Meet our Election Candidates!

Our roster of candidates for the next Chapter election is now available!

Elections will be held by secret ballot via snail mail.  Ballots will be mailed out to Chapter members in good standing as of April 1st, 2016.  Ballots must be mailed back to the Chapter, postmarked no later than April 20th, 2016.

 

Candidates for Chair

Gillian Chesnais

Gillian Chesnais: Serving as a Member-at-Large of the chapter for the past one and a half years, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside great volunteers, doing my part to make our events become reality. I am now putting forward my candidacy for the position of Chair of the Chapter to continue the work that we’ve started. In the last couple of years we have greatly improved the Chapter’s infrastructure and nurtured new and old relationships with other graphics-related organizations around the GTA. I aim to build on that with the experience I’ve gained volunteering for the past five SIGGRAPH conferences and the insights from contributing to the Chapter’s needs this past 1.5 years. I want to get to know our members, so that we may work to support them, giving them access to all the resources, talks, tools they need to achieve their goals!

 

Candidates for Secretary

Baktash Abdollah-shamshir-sazBaktash Abdollah-shamshir-saz: It is with joy that I declare my intention to run for the position of Secretary of the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter. Over the past several months while volunteering as webmaster, I had the pleasure of playing a productive role within the chapter while enjoying the company of all the dedicated and wonderful members involved. I believe that as Chapter Secretary I will be able to play an even bigger and more constructive role in the Chapter’s efforts for outreach and event coordination. Therefore, I hope that you will cast your vote in my favor for becoming the next Secretary of the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter.

 

Candidates for Member-at-Large

Jacqueline BermudezJacqueline Bermudez: Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter (TASC), through its events, shares valuable knowledge with people that are interested and have a passion for computer graphics. First, I was only part of audience at the events that TASC organizes, and now I’m one of the volunteers at this Chapter. During my experience as a volunteer in TASC, I have really enjoyed working with the team, participating in the events, learning more about the graphics industry and meeting interesting people. I would like to extend my commitment as a member of the Chapter to Member-at-Large.

I’m a Computer Scientist and I work as a Web Developer at the Toronto General Hospital. Currently, one of my main tasks at Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH is working with Social Media, Twitter and Facebook, and I’m looking forward to updating TASC’s website. Likewise, I will cooperate on tasks necessary to promote the Chapter events and attract more people to become involved in our Chapter. I hope all of you will support my enthusiasm by electing me to the committee of TASC as a Member-at-Large.

Fluid Animation in Tall Order

jos_stam_art_fluid_animation

On February 4th, he Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter was proud to host Jos Stam of Autodesk Research for its first event of 2016.  Jos is a world-class researcher who has won many prestigious awards, including two Technical Achievement Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award.  Although Jos has published work on many topics including BRDFs and subdivision surfaces, on this evening we gathered to celebrate the publication of his book, The Art of Fluid Animation.

For this sold-out event, a crowd of 75 people gathered at the Autodesk Viz Studio in downtown Toronto.  After a few opening remarks from our Chair, Gord Kurtenbach, Senior Director for Autodesk Research and sponsor of this event, came up to the podium to introduce the main speaker.

Jos gave us a very personal talk about his career in computer graphics, much like the writing in his book.  He showed never-before seen paintings he created as a young teen which reflected his fascination with the shapes of fluids and cloth.  Jos also showed some impressive demos of emergent fluid behavior which his algorithm replicates.  To conclude, Jos shared some videos that highlight how his algorithm is used in Autodesk products today.

After the talk and a question period, we raffled three T-shirts, imprinted with the book cover, that Jos generously donated.  Congratulations to our winners Dianna Basso, Xavier Snelgrove, and the winner of the Grand Prize (a Jos Stam sized T-shirt), Thuan Ta.

After the event, a smaller crowd joined Jos at betty’s for some informal discussion, networking, and good cheer.

We would like to thank Autodesk Research for their generous sponsorship of this event.

Don’t forget to check out more images of this event at our Facebook album, and while you are there, like us!  And follow us on Twitter as well!

Review, Raffles, Toys… Holiday Fun!

Screenshot 2015-12-22 15.29.55

On December 2nd the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter hosted it’s 2005 Holiday Party.  As has now become tradition, we brought back our Resume and Reel Reviews to the party and collected toys for our Annual Toy Drive.

About 30 people gathered at betty’s upstairs to join the celebration. The venue’s layout was conducive to creating many resume and reel review stations.  As we had about the same number of reviewers and reviewees, everyone was able to get two to three separate reviews of their work.  It was an invaluable experience and everyone was grateful for the constructive suggestions they received!

We were also grateful for the chance to speak to many of our members and wish them a Happy Holiday Season.  To have some fun, we raffled a few Google Cardboards (courtesy of SIGGRAPH and SCAD) and a SIGGRAPH 2015 T-shirt.  Congratulations to the winners: Brent Smith and Max Julian!

