It's time for a little road trip. Miller Freeman's 3D Conference and Expo in Santa Clara California is this week's destination. It's no Siggraph but quite a decent show with approximately 4000 attendees. Actually the smaller scale makes it a more manageable show from a visitor's point of view.
The talks and workshops were quite good. Although not small it was possible, unlike Siggraph tutorials, to ask questions and have at least a little interaction with the instructors.
On Sunday Doug Filter presented a workshop on the business of 3D which was absolutely terrific. He run as 3D animation house and went through the many trials and tribulations of running a business and what is needed. Dealing with clients, lawyers, contracts, staffing and more were all dealt with by Filter in a useful straightforward way. It was great practical advice from someone who clearly deals with all the nitty gritty business issues every day.
Also on Sunday was a workshop about Storyboarding. Iain McCaig, who spent lots of time storyboarding for George Lucas for the Star Wars Episode I movie, went though the basic steps and techniques of storyboarding. This guy was a riot! He was jumping around from the podium to the front of the audience waving and running around. It may have been a case of too much caffeine but McCaig was a great teacher, entertaining and informative at the same time.
Another really good part of the show is the "Z-Zone". It's a hands on area where you
can play with lots of new cool toys, and get some hands on time with animation tools like Lightwave6 and 3D Studio Max.
A force feeback device for "painting".
On Monday we were treated to the famous, or infamous, "Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation." It was an hour long collection of animations selected by Spike & Mike known for their, shall we say, offbeat and sick sense of humor. It was GREAT! A terrific collection of computer animation largely small independent efforts not the usual flying logo commercial stuff.
On Tuesday the show floor, the expo part of the conference opened up, and the "Big Kahuna Awards" so let's take a look.
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