Ok, so I’ve uploaded a bunch of new photos from Siggraph. The main public show is open now too, so I had a browse around that. Nothing that stunning to be honest, at least very little I hadn’t seen already, but it was fun to at least visit all the booths like Pixar, Lucasfilm, Softimage, nVidia etc. Also good to see Blender on the show floor, they were sharing a booth with Gnome and were doing demos of Blender and Inkscape and a few other graphical tools.
I went to the animation festival on Monday night, where they had the hugest, most incredible digital projector ever - a Sony monster with a 4000×4000 resolution. The image was about 3 stories high and I still couldn’t see the pixels. Impressive. The animation was fun, although my favorites actually were the non-photorealistic ones, there was a Japanese sequence that was sort of cel shading, but with interesting high-contrast shading patterns instead of solid colours.
Yesterday I went to a very good presentation from ATI, Valve, Media Molecule and Crytek - the Crytek one was the least interesting mainly because the speaker took forever and only really read what was on the slides - yawn. Valve was great, I really admire the way they get some great looks using what isn’t the latest shader models. Media Molecule is a new company and had the most entertaining speaker - the fact that he was British did not affect my judgement at all 😉 ATI’s Toy Shop demo breakdown was impressive too, even though the speaker was pretty dry and humourless.
The Collada BOF today went better than I expected. Michael Wimmer turned up with the demo, neither of us knew a great deal about the plugin unfortunately (we’re both somewhat removed from it), but as it happened quite a few people came over to talk about Ogre in general as well as just the Collada plugin. I ran out of my first pile of business cards pretty quick, and collected quite a few from people like Sony, Radical (cool!) and Epson (yeah, really). The guy from Sony (who was demoing Bullet) showed me some work he’s been promoting in his own time to get Ogre into Blender’s game engine, and he had a running example working right there in Blender which was cool. They haven’t done any publicity yet but it’s apparantly called ‘echo’, I believe it’s this Sourceforge project.
I also had time to chat briefly to Eric Lengyel, since he was demoing his C4 engine on the table next to us. His engine is looking very nice (as you’d expect from someone of his ability), it was funny to talk to him about his stencil shadows implementation (which he uses for all dynamic lights, plus lightmaps for static light) because ours is heavily influenced by an article he wrote on robust stencil shadows a few years back. The only real difference is that we do hardware extrusion of shadow volumes in a vertex shader, whilst he does it in software but uses a technique to clip the volumes to the geometry it can affect within his cell/portal structure. I got his business card, and hope I didn’t gush too much about how much his books and articles had helped me over the years. He’d heard of Ogre at least. 😀
I didn’t even get time to talk to anyone else in the room (like the people from OpenSceneGraph or Softimage) because it was a pretty constant stream of people coming to our table. So, today left me feeling pretty good about things after a pretty daunting few days. Perhaps tomorrow’s Ogre BOF might attract a few people after all.