees should take the time to read the actual submissions.

Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA)




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All photos you see in the 2002 reports are due to a generous loan of Cybershot digital cameras from SONY