SIGGRAPH 2013 will bring thousands of computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from five continents to Anaheim, California, for one of the most respected technical and creative programs focusing on industry and academic topics encompassing research, science, art, animation, music, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web. SIGGRAPH 2013 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from July 23rd to 25th 2013.

SIGGRAPH 2013 is shaping up to be another exciting edition for Imagination. We have several presentations lined up from members of our PowerVR and Caustic teams that will give you exclusive insight into our core technologies. On top of that, we are participating in several panels and courses that will debate where the industry should be heading next in mobile graphics.

Building a low-power, ray tracing architecture for mobile

One of the areas we’ll be talking a lot about is ray tracing – the primary technique used by movie studios and post production houses in Hollywood for special effects rendering. By modelling the physics of light, ray tracing is the only way to achieve photorealism for interactive content without blowing your budget to pre-bake the effects. It allows the seamless blending of captured real life with computer-generated images, enabling the inevitable next step in the evolution of 3D graphics hardware.


Real-time ray tracing in mobile applications has been considered one of the main opportunities for the user experience to evolve significantly moving forward. An important part of the SIGGRAPH 2013 course, “Ray Tracing is the Future and Ever Will Be”, focuses on the advances in hardware for ray tracing applications on mobile platforms. This course will be held on Monday (July 22nd) at 2:00 p.m. and features James McCombe, director of research at Imagination and one of Caustic’s co-founders, as part of a session presenting the state-of-the-art in ray tracing technology.

Caustic visualizer War Shark SIGGRAPH 2013‘War Shark’ was created by Anthony Ward for Digital Tutors using our Caustic Visualizer and Series2 ray tracing boards

You can see James again on Wednesday (July 24th) taking part in a panel discussion titled, “New Directions and Developments in Mobile GPU Design”, where you can learn how semiconductor companies are taking full advantage of the latest GPU design technologies and implementations to bring advanced graphics to smartphone and tablet users.

Session: “The architecture of high-end mobile graphics hardware”

We’ll  highlight the key aspects of PowerVR GPUs during a one-hour session on Wednesday (July 24th) starting from 2:15 p.m., including information on the new PowerVR Series6 architecture. Kristof Beets, senior business development manager for PowerVR, will provide an overview of how the hardware works, including details on how we achieve high performance and low power designs through an efficient balance of features and computing resources. A comparison between PowerVR Series6 and previous generations as well as other conventional GPU solutions is also included in the presentation.

Tech Talk: “Accelerating look development with the Caustic Visualizer real-time, interactive ray traced viewports”

During this tech talk, Mads Drøschler of FreakyNest and Daniel Levesque from Imagination will discuss real-time use of the Caustic Series2 ray tracing hardware and Caustic Visualizer viewport plugins for Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max to help users make better-informed creative choices in their modelling and lighting pipelines.

Caustic visualizer Electric Car model SIGGRAPH 2013 The ‘Switch Vehicle Electric Car Concept’ was created by Max Sims with our Caustic Visualizer and Series2 ray tracing boards

Caustic Visualizer is a plug-in that enables artists to replace their rasterized viewport in Autodesk Maya 2012-2014 and 3ds Max 2012-2014 with a fully ray-traced viewport. Visualizer viewports provide a much higher degree of visual fidelity over raster graphics, including accurate global illumination, reflections, refractions and shadows.

In the Imagination booth

Joining us in Imagination’s booth (stand 351) will be Mads Drøschler of Freaky Nest and Gavin Greenwalt of StraightFace Studios, who will showcase the commercial VFX and arch-viz projects they’ve created with the Caustic Visualizer and Series2 cards. Additionally, for one hour each morning and one hour each afternoon, Steven Roselle of Autodesk will showcase how he uses the Visualizer and Series2 card in his Maya workflow. We will be offering a sneak preview of Caustic Visualizer for Autodesk Maya v1.2 and Caustic Visualizer for 3ds Max 1.0, so make sure you drop by for a chance to experience hands-on the new features we’ve added to our software packages.

In addition to our sessions, tech talks and on-booth activities on our ray tracing technology, we will be demonstrating the graphics and compute features of our market-leading PowerVR GPUs. Demonstrations will include OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenCL demos, including GPU compute applications for rigid body physics, image processing, fluid dynamics, and many more running on PowerVR Series6-based devices.

rigid body physics PowerVR SIGGRAPH 2013

Our Developer Technology team will be on-site showing the latest improvements to the PowerVR Graphics SDK v3.1 which delivers advanced programming tools for developers.

Stay tuned to our Twitter accounts (@ImaginationPR, @PowerVRInsider and @CausticGraphics) for more details and live tweeting from the show.

About the author: Alex Voica

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Before deciding to pursue his dream of working in technology marketing, Alexandru held various engineering roles at leading semiconductor companies in Europe. His background also includes research in computer graphics and VR at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa. You can follow him on Twitter @alexvoica.

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