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November 20, 2006

Imageworks Showcased by ACS Siggraph

Top names in digital production shared the insiders' perspective during "The Four Pipelines of Sony Pictures Imageworks," a special presentation by Los Angeles Professional Chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH. The November 14 event included sneak peaks at the latest amazing examples from all four of Imageworks' areas of expertise along with other clips illustrating points covered by the far-ranging discussion. Tim Sarnoff, President of Sony Pictures Imageworks, kicked off the event, welcoming SIGGRAPH members and other guests with an overview of Sony Pictures Imageworks. He then introduced senior creative director Ken Ralston to moderate the proceedings. Senior visual effects supervisors Rich Hoover and Kevin Mack were on hand to explain their unique creative approach to live action VFX. Rich spoke about his work on SUPERMAN RETURNS, in particular the multifaceted decisions behind the spectacular shuttle disaster scene. Kevin gave a breakdown of how Nicolas Cage was transformed into GHOST RIDER, the skeletal urban warrior shrouded in hellfire. Software architect Parag Havaldar used MONSTER HOUSE examples to show how he bases his work on scientific studies of the physical manifestations of human emotion, which he then translates into precise data manipulation. Rob Engle, Digital Effects Supervisor, discussed the process of producing 3D stereo versions of films and how that work integrates with some of the complexities that the performance capture group and other teams face every day. Visual effects supervisor Doug Ikeler addressed the unique perspective Sony Pictures Animation brings to its animation pipeline. Doug used OPEN SEASON to illustrate the required intricate attention to detail, particularly when it comes to water, fur and recent advances in background animation. Rob Bredow, digital effects supervisor, took a break from working on SURF'S UP to screen a teaser that demonstrated his discussion of the imaginative techniques being used on that upcoming feature film. The event was hosted by Sony Pictures Imageworks. Participants enjoyed a casual barbeque on the facilities' lawn before strolling to the nearby Pacific Theater to enjoy the presentation.

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