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From the ‘Dream Zone’, SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 inspires great discourse about building humanity into computer graphics

Header image: Real Time Live! Winner Airsticks at SIGGRAPH Asia 2019

· SIGGRAPH Asia 2019
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SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 Conference Chair, Tomasz Bednarz

  • SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 inspires conversations about the future of creating computer graphics and interactive arts
  • Full house for the first Business & Innovation Symposium
  • SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 awarded and lauded new talents for their inventions

Brisbane, Australia, 26 November 2019 – This year’s edition of SIGGRAPH Asia, themed ‘Dream Zone’, featured eminent industry figureheads who are at the cutting-edge of the CGI, FX and Animation industries. They inspired continuing dialogue about the industry’s challenges, and responsibilities, for matters such as cybersecurity for virtual worlds and characters, the impact of deep fakes and facial recognition, accurate and science-based data visualization, as well as the applications of visualization to, for example, autonomous driving vehicles.

The 12th edition of SIGGRAPH Asia attracted 5,120 visitors and participants from 50 countries and regions, featuring over 800 speakers, and 68 participating exhibiting companies and brands, who came to Brisbane from over 15 countries and regions.

Simon McIntyre, Associate Dean Education for UNSW | Art & Design, said, “It's been amazing to meet people who are not only developing technologies, but also realizing that the industry is moving into unchartered territories, and that they are now looking for something beyond the ability to alter environmental artifacts. Asking, how do we start to change industry with it? How do I become someone who can shape this in the future or be a leader in this space?”

“It is great that there's that many talented people here looking beyond the now into that horizon, of what's coming? So, for us, that's validating because it matches what we're trying to do with their education provision. We've met so many people here who are way ahead of the majority of other people out there in this space.” he added.

The discourse also applied not only to the future of work in the industry, but that of movie making.

The Featured Sessions Program’s Chair, Mark Elendt, said that “Being in the Dream Zone, I was able to put together my dream panel, which featured the world's largest studio creative heads, including Animal Logic, Pixar, Framestore, Industrial Light & Magic and Weta Digital. What was extraordinary is that, after listening to them discuss their pipelines, I had more questions than answers. It was thought-provoking and created a lot of discussions afterward, way past the actual session, which takes us forward into the future, and that's what’s fantastic about SIGGRAPH Asia.”

The breadth and diversity across the program content reflected the interdisciplinary nature of the SIGGRAPH Asia community. Andrea Sosa Pintos, a Researcher for CSIRO Industrial Physics and a speaker on the diversity and inclusion panel said “This conference is trying to bring people from across the globe to innovate and create amazing technologies. By bringing diversity and being able to hear different perspectives, we magnify creativity and innovation, so that we can create together. So, I think it's important that we discuss these topics and that we are connected with one another and so that we can expand our perspectives learning from each other.

Doctoral Consortium Program Chair Alyn Rockwood, Chief Scientist for Boulder Graphics remarked, “If one of the main reasons to come to a conference is networking, then Brisbane's been really successful. I've talked to a lot of people. The area is very pleasant and conducive for networking. You can just take a walk and talk. Sometimes, you underestimate the convenience and the comfort of good restaurants and nice place to be, and how that influences networking.

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SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 Exhibition

The SIGGRAPH Asia Exhibition is known for its array of emerging technologies. Chris Sutton, CEO of Tracklab, said, “We are an Australian company. It's been great to have the opportunity to come to a show based in Australia and it's been awesome to meet lots of really interesting existing and potential clients doing cool projects. We've had a great time showing off performance capture using the latest motion capture technologies.”.

A Brisbanite, Brett Leavy of Unity Technologies, Gold Sponsor of SIGGRAPH Asia 2019, said that it was insightful to see the international technology companies exhibit here in Australia. “We've been working in our lab for a while and not always getting out. And sometimes you've got to get out to have a look around. It's been wonderful - it's good to see what other people are doing and to know that we are still competitive.”

