Siggraph 2016: A Look Back

Siggraph 2016 has come and gone and while we expected it to be a fun and exciting conference, we had no idea just how much we would learn and share. We had the opportunity to speak on a few panels and we received such a great response from people who are also looking towards the future and overcoming the hurdles of truly cloud-based creative collaboration. You see, Nimble Collective is moving animation production to the cloud. Not just files and data, but moving ALL the production to the cloud. We went to Siggraph to share what we have learned about making an “all in” streaming platform for animation and came away with a real sense that the Nimble platform is the future of online collaboration.

We hit the scene with 14,000 of our closest friends (you know … computer scientists, visual FX artists, etc.) as we marveled at seven foot, human-operated robots and headsets that gave you a “fly’s eye view” of the world with 360-degree vision. As always, the emerging technologies pavilion was a hub of amazing tech with a big focus on virtual reality and augmented reality. VR is a super exciting topic and one we are very interested in exploring. Looking at the current VR landscape has us excited for the future of not only watching animation immersed in a VR experience but creating animation using a VR interface. We’re really looking forward to exploring the VR creative space and seeing what the future holds.

Corban Gossett spoke at the ‘Blender Spotlight’ where he talked about the benefits of Blender and open source software being used on the Nimble Collective virtual streaming collaborative animation platform. Part of the power of Blender is giving users robust 3D software without breaking the budget and that fits in perfectly with our philosophy of breaking down barriers to allow anyone to create and be their own studio. The positive feedback we received and the compliments on our Blender animated short, Animal Facts #164 – The Chicken started some great discussions that continued on long after the presentation including an invitation by Ton Roosendaal to visit the Blender Institute during the next Blender Conference (in Amsterdam? Yes please!)

chickenJason Schleifer talked about the Nimble platform and mentioned how it allows you to work where and how you want, even on a couch, with a Chromebook (and in a chicken suit if you like). He also showcased our own in-house animated short during his talk at the ‘Remote Studio Productions – Online Collaboration’ panel. Animal Facts #164: The Chicken – Extended Cut was a hit and was a great example of what can be accomplished on the Nimble platform with a small, internationally distributed team, even in its current alpha form. Additionally, the audience resonated about the ability to create high-quality animation through a web browser on a Chromebook. It was heartening to see what else was presented at the panel and left us excited to see the online collaboration space expanding and being embraced.

With many artists and creators looking for ways to take back control of their careers and work where they wanted, cloud computing and virtual pipelines were one of the hot topics. As it turned out, while most folks were still discussing uploading and syncing files in the cloud, our “all-in” cloud approach is exactly the sort of thing cloud computing is transitioning to. Instead of moving files back and forth, each member of the production team accesses the software, files, models, scenes and the entire pipeline IN the cloud. No software to download and install. Just access your projects and team with through the use of a web browser and an internet connection.

As we walked the conference floor and attended the talks, we always kept our ears open for interesting conversations around pipeline management and cloud computing. After our presentations, we were approached by quite a few companies interested in what we had to say about the future of online collaboration and it was energizing to get to toss ideas and concepts back and forth with some truly amazing minds who were solving the same problems we were.

When we arrived we were interested in listening to the conversation around online collaboration and pipelines in the cloud, and by the time we left, we ended up being a big part of the conversation, and we couldn’t be happier.  We left Siggraph 2016 with a renewed sense of purpose and feeling confident that we truly are going to change the way people create and distribute their animated content!

Barry T. Smith
Barry T. Smith
As Nimble Collective's Content Marketing Ninja, Barry is responsible for bringing Nimble news and goodness to all the animating boy and girls of the world. And he does it through the power of the Internet, and not a rickety 'ol sleigh and tiny reindeer.

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