Calendar of Events

December 1, 2016

Break It Down: Discover the Magic Behind the VFX


The Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter is proud to present our main event of the Fall, Break It Down: Discover the Magic Behind the VFX. Join us as we screen SIGGRAPH 2016’s “Break It Down”, the must-see compilation of breakdown reels from several of the world’s major VFX studios shown at the conference in front of an international audience as part of the Computer Animation Festival.

“Break It Down” features the work of Toronto’s very own Spin VFX and Mr. X. A panel of VFX veterans from both studios will join us to dig deeper and talk about the amazing work and the challenges they faced to make their projects a reality.


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Robert (Bob) Munroe, whose past works includes movies such as Cube, Splice, the Tudors and the Borgias, is a Visual Effects Supervisor behind the Sci-fi series The Expanse. The breakdown reel from The Expanse was accepted into “Break It Down”.



Kyle Menzies is also a Visual Effects Supervisor for The Expanse. His past work includes Splice, the Tudors and more recently, Marco Polo. Robert Munroe and he will discuss what goes into achieving the effects for a science fiction series such as The Expanse.



James Cooper is a Visual Effects Supervisor for the horror drama series Penny Dreadful, which was nominated at the 2016 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. The breakdown reel for Penny Dreadful’s third season was accepted into “Break It Down”. James will talk about the work his team did to bring to life the world of the horror series.



Kieran McKay is a Lead Animator on the episode “the Last Ship” for the historical drama series, Vikings, which was also nominated at the 2016 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. The reel for the episode was featured in “Break It Down”. Kieran will talk about the animation work that went into making the episode a reality.



Mark Elendt is the driving force behind the assembly of “Break It Down” for SIGGRAPH 2016. Mark, a Senior Mathematician at SideFX Software, is a long time volunteer with ACM SIGGRAPH, having served in the Computer Animation Festival’s committee in 2016 and now as Courses Chair for SIGGRAPH 2017. He is also a member of the Visual Effects Society with a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science to his name.


Featured in “Break It Down”:

Call Of Duty: Black Ops

Behind the Magic – Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War

Cosmos Laundromat
Blender Institute

Making of: Joy from “Inside Out”

Making of: “The Good Dinosaur”

Behind the Magic: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Black Sails Season 3
Digital Domain + Starz

Vikings Episode 410: “The Last Ship”
Mr. X

LAIKA: Kubo and the Two Strings

Making of: Tom Clancy’s The Division Yesterday

Behing the Magic – Warcraft

Sheel V-Power “Shapeshifter”
Framestore CFC

Monster Hunt
Base FX

Behind the Magic – Star Wars: The Force Awakens


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Founding Sponsor:



Promotional Partners:

toronto_logo_portrait_regular     caso1580-sheridan-sirt-rgb

Start: December 1, 2016 7:00 pm
End: December 1, 2016 7:00 pm
Venue: Pinewood Studios
225 Commissioner st. Studio 10, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

October 20, 2016

The Boundary of Chaos: An exploration of parameters, liquid dynamics, and other oddities with one of the creators of Maya

Tech Talks: The Boundary of Chaos

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The Toronto Chapter invites you to join us for our first event of the Fall! On Thursday October 20th 2016, we will have the pleasure of hosting Duncan Brinsmead from Autodesk. Duncan will talk about the interesting things that lie in the space between the chaotic and the stable and how achieving them often requires adjusting many parameters to find a multidimensional goldilocks zone. Some new work on the new Maya Bifrost feature will also be presented.

Duncan is a creator of many technologies behind Maya. Currently he has been working on a liquid foam model for the Maya Bifrost feature, as well as controls for art directing liquid effects. He created Maya Paint Effects for digitally painting instances like plants or hair in a virtual 3D environment. In 2008, together with Jos Stam, Julia Pakalns and Martin Werner he received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for the design and implementation of the Maya Fluid Effects system.

As a principal scientist at Autodesk’s R&D department in Toronto he invented Maya Hair, and Maya Toon. His more recent works are Maya nHair, nCloth (for the simulation of clothing) and the Nucleus dynamics solver framework.

We hope you are as excited as we are!

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Date: October 20th, 2016
Time: 6-8pm, followed by networking and good cheer

Autodesk Viz Studio
210 King St. East, 2nd floor

free for members
$10 for non-members
or purchase your Chapter membership on Eventbrite today and come for free!

