Siggraph 2012

Siggraph was held in Los Angeles this year so I attended.The key highlights were the Autodesk, Lightwave, Zbrush and Wacom booths.Autodesk which has a stable of high end software like Maya, 3ds Max, Mudbox and Softimage is the preferred pipeline choice of movies, video game makers and 3d modelers.Lightwave which is less expensive has featured comparable to Maya and is up and coming in awards and value.Zbrush is the future... Period!Anyone not experimenting with Zbrush for modeling, toy making or animation is leaving money on the table... Get this software as soon as the funds are available because there are tricks you can use with it software that could make using the other software not so necessary.Wacom has released the new 24hd Touch that works similar to the iPad for zooming in on your work in progress.I would have test drove a floor model except for the long line of other potential customers... Not to mention that dang fool who stayed in the test seat even when I circled back around.This year due to the heat wave in Los Angeles I didn't count the number of black folks there but it looks like more of the same.I don't see how we as a people can thrive in the sci-fi industry if we are not in the area of cutting edge technology when and where it happens.I'm not saying we should mortgage the house to purchase these items... Oh heck mortgage the house and don't look back!Zbrush runs about $700 from Pixologic which is home based located at The Gnomon School where many of the best artists that work on movies like Avatar come from.They often have user group meetings there where top artists do live demonstrations and field questions.I asked one of them how I could make braids one night for black hair.. Cause that's how I roll.Lightwave runs at around $1500 and has a plug n play aspect allowing you to push the GoZ button switching back and forth from Zbrush.Literally... With just these two softwares alone you could animate a whole movie.Autodesk creative suites where you can bundle many software packages can run from $4000 to $7000.If you are planning on future high end world domination then with ultimate mastery you could be the most sought after artist, game maker or special effects movie wizard.Autodesk is the standard for like everything.Wacom Cintiq tablets from $1000 to $3600 allows one to draw, sculpt or paint on a computer screen as one would in real life without all the messy paints or clay spills.This comes in handy when switching back and forth from multiple softwares or meeting deadlines that old school workflows couldn't compete with.Some of the other highlights were 3d printers for making samples of your future toys.Many of these were the size of a large microwave oven or a small refrigerator.Not as crowded as Comic-con probably because children under the age of 16 are not permitted in the main exhibition area Siggraph is a must for anyone seeking to make comparable quality product in today's sci-fi market.

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