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August 5, 2006

Panoramic View of the Show Floor

Filed under Photos, SIGGRAPH

Here are a couple of panoramic views of the show floor. The top pic is the view from the main entrance. The bottom is taken from the opposite side. Click on the photos to see all the detail (6k x 1.5k).

Google had a booth for the first time. They were showing off Google Earth and SketchUp. Microsoft had a tiny booth (big enough for 2 computer displays) to let people try out Vista and talk to their engineers. Intel, Apple and Dell were noticeably absent. Alias was sort of missing...they were bought by Autodesk. I would have thought Autodesk would have doubled the size of its booth and had dedicated stages for Maya and Max. Instead, they had a single large booth...about the same size as last year *before* they bought Alias. They had one stage that alternated between Max and Maya demos. The booth focused on the name "Autodesk"...no Maya or Max logos to be found. In fact, if you didn't know that Autodesk owns Max or Maya, you could easily have missed them at the show...which *never* would have happened in the past.

I made these these panoramic photos with my Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T33. I took three overlapping photos and fed them to image stitching software. When you make these, you should err on the side of using more overlap...like a third of the photo should be shared with the previous photo. That helps the stitching software line up the photos correctly. I used both Microsoft's Digital Imaging Suite 2006 and Adobe's Photoshop Elements 4.0. Microsoft's gives better results with almost no user interaction. Adobe's gives you more control, so you can line up pictures that Microsoft refuses to stitch together. For future photos, I'll probably use Microsoft's first, and if I have problems then use Adobe's.

Comments (3)

Kelvin Hickman:

Good Heavens, its hardly a show floor at all. I remember the Orlando show taking two days just to skim through. Is it the economy, or just the normal ebb and flow of all trade shows?

The biggest SIGGRAPH I've ever been to was LA '97. The show floor covered the entire convention center and also the basement. There were 360 vendors back then.

Here are the number of vendors for the past few years for comparison:

  • '97 360 (LA)
  • '04 230 (LA)
  • '05 250 (LA)
  • '06 230 (Boston)

So it is smaller than it was in its heyday, but it has been holding steady for a while. I think this is a period of consolidation like what we saw in the PC industry in the late 90's...Autodesk buys Alias, AMD buys ATI, Adobe buys Macromedia, etc.

I make panoramas with my Canon S50. It has a panoramic setting that duplicates a portion of the picture for very easy lining up.

Canon cameras also ship with Stitch, or PhotoStitch, whatever it is called, for amazingly easy panoramic configuration. I've tried other panorama software when I forgot to load the Canon sw on my computer and nothing has beat it yet.

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