Start: October 20, 2016 6:00 pm
End: October 20, 2016 6:00 pm
Venue: Autodesk Vizualization Studio
210 King st. E., Toronto, Ontario, M5A 1J7, Canada

April 19, 2016

Spring Double Feature


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Spring has finally arrived and the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter is celebrating with a double feature! Come join us at the Monarch Tavern on Tuesday April 19 at 7pm as we learn about the company turning any animated 3D content into VR format for you at the touch of a button, followed by a screening of the SIGGRAPH Asia Electronic Theater!

PCPVR, founded by Erik Peterson, has made the technological advancements required to turn any 3D content into a format that is compatible with all VR devices, including the Samsung Gear. Their team has created plug-ins for Maya, Unreal and Unity that allow studios to port their existing library – anything from Iron Man’s fight sequences to a singing Elsa in Frozen – effortlessly. No difficult installations or game engines involved. PCPVR aims not only to facilitate the industry’s creation of VR content, but also to maintain a high quality experience no matter the device. They have already shown their capabilities by putting the Unreal Elemental experience on the Samsung Gear while matching the quality one would get on a high end pc.

After a short Q&A with PCPVR, we will switch gears from immersive to the silver screen with the magic of SIGGRAPH Asia’s 2015 Computer Animation Traveling Show.  Feast your eyes with a world-wide collection of the year’s best work in time-based art, scientific visualization, visual effects, real-time graphics, and narrative shorts, selected by an internationally recognized jury.  Check out the amazing preview and join us for the full feature!

Date: April 19th, 2016
Time: 7pm

The Monarch Tavern
12 Clinton St.
Toronto ON  M6J2N8

Get your Tickets here!

$5 members
$15 non-members
Or purchase or renew your membership on Eventbrite and attend this event for free!

Start: April 19, 2016 7:00 pm
End: April 19, 2016 7:00 pm
Venue: The Monarch Tavern
12 Clinton St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

March 23, 2016

Fort York: Past, Present, Virtual

Fort York_Invite2

As we wrote to you earlier this year, Fort York Historic Site will be opening a Virtual Reality Exhibit to the public for the first time this season. To share in this exciting accomplishment, the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter would like to invite you to join us at Fort York as we host Srinivas Krishna, founder and CEO of AWE Company. Srinivas has been at the helm of the technology development for this exhibit and will describe the challenges involved in creating a Virtual Reality experience for a National Historic Site.

Srinivas’ AWE Company, Fort York Historic Site, and a group of partners have teamed up to transport visitors back in time to relive history through the power of VR. The exhibit allows guests to walk around the Fort equipped with a headset through which they peek into a reconstruction of the past. If time, weather, and technology permit, a few of our guests will experience a taste of the exhibit.

Srinivas’ career in film, television and interactive digital media spans twenty-five years. His work as a digital media innovator has been applauded by Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, as “utterly breathtaking… genius.” Drawing on his experience with site-specific media, Srinivas founded AWE Company Ltd. in 2012 to develop patent-pending technologies and tools that enable immersive, interactive, augmented and virtual reality experiences for mobile audiences – the cinema of the future. Prior to AWE, Srinivas has produced and sold feature films that have premiered at Toronto, Sundance and Cannes, and have been distributed worldwide. He launched his career in 1991 with the international hit Masala, which was voted by the British Film Institute among the Top Ten South Asian Diaspora Films of the 20th Century and is a classic of world cinema.

We look forward to hosting you at Fort York!

Get your Ticket here!

Directions:  We are meeting INSIDE the fort!  Find the Officers’ Blue Barracks at #8 on this map.


Date: March 23rd, 2016
Time: 7pm prompt (doors open 6:30pm)

$10 members
$20 non-members

or purchase or renew your membership on Eventbrite and attend this event for free!

Start: March 23, 2016 7:00 pm
End: March 23, 2016 7:00 pm
Venue: Fort York Blue Barracks
250 Fort York Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3K9, Canada

March 3, 2016

Pub Night: Resume and Reel Review

Mug of beer on a pub table

The Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter is happy to invite you to join us for 2016’s first Resume & Reel Review pub night. Come join us at Betty’s at 7pm on Thursday, March 3rd, to grab a drink, network and talk all things graphics!

