Yes, I got back from FMX/09 last night, after the usual pain-in-the-ass shuttling between London airports to make my connections and the inherent waiting around that entails. I’m constantly disgusted by the amount airports charge for internet access so I left writing this post until today.
I really enjoyed FMX - it was the first graphics conference in which I’d been officially on the speaker bill, so I’m not sure how well other conferences treat their speakers, but at FMX I thought they did a fantastic job; everything was really well organised and went very smoothly. I actually enjoyed FMX more than Siggraph to be honest; it’s smaller and I found it a bit more manageable, and people seemed to have more time to talk. The speakers dinners were great for meeting & talking with various random people - such as having a quick chat with Ken Perlin, creator of the ubiquitous Perlin noise, and who had already heard of Ogre, which was nice.
My presentation went well, I was fussing over and tweaking the content right up to the last minute - was there enough for the time, was there enough technical detail, or too much, and so on - but in the end the feedback I received suggested I got it right. There was theory and arm-waving, I dove into code for a few minutes to illustrate how you build up a simple demo, I showed screenshots of Torchlight and OgreSpeedTree, videos of Venetica, ZeroGear and Dangerous Australians, and ran a real copy of The Book Of Unwritten Tales (and in the presentation tradition, my machine choked on the DVD the first time). In the end the hour flew by and I had to speed things up a bit, leaving 5 minutes for questions, which was just enough, so not bad on a timing front.
The room was also packed, people were standing at the back and sides of the room due to lack of available seating - I had no idea what to expect in terms of interest levels so I was very pleased with the turnout in the end. I also collected quite a few business cards and contacts from people using Ogre or thinking of doing so, which is always good, especially for a free agent such as myself!
I also met up with the guys from Filmakademie (who run the conference) who are developing some really cool tech using Ogre, such as procedural facial animation systems and non-photorealistic rendering. The editing framework they’ve built for these kinds of projects to sit on top of is looking really slick (it reminds me a bit of Houdini), and the good news is that they’re going to be releasing it as open source (LGPL) very soon, so I’ll be sure to link that both here and on the OGRE site when it’s available, because I think a lot of people are going to like it. All in all it was great to meet them and we intend to stay in contact in the future.
I’d like to thank everyone at Filmakademie (Constanze, Volker, David, Stefan, Nils, Simon and Thomas) for inviting me, and making it such an enjoyable visit.
Oh, and please bear with me if you’re waiting for a reply to something - I did manage to keep up with email somewhat whilst away, but more significant things will have to wait for me to catch up with them in the coming days.