SIGGRAPH offers powerful digital media conference networkingby on Jun 9, 2017
In early May, Digital Media students at Gavilan College learned about SIGGRAPH, the industry standard annual conference for computer graphics and digital interactive techniques.
During more than four decades, SIGGRAPH has offered aspiring professionals demos, educational sessions, networking and hands-on interactivity. Jerome Solomon and Julius Dobos, two instructors from Cogswell College, detailed the benefits of the conference and expectations of the digital media industry.
In an industry where portfolio matters more than GPA, the presenters described the attributes of the companies involved in digital media creation, branding and software, which include Unity, Autodesk, Weta Digital, Magic Leap, Obscura, and Neurable. Their advice: apply and submit your work to every digital festival you can.
Corporations, brands and video products require digital media skills to convey
their messages across many platforms.
Digital media, a mix of art and technology, requires that students know Python programming. Beyond that, every company in the field has concepts in development in virtual reality (VR). Game studios are developing with no physical location, and tools are changing because platforms now operate in the cloud.
For Digital Media students in Career Technical Education (CTE) at Gavilan College, keeping up with rapid industry changes is essential. The SIGGRAPH conference, July 30 through August 3, 2017, offers attendees the opportunity to network with more than 15,000 professionals as well as the major companies that operate the studios, build the software and develop the tools used in the industry. Imagine standing in line for coffee and striking up a conversation with a studio head from Pixar.
Networking offers opportunities for students and aspiring professionals to work on a project. Students can try out potential employers during internships, and companies present opportunities for students to prove their abilities. Both Solomon and Dobos described the student portfolios as highly professional, reflecting hours of effort invested in their digital media work.
According to Dobos, audio is everywhere. He showed an animated clip with just visuals. In successive replays he added dialogue, then a musical score, sound effects, and finally played all the layers on top of the video, illustrating audio's impact on the overall story. Beyond entertainment, audio is in all new technology: cars, music, speakers, devices, low battery warnings, seatbelt warnings.
Attending conferences such as SIGGRAPH puts students in touch with professionals working in the field. They can showcase their portfolios and make connections. Professionals can spot the people who can adapt to the work expectations and transition from student to professional. Attending the afternoon presentation and engaging in the Q & A, Gavilan students learned there is job growth in high-end simulation skills, gaming, VR, gaming in education and mobile applications.
Digital Media instructor Phil Williams, Cogswell instructor Julius Dobos, CTE Dean
Sherrean Carr, Digital Media specialist Zachary Daulton, and Cosgwell instructor
Jerome Solomon after the presentation.
Surround systems are 30 year old technology, streaming is 16 year old technology, and audio/music applications are 10 year old technology. The future? Interactive audio, augmented reality, virtual reality and 360 audio.
Gavilan's digital media students are learning the tools to create the future.