Author Archive

Meeting Highlights for March 27, 2014

by on Apr.10, 2014, under News

The DC Chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH would like to thank Christy Spangler, an animator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), for her insightful lecture on forensics reconstruction animation. Christy discussed how she uses various data sources such as photos, diagrams, photogrammetry, and point cloud data to create forensics animations of accident scenes. Her animations are created using Autodesk Softimage, Adobe Illustrator, along with other specialized applications. Christy showed several animations from various cases she has worked on which were intriguing yet disturbing due to the nature of the events. Thanks again to Christy and we look forward to having here return in the future!

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Medical Visualization Meeting – April 10, 2014

by on Apr.07, 2014, under Events

Medical Visualization
Thursday, April 10, 2014
7:00 PM

US Patent & Trademark Office Headquarters – Remsen Building
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA (map)

Price: $5.00/per person for non-members

On Thursday, April 10, DC SIGGRAPH will hear two presentations on medical visualization. Please join us as we hear presentations from Melissa Sisk at Hybrid Medical Animation in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Onyx Lee, a local medical animator at VueCare Media in Columbia, Maryland.

The first presentation will be via webcast
from Melissa Sisk, a Biomedical Animator and Illustrator, at Hybrid Medical Animation in Minnesota. Hybrid is the nation’s top medical and scientific 3D animation studio. For more than 15 years, they have created award-winning work for pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, and medical marketing companies of all sizes. Since 1998 Hybrid has grown to include video producers, illustrators, designers and over 12 medical animators to create their dynamic scientific animations. From detailed surgical procedures to extensive drug or device mode-of-action presentations to broadcast features, their range is wide and devoted entirely to medical and scientific imaging. Melissa has a M.S. in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.S. in Physiology from Michigan State University. She is skilled in Maya, ZBrush and 3Ds Max. She is also skilled at compositing, illustration and Data

See more at: http://www.melissasisk.com/ or http://www.hybridmedicalanimation.c…h.VoAtuRMm.dpuf

The second half of the presentation will be from Onyx Lee. Onyx is an animator at VueCare Media. VueCare delivers digital patient education & marketing tools to eye care providers. They create digital signage systems and interactive animations that educates patients as well as video library videos to add to
websites. Onyx creates Scientific Animations, Product Designer & Developer, and is also a Private Broadcaster. He has experience with 3D Modeling and Animations using 3dsMax, Zbrush, and V-Ray; 2D Graphic Design and Web Design; and 2D Video Production. He is also knowledgeable in Non-Linear Editing, Special
Effects, Motion Graphics, and After Effects. In addition, Onyx created the “Zbrush Model & Texture Techniques Handbook” from Tsinghua University Press.

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An Evening with Christy Spangler – Forensic Animator NTSB – March 27

by on Feb.26, 2014, under Events

An Evening with Christy Spangler – Forensic Animator NTSB

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 7:00 PM


US Patent & Trademark Office Headquarters – Remsen Building

600 Dulany Street

Alexandria, VA (map)




Price: $5.00/per person for non-members


On Thursday, March 27th, DC_SIGGRAPH will hear a presentation from Christy Spangler. Christy is an animator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). She will be talking about the 3D animations she has created for the National Transportation Safety Board.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent agency charged with determining the probable cause of transportation accidents and promoting transportation safety. The improvement of safety to the nation’s transportation system requires prompt, thorough, and valid investigations of accidents, incidents, and other anomalies in order to identify issues, determine the probable cause and recommend improvements. A large volume of highly complex and diverse data can frequently obscure the relationships between vehicle performance, human operator inputs, and the traffic system. Investigators must piece together and integrate these data to understand the causes and contributing factors of the accident and then explain these facts to policy makers and the general public to promote the safety recommendations in order to improve transportation safety.



The NTSB will often integrate the accident data into 3D animations to reconstruct and illustrate accident sequences so that the audience can visualize and better understand the events leading up to the accident, the probable cause and the identification of safety issues. These animations factually and faithfully present the accident sequence based on measured, recorded, and calculated data.



This presentation will highlight some of the animations developed for aviation and rail, and discuss the different styles and methods used to present the accident data so that the audience can visualize and better understand the events leading up to the accident, the probable cause and the identification of safety issues.


Additionally, an example of an educational style of animation describing bridge structure that was produced in 2008 will be shown. Finally, Christy will discuss what’s next in 2014.



