Siggraph hits LA

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By Neha Pirwani

This past summer, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts Fernando Orellana and six Union College students attended Siggraph, an annual conference on computer graphics and visual effects in Los Angeles, Calif.  Hosting one thousand attendees and major companies like Pixar and Skywalker, Siggraph 2010 served as a platform to exchange ideas and present research.

Students had the opportunity to try out new technologies, hear keynote speakers, and meet with influential members in the computer graphics and interactive technology fields.

An annual highlight of the conference is the unique art gallery.  This year, the gallery featured glowing pathfinder bugs that allow virtual creatures and people to coexist.

Additionally, an interactive sound sculpture with its own electronic voice, and a “living” wall made of smart foils and electronics were impressive components of the display.

Conor Donahoe ‘11, Paul Tunison ‘11, and Rachel Feldman ‘12 presented their individual experiences from the conference. While Tunison interviewed with Microsoft Studios, Donahoe built his own 3D object for under $100, and Feldman heard lectures about cinematic graphics.

As a whole, the students agreed that the best parts of the conference were networking, attending highly technical talks that went over their heads, and walking away with tote bags filled with complimentary gifts.

Professor Orellana looks forward to joining another group of Union College students at the 37th Annual Siggraph Conference in Vancouver, Canada next summer!

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