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Weta, Massive, Right Hemisphere to Tech Talk at SIGGRAPH

(July 29, 2004)

New Zealand companies will be featured at a very special panel session as part of the SIGGRAPH conference Tech Talk series, held this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center, August 10-13. Hosted by NZTE, the session, ?Middle Earth: Imagination Made More Real provides a presentation forum for talented New Zealand companies and will be moderated by Dr. Steve Upstill?a founding member of Pixar Animation Studios and a recent New Zealand immigrant. Dr. Upstill will lead representatives from Academy-AwardŽ winning visual effects facility WETA Digital; software developer Right Hemisphere; Sci-Tech Award-winning software developer Massive; and several others in a panel discussion and presentation of their respective technologies and productions.  In addition, WETA Digital will give a presentation of its remarkable effects work for The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King.
The Tech Talk will be held on Wednesday, August 11th from 4:00-6:00PM in Hall G, Room 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  NZTE will also be exhibiting at SIGGRAPH along with Computer Animation Technologies (CAT), Massive Software and Media Design School at booth #1958 throughout the conference, August 11-13.
New Zealand has become a world-leading location for feature film production and post-production. While The Lord of the Rings trilogy recently thrust New Zealand onto the global stage, the country has a history of innovation in computer graphics technology development and 3D and visual effects production.  Eleven companies from New Zealand will be represented at this years SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference.  In addition to WETA, Right Hemisphere and Massive, the list includes computer interface research lab, HIT Lab NZ; ARANZ, developer of handheld scanning devices; animation software developer CAT; effects studios Oktobor and Albedo; computer arts educator, Media Design School; and visual communications companies Truescape Visual Reality and Urban Voyage.  The Tech Talk will provide an opportunity to learn more about these companies, and to find out why New Zealand is such a hotbed for innovation in digital media technology and visual effects. 
The Tech Talk will feature presentations from Stephen Regelous, founder of Massive Software, Dr. Mark Billinghurst from HIT Lab, Matt Aitken from WETA Digital and representatives from several of the other above-mentioned companies. The session will be moderated by Dr. Steve Upstill, author of The Renderman Companion, and leading proponent of Pixars RenderMan? technology.  Upstill recently launched Box Rocket Animation, a Wellington-based computer animation studio.  He has been working in computer graphics for nearly a quarter century, and earned his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a founding member of the Berkeley Computer Graphics Laboratory.  He helped found Pixar Animation Studios in 1986 and contributed to two of the companys major CG productions, A Bugs Life and Toy Story 2.  Upstill later worked with WETA Digital as a shader writer for The Lord of the Rings films. To add to his rendering technology pedigree, Dr. Upstill also served as an advisor to the startup Exluna, Inc., which was acquired by NVIDIA.
The Tech Talk is open to anyone interested in attending; for more information about the Tech Talk or NZTE please visit  <> , for more information about SIGGRAPH 2004, please visit <> . 
About NZTE
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the New Zealand Governments trade and economic development agency. Using its global network of staff NZTE works with businesses to help grow their capability, profitability and international competitiveness. The organization also develop relationships with the international business community, helping buyers and investors access New Zealand products, services and investment opportunities. 

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