Speaker Bio:

Since 1986, Christy Spangler has worked in the creative field holding a variety of positions in digital media, graphic design, freelance art and prepress production. Employed at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in 2002, Mrs. Spangler was designing engineering, promotional and multimedia graphics. In 2004, she was involved in the development of the Animation Lab and currently serves as an Engineering Graphics Specialist responsible for developing accident reconstruction animations. Mrs. Spangler has specialized training and experience in traditional fine arts, photography, graphic design, 3D computer animation including scientific, medical and character, 2D motion graphics, multimedia design, and digital video production.


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Meeting Highlights for Feb. 6, 2014

by on Feb.14, 2014, under News

DC ACM SIGGRAPH Meeting – February 6, 2014


DC ACM SIGGRAPH would like to thank Akin Bilgic for being the featured presenter at the most recent meeting. Akin discussed his background in the area of 3D modeling and rendering along with insights into the challenges of being a freelance artist. He also presented work from his portfolio then discussed how he approached modeling challenges. We look forward to Akin being a featured presenter again in the future.


Chapter elections were conducted during the meeting. The following is a list of the board members and their positions:


Chair – Roberto Ortiz

Vice Chair – Chris Rahaim

Secretary – Mark Jette

Treasurer – Holly Bloom


Congratulations to Onyx Lee who was chosen as the winner for the LightWave 3D giveaway.

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An Evening with Akin Bilgic(Freelance Artist and ZBrush Modeler) – Feb. 6

by on Feb.05, 2014, under Events

An Evening with Akin Bilgic (Freelance Artist and ZBrush Modeler)

WHEN: Thursday, February 6, 2014 from  7 – 9pm

WHERE: US Patents & Trademarks Office – Jefferson Building

600 Dulany Street

Alexandria, VA 22314



RSVP to RobertoOrtiz1@yahoo.com


Happy New Year!  DC SIGGRAPH has an exciting year lined up!  But first we must elect our officers! Since we did not have a quorum at our last meeting, we will have elections at this one. If you are interested in holding an office please come to the meeting!

DC_SIGGRAPH invites you to another round of informal Q&A and VFX workflow demonstration with our very own Akin Bilgic, who is in town visiting from San Francisco, CA.  Akin is freelance Modeler / Generalist TD who has since gone on to work for a variety of studios including Moonbot, Laika, and Walt Disney Animation.

You can view some of Akin’s work at his site: CGGallery.com

Akin will give live workflow demonstrations and help answer questions on topics including Modeling, Texturing/Shading, Lighting/Rendering, and Compositing for Animation and VFX pipelines.

He’ll also share his experiences working in the industry and being a freelance artist. The presentation will be left open and fluid – with an emphasis on addressing audience questions.

And as a New Year gift – one lucky member will receive a FREE copy of Lightwave 3D animation software!

Please Note we will be charging $5.00 for non-members. (See policy change announcement below.)

We hope you will join us for this informal gathering.

RSVP to RobertoOrtiz1@yahoo.com (continue reading…)

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Holiday Networking Event and Elections – December 19, 2013

by on Dec.10, 2013, under Events

When: Thursday, December 19 from 7:00 pm to 9:00pm

Where: US Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 – (Knox Building)

Washington DC ACM SIGGRAPH would like to invite you to attend our end of the year event! Join us for holiday treats, a chance to socialize/network and vote for our new chapter leaders! We will also be discussing an new policy change to our chapter in the New Year.

Washington DC ACM SIGGRAPH is currently accepting nominations for the following positions:  Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.  Please email us if you are interested in volunteering for a position at dc_siggraph@mail.com or robertoortiz1@yahoo.com.  The main requirement is that you have the passion and some time to help create an amazing year for the chapter!  Information about the duties and responsibilities of each member is located here: http://wp.siggraph.org/washington/bylaws/

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would still like to volunteer for a position, please drop us an email and your name will be added to the ballot.

See you there!

(continue reading…)

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Washington DC ACM SIGGRAPH: Intro to Unity 3D (Redux)

by on Nov.18, 2013, under Events, News

When: Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 7:00 pm to 9:30pm

Where: US Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 – (Remsen Building)

Washington DC ACM SIGGRAPH is having a repeat performance of our Unity presentation.  We have resolved our technical difficulties from our previous Unity meeting and would like to invite you hear Taro Omiya present an introduction to Unity 3D.  Unity is a game development software with a powerful rendering engine. It is fully integrated with a complete set of tools to create interactive 3D content and multiplatform publishing. Taro will present an overview of the software.

