I'm a newbie attendee to SIGGRAPH LA but it was a great experience even in the limited areas I got to see. This year it's all about VR/AR and how companies can create and make a profit from it. One of the coolest things I saw while wearing a headset was the virtual 1:1 scale of creating prototypes. Once I put on the headset I could see the "car" I created and then walk a little further and sit inside the driver seat. It was incredible technology.
There were of course simulators where people wore headsets while driving cars. I didn't understand why the headset was needed. This type of racing is already invented, the only difference is immersion. Granted you can tell me it's the future and the way to enjoy racing games, but do I really need to feel it? That's my only thing with these immersive technologies what's the point? How can this technology transcend my ability to give up the physical world for the virtual?
I really hope in ten years people will look back and see how new this medium was and where they are now with it. Virtual reality could literally take over so many different facets of industry. It's an area I'm really interested in I just think there's more ideas left on the table.
SIGGRAPH 2016 wouldn't have been complete without a job fair. In a small little cornered off section lived the companies who were actively seeking bright eyed artists to join their teams. Companies such as Digital Domain, SpaceX, SnapChat, Deluxe VR, Method, Blizzard and WETA.
There were of course other talks from companies that solved challenging issues such as seamless integration between CG and stop motion figures. This talk was given by Eric Wachtman who's a CG Look Development Lead at Laika. He talked about what was real and what was CG for Laika's latest film due out August 19th Kubo and the Two Strings
For some more cool info by others who wrote about SIGGRAPH in way more detail check this link out.
Full Disclosure I have nothing to do with the film or the company. I just admire the work and the creativity of the project.