SIGGRAPH 2016 is coming up on July 24th through the 28th in Anaheim, California this year, and one of mt favorite tracks is their Computer Animation Festival, so I had to post the trailer for it. The name is from their original newsgroup identifier from the Internet’s early days, Special Interest Group, GRAPHics. This gathering is the 43rd international conference and exhibition on
Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques, in case you were wondering how long ago those early days were, and they didn’t hold these every year during the first decade. How important this event is to the creators of these excellent animations can be explained by saying it has been their version of the Academy Awards since the late 70s. How important it is to the rest of us is best expressed by this quote from their web site:
The Computer Animation Festival is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival. Since 1999, several works originally presented in the Computer Animation Festival have been nominated for or have received a Best Animated Short Academy Award.
It is not too late to make this year’s gathering; the deadline for registering and getting the discounted registration fees is July 1st. Entering your creations to the event is already over, though, but there is always next year!
The award winning SF Signal posted its final entry on May 5th, one day after Star Wars Day. For the past almost 13 years I have hit the site at least once a week, always finding lots of interesting and exciting science fiction and fantasy articles and links there. If I went for no other reason, I always checked out their regular postings on free science fiction you could read, hear, or watch on line. They have even won some Hugo awards for Best Fanzine and Best Podcast, and I have had them in my Blog Roll for over a decade. But John DeNardo made the announcement last week that they were shutting down new entries because they could no longer devote the amount of time such a site required. It will remain online until at least June so you can still access the 100 Gig of sci-fi interviews and articles, and they are looking into some hosting options that will allow it to stay online at least as a static site. I wish them well on their next endeavors, and am sorry to see them go.
The animated short Jinky Jenkins & Lucky Lou is an adorable little video about two people who were always meant to be together. While there were a lot of folks involved with this one, it is predominately the creation of Michael Bidinger and Michelle Kwon. It has won dozens of awards, including the Best Student Project Prize at the 2014 SIGGRAPH Asia convention, which impressed the heck out of me.
The animated short Roadkill Redemption was created by Karl Hadrika. Or most of it, at least; he did the story, animation, modeling, rigging, compositing, editing, lighting and sound design, but the voice was Lidia Labuda. This one made him a 41st Annual Student Academy Award Finalist, which is fairly impressive for a single person production. He did go on to join Warner Bros, where for the last year he has been on the team creating Bunnicula (yes, about a bunny vampire), which is now airing on the Cartoon Network.
Another excellent CG animation, Exode won a dozen awards on the festival circuit, including one from SIGGRAPH last year. The animation was done by Kathleen Cartier, Sandrine Gimenez, Nicolas Mrikhi, Baptiste Roy, and Thomas Saez, with Yuichiro Maeda creating the music. This was another graduation film project from Supinfocom Arles in France.
The Martian is out on disc this week, based on Andy Weir’s book and starring Matt Damon. The film has been nominated for a number of awards already, it will be interesting to see which ones it takes home. For animated family silliness we also get Hotel Transylvania 2, with the further antics of Dracula’s daughter. While Mr. Robot: The Complete First Season may not be genre, it is cutting edge TV you should be watching, and it too is up for an assortment of awards. From now to January 21st you can watch all 10 Season 1 enhanced and uncensored episodes on their website, especially if you are voting for any of those awards.
In Anime, Argevollen Collection 2 continues to up the ante in the war, with newer and better combat mechs rolled out to both sides. It is beginning to look like the only winners will be the companies that create the giant robots. The IGPX Immortal Grand Prix: Complete Collection originally came out in 2005 as 2 box sets, this is the first time the entire thing is in a single package. It combines auto racing with combat mechas for a rather unique sport.