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SIGGRAPH 2017 — Detailed Show Reports on Computer Graphics Conference and Expo

At this year’s SIGGRAPH show returned to Los Angeles, the show gained momentum in the midst of the burgeoning VR/AR explosion happening across various 3D industries as well as foundational shifts happening at the developer level as game engines grow more important and low-level graphics APIs bloom further. Lurking in the background of this year’s SIGGRAPH is AMD’s resurgence as well as Apple’s promised return to pro markets at the workstation level.

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Autodesk at SIGGRAPH 2017

Autodesk was one of the companies that rented rooms to do demos to introduce their “Vision Series”. The vision series are renown speakers in the VFX, Games and VR community sharing their production highlights and how-tos.

03 – Autodesk demoing their new upgrades at SIGGRAPH 2017. (photo by Akiko Ashley for Architosh. All rights reserved.)

Autodesk also made a few announcements.

  • Maya 2018 will have new and better animation tools and rendering functionality. Maya will have “motion graphics” tools including dynamics and instancing tools. Version 2018 will have the latest version of the Arnold renderer, now owned by Autodesk, and better performance with new features and better integration.
  • 3ds max gets new VR authoring tools to make visualization easier for artists. 3ds max Interactive is a VR engine that simplifies the creation of immersive and architectural visualizations.
  • Shotgun 7.3 has new improvements for security for administrators to make it easier to manage and run Shotgun. New improvements include Data Site Retention for better site performance and community enhancements that include improved action menu items.
  • Arnold 5.01, the renderer, has new functionality like AOV shaders that are a film standard for surface shading with many new updates that optimize its power.

“The continued growth of AR and VR and the steady flow of new productions from Netflix, Amazon, and others, mean animation and VFX houses are in more demand than ever,” said Chris Bradshaw, Senior Vice President, Media & Entertainment, Autodesk. “We are focused on helping our customers create, connect, and compute faster and more efficiently so they can balance their increasing project loads with tighter schedules and budgets. Everything we are showcasing at SIGGRAPH streamlines production and equips artists with the tools to handle nearly any creative scenario.”

A Note About Mac

Autodesk is busy working on acceleration for the GPU with implementing Apple’s Metal 2 graphics API, so shortly it could mean that perhaps Autodesk may consider expanding other software packages to the Mac. As previously mentioned in the above, Apple released Metal 2 Developer Kit back in June.

The Metal 2 Developer Kit didn’t just provide support for eGPUs but also for VR hardware units like HTC’s Vive. We believe Autodesk has increasing demand to support the macOS platform going forward.

The Foundry

The Foundry hosted an All Star Event on July 30th. The event featured guests from Industrial, Light and Magic (ILM), WETA, and Marvel Studios showing how they used the Foundry products in their production pipeline. The Foundry had already announced key updates to their product lines but these are two new products.

  • The Foundry introduced the new cloud-based platform Elara, giving an edge to small to medium-sized studios. Elara went into beta at the event. Elara is a cloud-based platform for post-production. Learn more here.
  • Bunsen is a new product focusing on the AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) space provides a foundation for building unified and scalable solutions for enterprise visualization. Bunsen can reduce the headache of scaling up the quantity and fidelity of VR/AR and pre-rendered 3D content produced in CAD pipelines. We will be writing about Bunsen in a separate report. You can see a video here, however.

The Foundry will also be supporting Apple’s Metal 2 graphics API in their products but nothing was shown on the show floor yet.


Paul Babb, CEO & President of Maxon says it is a constant battle between quality versus speed. Cinema 4D is a package that is the solution for that balance, he says.

04 – The MAXON booth at SIGGRAPH 2017. Maxon is always a very popular booth at SIGGRAPH due to its award-winning Cinema 4D and Body Paint software. (Photo by Akiko Ashley for Architosh. All rights reserved.)

Maxon announced their upgrade to Cinema 4D, Release 19, covered here in this Architosh report, with some of the highlighted new features and improvements:

  • A number of new re-engineered foundational technologies that Maxon will continue to work on over several new releases.
  • Viewport performance enhancements.
  • A new Sound Effector
  • Additional features for Voronal Fracturing have been added to the Mo Graph toolset.
  • Integration of AMD’s Pro Render technology to give cross platform support with a scalable solution big or small.

Maxon has been really good to Mac customers. The new enhancements make Cinema 4D a better and stronger package. Pro Render from AMD support means cross platform compatibility for this enhanced rendering technology, so users on both Windows and Mac platforms benefit. Rewriting the software from the core means better performance and reliability, though Cinema 4D is very highly regarded for its stability. I didn’t hear any Metal news but considering they decided to support Pro Render, I imagine Metal 2 support will be coming.

next page: Side Effects Software, Chaos Group, and Allegorithmic

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Reader Comments

  1. Fascinating stuff! Particularly the Chaos Group! Interesting reading!

  2. Posted by:
    Chris in NC
    September 1, 2017 11:16 pm EDT

    Awesome write-up Akiko! 🙂 So envious you get to go to these!

  3. Fascinating stuff! Particularly the Chaos Group! Interesting reading!

  4. Posted by:
    Chris in NC
    September 1, 2017 11:16 pm EDT

    Awesome write-up Akiko! 🙂 So envious you get to go to these!

  5. Thanks for the positive comments Chris in NC…we appreciate hearing this kind of feedback!

  6. Thanks for the positive comments Chris in NC…we appreciate hearing this kind of feedback!

Comments are closed.

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