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Personal Highlights of SIGGRAPH 2018

Personal Highlights of SIGGRAPH 2018

I’m currently in the airport, doing some post-SIGGRAPH travel to recharge, so this post will have to be brief. But, I figure I should write down some thoughts I had on the conference before they escape me. So, here’s a quick list of things I particularly enjoyed or noticed at SIGGRAPH 2018:

  1. Machine Learning continues to prove itself as a powerful tool. Several papers used machine learning to improve on previously existing graphics algorithms. One instance of this that I enjoyed learning about was “Mastering Sketching: Adversarial Augmentation for Structured Prediction,” where the authors used adversarial networks to clean up images of rough sketches. This is an old problem, so it was impressive to see how much machine learning improved the output.
  2. “Towards Virtual Reality Infinite Walking: Dynamic Saccadic Redirection” was an excellent addition to the library of redirected walking research. I found the idea very clever, and the results seemed promising! If you want to learn more, I’d recommend looking up the paper, as I don’t have time to detail it all now.
  3. “Interactive Explorations of Design Tradeoffs” reframed a common problem in a very interesting way. Essentially, it mathematically defined design tradeoffs, such as the length versus weight of a certain tool, and used those definitions to allow users to interactively select optimal designs. This one was a bit outside of my usual knowledge pool, and I found it quite inspiring! I always enjoy when I learn something unexpected.
  4. Real-Time Live had a large focus on real-time directing and editing of movies. This points towards a very promising future for these sorts of tools. I noticed there was a good combination of cloud-based solutions that allowed people to work remotely as well as tools that allowed the users to be physically co-present and work together. Applications like these really demonstrate the power of VR; none of those would be nearly as compelling as a standard desktop application.
  5. And finally, of course I should mention CAVE. This is by no means an obligatory shout-out, CAVE was one of the most impressive and exciting experiences there! I suppose I am fairly biased, but I truly believe that we accomplished one of the largest feats at SIGGRAPH. I’ll let you read our many other blog posts for details, but I would like to congratulate the entire team once more for putting on such a successful show. Congrats!

I would recommend looking up more details on all of these papers. I’m sure there’s many more things I could write about, but these were some of the first ones that came to mind and my plane leaves soon. Until next time!

Connor DeFanti
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