25,000 computer graphics workers and enthusiasts have just descended on Los Angeles for the largest computer graphics conference in the world.
It's been 20 years since I first attended Siggraph, and it's always a blast. Each year something, which may have bubbling away for ages, suddenly hits it's stride and bursts out. Last year it was motion capture that was everywhere (enabling actors to perform their parts which then have their performance given to digital characters, Beowulf is a not so striking example, the question I ask is why?).
This year it's stereoscopic 3D - Huh?. Yes it's been around since the beginning of the last century. It did have a brief surge of interest the fifties with red/blue glasses and black and white film - you'll remember that oft repeated shot of an audience sitting there with very un-fashionable cardboard glasses.
Now it's on again - this time with plastic glasses - at least it's dark in the theatre. In the US now are "The Dark Knight 3D", "Hannah Montana 3D" and "Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3D", with more to come - there's another "Toy Story" and 19 films now in production for release next year.
I took the opportunity to see "Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3D" at a local theatre and had to admit it was pretty good. I've never had the same Wow! experience as other people seeing 3D, and could never get the 'Magic Eye" books to work, but had to confess that, although I didn't scream and clutch the person next to me as things came ridiculously close, it did look kind of flat if I blocked one eye.
One chap I was talking to wanted to see "Hannah Montana" which was on at an afternoon session, so asked his 8 year old daughter to accompany him, she refused and even when threatened with homework as the alternative, would not go. He went anyway, but with no kid to hide behind, he spent the whole time slunk real low in the seat.
It's tough being an old geek.