Blockbuster films and theme parks secrets on the agenda for Siggraph Production Sessions

Discover the CG behind Deadpool’s skills and take a tour into the world of Star Wars.

Major film and game productions of the past year including Deadpool, Zootopia, Star Wars: The Force Awakens,Captain America: Civil War, and more will be featured in “Render the Possibilities,” the 2016 installment of the popular Siggraph Production Sessions.

Siggraph production sessions always bring out the year’s most brilliant and eye-catching innovations in the world of computer graphics and visual effects. The goal is to provide technical tips, share a deeper understanding of the venture, and to inspire others with a behind-the-scenes peek into cutting-edge projects. The sessions run through Siggraph, this year at the Anaheim Convention Center, July 24–28, 2016.

Other attractions in these production sessions include props and costumes, for a deeper look into the detail and artistry involved in the making of visual effects. Giveaways and goodies on often on hand.

Highlights from Siggraph 2016 Production Sessions:

Our Favorite Anti-Superheroes: Deadpool and Colossus

Panelists: Jan Phillip Cramer, Animation Director, and Scott Edelstein, CG Supervisor, Digital Domain, Inc.; Franck Balson, Previsualization Supervisor, and Sebastien “Zeb” Chort, CG Supervisor, Blur Studio.

Digital Domain worked on three main aspects of Deadpool: Colossus, Deadpool interacting with Colossus, and the Helicarrier. Blur Studio created the film’s opening title sequence and provided previsualization for several action sequences.

Deadpool in action. (Source: 20th Century Fox)
Deadpool in action. (Source: 20th Century Fox)

First-of-its-kind theme park attraction “Mass Effect: New Earth” – A 4D Holographic Adventure

Panelists: Robert de Montarnal, Business Development, BioWare; Christian Dieckmann, VP Strategic Growth, and Howard Newstate, Executive Producer, Media Networks Cedar Fair Entertainment Company; Clint Reagan, Previs Supervisor, Halon Entertainment LLC; and, Nathan Huber, Co-Founder and CEO, 3D Live.

This session focuses on the development of a first-of-its-kind theme park attraction at California’s Great America in Santa Clara. The experience features “holographic 3D,” using the world’s largest and highest resolution 3D LED screens combined with 4D effects. The partners behind this upcoming project are BioWare, Cedar Fair, 3D Live, and Halon Entertainment.

From Armadillo to Zebra: Creating the Diverse Characters and World of Zootopia

Panelists: Walt Disney Animation Studios experts Ernest Petti, Nicholas Burkard, Brian Leach, Sean Palmer, Michelle Robinson, and Hans-Joerg Keim.

The world of “Zootopia” is a vast, multi-scale city where humans never existed and animals are evolved city-dwellers. Walt Disney Animation Studios pushed the artistic boundaries of this production to create vastly different environments filled with hundreds of unique characters.

Land of Zootopia. (Source: Disney)
Land of Zootopia. (Source: Disney)

Industrial Light & Magic Presents the Visual Effects of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Panelists: Daniel Pearson, CG Supervisor; Patrick Tubach, VFX Supervisor; Paul Kavanagh, Animation Supervisor; and, Polly Ing, CG Supervisor.

The ILM team will discuss the range of challenges presented by bringing the latest installment of the storied “Star Wars” series to life. 

Kubo and the Two Strings: One Giant Skeleton, One Colossal Undertaking

Panelists: Steve Emerson, VFX Supervisor, and Steve Switaj, Engineer, Camera and Motion Control.

For this upcoming film, in theatres August 19, Laika launched an immensely powerful puppet — to scale. The result: a giant, 18-foot skeleton with a 24-foot wingspan, a massive undertaking involving the studio’s interdependent and collaborative crew. A miniature version of the puppet, approximately 3 feet tall will be on display during the conference.

Kubo and the Two Strings. (Source: Laika, LLC)
Kubo and the Two Strings. (Source: Laika, LLC)

The Making of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War

Panelists: Victoria Alonso, EVP, Physical Production, Marvel Studios; Dan Deleeuw, VFX Supervisor, Marvel Studios; Jen Underdahl, VFX Producer, Marvel Studios; Russell Earl, VFX Supervisor, ILM; and, Greg Steele, VFX Supervisor, Method Studios.

Marvel Studios, Industrial Light & Magic, Rise FX, and Method Studios will show session attendees how they created some of this smash hit movie’s most heart-stopping moments. They will also have the Captain America suit on display during the session.

The Making of Pearl: A Google Spotlight Story

Panelists: Patrick Osborne, Director; Rachid El Guerrab, Spotlight Stories Project Lead; David Eisenmann, Producer; and, Cassidy Curtis, Tech Art Lead.

Pearl is a Google Spotlight Story directed by Oscar-winning animator Patrick Osborne. Conceived as a 360-degree experience, the film takes place entirely in a car and explores the gifts we inherit from our parents. The storyline collapses decades into minutes through montage, and can run on devices ranging from mobile phones to VR headgear, in real time.

Star Wars: Battlefront – Game Development in the Star Wars Universe

Panelists: Electronic Arts Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment AB professionals: Kenneth Brown, Technical Art Director; Jonas Andersson, Visual Effects Artist; Pontus Ryman, Senior Environment Artist; Anders Egleus, Senior Visual Effects Artist; and, Oscar Carlén, Senior Lighting Artist.

The DICE team reveals some of the work that went into this award-winning, visually stunning game. Topics include PBR, photogrammetry, vertex shading, fragment shading, and other creative disciplines.

Under the Sea: The Making of Finding Dory

Panelists: Steve Pilcher, Jeremie Talbot, Jim Brown, Masah Ellsworth, Chris Burrows, Chris Chapman, Ian Megibben, and John Halstead.

This session will take a look at how Pixar artists created the studio’s latest feature film. Top animators and technical artists will deliver a deep dive into the process behind this animated film, which required an entirely new back-end pipeline and cutting-edge technology.