SIGGRAPH 2017 as a Student Volunteer

by Su Pwint, IDM Class of 2019

This was my first conference experience as well as being a Student Volunteer at SIGGRAPH 2017. I couldn’t thank enough to everyone who supported and helped me throughout this incredible journey to experience as a student volunteer at the SIGGRAPH 2017 Los Angeles conference.

JULY 29,2017 ( Orientation )

This was the first day for SV Check in and orientation in which I learned more about what the conference about the rules and regulations and preparing ourselves before the conference and getting to know each other.

JULY 30,2017 ( Day 1 )

The first day I had a shift at the ready room and it was pretty chill so we had the chance to go to the talks and one of the talks I went to was Houdini in which they talked about their software and scripting languages.

For the second shift, I was in the Emerging Technology area where I chose to work in this booth called “Merge VR”. Using the VR Headset and applying augmented reality technology and given the ability to let the users see the holograms after installing and running the Merge VR app.  My task was to explain the attendes what the product is, what it does, and how it works and get feedback.  The affordability of this product as well as it’s efficient gives the advantages for so many users to grab attention.

Moreover, one of the amazing projects I saw was the Sky Magic which is controlled by a single terminal, these drones are connected to the Internet and equipped with LED lights are programmed to fly in formation in a designated space. In the future, the drone formation can be useful for your desired logo for branding purposes.

Regardless of all the other projects I’ve seen, I really love the fun interactivity of this game. It is called “Digital Playgroundz Demonz I“ in which it uses large-scale applications on flat surfaces walls without any limits on the user size.

July 31, 2017 ( Day 2 )

The Production Gallery was one of the prestigious places where all the props that were used in movies such as “Little Stuart, Final Fantasy, Spiderman, Men in Black 3, Moana, Overwatch and many more.  My job was to explain to encourage them to take photos and share them on social media to promote this new gallery and explain them about the props if they asked.

“Never had a chance to be a bird now this is the chance where you can experience as a bird.“

The second shift I had was to work in the VR Village. I had an amazing VR experience exploring the Flock gamified music video making all the participants move, shake and flock together. Basically, the product is to simulate yourself as a bird as one would peck as a bird to eat the bugs and the more bugs you ate the immersive experience you gain.

August 1,2017 ( Day 3 )

This was one of the amazing shift I’ve ever had as the directors, producers, visual effect artists were having a panel talk about Moana. Learning about how these characters are imitated upon as human beings and how real life applications were used throughout the film.

The Job Fair shift was one of the beneficial shift where I had the chance to help people applying jobs on the computer and help them with any technical issues or questions. I also had the chance to talk to recruiters while I was working on my shift and asking questions to prepare myself for co-op.

After my shift was over, I experienced one of the most amazing event at the SIGGRAPH which was the Giraffe where there was a live animal drawing session by an artist and everyone had the opportunity to sketch the giraffe.

August 2,2017 ( Day 4 )

The Lenticular Booth was one of the booth that has taught me how little things in life can change a person’s perspective.  The Lenticular Booth was about making holographic 3-D photos. The fact that all the other booths are using electronic gadgets to execute their product but this booth uses manual power to output their final product.

After my shift, I went to a talk about HTML Web VR in which the professionals talk about 3-D space and mentioned about HTML JavaScript frameworks and how WEB VR is the next leading technology for websites and suggested to learn A-Frame, React VR, and Play Canvas.

August 3,2017 ( Day 5 )

This morning I had the best breakfast as I was eating breakfast with the Pixar employees where we get a chance to talk and ask them about the industry and later on that day I had a shift at the Production Session where the Blizzard Entertainment was giving a talk about Over watch. As I was in charge of guarding the front-door, some of the surprising moments was meeting a panelist from Spiderman Homecoming who worked on the Visual Effects for the film.

For the Last day, I ended up watching a Computer Animation festival which includes watching all the short films such as films, cinematic, VFK breakdowns, and short films generated and played backed in real time. Some of the clips that has been not released such as The Human Race, happy Valentine’s Day, Final Fantasy XV-Omen Trailer, Lou, War for the Planet of the Apes were displayed.

My favorite project was the Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) in which it is a hardware and software communications system that enables a person to control computers through cerebral activity. The company called “Neurable” allows user to experience mixed- realitity experience and allow developers to implement mental capabilities.

SIGGRAPH is not only a place to learn about computer graphic and interactive techniques but also a place where you can network with professionals from the industry. SIGGRAPH has taught me to dream higher and accomplish your goals one step at a time nonetheless, I still have so much to learn and do independent research on what I enjoy. SIGGRAPH has given me the opportunity to network with professionals from the same industry and given me advices on how to prepare myself in a professional field and share my knowledge and passion with the students who share the same dream as me.

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