Announcing our Election Candidates

The candidates for our Board of Directors election, scheduled for November, have been announced.

Candidates For Vice-President:

Kristine Oel

krisbwKristine Oel would like to continue in her role as Vice President of the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter. With 23 years in the Computer Graphics Industry, she is focused upon giving back to the CG community by encouraging others to design their dreams with artistic integrity. Kristine’s experience as Art Director of Astral Media’s specialty channels - The Movie Network, HBO Canada, Family, Teletoon, Disney Junior and Disney XD, adds a wealth of industry experience and networking opportunities to the organization. She hopes to continue giving her time and efforts to bring Toronto’s CG community together to share knowledge, creativity and passion for the arts.

Candidates For Treasurer:

Alain Chesnais

Alain_smallbwI have been an ACM SIGGRAPH volunteer over 25 years. I have served as President of the organization from 2002 through 2005 and, more recently, have served as President of our parent organization, ACM, from 2010 through 2012. I’ve been involved with chapters throughout the years, having served as Chair of the Paris SIGGRAPH Chapter, member at large of the Local Groups Steering Committee and serving as ACM Director for Chapters in the early 90′s. I currently serve as Vice Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Professional and Student Chapters Committee that oversees all of the chapter activities worldwide at ACM SIGGRAPH. I firmly believe that the success of ACM SIGGRAPH is largely due to the involvement of chapters at all levels and would like to serve again in the Toronto SIGGRAPH Chapter in the role of Treasurer.

Sukhmani Kaur

sukhSIGGRAPH is my family. It has been my esteemed pleasure to be a part of the SIGGRAPH community for the past one and half year and I have cherished every aspect of it. I have been given a lot of opportunities by SIGGRAPH and I believe it is time to start giving back to the society.

For Member-at-Large:

Gillian Chesnais

gillianchesnaisphoto_smallAs a former ACM SIGGRAPH student volunteer, I enjoyed the spirit of cooperation throughout the SIG and am now looking to get involved with the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH chapter. I am excited to help with events and contribute what I can to the website. Currently working in a small company, I am used to having to be versatile and taking care of many different tasks. I will aim to promote our chapter as much as I can and do my part to help it grow. I look forward to working alongside everyone else.

A Fall-tastic Event to Start the Season

To begin the line-up of fall events for 2014, the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter got its geek on!
On October 17th, the Chapter hosted an evening of Technical Papers in the facilities of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto.

After an introduction and some brief announcements, we started of the evening with a recap of the SIGGRAPH 2014 paper True2Form: 3D Curve Networks from 2D Sketches via Selective Regularization. The paper’s first author, Baoxuan Xu, described the algorithms he developed for inferring 3D shape by drawing 2D sketches of an object, with impressive results.  Baoxuan recently finished his M.Sc. degree from the Univeristy of British Columbia and is currently working with the 3D printing team at Autodesk.

Next up, we had Matthew O’Toole, a Ph.D. student at the Dynamic Graphics Project from the University of Toronto, present his research on recovering the 3D shape of objects using structured lighting and time-of-flight computations. Matthew discussed two of his recent publications: 3D Shape and Indirect Appearance by Structured Light Transport, which received an Honourable Mention for Best Paper Award at Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2014, and his SIGGRAPH paper presented in Vancouver titled Temporal Frequency Probing for 5D Transient Analysis of Global Light Transport. Although the content was highly-technical, Matt delivered an easy-to-understand and informative presentation.

Before ending the meeting, the door prize was raffled off. Our winner was Emil Borissoff, who received a copy of the book HTML5 Game Programming with enchant.js.

Finally, in order to encourage our audience to speak to our presenters in a more intimate setting, the crowd moved to a local bar for food, drinks, and merriment.

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for more photos of the event!  And make sure you also follow us on Twitter!

A special Thank You to Joseph Raghubar from the Department of Computer Science for his help scheduling this event.

Our officer elections are coming up in November.  The positions available are Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Member-at-Large.  To nominate yourself, contact us and send us a brief statement and a headhost by October 24th!

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!!

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