Last night we attended the final ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver Chapter  seminar for the season, and what a treat it was. Guest speaker Sharon Calahan, Director of Photography/Lighting for Pixar Animation Studios gave a presentation on the lighting processes used in Pixar’s animated film Ratatouille, which was followed with a special screening of a 35mm print of Ratatouille.
Beginning with the research and philosophies that went into the development of Ratatouille and walking the audience through the processes she and her team implemented to achieve the rich appearance of the film, Sharon lead us on a wonderful journey of passion and challenges. Having the ability to learn from the masters in the industry always lends to more appreciation for the talent and processes behind the scenes of any digital media piece which many of the general public never get a chance to learn about.
Sharon’s willingness to share with us her view of the world, and her visions for how Pixar’s films are presented gave much insight into how the developers work through project, paying attention to the very smallest of details. While I have a big appreciation for the talents and end-products of our local game developers, I have a whole new appreciation for those who add those subtle finishing touches such as lighting. I also came away with a new level of ways to view the world around us and ways to pick up the subtle nuances that appear daily around us. As a photographer, I learned a few new methods which I will soon try to put into practice in a variety of shot subjects.
This seminar was a great event to end the season with, and I would like to take a moment to thank the many hardworking SIGGRAPH chapter volunteers who put on these events for us, and of course many thanks to the event sponsors for supporting these seminars: Sophia Books , 31337 Recruiters.com , Softimage , Annex|Pro , vanarts , Vancouver Film School  and Stash Media .
There are many incredible seminars and conferences to look forward to this Fall when the chapter restarts its season, and I know at least two of us who are looking forward to attending The Making of Ironman and the Spark Festivals. Check our Upcoming Events  page for a full list of upcoming events, and if you aren’t already a member of the ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver Chapter , what’s stopping you? It’s an incredible value for only $35.00 per year, and you get to be involved with a growing and thriving group of very talented people.