Yay! I finally got to go to SIGGRAPH. It's the convention that everybody tells me that I have to go to, particularly for VFX because it's more about the technical side to the industry.
This year I got to go thanks to Nvidia as an artist to assist in demoing Project Wetbrush by Adobe in collaboration with Nvidia. Project Wet brush is a research project by Adobe to create a realistic oil painting simulation program. What sets oil paint apart from other mediums, such as water color, is that it is difficult to portray it with just pixels in 2D space due to the physical qualities of oil paintings having that volume and depth from the paint being built up. In order to achieve a realistic affect, what Adobe created was a real time fluid simulation program that is calculation 5 million particles at a 9 voxel depth per 250th of a second. By using voxels, there is actual depth created in the painted image and as we demo we would show the canvas in perspective view and show that what is being created is basically a 3D model. The data could be exported and sent to a 3D printer to print out and you would be able to get all the brush stroke texture detail in the resulting print! Nvidia's contribution was optimizing the application so that it can run in real time. Prior to collaboration with Nvidia, Project Wetbrush was running at about 10 frames per second, which is no where near being able to functionally paint. Now Project Wetbrush is functioning at around 250 frames per second. However, this is using Nvidia newest Quadro P6000 graphics card. Unfortunately Project Wetbrush is only meant to be a research project and not an actual product but a lot of Adobe research projects do end up integrated into their products later on (content aware fill in Photoshop for example) so maybe one day in the future we will be able to see this!
Demoing for Nvidia took up most of my time. I thought I was just going to sit down in a booth and draw while people walk by but it turned out to be more of giving the spiel to people as they walk by and letting them try it out. I walked around a bit the exhibition floor and it was nice. A lot of 3D printing, VR, and cloud rendering services. My favorite was the The Foundry area where I watched a talk about Laika creating Kubo. I was wondering how they did the water in the movie and I got to see it was both a mix of stop motion and CG and comping.
The parties were great! I got to go to the Nvidia party and the Renderman Fair. Nvidia was mainly that they had great food. Yes to ravioli and an ice cream bar among all their other finger food. I got their special drink that they pour through the ice sculpture; not sure what it was but tasted a bit like green apple. The Renderman Fair had a great talk about how fancy the new Renderman is and I got my very first walking teapot.