Exhibitor’s diary: Behind the scenes at SIGGRAPH 2023

We have returned from an insightful few days as an exhibitor at SIGGRAPH 2023. Hosted by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), it’s the largest exhibition of its kind, showcasing products and services in the computer graphics and interactive techniques market. 

Celebrating SIGGRAPH’s 50th year, we were delighted to see exciting breakthroughs for motion capture in the animation industry and to present our latest dedicated animation software, Rig Solver, a stand-alone flexible skeleton solver module. 

Conferences are still smaller than they were pre-pandemic, but nothing beats the experience of meeting the next generation of character animators in person, gaining feedback, and catching up with industry friends. Here’s a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes happenings for the Motion Analysis team at SIGGRAPH 2023.

A hive of activity

The ACM event took our team to Downtown Los Angeles, the metropolitan hub that brings the world together from a whole range of creative backgrounds. That description certainly suited SIGGRAPH 2023, where the conference hall was abuzz with flashing screens and vibrant booths premiering bold animation and VFX innovations to excited event-goers. As fast-paced as the nearby sunset strip, this space for high-tech exhibitors would somehow transform to host a Taekwondo Championship only a few days later.

This was not our first time as exhibitors at SIGGRAPH, where we knew that only a minimal setup was necessary to showcase our Rig Solver software. For other occasions, we might need a mighty truss to support our camera system, but thankfully some monitors for video tutorials were more than enough. Arriving in LA, our team got straight into planning mode after finding our materials hadn’t arrived the day before. As they say in Hollywood, the show must go on!

Never ones to be deterred by a challenge, a few emails and phone calls later we were up and running and raring to go before the deadline, thankful for the shipping team’s excellent service. We’re still not completely sure where the equipment went! 

On-the-floor opportunities

The day for an exhibitor at SIGGRAPH starts bright and early. We greeted everyone at Booth 245 in the vast hall with our complimentary freebies of candy, stationery, and our popular back-scratchers. Since the return of similar in-person conferences, we bump into recognizable friendly faces from all across the animation industry that bring great community spirit to every event we visit.

This year, we were lucky enough to meet both customers of our software and those only just discovering the world of mocap. It gave us the rare opportunity to go in-depth with experienced users face to face, then to be able to discuss the history of mocap and its use cases for gaming, film and more, as well as the work our company carries out. It’s always a refreshing experience to hopefully inspire newcomers to become motion capture practitioners, where our paths may cross again at future animation events. 

Advancements in technology were everywhere—even simple QR code scanning gave us far more time to interact with everybody that stopped by our booth, without the need to print and hand out hundreds of brochures. 

New experiences for all

It was especially exciting for us to have Rig Solver as a brand new product offering. Having both a large monitor and a laptop worked perfectly to run an introductory Rig Solver explanation on the former, while the tech-focused crowd were able to interact with the details on the small screen. 

We could practically delve into more advanced features if we needed to and dissect the range of useful software-specific questions. We found that, while Rig Solver is a complex piece of software for the tricky task of skeleton calculation, its approachable demonstration and easy-to-use interface made it easy for everyone to understand and engage with.

Rig Solver works as a flexible skeleton solver for animation, able to reposition, translate, scale, and rotate each part of a tricky bone or joint movement within a rig to fit marker trajectories gathered from motion capture data. Developed and released due to popular demand for our Calcium skeleton solving tool, Rig Solver is a stand-alone feature also able to clean data from multiple mocap cameras and marker systems to simplify the post process workflow of character animators.

We hope to be at SIGGRAPH again soon, with 2023’s edition providing even more invaluable first-hand looks into the current technologies and trends fueling the animation industry. It was brilliant to be a part of the festivities and catch up with friends, colleagues, and partners. old and new.
If you’d like to discover more about our Rig Solver module, or if you were at SIGGRAPH 2023 and want to get in touch, please contact the Motion Analysis team today.