A Gamer’s View of SIGGRAPH – AMD’s Event vs. NVIDIA’s Presentation


BTR attended SIGGRAPH last Sunday and Monday as media with a special focus on both AMD’s and NVIDIA’s events that were held at nearby venues.  The highlight of the AMD Capsaicin Event at The NOVO was the release of the RX Vega and Threadripper, while NVIDIA’s press event at the Marriott emphasized improving software and support for Pascal and for deep learning/AI.   We want to give a gamer’s perspective of SIGGRAPH highlighting the similarities and the differences between AMD’s event and NVIDIA’s presentation.

The NVIDIA and AMD booths were right next to each other.  The booths were not fully set up for the first 2 days of the 5 day event

SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Computer GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques) is the name of the annual conference on computer graphics which has been running since 1974.  This year’s important conference was attended by 16,500 computer professionals including game developers who are mainly focused on content creation.  Raja Koduri, the primary presenter of AMD’s event, mentioned that he has attended SIGGRAPH for 20 consecutive years while Bob Pette, Vice President of NVIDIA’s Quadro business unit, said that he has attended for thirty years.

Sunday, the first day of SIGGRAPH, was far less crowded than on the other days, and there was a strong emphasis on interactivity.  Sunday is evidently the day to ask questions and to get quality time with the exhibitors.  SIGGRAPH highlights include its VR Village where there are live demonstrations of virtual and augmented reality, and the Animation Theater and Electronic Theater presentations, where recent CG films are shownand attendees also got to view VR short films in the Computer Animation Festival VR Theater.

There was a huge exhibition floor in the South Hall of the LA Convention Center, where hundreds of companies including schools in the engineering, graphics, motion picture, or video game industries set up booths.

Hundreds of serious computer graphics research papers are presented each year at SIGGRAPH but only about one-quarter of them are accepted for publication.In addition, there are many panels of industry experts set up to discuss a wide variety of topics and there are keynote presentations from industry leaders. SIGGRAPH also offers many topics and courses in the latest computer graphics related topics.

Digital printing is a large part of SIGGRAPH and there were some truly impressive printers showcased.

Emerging technology is also highlighted at SIGGRAPH and this year there is a lot of emphasis on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Emerging Technology including VR

SIGGRAPH has a large portion of its floor space devoted to emerging technology.  Much research has been devoted to improving the VR and AR experiences, and there were many show floor demonstrations using HMDs (Head Mounted Displays).Everywhere we turned, we saw new VR tech technology being displayed including improved “shape-shifting” controllers to bring improved haptics, and even prototype balance boards were demonstrated as a good means for maneuvering realistically in the VR space.

We even saw VR teleconferencing demonstrated with avatars that express emotion by using eye and facial and gesture recognition.

There were of other projects including magnetic levitators and dancing 3D images that caught our eye.It’s hard to tell what’s happening, so here is a short video.

Other emerging companies showcased their technology.

We aren’t exactly sure what this does. New techniques in 3D printing were displayed. New techniques for super-fine engraving were shown.Everywhere we looked we saw demonstrations of new technologies.

SIGGRAPH has large areas that are devoted to gaming and to movie creation.

Gaming & Movie creation

We got to check out an exhibit which showcased the art of producing Final Fantasy XV.

There were costumes and props from games and movies displayed.

Below is the cycle from Men In Black.The display from the movie Cars showed its animation progression from concept to final frame.

We attended NVIDIA’s presentation on Monday afternoon in a large conference room of the nearby Marriott Hotel.

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