Held for the first time at SIGGRAPH Asia this year was the Business & Innovation Symposium (BIS), which attracted so many that there was standing room only for some of the sessions. SIGGRAPH communities have been supportive of innovation in modern Hollywood and Silicon Valley for the last 40 years. The Asia-Pacific region's population of 4.4 billion people will create giant market possibilities, and the aim of BIS is to play a lead role in the region's innovation.

The BIS Program Chair, Michael Hsin-Yao Liang of Silkroad Visual Technologies, said “I’m delighted that the SIGGRAPH Asia community is extending its footprint to include the business side of the industry. It’s a very important part of the industry, and it is potentially huge in Asia. We addressed the opportunities that will come with the introduction of 5G, in terms of how vastly improved speed, connectivity and bandwidth will promote the everyday use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality; of how we can grow the 3D ecosystem, tackling skills and talent development; and the rise of “Virtual Beings”, and how they can be monetized. The symposium was very well received and we hope to continue it at future editions of SIGGRAPH Asia.”

Another program new to SIGGRAPH Asia, and one very close to the heart of the Conference Chair, Tomasz Bednarz, Demoscene, fascinated a lot of visitors. One of the Demosceners’, Greg Newton (Ziggy/Defame), commented that, “SIGGRAPH Asia has completely exceeded my expectations.” He felt the reception for the Demoscene presentations and talks had been excellent, “Because with the live show, for example, the live shader coding, people are actually interested in how graphically, in a coders point of view, does that come together? So, we've really just broken all the elements down and people have been so attracted to it, to understand how it works.”

Of the event that he worked two and a half years to pull off, Bednarz said, "I am extremely proud of SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 being held in Australia for the very first time. The whole team worked hard to put together a fantastic program, that inspired thousands. Brisbane itself provided a super-friendly atmosphere for all attendees. See you next year in Daegu!"

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Visitors to the Art Gallery at the Experience Hall, SIGGRAPH Asia 2019

SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 was supported by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), the Queensland Government's lead marketing, destination and experience development and major events agency, and Brisbane Marketing, the city’s economic development board.


SIGGRAPH Asia is distinguished by its academic program and its commitment to showcasing emerging technologies. At SIGGRAPH Asia 2019, submissions were received to showcase emerging technologies, and those candidates shortlisted exhibited Emerging Technologies’ Exhibits within the Experience Hall. Voted by both the committee and attendees to the exhibits, the following Emerging Technologies’ program awards were presented:

The ‘Best Demo Voted by Committee’ Award went to StickyTouch: An Adhesion Changeable Surface, a novel tactile display that represents adhesive information on a surface, achieved by a temperature sensitive adhesive sheet whose temperature is locally controlled by peltier devices arranged in a grid. The team included Yoshitaka Ishihara, Ryo Shirai, and Yuichi Itoh (Osaka University); Kazuyuki Fujita (Tohoku University, Research Institute of Electrical Communication); and Takao Onoye (Osaka University).

Honourable mentions for ‘Best Demo Voted by Committee’ were given to: Enhancing Suspension Activities in Virtual Reality with Body-Scale Kinesthetic Force Feedbacks; Brobdingnagian Glass: A Micro-Stereoscopic Telexistence System; and SwarmCloak: Landing of a Swarm of Nano-Quadrotors on Human Arms.

The ‘Best Demo Voted by Attendees’ Award went to Enhancing Suspension Activities in Virtual Reality with Body-Scale Kinesthetic Force Feedbacks. This work presents a suspension kit that can suggest a range of body postures and thus enables various exercise styles of users in virtual reality. Users immersed in an exercise experience perceive active kinesthetic force feedback produced by the kit via suspending their weight with arm exertion. The team included Yuan-Syun Ye (National Chiao Tung University, Institute of Multimedia Engineering) and Hsin-Yu Chen and Liwei Chan (National Chiao Tung University).

The runners up for the ‘Best Demo Voted by Attendees’ were Hanger Drive: Driver Manipulation System for Self-balancing Transporter Using the Hanger Reflex Haptic Illusion, and Licker: A Tongue Robot for Representing Realistic Tongue Motions.

