SIGGRAPH launches in London with free talks and mentoring opportunities

ACM SIGGRAPH has opened in the UK with a bang, hosting free talks and an animation challenge at HP ZED.

This content has been brought to you in association with HP ZED, a 'pop up shop' for creatives in London's Soho from 29 September - 10 October 2014. Register for HP ZED today!

It may have a clunky name (it stands for Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group for Computer Graphics). But ACM SIGGRAPH is a non-profit organisation every CG artist needs to know about. Best known for its mammoth annual gatherings in Canada and China, it's also hosts local events in cities around the world. And now, finally, it's set up shop in the UK.

London ACM SIGGRAPH may be newly minted, but it's wasting no time at all in organising top events to bring artists around the city together.

And one of the most exciting is a forthcoming Bring Your Own Animation (BYOA) event held at HP ZED, the 'pop up shop for artists' at The Vinyl Factory in the heart of Soho.

BYOA (Bring Your Own Animation) will team up with London ACM SIGGRAPH at HP ZED for a very special animation challenge

In this exciting live animation collaboration, eight artists will be challenged to create a short animation on a set theme over two days (Tuesday, 30th September and Wednesday, 1st October).

Leading figures from some of the world's top studios will advise, and the final film will be screened on the final day of HP ZED.

This will be a great chance for aspiring animators to work under the supervisions of seasoned professionals. If you are a student, London ACM SIGGRAPH can provide additional information for your university to allow you to attend this event during term-time.

New animators can register for their chance to compete in this unique challenge using this form. (And if you're already a seasoned pro, then tell anyone you know about this great opportunity!).

Dreamworks presentation

DreamWorks' Shelley Page will be speaking next Wednesday

The new London chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH has also secured a bit of a coup in the form of a talk by Shelley Page of DreamWorks Animation.

Page sits on many international festivals and graduation awards juries every year and, in the course of these events, she collects her personal favourites into a special screening.

Next Wednesday (17 September), from 7.30-9pm, she'll be bringing this 'Eye Candy' show to London's Courthouse Hotel. You'll find details of the event and how to get free tickets here.

Disney legend

Disney legend Glen Keane will speak on Tuesday 23 September

Another forthcoming event from London ACM SIGGRAPH will comes from Disney veteran and animation legend Glen Keane, who presents his latest short film, Duet on Tuesday 23rd September, at Curzon Soho (7.30-9pm).

It's the first traditionally animated film in Google's Spotlight Stories series, where films are designed to be experienced on mobile devices with viewer interaction. Another free event, you can register for tickets here.

The making of London ACM SIGGRAPH

It all adds up to flying start for London ACM SIGGRAPH, which is chaired by Benoit Terminet Schuppon, a French artist working for Double Negative as a matchmove supervisor and Generalist.

"I used to study in Paris and they had a SIGGRAPH chapter there," he explains. "They really helped me to get a sense of the community and sharing knowledge and seeing people present their work – it was pretty cool. But when I came to London three years ago there wasn't anything like that, other than private groups that you'd have to get invited to.

"What's different about SIGGRAPH is its openness. Everyone in the industry is encouraged to get involved, and talks and events are free wherever that's possible."

Benoit Terminet Schuppon

But while people responded positively to his notion of starting a London branch of ACM SIGGRAPH, it took a while to convince anyone to get involved, he explains. "In my first job I was quite junior, and while everyone thought it was a good idea, nobody really took me seriously," Schuppon admits.

Then in 2013, he attended HP ZED and it reignited his enthusiasm for the project. "I was really happy to see there was something like HP ZED, because it reminded me of how SIGGRAPH events were in Paris," he smiles. "It was open, a lot of events were happening, a lot of people were speaking, there was creative collaboration and it was a great place to speak to and meet people."

Now more established in his career, Schuppon discussed the idea of opening a London ACM SIGGRAPH with some of the people he met at ZED, and got a much more positive response. Now the momentum was unstoppable...

Get involved

Others who've since come on board - all profesionals working in VFX and motion graphics or studying at university - include vice chair Youen Leclerc, secretary Sonja Geracsek, treasurer Sullivan Richard and board members Francois-Maxence Desplanques, Fiona Rivera, Tom Feist-Wilson, Lisa Taylor, Nicolas Rigaud, Benoit Leveau and Rob Pieké.

The London based chapter will be hosting events for anyone interested in video games, motion graphics, animation, visual effects and computer graphics research. They're planning further events over the next few months that will range from informal networking evenings to talks by industry professionals.

The nascent London ACM SIGGRAPH team would welcome any business, organisation, or individual who would like to help them drive things forward - find out more and get in touch here.

Register for HP ZED today!

This content has been brought to you in association with HP ZED, a 'pop up shop' for creatives in London's Soho from 29 September - 10 October 2014.

With talks, tutorials and creativity sessions brought to you by top experts from leading studios like Framestore, Double Negative and MPC, as well as HP, Intel and Nvidia, it's going to be a must-attend event for anyone working in motion graphics, animation or 3D. Find out more here!


Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he’s worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella. Follow him on Twitter @tom_may.