SIGGRAPH 2019: Bringing the Community Together

This year marked the 46th SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques) in Los Angeles, the heart of the CG industry. With almost 20,000 attendees from around the world, SIGGRAPH is the largest conference on computer graphics art, animation and interactive techniques. My participation this year is slightly different than usual… I was more active in panels, studio visits as well as alumni outreach… Here are the highlights!

Representing the lead for the NYC Chapter of Women in Animation, I was part of the panel “"Building WIA Chapters: Vancouver, NYC, Montreal and More” within the Women in Animation Summit at SIGGRAPH. I got to share my experience co-leading the NYC chapter, my collaborations with other local organizations and the many challenges that the chapter is facing in its efforts to reach the goal of 50/50 by 2025. My SVA colleague, Jimmy Calhoun, chair of BFA Computer Art, was part of the panel “Supporting Students of Animation.” The panel discussed how to manage the cultural and technical challenges faced by students leaving animation schools and entering the workforce.


I was also part of the "Women in CG" panel where I shared the stage with Sidney Clifton, executive producer, Deluxe Animation Studios; Kaitlyn Yang, founder and visual effects supervisor, Alpha Studios; Katie Bouman, post-doctoral fellow, MIT; and moderator Diana Arellano, chair of ACM SIGGRAPH External Relations. It was such an honor to be sitting side-by-side with these outstanding female leads in their industry. I’ve learned just as much as the audience did by listening to their stories, where they came from and what led to where they are in their careers. Most important, we get to discuss what is still left to be done to support more women in their chosen fields.

Stepping out of the convention center, I got to visit several studios, including Buck LA, Frederator, Netflix, Bento Box Entertainment and Warner Brothers Animation. It did not come as a surprise that I ran into many familiar faces, SVA alumni and friends in the industry. However the highlight is indeed the moment when I finally got to meet Dony Permidi, the filmmaker for “Kiwi!” It is a 3D animated short about a kiwi bird’s journey on making the most effort to achieve their goal. Dony and I had corresponded many times over the course of several years and I finally got to meet him in person. What an honor! Thank you, all the studios for hosting us. Special thanks to Branko Kljajic (BFA 2017 Animation), who currently working as an animator, guided this special private tour.

Last but not least, there was the amazing SVA x SIGGRAPH reception where alumni and friends of the industry were all invited for conversation and inspiration. In addition to this reception, I also got many chances to meet with BFA Animation alumni across parts of LA. Thank you, everyone for coming out to reconnect!

Hsiang Chin Moe