I’m visiting SIGGRAPH this year and thought I’d try to give a rolling report while I’m there.

The 33rd International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive techniques takes place from the 30th July - 3rd August (SIGGRAPH 2006) at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, Massachusetts USA.


This is my first trip so I welcome any hints and tips for my visit.

And here we are

Friday, July 28, 2006

An uneventful journey from Heathrow to Logan, although we did join the wrong queue for dropping off our luggage after checking in on-line before leaving for the airport. A smooth 6.5 hour flight and checked in to our hotel late on Thursday evening.


The Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre.


Still a couple of days before it all kicks off.

Its interesting to note that ATI has pole position at the entrance.

Pre-day 1 - Registration

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Registration takes place 6-8pm.

Got here about 10 minutes to six, only a trickle of people going through the doors.

Thought great, I’m out of here in 10 minutes, although I was a little surprised thinking it would be a lot busier.

Once inside, a whole different story (of course).

I had to join the start of the queue - but where was it? After an age got to the beginning of the queue - it took another 30-45 minutes to get to registration.

Self registration was straightforward although there was a sticky moment as I didn’t have any photo ID, but fortunately, got my Pass.

Second queue, to pick up merchandise - DVD not available and will be posted in August.

Next conference, in 2007 happens in San Diego (picked up a free badge for that - my first freebie :) )

Day 1 - Courses

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Today is essentially a day of courses.

Popped into the “Interactive Shape Editing” course.

I’m surprised there is not a bigger attendance - currently less than 50 people and it’s gone 8:30, the start.

some of the topics to be covered include:

  • Conceptual Shape Design
  • Automotive Styling Tools
  • Shape Representations
  • Laplace Shape Modellings
  • Towards virtual clay
  • Gesture-based modelling (4:30-5:30)

Interactive Shape Modeling

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I won’t describe all the details of this course as a copy will be contained in the DVD of proceedings.

Up until now it has been pretty much covering the available techniques and I would give an overall mark of 5/10 for the course (thus far).

CATIA did get a mention a couple of times.

There is a web link which covers the course in more detail.


For me, the most interesting topics appear to come at the end of the day in the topics:

Towards “Virtual” clay


Gesture based shape modelling

I did catch an interesting line which talked about creating a 2D image where there is a 1->1 mapping from XYZ coords to RGB values - not sure I understand completely, but it’s something I may look at in the future.

Forgot to mention

Sunday, July 30, 2006

This blog is brought to you via the free wireless connection facilities available at the conference.

Virtual Clay

Sunday, July 30, 2006

This topic was interesting, as the 2nd last topic of the Interactive Shape Modeling course.

Final topic was a bit more “arty” but attempted to engender thinking about the future in terms of modeling.

Is the problem of 3D representation 95% or 5% solved ? and what should the future direction be?

Emerging Technology and Research Posters

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Had a quick skim through the Research Posters, will take a closer look at some of the ones related to rendering and HDR tomorrow.

Picked up some literature while wandering through the Emerging Technology exhibits:

LivePic - breathing life into a drawing.

Fluid Jet Printing - real time on-screen fluid drawing simulator


Forehead Retina System

Fast-Forward Papers Review

Monday, July 31, 2006

Went along to the “Fast-Forward Papers Review” event yesterday evening.

This session is worthwhile attending to get an overview of the papers that are going to be presented during the rest of the week. Each author has 1 minute to give a precis of their paper. Most were entertaining and, of course, there were a few presentations which ran out of time.

Identified a few which sparked my interest more later.

Also bumped into JP Collins, who used to work at SolidWorks - it’s a small world.

More Emerging Technology

Monday, July 31, 2006

Some more topics

Shared Design Space a collaborative tabletop environment designed for brainstorming and discussion meetings. This interface allows users to easily explore design options in a creative context through an intuitive interface of real and virtual artist and designer tools.

Tablescape Plus the goal of this project is to increase the possibility of the interaction of physical objects by using tabletop objects as projection screens as well as input devices.

Details of the Virtual Reality Lab at the University of Buffalo (New York) are available. They were showing a Fingertip Digitizer.