We were also very grateful for the large amount of toys that were donated to the Chapter’s Toy Drive.  In total, we filled four large bags of toys!  As promised, we delivered the toys in support of Toronto Fire Services, whose toy drive has a history of nearly 150 years!

TASC_firetruck

We also want to take this opportunity to thank our many reviewers: Laurence Cymet, Joe Raasch, Rafael Fernandez-Stoll, Yoonha Kim, Alex Feigin, and our very own Karen Jackson!

This concludes our Fall season of events as we prepare to take a Holiday break.  We hope everyone has an enjoyable Holiday Season and we wish everyone a wonderful New Year 2016!

Stay tuned for our Winter season of events: mark your calendars for February 4th!

 

Virtually Yours… Fort York

fort-york-visit

Next year, the Fort York National Historic Site in Toronto will launch to the public a new Virtual Reality Experience, allowing visitors to experience the site in a totally new way!  Our friends at AWE, who have been working hard to bring this experience to life, invited the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH community to evaluate this experience during a free preview held between Sept. 21st and Oct. 3oth.  Naturally, the Chapter leaders were delighted to participate!

On a gloomy and cold Oct. 24th, we gathered at the Fork York Visitor Center, where we were warmly greeted by Fort York staff member Ewan Wardle, who guided us through the experience.  Ewan provided an introduction to the VR experience and handed us the equipment, and then we followed him onto the Fort York grounds.  There, we immersed ourselves into the virtual Fort York.

The experience consists of a set of animated, VR vignettes at different locations on the site grounds.  To guide you from one vignette location to another, a virtual map, visible through the VR headset, indicates the locations where vignettes are available.  When you arrive at a location, a short music clip will play through the stereo headset to let you know the system is ready to play.  The content of the vignettes is quite varied too.  You may relive the founding of the city of Toronto or the sacking of the Fort during the War of 1812, or you may witness a meeting between the British and native people, or see what the grounds looked like before the city filled up with condo buildings.

It was a fun and enjoyable experience and we are excited to see the final product when it opens again to the public next year.  Congratulations to Srinivas Krishna of AWE and all the other individuals and institutions that have worked hard to bring this experience to life!

Pipeline Dreams

Group photo with Bill Polson

On October 21st and 22nd, Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH was proud to host our friend Bill Polson, formerly from Pixar Animation Studios. Bill had a long and prolific career at Pixar, serving in many roles including Supervising TD of Pixar University, Supervising TD of Short Films, Director of Pipeline, and, most recently, Director of Industry Strategy, where he was the originator of Pixar’s OpenSubDiv effort. Bill has also been active in the ACM SIGGRAPH community and is the creator of the popular program “SIGGRAPH Dailies!”

We were thrilled when Bill accepted our invitation to visit Toronto and to bring to our audience a person of such high profile in the industry. Bill’s current interest lies in analysing various animation and VFX production pipelines and understanding the principles and design patterns behind them. Bill is currently working on a book on this subject and we were quite interested in what he’s discovered in his research!

We greeted Bill on the morning of October 21st and quickly took him to see his friends at the offices of our Founding Sponsor, Side Effects Software. Later that evening we treated Bill to some of Toronto’s finest dining in the company of the Toronto leadership team and friends to prepare him for a very busy day to follow.

The next morning, Bill visited the offices of our Platinum Sponsor for our evening event, Autodesk. There, Bill was able to have lunch with members of the Maya team and give a preview of the presentation he would give later than evening. Later in the day Bill visited Southpaw Technology and got a quick tour of Arc Productions before heading to his hotel to prepare for his talk.

Bill presented to a sold out room at the University of Toronto, with around 70 people present. His talk was very entertaining and quite informative, and Bill not only described some of the design patterns he’s uncovered but also the thought process that led to his conclusions. There was a lot of information to cover and many question, so we ended up staying an extra 30 minutes longer than programmed!  Bill has generously shared his presentation slides with us for those who would like to review his talk.

After the talk, the crowd proceeded to the Prenup Pub for some food and good cheer. Everyone had a wonderful time and it was truly an exciting evening!

We would like to thank Bill Polson for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit our wonderful city and present to our audiences. We really enjoyed having him here and hope he will visit us soon and often!

Thank you also to the Dynamic Graphics Project, from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, who co-hosted this event with us. Thank you as well to our Platinum Sponsor, Autodesk, and our Founding Sponsor, Side Effects Software. We’d also like to thank Toronto Section of the Visual Effects Society, Toronto Animated Arts Festival International, and The Immersive Technology Alliance, for helping us spread the word about Bill’s visit. Finally, we’d like to thank each and every attendee who came to Bill’s presentation!

Congratulations go out to our door prize winners:  Max Julian, Lisa Zhang, and Caroline Cai!

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