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Studio Special Report: SIGGRAPH 2013 Show Wrap

August 8, 2013

If you thought SIGGRAPH was a little bit smaller in Anaheim this year than it was in Los Angeles last year, you were exactly right. The computer-graphics extravaganza drew just over 17,000 attendees to Anaheim, according to parent organization ACM SIGGRAPH, down about 19% from 2012. The number of companies exhibiting was actually up from 161 last year to 180 this year, although the size of the show floor decreased slightly.

That attendance figure is at least in the same ballpark if you compare it to Los Angeles in 2010, when 22,549 came to SIGGRAPH, and it's way up from 2011, when only 15,872 visited SIGGRAPH Vancouver. That show represented the first time the org's flagship event has ventured outside U.S. borders. (Consider it a sign of the times, though — SIGGRAPH will return to Vancouver in 2014.) But if you look back 15 years, to a time when SIGGRAPH was at the height of its power in the U.S., you'll see evidence of how much smaller the event has gotten over the years. In 1997, a record 48,700 attendees came to SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles, and the show floor hosted an all-time high of 359 exhibitors.

The smaller numbers didn't seem to rattle exhibitors at this year's show, at least not on the record. They mostly told StudioDaily that technology buyers — their core customers — were still well represented on the floor, albeit accompanied by smaller entourages and fewer students and educators. But Autodesk's decision to pull out of the exhibits, while simultaneously proclaiming its enduring commitment to the media and entertainment sector, sent a mixed message about the health of the market, and some exhibitors expressed concern over SIGGRAPH's shrinkage and its effect on the industry.

Still, it wasn't quite a quiet show. There was plenty of news. Here's our fourth and final look at what was on display at SIGGRAPH 2013.

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siggraph press release city

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siggraph news reel

Watch Video: SIGGRAPH 2013 Keynote Presentation Giants' First Steps
Nine distinguished animation film directors shared their experiences along complex paths to filmmaking success. Clips from their student films were shown as part of the session. Among the participants were several Oscar recipients and nominees including: Ron Clements, Pete Docter, Eric Goldberg, Kevin Lima, Mike Mitchell, Chris Sanders, Henry Selick, David Silverman, and Kirk Wise …

Reflections on SIGGRAPH: "The Only Ones Making Money Are For-Profit Universities"
It's no secret that the VFX business is in turmoil, created by a perfect storm of factors, including film subsidies and fixed bid practices, and you could sense the fragile state of the business throughout the week 
[via The Hollywood Reporter]

At SIGGRAPH, Dipping into Gaming's Frontiers — Like a Bathtub Liquid Display
I saw the real edge of animation and gaming on display in the show's Emerging Technologies exhibits. They ranged from a bathtub filled with a milky white fluid that served as a display for a splashing game to an exhibit that gamified exercise for people in wheelchairs … 
[via VentureBeat]

40th SIGGRAPH Wrap
SIGGRAPH turned 40 in Anaheim this year. The conference has really come a long way in that time, and a lot of the attendees were way too young to remember the first. This year's conference was close enough to Los Angeles to attract a lot of local artists and talent, which gave it a hometown feel …
[via Computer Graphics World]


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