Deskrama is a low-cost interactive space browser for 3D architectural designs. Essentially, it is a lightweight LCD panel which is placed on a drawing plan. Moving the screen creates a section view through the 3D view of the building represented by the plan.

and finally …

…the True 3D Display which displays “real” 3D images in air, utilizing the plasma emission phenomenon near the focal point of focused laser light …

Interactive Decal Compositing

Monday, July 31, 2006

I sat in on the presentation of this paper, which as you may imagine, is to do with Decals - details will be available in the published proceedings, but during the presentation there is often other items that are mentioned, for example, ShapeShop.


ShapeShop is a tool for creating 3D models using sketches. It incorporates much recent work in interactive implicit surface modeling, implicit sweep surfaces, and sketch-based modeling.

As a by-prodcut also came across this interesting item


CrossY - A crossing-based drawing application where instead of point-and-click “crossing” is used as an interaction method. To trigger an action a target is crossed instead of being clicked on.

Image Manipulation

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sat in on the following presentations related to Image Manipulation.

Aimed primarily at tools for the digital darkroom, the papers were nonetheless interesting.

Colour Harmonisation, is related to ensuring harmonisation of the colours used in images using a series of Hue Harmonic Templates (for the colour hsv colour wheel). Ensuring that all the colours used in the image lie within a segment of the color hue wheel will ensure colour harmonisation.

Drag and drop pasting - of one image within another. It was not possible to tell that the image pasted was not part of the original image. Some more detail at


Two-scale Tone Management - employed a technique to merge the appearance (tone) of one image with another.

Interactive adjustment of tonal values - showed the possibility of adjusting the tone in selected parts of the image interactively.


The paper is available at

Interactive Local Adjustment of Tonal Values

Image-based material editing - was a presentation of the techniques described in my Research Blog, where the material of objects in rendered scenes can be replaced by other materials.

All the above techniques are interesting in that they are done in “real-time” as post-processing operations. Although they are applied primarily for photographic images, there is no reason, as far as I can determine, why they could not be equally applied to rendered images as post-processing operations.

Tuesday - Exhibition Opens

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Started off at the Emerging Technologies sketch, but was not particularly impressed so ducked out and went to the Real Time GPU rendering of Piecewise Algebraic Surfaces. This was pretty technical but interesting nonetheless.

Then went on to the Touchy Feely session, but somehow ended up in the wrong room. I was a bit puzzled about the content of the session until I realised that I was actually sitting in on Advanced real-time rendering in 3D Graphics and Games.

The Exhibition opened today so this was my next stop - more details to follow.

Hot Wednesday

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Temperature predicted to hit 100 degrees F. (Hottest for 4 years apparently)

Was already about 84 degrees on the way to the conference at 8:00 this morning.

Perhaps I should stay indoors.

FreeDesign Inc

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Picked up some software FreeDimension (beta version) from FreeDesign , a company formed by one of the original founders of Spatial - Dick Sowar.

Targeted at the Conceptual Design market, the software claims to use breakthrough 3D surfacing technology that enables users to quickly and intuitively create and stylize 3D models using curve manipulation, as when sketching.

Removing Camera Shake from a Photograph

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

This paper was presented as part of the Matting and Deblurring Course.

Removing camera shake from a single image

The paper introduces a method to remove the effects of camera shake from seriously blurred images. The method assumes a uniform camera blur over the image and negligible in-plane camera rotation. In order to estimate the blur from the camera shake, the user must specify an image region without saturation effects. Results are shown for a variety of digital photographs taken from personal photo collections.

Network Overload

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Apologies for the late posting of many of the entries for today.

There was a problem getting a decent link at the Conference Center, so I had to wait until this evening before I could reasonably post anything.

Z Corporation - Hand Held 3D Scanner

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Z Corporation, maker of 3D printers, unveiled the first hand-held, self-positioning 3D scanner on the market that can digitize 3D surfaces in real time.


Full details are available at


which describes the full specification for this new device.

Accuracy is rated at up to 0.05 mm (0.002 in) and output is in STL or a RAW format

EON Reality Inc

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Quite impressed with the EON Touchlight, a bare-hand 3D interaction virtual reality display system based on an invention from Microsoft Research.


Image processing techniques are used to combine the output of 2 video cameras behind a semi-transparent plane in fron of the user. The resulting image shows 3D objects which appear to float in space. Users interact with the displayed objects either by touching the screen or moving their hands just off the screen surface.