If you are interested in getting your resume or reel reviewed, please sign up here so we know to expect you.

We will see you there!

Start: March 3, 2016 7:00 pm
End: March 3, 2016 7:00 pm
Venue: Betty's
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

February 4, 2016

Tech Talks: The Art of Fluid Animation


ETNOV03Continuing with the theme of fluid animation for this year’s Tech Talks, the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter is proud to start our 2016 event lineup hosting a gentleman who needs no introduction (but we’ll give one anyway!): Jos Stam.

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Jos is a Principal Research Scientist at Autodesk Research. He is most well-known for his seminal work in fluid simulation for computer graphics, although he has also published work in rendering and surface modeling, especially subdivision surfaces. Jos holds Masters and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Toronto, which he pursued following the completion of dual Bachelor degrees in computer science and pure mathematics in Geneva, Switzerland, where he grew up. Jos has received many prestigious awards, including the ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award in 2005 and two Technical Achievement Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: one in 2005 for his work on subdivision surfaces and one in 2007 for his work on fluid simulation.
Recently, Jos has finished his (first) book, titled “The Art of Fluid Animation.” In this book, Jos describes, in a fun manner, visually rich techniques for creating fluid-like animations that do not require advanced physics or mathematical skills.

Please join us for a conversation with Jos on Feb. 4th at the Autodesk Viz Studio. Jos will present a few points from his new book and will share a few insights and fun stories from his long and productive career.

Date: Feb 4th, 2016
Time: 6-8pm, followed by networking and good cheer

Autodesk Viz Studio
210 King St. East, 2nd floor

$5 for members
$15 for non-members
or purchase your Chapter membership on Eventbrite today and come for free!

Click Here for tickets!

Sponsored by:
Autodesk Research

Start: February 4, 2016 6:00 pm
End: February 4, 2016 6:00 pm
Venue: Autodesk Visualization Studio
210 King St. East, 2nd floor, Toronto, Ontario, ON M5A 1J7, Canada

December 2, 2015

Holiday Party 2015


In celebration of the holidays, the Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter would like to invite you for a festive fun time at Betty’s on December 2nd, 2015! This year’s holiday party will feature Party Games, Prizes and a lot of good cheer!

We are also bringing Resume and Reel reviews to the party!  Meet local experts and professional and have them review your work.  If you are interested, then simply signup here to let us know to expect you!

Are you one of the local experts interested in helping out Toronto students and young professionals? Then please contact us!

The holidays are also a time to give to those less fortunate.  Given the success we had last year, we are once again running a Toy Drive to donate to Toronto Fire Services Hall 315.  So remember, to join our party you’ll need to bring a toy for donation!

Come join us for an evening of good times and networking. We’ll see you there!

Start: December 2, 2015 6:30 pm
End: December 2, 2015 6:30 pm
Venue: Betty's (upstairs)
240 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M5A 1K1, Canada

November 11, 2015

SIGGRAPH 2015 Travelling Electronic Theater

CAF-Invite 2015 copy

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Prepare to feast your eyes and dazzle your mind!

Straight out of SIGGRAPH 2015, we are bringing the Computer Animation Festival back home for everyone who did not make it to the conference.

SIGGRAPH 2015 Computer Animation Festival Co-Chairs Mikki Rose and Joe Takai are proud to present the SIGGRAPH 2015 Traveling Electronic Theater! As the leading annual festival for the world’s most innovative, accomplished, and ground-breaking digital film and video creators, SIGGRAPH strives to present selections that both entertain and amaze. This year’s show does not disappoint!

An internationally recognized jury rated hundreds of submissions and chose the best work of the year to populate the two programs of the Computer Animation Festival, the Daytime Selects and the Electronic Theater. The traveling show boasts selections from both parts of the Computer Animation Festival screened at this year’s conference. Selections include outstanding achievements in animated feature and short films, scientific visualization, visual effects, advertising, game excerpts, and much more!

Come join us at The Monarch Tavern where we will be hosting our good friend Roy C. Anthony, chair of the SIGGRAPH 2014 and 2015 Production Sessions as well as SIGGRAPH 2018 Conference Chair, for the evening. Roy, from Research & Innovation at Christie Digital Systems in Waterloo, is continuing the tradition of bringing the very best in animation to our local audience. So get ready as this year’s screening will be MUCH LOUDER than the last!!!

