Then CAD became more popular at shows like A/E/C Systems, and so I had no need to go to siggraph, except when two years ago it popped up in Vancouver, an hour's drive from my home. SIGGRAPH 2011 was all about 3D -- so many 3D displays and polarizing glasses to make one's eyes hurt and head spin for days -- and it had pretty much zero CAD component. How zero? Well, even though I was registered as official media, I received zero invites by vendors. That's zero.
People tell me that the Vancouver event had the lowest turnout in a long time, no surprise, given the hassles of crossing the border from the USA, whether with truckloads of equipment or just paying the much higher air fare. Next year's event was supposed to be in Los Angeles, nerve center of the film industry to which Siggraph caters. But surprise, it's back in Vancouver, a film center in its own right -- an industry that thrives there partly because of massive subsidies from the British Columbia government. LA Convention Center, according to scuttlebutt, had hugely increased its cost, and the Siggraph folks weren't falling for that one.
So what I am doing at Siggraph 2013 in Anaheim? I had, after all, no intention of being here, but a month ago co-editor Roopinder Tara asked me to help him out with the tasks of meeting vendors and writing up reports for his CAD Insider blog. [Disclosure: I am managing editor of his CADdigest.com portal, and he paid my way here.] Between the two of us, we calendared 33 appointments and functions in three days, and it seems that I am a much faster writer than he -- about 4x faster, according to one calculation we made. But he's much better at asking tough questions.
PS: The teapot shown in the show's official poster is the original 3D object modeled by computer software. It was chosen because of its complex curves.