SIGGRAPH Day 1

Today has been kinda crazy.
I got up early and had breakfast at the hostel. I highly recommend hostels; they are budget friendly and can be quite comfortable.

After going through a quick training, I looked through all the events again and circled what I wanted. I was able to grab a high sugar lunch at Tim Horton’s, an iconic symbol of Canada.

I returned back to the conference center early and headed over to the Emerging Technologies section, where there were plenty of cool demos. The one I want to try out the most is a immersive bird simulator, in which you strap an occulus rift to your head and spread your torso on this engineered contraption designed to resemble a bird. You can flap using this contraption, and the scene you see through the rift corresponds to how you move your body, until you feel like a flying bird. They even have a fan blowing on you to be wind.

There was also a globe projection system that reoriented the perspective of a 3d scene based on where the viewer was in relation to the globe. Sid, a man who was part of the development, explained how they could implement a zooming feature either based on viewer distance or the viewer using the pinch scroll human interaction. Maybe one day there’ll be Google Universe instead of Google Earth, and then this device would be such a cool way to explore such.

My first shift was in the Studio, a hands-on area which attendees can participate in cool projects. My first assignment was to greet people interested in a 3d sketching environment using a tablet. In short, you would interact with a 3d scene by orienting the tablet which controlled a plane in the scene. You could then draw on the tablet and the screen would update with the shape in 3d space. So, to draw a cube, you would draw a square a few times, while reorienting the tablet.

After a while, I swapped out to a different station for more variety. It was a project to capture the highest resolution image that was estimated to be a terabyte big and comprised of about 620000 images pieced together. The picture is of a mosaic…of food. There was a separate table for attendees to add to the mosaic which their own designs.

On the other table there were the Canon 5d Mark III cameras (yum) equipped with external flash, taking pictures of the food mosaic 6 times for each spot, at varying aperture and distance. This layering effect guaranteed a extremely high resolution photo, with no blurriness whatsoever. There were some sample images of insects and objects photographed using the same technique. The detail is astounding.

After my shift, I grabbed poutine with my roommate, only to promptly fall into a food coma afterwards. There’s a student volunteer reunion later tonight that I might attend, but as I have 9 hours of volunteering tomorrow I’m not sure if I should go because I really need the sleep.

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