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Siggraph 2006: Eugene's Exhibition Retrospective


S2006_PC_leftRGB.jpgBart filmed several of the demos at the booth but I don't know how well they turned out.  I can only hope that we will be able to post some of the demos so everyone can experience them.  In the mean time, and before we return to our regular news posts, I would like to highlight my Siggraph experience.  (In all fariness to myself, there is some "news" below.)

The Open Source Pavilion was astounding.  Inkscape, GIMP, Jahshaka, Gnome, Uni-Verse, Aqsis, and Blender, all standing on the same red carpet of booth 1527.  The booth was manned and visited by the greatest people one can meet, so that alone was worth the trip.  Being located right in front of one of the main entrances I was truly amazed at the volume of people that were at the booth with interest in one or all of the applications that were being showcased.  And there was continued presence of people coming to the demos presented on the big screen.  We had a 9 seat “theater” for the demos and there was also usually a crowd just outside of the booth's perimeter watching intently.  All the demos were great but let me tell you about four.

  1. One demo that stands out to me was when Andy (@ndy) was going to do the same modeling demo he had done throughout the exhibition (going over all the tools Blender has), but instead decided to not speak at all, and just freestyle a model from scratch using Blender's modeling tools.  Within 20 minutes he had created a beautifully modeled organic alien face that kept those attending the demo absolutely riveted.  Everyone was quietly watching and their eyes never left the screen.  Of course, all the demos caused that response thanks to all the presenters knowing their material and showing that Blender is professional grade.
  2. Bobby Parker (Sh0rtWave) gave demos on Aqsis (an Open Source implementation of the Renderman standard) and using it with Blender.  The functionality that Sh0rtWave has built is unbelievable and when the Blender to Renderman script he has devised is released it will be an amazing addition to your workflow.
  3. Groo showed off the fluid simulation a few times which was always a crowd pleaser. For the final demo he added some demo videos from Mike Pan (mpan3) which you should definitely take a look at.  Mike also has some of the sims in .blend form as well.  Also, Bart and Groo discovered that you can animate a fluid inflow to either leave the domain or scale it to nothingness to turn-off the inflow at a specific frame.
  4. The Uni-Verse team had several demo slots and Eskil always delivered a great performance.  If you haven't learned about Verse already, now is the time.  At Siggraph, the Verse team was visited by companies both large a small, and given Verse's unique abilities it certainly drew a wide array of people to the Open Source booth.

Almost the entirety of the 3D applications attending Siggraph had demos and computers set up, but we had the most machines and most staff (from what I counted) for the explicit purpose of individually walking anyone through any of Blender's features that was interested or walked by.  The highlight for me was meeting Blender users from all around the world, and all over the forums, and even some that used to use Blender but haven't seen it lately – suffice to say, they were impressed.  Even after three days, I still needed to call some people by their BA names, luckily I didn't have that problem with some (ahem – Bob Holcomb (aka bob_holcomb)).  Those attending Siggraph that visited the booth were always impressed with all the applications, and my favorite response to the most asked question “What operating system is Blender for,” was invariably “All.”  Though in retrospect I could have used Marlon Brando's response from the “The Wild One” question “What are you rebelling against?” to which Brando replied “What've you got?”

I thought our presence at the exhibition was also refreshing for Siggraph because we weren't trying to sell anything.  The booth crew showed what the applications could do and how great they were not because we were being paid or would get a commission, but because we love it.  And I think that was the biggest difference between us and “the rest.”

About the Author


Just a guy really into 3D, especially where Blender is concerned.


  1. Hey this is like the Orange blog. I have to keep checking on it.
    Thanks for your well written report Eugene and great work Siggraph guys.
    Waiting for the next movie to be posted :o)
    Go Blender!

  2. Thomas Vecchione on

    Thanks much for trying to record the demos.

    I actually heard about Verse some time ago, but yall made me take another look at it, I am curious, have they got their realtime audio simulation up and running yet? That by itself would be an invaluable tool for me as a live theater sound designer to be able to take a model given to me as a dxf, import it into blender, put speakers with possible data from the files released for EASE into the verse system along with the above dxf, and then be able to acoustically model a theater before I even get to it. I was already using blender for some basic lighting designs with the ray tracer, this would be even better for me(Not to mention using blender for basic drafts as well would be great once they get units and snaps in;)

    Also example 1 is exactly what I tihnk is so great, just how fast you can work will leave people spellbound and may encourage some to overcome the steep interface learning curve in blender to truly show what it can do. Thank you again for doing that as well, and I am glad to see it was very appreciated.

    As always have fun!


  3. Timothy Wallis on

    "“What are you rebelling against?” to which Brando replied “What’ve you got?”" I love it!!!!!
    It fits, so well with what Open Source is all about.

  4. That reminds me... one of my favorite things about Blender has always been its cooool "real time" radiosity rendering tool. And I always wanted to be able to bake those vertex colors to a texture, and 2.42a (or possibly sooner) finally maintains the UV coordinates of the collected meshes so we can stop using sloppy python scripts to copy vertex colors. So many suprises come with bug releases! Now I'm compelled to read the whole list of fixes! :D

  5. Hi ! Eugene, Bart, and everyone spending time to provide us this great source of informations, Thanks a lot for these detailed reports of the Siggraph !

    All these news are very interesting, and I'm very happy to see the interest of a large amount of people to Blender and Open softwares.

    Thanks again !


  6. Is there any mirror for mike pan's demo videos? They seem very interesting, but the downloads seem to work *very* slow right now.

  7. I think they are always that slow, 'cause its a homeserver, but they're definetely worth the wait. A mirror would be cool though.

  8. Yes, thanks for all the reports BlenderNation. It makes me feel like I was there. And it's been great to see such great ambassadors for the Blender community spreading the word.

    Well done everyone.

  9. Damn, everytime my site appears on BlenderNation I get a call from my ISP:D Not that it's a bad thing but looks like I really need a faster connection. Meanwhile, Sorry for everybody that had to wait hours to get a hold of the videos.

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