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Hanger Drive, SIGGRAPH Asia 2019

An Extended Reality (XR) program showcased emerging media and cutting-edge technologies in XR such as Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality. Awards were delivered in association with the XR program and these included:

The ‘Best XR Technology Voted by Attendees’ – Winner​ was by Upload Not Complete, and the runner’s up were HyperDrum: Interactive Synchronous Drumming in Virtual Reality using Everyday Objects, and Beyond the screen - Volumetric Displays from Voxon Photonics.

The ‘Best XR Content Voted by Attendees’ – Winner was Super Size Hero; and the runners up were the Lost City of Mer Virtual Reality Experience; Pumping Life: Embodied Virtual Companion for Enhancing Immersive Experience with Multisensory Feedback; and Encounters: A Multiparticipant Audiovisual Art Experience with XR.

Real-Time Live!, a showcase of virtual technologies demonstrated live in front of a large audience, wrapped up SIGGRAPH Asia 2019. In 2019, Real-Time Live! was held as a competition, with entries submitted from across the globe. Six shortlisted candidates competed at SIGGRAPH Asia 2019.

The AirSticks: An Instrument for Audio-Visual Performance Through Gesture in Augmented Reality emerged as winner of the Real-Time Live! program. The AirSticks combine the physicality of drumming with the unlimited possibilities of computer music, taking the practice of real-time electronic music to a new realm. The team included Alon Ilsar (SensiLab, Monash University) and Matthew Hughes (University of Technology Sydney, Technische Universität Berlin).

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Real Time Live! Winner Airsticks at SIGGRAPH Asia 2019


SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 returns 17 – 20 November 2020 in Daegu, South Korea. The theme is Driving Diversity, and the event will be the 13th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia. Visit to stay abreast of the program. SIGGRAPH Asia 2020’s Conference Chair is Jinny HyeJin Choo, Guest Professor and researcher, at the Korea National University of Arts (K'ARTS) in South Korea.

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SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 Conference Chair Jinny HyeJin Choo

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Notes to Editors

  1. Keep tabs of updates, download images and more at the SIGGRAPH Asia virtual newsroom
  2. For the high-resolution event images, you may download them here:
  3. View the program at a glance here:

About SIGGRAPH Asia 2019

The 12th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia (SIGGRAPH Asia 2019) was held in Brisbane, Australia at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) from 17 – 20 November 2019. The annual event attracts the most respected technical and creative people from all over the world who are excited by computer graphics research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education and emerging technologies.

The 4-day conference included a diverse range of juried programs, such as the Art Gallery / Art Papers, Computer Animation Festival, Courses, Doctoral Consortium, Emerging Technologies, Posters, Technical Briefs, Technical Papers and XR (Extended Reality). Curated programs include Business & Innovation Symposium, Demoscene and Real-Time Live! A three-day exhibition held from 18 – 20 November 2019 offered a business platform for industry players to market their innovative products and services to the computer graphics and interactive techniques professionals and enthusiasts from Asia and beyond. For more information, please visit Find us on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube with the official event hashtag, #SIGGRAPHAsia and #SIGGRAPHAsia2019.


The ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques is an interdisciplinary community interested in research, technology, and applications in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Members include researchers, developers, and users from the technical, academic, business, and art communities. ACM SIGGRAPH enriches the computer graphics and interactive techniques community year-round through its conferences, global network of professional and student chapters, publications, and educational activities. For more information, please visit

About Koelnmesse

Koelnmesse Pte Ltd is one of the world's largest trade fair companies. Its more than 80 trade fairs and exhibitions have the broadest international scope in the industry, as 60 percent of the exhibitors and 40 percent of the visitors come from outside Germany. The Koelnmesse events include leading global trade fairs for 25 sectors, such as Imm Cologne, Anuga, IDS, INTERMOT, Interzum Cologne, Photokina, Gamescom, and the International Hardware Fair Cologne. Koelnmesse is ACM SIGGRAPH’s event organizer for the last 11 editions of SIGGRAPH Asia. For more information, please visit

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