There’s lots to see and lots to like. Here are a few things you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home, if you’re not here baking in the sun or shivering in the AC (well, it’s not so bad, but I someday imagine a SIGGRAPH where I don’t feel the need to carry a sweater, just in case).
First, the “Are We Done with Ray Tracing?” course – spoiler: no. The talks were great, and I particularly enjoyed Morgan McGuire’s, since I love to see people predict the future. Little did he realize back then that we’d all have embedded holographic displays in the backs of our necks by 2035… Anyway, the course notes are all here: https://sites.google.com/view/arewedonewithraytracing – something of a record for getting them online, surpassed only by the Path Tracing in Production folks, who have their course notes for this year available before their courses on Wednesday: https://jo.dreggn.org/path-tracing-in-production/2019/index.html – and note that Stephen Hill has already begun gathering SIGGRAPH 2019 links.
Next, I happened upon this lovely, not at all disturbing work by Weta Workshop, Poster #72, just outside the exhibition floor past the ping-pong table. They’ll be back with these 3D printed eyes on Wednesday, from 12:15 to 1:15 pm, unless some unspeakable horror consumes them first. Honestly, these look amazing. I hadn’t realized such a thing was possible, modeling volume-like structures and printing them.
One more: Eric Lengyel and the second volume of his series on game engine development, on Rendering (Amazon link). From my quick skim, it looks good, a textbook covering a lot of the basics of color science, the camera, culling, shading, lighting, and more, with code snippets throughout, and API agnostic. See his website, and if you’re at SIGGRAPH, visit him at booth 620. Cool part: he turned in the final manuscript to Amazon’s print on demand last Thursday, had printed books in hand by Monday!