SIGGRAPH Asia visits Toronto


The Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter hosted another evening of good cheer and visual delight at The Monarch Tavern on June 15, 2014, hosted by Jinny Choo, the SIGGRAPH Asia Computer Animation Festival Director for the years 2013 and 2014.  Jinny was visiting us all the way from Korea and kindly offered to share with the Toronto audience the special edition of the Electronic Theater for SIGGRAPH Asia 2013.

For those who are not aware, the special edition contains material that is only screened at the SIGGRAPH conference and not available on the SIGGRAPH Video Review material.  The bonus material is usually comprised of scene break-down shots from the latest blockbuster films and have very strict copyright protection.  We are very fortunate that ACM SIGGRAPH has allowed its Chapters to screen this content!

The Electronic Theater program featured an amazing collection of fun shorts, commercials, feature film shot breakdowns, and game cinematics.  This time the venue was smaller than at our previous screenings, which allowed for more personal connections among the attendees.

Other than Jinny, we were pleasantly surprised by other visitors involved with SIGGRAPH Asia!  Robin King, Chair of SIGGRAPH Asia Computer Animation Festival for 2014, was present, as was Mark Chavez, Chair of SIGGRAPH Asia Art Gallery from 2013, who is visiting all the way from Singapore!  Additionally, we were excited to have Chris Landreth join us later in the evening.

If you were unable to join us, revisit the evening by viewing our photo album on Facebook, and while you are there, please like our page!  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter too!

The Chapter will be taking a recess during the summer months to prepare for SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver!  Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH will be a part of the Ontario Trade Mission to SIGGRAPH, organized by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development.  There are still spots left so if your organization would like to participate, contact us and we can forward you more information.

Otherwise, be prepared for another year of great Chapter events beginning in the fall.  Happy summer everyone!!

Subconscious Password Revealed!


On May 14th the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter members and guests shared an intimate evening with Academy Award winning animator and director Chris Landreth. Excitement filled the air as the audience congregated at The Royal for an educational and entertaining evening.

Chris’s talk, titled “Walking Through the Valley,” began with an introduction to the robotics and CG concept of the “uncanny valley.” Briefly, this concept refers to the difficulty in producing believable and likable robots and characters that are life-like and realistic. Chris presented some of the evidence for this concept from Art History. Then, he switched gears and told us the story of how he got involved in computer animation as a tester and expert user of one of the popular animation software packages used today.

The magic really began once Chris began to show his films. Chris screened every film he has made to date: The Listener (rarely screened!), The End (1995), Bingo (1998), Ryan (2004, winner of the 2005 Academy Award© for Best Animated Short Film), The Spine (2009), and Subconscious Password (2013). Chris discussed what led him to make each movie and spoke about his artistic style which he has named Psychorealism.

At the conclusion of Chris’s presentation and movie screenings, Chris and our Chapter Chair Jacky raffled a Full Conference pass to SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver, generously donated by ACM SIGGRAPH. Big congratulations to the winner Devon Evers!!

After the show, the crew met up at The Monarch Tavern to share some good cheer and for a chance to speak personally to Chris Landreth. Three movie posters of Subconscious Password, generously donated by the National Film Board of Canada, were signed by Chris and raffled to audience.

Don’t miss visual recap of the evening on our Facebook album!

The evening was a true celebration of Chris Landreth: his films, his art, his philosophies, and his subconscious!

Toronto engines are up and running!


Side Effects Software‘s own Ken Xu and Damian Campeanu spoke about “Going Procedural” with the Houdini Engine at their downtown facilities in Toronto.  Thank you for your hospitality and taking the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter on an exploration of the new Houdini AR app, which lets you view and control 3D assets using augmented reality. Side Effects assets of SPACESHIPS, BUILDINGS, TORCHES and TERRAIN were explored in 3D, provided on coasters.

This app uses 3D smart assets created in Houdini which are then loaded into the Houdini Engine inside the Unity game engine. Ken and Damian’s presentation showed the Toronto Chapter how the Houdini Engine can be used to enhance game development and content creation apps.  Houdini Engine plug-ins for Autodesk Maya and Unity are currently available to computer graphics artists for free during an experimental testing period

The Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter guests downloaded the app and then pointed their cameras at the coaster icon, revealing a 3D asset in a camera view which could be manipulated and controlled!

If you missed this Houdini Augmented Reality event and want to check out the latest from Side Effects Software – You can print out any of the Houdini Coasters by visiting

Check out photos from tonight’s event on the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter’s Facebook page & keep updated by following us on Twitter.

Thank you SIDE EFFECTS for hosting, our members for coming, and  looking forward to seeing everyone at the next chapter event!!

3D Printing Extravaganza

tasc 3d print

Thank you to all our Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH members who joined our exclusive, member-only 3D Printing workshop hosted and delivered by Ryan Schmidt, Autodesk Research’s head of Design and Fabrication Research.  On Saturday, March 1st, 2014, we learnt how to tailor 3D models for easy, hassle-free 3D printing using Autodesk Meshmixer software (free download).  The Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter enjoyed an afternoon at the Autodesk Visualization Studio, designing and printing models using creativity and imagination! Thank you to the Autodesk team who generously volunteered their time, energy and amazing computer graphics 3D knowledge.  And the best part, every participant took home a small, 3D printed souvenir of their own design!!  See more photos of this event on our Facebook album!

Download the presentation slides.

If you are not a member already and would like to participate in our next member-only event, become a member!

We asked the Toronto CG Community what the top 10 benefits to Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH chapter membership and they said:

  1. Collaborate with the computing community through the top graphics not -for -profit association.
  2. Align with aspirational and inspirational professionals, companies and organizations—all of whom love what you do!
  3. Learn, develop and teach: Mentors and Mentees welcome! Contact us for more info.
  4. Establish new and valuable relationships: connect, link and leverage our networking platform.
  5. Enjoy the combination of art and technology, including information on leading- edge advancements.
  6. Identify with enthusiastic, eager and encouraging Chapters members who are dedicated to professional and personal progression and promoting computer graphics.
  7. Celebrate and showcase creativity, innovation and achievements within a technological community: online and in- person.
  8. Gain diverse industry insights covering all computer graphics verticals: studio perspectives, production and process overviews, technological advances, fundamentals and techniques.
  9. Engage and experience a very cool melting pot: science and art mixed with great people!
  10. Give back by volunteering to create a lasting positive impression and contribute to the Toronto Chapter.

*Reasons 1-10 all include having FUN and envisioning that one day, every citizen of the Greater Toronto Area will discover his/her passion for computer graphics and interactive techniques.


A Reelly Happy Holiday


The Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter held the Reel Happy Holiday & Review at the Monarch Tavern on December 11th.

Many talented artists came out to show off their work and mingle with industry professionals, as well as celebrate a great 2013 in the computer graphics community. The talent ranged from all levels, presenting their work in an informal and open setting. Laptops were scattered on numerous pub tables. Their light illuminated member faces, watching each demo reel and presentation alike. Resumes were reviewed, and business cards were exchanged amongst industry experts. The atmosphere was tranquil but there was plenty of laugher and drinks going around, cheering the holidays with new and old friends. It was a holiday party that ended the year off right, with your techno-family!

What’s our next event you ask? That’s our New Year Kick Off Event at the Monarch Tavern on Wednesday January 29th.  This is another chance to come out and mingle with us and other industry professionals. It’s always a great time personally and professionally.  

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