The Computer Animation '97 Film Festival was held as part of this year's Telecom Interactive Conference and Exhibition in Geneva. The short-listed films had been shown all week on the CyberTheatre stand during the exhibition, but the Ceremony was the first chance to see all the films in a darkened room! The films were shown in two sessions (the running order is shown below) and in the interval there was a demonstration of Virtual Tennis'.
This involved two participants wearing Flock of Birds VR input devices and head mounted displays, one in Geneva and one at EPFL in Lausanne. The audience could see both players on the video screen, together with the autonomous (and therefore impartial) umpire. One complete game was played, with the Geneva player winning. This was an impressive demonstration of the state-of-art software developed by MIRALAB at the University of Geneva and LGI at EPFL. It proved that by using this advanced software these high-end interactive environments are just feasible with existing technology, and the next generation of such systems will be even more advanced.
Following the second session there was another demonstration of VR, this time a 'Cyberdance'. This was choreographed by Sebastien Milano and directed by Prof Nadia Magnenat Thalmann. It involved computer generated dancers interacting with human performers in real-time. During the performance, some CG dancers were driven by human input (via a Flock of Birds as before) and some were entirely computer generated. This was another extremely impressive performance and received rapturous applause from the large audience.
The final event was to present the awards. There were 6 awards, and these were presented as shown below. The 3D Special Effect award, which was won by the work of a University of Bradford student Bejamin Smith, was a statue by the artist Jean-Louis Perrot.