Date: Nov. 11, 2015
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Place: The Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St., Toronto, Ontario
$5 for members
$15 for non-members
or buy your membership and come for free!

Buy your tickets now!

Start: November 11, 2015 6:30 pm
End: November 11, 2015 6:30 pm
Venue: The Monarch Tavern
12 Clinton St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

October 22, 2015

Bill Polson: Pipeline Design Patterns

Bill Polson_Invite_with sponsor

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The Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter, in collaboration with the Dynamic Graphics Project of the University of Toronto’s Department of Computer Science, is proud and excited to host Bill Polson,  formerly the Director of Industry Strategy at Pixar Animation Studios.  Bill is kindly visiting us from California to speak about design patterns in computer graphics pipelines.

In his talk, Bill will use a simple example to illustrate the common problems of graphics pipelines: getting assets built (in lots of variations), getting them converted to optimized representations and aggregated into shots and levels, and generally carrying edits from modeling through to animation/gameplay and beyond to rendering/display. The talk will discuss the general “shape” of these problems and their solutions, and will propose some common vocabulary.

Bill is currently on leave from Pixar, working on a book on Pipeline Design Patterns, which should be out in mid-2016.  At Pixar, Bill was the Director of Industry Strategy, where he was responsible for Pixar’s relationship to the graphics industry. In this role he has shaped the product roadmaps of major graphics software vendors. He is the originator of Pixar’s OpenSubdiv effort, which is redefining how the industry handles high order geometry. Bill has had a number of management roles at Pixar, including Lead of Production Engineering, and Supervising Technical Director of Short Films. Prior to that Bill was a TD and software developer. Bill is active in SIGGRAPH, where he originated the popular new program SIGGRAPH Dailies!

Date: Oct. 22nd, 2015
Time: 7pm (doors open 6:45pm)
Bahen Centre, Room 1210
40 St. George St.
Toronto, Ontario

Buy your tickets now!

In collaboration with:

Dynamic Graphics Project


Platinum Sponsor:


Promotional partners:

Toronto Animated Arts Festival International Visual Effects Society, Toronto Section


Start: October 22, 2015 7:00 pm
End: October 22, 2015 7:00 pm
Venue: Bahen Centre Room 1210, University of Toronto
40 St. George St., Toronto, Ontario, M5S2E4, Canada

September 29, 2015

Tech Talk – Fall Edition



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The Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter is proud to bring to you the founder of TooMuchVoltage Software, Baktash Abdollah-shamshir-saz. Baktash is the sole implementor and maintainer of the HighOmega game engine. Currently at version 2.0 and built on open standards, HighOmega boasts many pages of features yet is currently programmed in approximately 34,000 lines of code and compiles to a mere 780kb!

In this Tech Talk, Baktash will describe the fluid simulation engine in HighOmega, which is based on Jos Stam’s seminal SIGGRAPH 1999 paper, “Stable Fluids,” and the subsequent sample code published at GDC 2003. Baktash has extended the original algorithm and code into a real-time, GPU implementation running on top of OpenCL with added vorticity confinement for more accurate simulations. He will share with us his experience in putting together this component of HighOmega, including the perils and pitfalls of the algorithm and cross-driver OpenCL caveats.

Speaker Bio:
Baktash Abdollah-shamshir-saz began programming at age 10 on an Amiga600. He moved to the C language by age 12 and a year later coded his first software rasterizer. By age 17, he had developed his first DirectX 8.1 game. He began working on the HighOmega game engine at age 21 and in 2010 he founded his studio, TooMuchVoltage Software.

Baktash holds a B.Eng in Computer Engineering and, during the daytime, works as a Technical Systems Analyst at RBC Royal Bank. However, after work he turns to his true passion developing and extending the HighOmega game engine.

Date: September 29, 2015
Time: 6-8pm, followed by networking and good cheer at a nearby pub.
Location: Autodesk Viz Studio, 210 King St. East, 2nd floor

$5 members
$15 for non-members
or purchase your membership on Eventbrite today and come for free!

Buy your ticket now!



Start: September 29, 2015 6:00 pm
End: September 29, 2015 6:00 pm
Venue: Autodesk Viz Studio
210 King St. East, 2nd floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5A1J7, Canada
Cost: 15
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