Not registered for SIGGRAPH 2016? Here are eleven reasons why we’re going.

SIGGRAPH 2016 isn’t just a social gathering. Through highly curated programming, attendees are invited to grow in their understanding of the computer graphics industry and develop perspectives to help create a more beautiful tomorrow. Let’s look at a few of the most exciting things happening at SIGGRAPH 2016.

1. The Job Fair

9 Things to Look for at SIGGRAPH 2016: SIGGRAPH Job Fair

For many freelance VFX artists, the SIGGRAPH job fair is the highlight of every national SIGGRAPH meeting. This year’s fair will feature representatives from the VFX, video game, animation, film, and 3D industries. Attendees are encouraged to fill out a profile on CreativeHeads, which will connect them with many employers before they ever even step foot into SIGGRAPH 2016.

  • Location: Hall D
  • Time: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:30 am-6:00 pm, Thursday, 9:30 am-3:30 pm

2. Learning Courses

9 Things to Look for at SIGGRAPH 2016: SIGGRAPH Courses

It’s no secret that SIGGRAPH brings together some of the world’s greatest creative minds, but it’s amazing to think that thought-leaders in the industry are willing to share insights on the big stage. SIGGRAPH 2016 will feature courses from experts across the industry. The courses range from “An Elementary Introduction to Matrix Exponential for CG” to “Vector-Field Processing on Triangle Meshes.” The fact that you’re excited about these courses proves that you belong at SIGGRAPH 2016.

3. Inspiration

9 Things to Look for at SIGGRAPH 2016: Inspiration

Every major creative project starts with a little spark. One of the most beneficial reasons to visit SIGGRAPH 2016 is to give yourself a healthy dose of creative inspiration. At SIGGRAPH 2016, you’ll see hundreds of examples of modern CG artists pushing the limits of what’s possible, both technologically and artistically. Attendees are encouraged to browse the halls, attend screenings, and network with fellow artists in the industry.

No matter your graphics field, you’ll find sources of creative inspiration around every corner. You owe it to yourself (and your art) to step away from your workstation for a few days and invest in the future of your creative work.

4. Technical Papers

It can be easy to forget that the beautiful software we use everyday is built with the blood, sweat, and Red Bulls of computer scientists from around the world. At SIGGRAPH 2016, these scientists get a platform to reveal their latest findings and innovations. Some advancements may never make it to your favorite application — but others may actually change the way we create art. If you’re a fan of TED Talks, these CG-centric talks will likely strike a nerve.

This quick trailer outlines a few of the creative technical papers to be featured at SIGGRAPH 2016:

5. VR Village

9 Things to Look for at SIGGRAPH 2016: VR Village

Virtual reality is poised to change the way audiences consume content forever, so naturally CG professionals have flocked to this emerging technology. At SIGGRAPH 2016 you’ll find an entire “village” of VR innovators and content creators. Here you will immerse yourself in the latest live-rendered worlds and test products years before they are released to the public. In the words of SIGGRAPH, you’ll be introduced to:

…real–world applications in health, education, design, and gaming.

If you enjoy future technologies, then this is the place for you.

6. Emerging Technologies

If you read this blog, then you’re likely a big fan of the latest technological achievements in motion graphics and physical technology. If this is the case, SIGGRAPH 2016 will make you feel like a kid at Disneyland (which is across the street, by the way). Technological innovators in the Emerging Technologies pavilion will share practical (and less-practical) applications for their technological innovations. One of my favorite technologies to be featured at SIGGRAPH 2016 is this hilariously cool demo of Yadori, a mask-controlled animatronic puppet.

7. Art Galleries

9 Things to Look for at SIGGRAPH 2016: Art Gallery

  • Location: Hall C

CG artists are often influenced by visual art mediums like painting or illustration, but it’s less common for the roles to switch places. At SIGGRAPH 2016, users are invited to appreciate art created to reflect data and how it relates to humans. World-class artists share their unique works from Plinko Poetry to a Facebook Demetricator which removes all numbers from Facebook. If you’re a fan of approachable art, this is a must-see gallery.

8. Exhibits

9 Things to Look for at SIGGRAPH 2016: Siggraph Exhibition

  • Location: Hall D
  • Time: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:30 am-6:00 pm, Thursday, 9:30 am-3:30 pm

The Exhibition at SIGGRAPH 2016 is likely the biggest draw for individuals new to the conference — and rightfully so. If you’ve ever wanted to personally interact with brands from around the industry, the Exhibition is the place to be. Representatives from industry-leading companies like Microsoft, Maxon, and Google will be there to answer any questions you may have about their products.

SIGGRAPH posted a comprehensive list of all of the exhibitors attending SIGGRAPH 2016, along with a detailed floor plan. If you’re looking for a specific company, I encourage you to check out the page.

9. Computer Animation Festival

9 Things to Look for at SIGGRAPH 2016: Computer Animation Festival

Every year the team at SIGGRAPH curates an animation festival featuring the greatest minds in CG entertainment. The festival has been ground zero for many major advancements in CG history, including Ed Catmul’s famous hand animation video. Submissions range from short films to data simulations. You’ll need to have a full-conference pass to attend the computer animation festival, but it’s well worth the upgrade.

10. Panels

9 Things to Look for at SIGGRAPH 2016: Panels

Imagine all of your favorite CG experts sitting down to discuss (and argue about) industry topics. Thought-leaders from around the industry will gather at SIGGRAPH 2016 to talk about CG. Leaders with different view points will come together to discuss the future of the CG industry. One talk that looks particularly exciting is the Emerging Technologies talk featuring speakers from USC, Lytro, and Qualcomm.

11. Real Time Live

9 Things to Look for at SIGGRAPH 2016: Real Time Live

CG artists might sometimes find it difficult to fully appreciate the beauty of real-time cinematics, but the latest advancements in real-time rendering look to change the way filmmakers tell their stories. At SIGGRAPH 2016 artists are invited to see the latest in real-time entertainment techniques.

You can register for SIGGRAPH 2016 on their registration page. We’ll see you there!

What SIGGRAPH 2016 events are you most excited about? Share in the comments below.