More details about this device are available at


Read details about other products from EON at their website


Mitsubishi Research Labs (MERL)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) is the North American arm of the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation’s Corporate R&D Group. A long time technical contributor to the computer graphic community, MERL conducts application-motivated research and development in computer and communication technologies. A recent development is MERL’s DiamondTouch table, the first multi-user touch technology.


The MERL DiamondTouch table is a multi-user, debris-tolerant, touch-and-gesture-activated screen for supporting small group collaboration, including gaming. It is the first touch screen that allows multiple users to interact simultaneously, and it knows who is who, making it perfect for multi-user touch-interactive arcade games.



The DiamondTouch developer’s kit includes a relevant SDK.

Final Day

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Today is the last day of the SIGGRAPH 2006 Conference and Exhibition.

Started off by attending a number of papers related to Meshes:

Edge Subdivision Schemes and the construction of Smooth Vector Fields

which describes an intrinsic method of generating smooth 1-forms/vector fields through edge subdivision on simpical surfaces of arbitrary topology.

Streaming Computation of Delaunay Triangulations

which describes a method that generates a fast out-of-core Delaunay Triangulation. The method can generate a triangulation from 500 million points into a billion triangle terrain in 1 hour on a laptop using 100Mb memory - very interesting.

Spectral Surface Quadrangulation

which describes a method for converting triangulated surfaces into meshes consisting exclusively of quadrilaterals and very few “extraordinary points”

Shape Deformation

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Editing Arbitrarily Deforming Surface Animations

A mechanism for interactively editing non-rigid surface animations such as of cloth.

A Fast MultiGrid Algorithm for Mesh Deformation

A very fast multigrid technique for deforming large surface and volume meshes, ideal for interactive mesh manipulation and production of animated mesh sequences.

Vector-Field Based Shape Deformations

An approach to defining shape deformations using divergence free vector fields to obtain a volume-preserving deformation without self intersections.

Non-Photorealistic Rendering

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A series of papers were presented on non-photorealistic rendering.

Exaggerated Shading for Depicting Shape and Detail

An interactive non-photorealistic 3D renderer that conveys shape while emphasizing detail at all surface orientations.

Image enhancement by Unsharp Masking the Depth Buffer

The difference between the depth buffer and a Gaussian filtered version of the depth buffer is used to determine spatially important edges in a rendered image.

Manga Colorization

Screening and hatching in Manga images makes the colourization difficult. The method described is used to perform computer-aided colorization. One interesting aspect is the approach used to prevent bleeding of the colour through open contours when flood filling.

Real-Time Video Abstraction

The final paper presented in the conference - should have given out “die-hard attendee” badges - described an automatic real-time abstraction framework to produce cartoon-like videos.

Round Up

Friday, August 04, 2006

Visited various stands in the exhibition hall, here’s a round up from what I can remember …

The big boys, Adobe, Autodesk, AMD, ATI, Nvidia, HP, Google etc.

IntegrityWare Inc

A company specialising in providing 3D graphics and geometric modelling technology (Solids Modeling Kernel SMLIB)


Triple Squid Software Design

showing Moment of Inspiration Cad modelling application.


CGAL project

collection of high performance geometric software components.



Nurbs based geometry modelling kernel.


Cosmic Blobs

entry level 3D creation tool for kids. Was always packed when I passed the stand.



the real-time 3D integrated development environment for game/story creation. (Never seemed busy when I passed by)



the “new” T-Splines modelling surface ( a superset of nurbs and sub-division surfaces).



various tablets and screens, the most impressive of course being the Cintiq which I had the opportunity to try out.


Next Limit

were showing Real Flow and the Maxwell Rendering program.


Edinburgh Research and Innovation Ltd

showing their haptic based design system


Final Post

Friday, August 04, 2006

The SIGGRAPH 2006 Conference and Exhibition at the Boston Exhibition Centre has now finished, so this will be the final post to this blog. Thank you for your interest.

The next SIGGRAPH will take place in San Diego in 2007.

In conclusion,

One current emphasis seems related to the extended use of GPUs for software solutions in the CG market i.e. more and more software is taking advantage of the GPU in their implementation.

In the case of emerging technologies, the trend appears related to the use of large screen technology for collaborative type applications.