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August 25, 2007


Filed under SIGGRAPH

SIGGRAPH 2007 083

Last day at SIGGRAPH.

I went to two presentations.

The first was course 22: LucasArts and ILM: A Case Study in Film and Game Convergence. I'm directly working on this project, so it was fun to hear about it from a 3rd person perspective. Probably the most interesting for me was hearing about the history of how we got to where we are today.

There was a nice write-up on Gamasutra. Also, here is a related interview Steve Sullivan (head of ILM R&D) did for the Hollywood & Games Summit.

The next presentation was called "Spor(T)." This was hosted by EA. Most of the presentations were about tools used to create the upcoming "Spore" game. The final presentation was about real-time motion for sports...thus, you get unified title "Spor(T)."

Spore is interesting because of the procedural aspect...much of the animation and art and design is based on algorithms instead of static pieces of art. This means you can get a large variety of results that the game designers may never have seen or planned for.

They showed off a planet editor and a creature editor that let you quickly build very detailed models with very little input. They also showed how they used the Halton sequence to distribute items (like trees) in a random/natural fashion, yet very reproducible (so you can return to the same place after you turn your console off).

The sport part of the talk dealt with how to animate a soccer player realistically with most of the motion computer generated (instead of motion captured). They use a modeling tool called ANT. ANT allows you to tweak the look of the running style (how much do you lean forward, how much do you swing your arms, etc.) in real time. ANT lets you say you want a player to track a ball with his eyes. As the ball moves out of the players view, the player will automatically rotate his head left or right. Once the head has turned as far as it can, it automatically turns to the other side to continue tracking. All this happens automagically...no animation by humans required.

I found this on youtube. It's an overview of some of the papers presented at SIGGRAPH (voiced by Jim Blinn). It's a nice summary of what was presented this year:

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