Pixar at SIGGRAPH 2020 — On-Demand & Live Sessions (Full Presentation List)

Pixar’s storied history at SIGGRAPH continues this year with many presentations focused on Soul and Onward with the Premiere of the short, Automaton.
Pixar at SIGGRAPH 2020

If you’ve ever wondered about the wealth of brainpower and technology that is present in the creation of every Pixar film, there’s no better place to learn more and dive in than the annual SIGGRAPH Conference. The SIGGRAPH conference is the world’s leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques. 

Pixar has a strong lineup of 7 live presentations, 6 on-demand sessions, 2 on-demand technical papers, and 2 special films (including one which is the World Premiere) showing at the Computer Animation Festival. So, get ready and check out all the details below.

Pixar Soul at SIGGRAPH

What sets this year’s conference apart from the prior years is that it will take place completely online due to COVID-19’s impact. Originally scheduled to take place in Washington, DC, the event is currently open for registration with on-demand content available now and live sessions starting Monday, August 24 — learn more details about registration on the SIGGRAPH 2020 site.

Although there are many, many more presentations, on-demand content, and films which will be shown the list below will be on the Pixar-centric presentations. Reference the complete SIGGRAPH site for more details.

COMPUTER ANIMATION FESTIVAL

For those who have registered for SIGGRAPH, you will have the ability to also purchase an optional ticket to the Computer Animation Festival which will take place on August 24, 2020, from 4:30 – 7:10 PM PDT.

Pixar Automaton Logo

One of the most exciting portions of the animation festival will be the world premiere of the Pixar co-op film titled, Automaton (screening 6:35 – 6:41 PM PDT). First spotted by our friend Luis with Pixar Brasil Blog, the short film is directed by Krzysztof Rost and is noted to be “a poetic interlude between a reality and an abstraction.” 

Updated: Note that Automaton is a Pixar co-op film (like Borrowed Time was a few years back) and not an official Pixar-produced short film. Click the link below for additional details.

Click here for additional plot details on Automaton (and what does automaton mean)?

Pixar Sparkshort Loop Logo

In addition to Automaton, the wonderful short film, Loop, will also be playing during the festival from 6:58 – 7:04 PM PDT. Loop was honored in July as the Best in Show award winner for this year’s SIGGRAPH conference and will be recognized during the festival. Learn even more about Loop in our prior posts, or watch it now on Disney+.

PIXAR SESSIONS / PRESENTATIONS

Note that while many sessions will be available later to rewatch, all of the Pixar Sessions will not be recorded, and not available for viewing at a later time (according to this document of non-recorded sessions on the SIGGRAPH site). So, you’ll want to plan which presentations you’ll want to attend carefully as some of them overlap times as well. To view the Pixar sessions, you’ll need to register for either the Ultimate Supporter or Ultimate Attendee level.

AUGUST 25

Four 30-minute sessions are all taking place on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, from 10:00 – 10:30 AM PDT

Pixar Technical Sessions at SIGGRAPH

Title: Option 1 — Analytically Learning an Inverse Rig Mapping
Date/Time: Aug 25, 2020 (Tuesday) — 10:00 – 10:30 AM PDT
Description: We present a method for inverting character rigs, in which an approximation of a rig function is learned through an offline training process using analytical methods. The resulting approximation accelerates the computation of the Jacobian, yielding real-time rig inversion using iterative least squares.


Title: Option 2 — Building a Dynamic Dad
Date/Time: Aug 25, 2020 (Tuesday) — 10:00 – 10:30 AM PDT
Description: Dad in Pixar’s “Onward” was a challenging character to build and animate. His upper body had a complex rig, enabling him to be simulated and fully hand-animated. We used tetrahedral simulation driven by a rest state rig and animated targeted regions to achieve his soft floppy upper body.


Title: Option 3 — Making Souls: Methods and a Pipeline for Volumetric Characters
Date/Time: Aug 25, 2020 (Tuesday) — 10:00 – 10:30 AM PDT
Description: The soul characters in Disney/Pixar’s “Soul” have a stylized appearance based on volumes and linework, which we procedurally generate from traditional surface geometry rigs. As a large amount of numerical computation was required to create this data, we developed a system for automating this computation in parallel on our renderfarm.

Relevant Links: Technical documents/videos which Pixar has previously published related to this presentation.


Title: Option 4 — Sculpt Processing for Character Rigging
Date/Time: Aug 25, 2020 (Tuesday) — 10:00 – 10:30 AM PDT
Description: We present a suite of geometric tools that have significantly sped up the generation and reuse of production-quality sculpts in character rigs at Pixar.

Relevant Links: Technical documents/videos which Pixar has previously published related to this presentation.


