This year, after much consideration, the following companies and their respective technologies have earned the designation of best of show at the 43rd annual SIGGRAPH conference and exhibition:
AMD’s Radeon Pro WX Series: Professional graphics cards that are optimized for open-source software and tuned for the demands of modern content creation. Also, AMD’s Radeon Pro SSG: A transformative solution that will offer greater memory capacity for real-time postproduction.
Autodesk’s Maya 2017: Packed with many new features, including the Arnold renderer which was recently acquired by Autodesk, as well as new tools for animators, updates to the motion graphics toolset, and more.
Faceware’s Faceware Interactive technology: This new interactive division is focusing on hardware and software that will enable characters to interact with people in real time (ideal for controlling characters in VR).
Maxon’s Cinema 4D R18: A big new release featuring enhancements to the MoGraph toolset, including the new Voronoi fracture system, object tracking within the motion tracker, and more.
Meta Company’s Meta 2: Augmented-reality headset that may give Microsoft’s HoloLens a run for its money.
Nvidia’s Quadro P6000: A VR graphics card said to be the fastest pro card available, harnessing 3,840 Cuda cores. Kudos also for making Mental Ray available directly from Nvidia, running on the GPU. And, for its SDK updates, particularly VRWorks 360 SDK.
Pixar’s RenderMan 21: Touted as the biggest RenderMan release in years, V21 gives users access to some of the same technology used on the studio’s latest feature film, including access to shaders and light types. Also, Pixar announced the open-source release of Universal Scene Description (USD), technology used for the interchange of complex 3D graphics data through various DCC tools.
The Foundry’s Cara VR: A VR plug-in toolset for Nuke. Also, the company should be applauded for shipping Katana to Windows as well as Linux.
WorldViz’s VizConnect: For enabling multi-platform use of VR across multiple systems , including the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Special recognition: While not all of the game engine companies had a presence on the show floor, three in particular deserve special recognition for the work to their engines in advancing real-time graphics and interactivity: Epic Games, Unity Technologies, and Crytek.