In 2015 a “computer graphcis film show” may seem like something of a redundancy, since every Hollywood blockbuster uses computer graphics as a standard filmmaking tool, even in unlikely places. The summer hit “Mad Max: Fury Road” was vaunted for its non computer-reliant “practical effects” stunt work and its use of a fleet of more than 150 cars, most of which were destroyed during filming. Yet even for this movie, director George Miller used computer graphics heavily, to enhance landscapes, edit out the wires of stuntpeople, and to create a post-apocalyptic dust hurricane.
Miller and other filmmakers want their use of computer graphics to fade into the background, but one local film festival is putting digital visual sorcery front and center. The Princeton ACM/IEEE chapter will host its annual Computer Graphics Film Show on Thursday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Friend Center at Princeton University.
The film festival is a tradition that goes back to 1979, when filmmakers were just beginning to experiment with computer graphics, and which also happens to be the year Pixar was founded.
The films to be shown at the festival were selected by a jury to demonstrate advancements in graphics research, highlight creative visual effects, educate with scientific visualizations, and show the many uses of real-time game rendering engines. These graphics were created by large organizations and individuals, professional animators and students, on high-end supercomputers and ordinary personal computers.
This year, two special guests will give presentations. Adam Finkelstein, professor of computer science at Princeton is back to highlight the latest and greatest computer animations, direct from the ACM SIGGRAPH conference held this past summer in Anaheim, California.
The ACM/IEEE is also are hosting a “Celebration of Mind” event before the Film Show — “for people who love puzzles, math, Lewis Carroll, critical thinking, and/or intellectual challenges.” in celebration of the late Martin Gardner, a famous skeptic and Scientific American Mathematical Games columnist.
As part of the Celebration of Mind, Tony Bahri, professor of mathematics at Rider, will provide some mathematical and personal recollections regarding the late John Nash and also will include a variety of Gardner/Conway style mathematical anecdotes, along with a few words about his current research in topology, combinatorics and geometry.
The Gardner event will begin at 7:30 p.m., with the graphics video show starting around 8:15 p.m. For information, visit www.princetonacm.org or call 908-285-1066.