SIGGRAPH Pixar Quest for Magic Presentation

Title: Quest for Magic: The Making of Pixar’s Onward
Date/Time: Aug 25, 2020 (Tuesday) — 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM PDT (with Q&A session until 1:00 PM following the presentation)
Description: Onward tells an original, heartfelt story of two brothers’ quest to reunite with their late father. An epic journey presents the film’s audience with a unique world full of settings and situations that are simultaneously exotic and familiar. Onward’s crew faced a similarly varied set of challenges: some fantastic, some mundane, some both at the same time. In this session, the crew will discuss the process of creating Onward’s unusual characters, diverse environments, and magic.


AUGUST 27

Pixar Facebaker Rigs SIGGRAPH

Title: Facebaker: Baking Character Facial Rigs with Machine Learning
Date/Time: Aug 27, 2020 (Thursday) — 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM PDT
Description: Film quality character rigs are highly complex and, therefore, computationally expensive and slow to evaluate. We present a machine learning method for approximating facial mesh deformations which reduces rig computations, increases longevity of characters without rig upkeep, and enables portability of proprietary rigs into a variety of external platforms.

Relevant Links: Technical documents/videos which Pixar has previously published related to this presentation.


AUGUST 28

Pixar Deformables Presentation at SIGGRAPH

Title: Dynamic Deformables: Implementation and Production Practicalities
Date/Time: Aug 28, 2020 (Friday) — 10:00 – 11:30 AM PDT
Description: Since “Coco” (2017), several key transformations have been applied to Pixar’s core simulator to improve its speed, robustness, and generality. These have been described piecemeal across a variety of Technical Papers and Talks, but here, we provide a unified treatment that should interest students, researchers, and practitioners.

Relevant Links: Technical documents/videos which Pixar has previously published related to this presentation.


PIXAR ON-DEMAND TALKS

All of the on-demand content was available as of August 17 (only available for a limited time).

Joe from Pixar's Soul walks across the street

Title: Deep Learned Super Resolution for Feature Film Production
Description: In this Talk, we discuss the challenges and motivations of bringing deep learning techniques for image upscaling into Pixar’s film production pipeline. We show that our custom models, deployed and used on Onward, reduce studio render farm footprint and make high-resolution deliverables more cost effective to create.

Relevant Links: Technical documents/videos which Pixar has previously published related to this presentation.


Soul Joe and 22 Concept Art from Pixar's Soul

Title: Finding the Look of Souls
Description: This Talk covers the technical approaches which emerged during the look development for finding solutions to the challenging designs of the soul characters for the movie “Soul” from Pixar Animation Studios.


Pixar Soul Garment Tests at SIGGRAPH

Title: Garment Refitting for Digital Characters
Description: We describe a new technique used in Pixar’s feature film “Soul” that refits the shape of digital garments from a source to a target character body.

Relevant Links: Technical documents/videos which Pixar has previously published related to this presentation.


Title: Hypertextural Garments on Pixar’s “Soul”
Description: The New York City of “Soul” required a highly detailed “hypertextural” style to contrast the ethereal volumetric world seen later in the film. In pursuit of this look, the “Soul” characters and global technology teams implemented a render-time deformation pipeline for geometric thread detail.

Relevant Links: Technical documents/videos which Pixar has previously published related to this presentation.


Pixar Open Shading Language SIGGRAPH

Title: Procedural Geometry with Open Shading Language on Pixar’s “Onward” and “Soul”
Description: Since “Brave,” Pixar has used a system called Moss to manage procedural ground cover such as grass and dense debris. For “Onward” and “Soul,” we opened up the toolset to shading artists by allowing procedural geometry to be programmatically expressed via Open Shading Language.


Pixar Soul Crowds Test

Title: Rasterizing Volumes and Surfaces for Crowds on “Soul”
Description: For “Soul,” to produce shots with hundreds of volumetric crowd characters, we developed two new render-time rasterization technologies. The first leveraged a volume rasterization library to deform volumes with a lattice at render-time. The second allowed for surface signals to be leveraged by volumetric character shaders.

Relevant Links: Technical documents/videos which Pixar has previously published related to this presentation.


PIXAR ON-DEMAND TECHNICAL PAPERS

Title: Discrete Differential Operators on Polygonal Meshes 
Description: We introduce a principled construction of discrete differential operators on surface meshes formed by (possibly non-flat and non-convex) polygonal faces, which can be seamlessly integrated into existing geometry processing algorithms.

Relevant Links: Technical documents/videos which Pixar has previously published related to this presentation.


Title: Phong Deformation: A Better C0 Interpolant for Embedded Deformation
Description: We propose Phong Deformation, a simple and practical quadratic interpolation scheme that, while still only C0 continuous like trilinear interpolation, greatly reduces visual artifacts for embedded geometry.

Relevant Links: Technical documents/videos which Pixar has previously published related to this presentation.


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