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Fostering intellectual openness

Posted on March 10, 2020  Leave a Comment
Filed under Animation, Education

Ed Catmull 2008 Siggraph Keynote

Back in 2008, I was privileged to attend Ed Catmull’s keynote at Siggraph as a Microsoft/Rare representative.

During his talk, Ed Catmull looked back at the mistakes Pixar did in its early years and the secrecy surrounding their technologies was one of them.

Instead he explained, everyone would benefit if studios became more open about their projects and technologies.

Fast forward to 2020, Ed Catmull stayed true to his words and everyone is now fully acquainted with Disney’s Ptex and other Pixar’s USD but did you know that Blue Sky and Dreamworks have also embraced the idea of sharing their ideas?

Few days ago, I shared an old article from the Blue Sky’s tech blog on Linkedin and I was astonished by the success it received. In the space of few days, my post, received a little bit less than 3.5k views on a blog post I had assumed everyone had already read and no, the article became viral.

ChopRig system

Most animation related websites are too mainstream those days and not technology focused enough so it is easy to fall out of the loop. When using a 3d software, yes you can pretend you are working like a 2d animator but realistically, you are more like the pilot of a fighter plane and need to keep an eye on your memory use, processes and autosaves.

For anyone wanting to stay up to date for at least what the main Feature animation studios are doing, I would highly recommend to bookmark the following links and keep an eye on what is being discussed.

Blue Sky tech blog

The Blue Sky tech blog is a fairly new one and I read some really interesting articles there, one of them regarding the gamification of Quality Checks (Introducing achievements into QC).

Blue Sky technology

Disney papers and talks

This is the historical animated feature tech website that goes all the way back to 2009.

Last year’s “Optimizing rig manipulation with GPU and parallel evaluation” Siggraph paper doesn’t appear though. It will eventually I am sure so use the link just above to read an abstract and watch the accompanying video.

Dreamworks research and development:

This is the Dreamworks treasure cove. Loads of information about their proprietary software and other tech.

Pixar research

Where it all started!

I hope this is useful to you. Don’t hesitate to share.

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