Taro Omiya is an indie game developer that works for e4 Software and his own studio, Omiya Games.  He has been developing games with Unity 3D since 2010.  His latest games are SWARM! (available on iPad and Amazon App Store) and Touch Yoga (available on Google Play).

Attendees are welcome to load Unity on their laptop and bring it as well to follow along with Taro’s presentation.  You can download a Free Full Version for Windows with Unity Pro and Android trials from here: http://unity3d.com/unity/download/.

For those interested in seeing the presentation early, I have it available at Google Docs:


Note you’ll want to download and unzip the intro project zip file ahead of time:


Please RSVP to  robertoortiz1@yahoo.com.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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DC ACM SIGGRAPH Potluck and 2013 Keynote Thursday, Oct. 24

by on Oct.18, 2013, under Events

DC ACM SIGGRAPH Potluck and 2013 Keynote
When: Thursday, October 24, 2013  from 6:30pm to 9pm (6:30-7:00 networking/potluck, 7-8:30 showtime!)
Where: US Patent and Trademark Office –  Remsen Building
RSVP:  robertoortiz1@yahoo.com

Due to the government shutdown, subsequent reopening and the current state of the local economy, DC ACM SIGGRAPH would like to host a potluck dinner for our chapter members.  Bring a dish to share or contribute $5.00 for pizza and soda and join us as we watch the inspirational SIGGRAPH 2013 keynote presentation.

At the SIGGRAPH 2013 conference, nine legendary animation film directors climbed the stage at the Marc Davis Lecture Series: Giants’ First Steps. For an hour and a half, the men shared stories and laughs, providing the audience a rare glimpse into the lives of some of the biggest names in the animation world.

The giants (Ron Clements, Pete Docter, Eric Goldberg, Kevin Lima, Mike Mitchell, Chris Sanders, Henry Selick, David Silverman and Kirk Wise) were interviewed onstage by Randy Haberkamp of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In addition to providing amusing behind-the-scenes anecdotes, the men opened up about their earliest attempts at animation and the evolution of their careers. Toward the end of the address, the animators also divulged a few pieces of valuable advice for students.

Join us for some food and inspiration on Thursday, October 24 as we endure these trying times.

See you there!

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Computer Animation Festival screening September 26, 2013

by on Sep.10, 2013, under Events

Computer Animation Festival screening Sept. 26

When: Thursday, September 26, 2013  from 6:30pm to 9pm (6:30-7:00 networking, 7-9 showtime!)

Where: US Patent and Trademark Office –  Jefferson Building
RSVP:  robertoortiz1@yahoo.com

The Computer Animation Festival is back!  After a year-long hiatus, the Washington DC ACM SIGGRAPH is happy to announce we will be presenting the 2013 SIGGRAPH Video Review / Computer Animation Festival (CAF) on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at the US Patent and Trademark Office. The SIGGRAPH Video Reviews showcase some of the year’s most dazzling and innovative collection of submitted works selected by a distinguished jury of computer graphics experts and specialists. SIGGRAPH’s Computer Animation Festival celebrates its 40th year as the world’s leading festival of the most innovative and accomplished computer graphics. For those of you who were unable to attend the SIGGRAPH conference this is your chance to see some of the amazing animation presented there.  Please let Roberto (robertoortiz1@yahoo.com) know if you plan to attend so we can plan for refreshments.

To see a trailer of the CAF event click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAGbcxiHZ9E

See you there!

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SIGGRAPH Re-cap and Social Event

by on Aug.06, 2013, under Events

When: Thursday, August 15, 2013 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Where: US Patent and Trademark Office

600 Dulany Street – (building TBD)

Alexandria, VA 22314

RSVP: robertoortiz1@yahoo.com

DC_SIGGRAPH would like to invite you to a SIGGRAPH conference de-brief and schwag exchange! For those of you that did not get to go to the SIGGRAPH conference in Anaheim our own Roberto Ortiz will be sharing his experiences and insights from the conference!  He will also be giving away fun “schwag” he procured from the conference. Whether or not you made it to Anaheim, please join us for a post-conference social event!

DC_SIGGRAPH invites you to join us for an information exchange social event at the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, August 15, from 7:30 –9:30 pm. If you attended the conference, share your experiences with those who could not attend this year. Bring your laptop and flash drives and exchange photos. Show off your coveted Pixar teapot or other fun give-aways! Tell us about the cool parties we missed! If you couldn’t make it, sit back and hear a re-cap from Roberto’s perspective!

See you there!

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