Go Planet, It’s Your Earth Day: Stories on Environment and Climate

by | 11 April 2023 | Conferences

Foggy mountain summit photo

Image credit: Unsplash

Computer graphics has come a long way in the world of storytelling — especially with the story of Earth. As we navigate an era of irreversible environmental damage, researchers and artists have taken the next step into demonstrating the effects of climate change through visual representation with computer graphics. For Earth Day this year, we’re revisiting past ACM SIGGRAPH Blog content to shine a light on the computer graphics professionals who are bringing awareness to sustainability, environment, and climate through their work. Read on for a roundup of articles spotlighting climate change and other environmental challenges through the lens of computer graphics and interactive techniques.

A Sustainable Future for the Film Industry

Ever thought about the carbon emissions of virtual production compared to traditional VFX? What about the carbon emissions of certain filming methods in general? The research and development department at Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg investigated the challenges of sustainable film production by comparing two film projects and their impacts on the energy and CO2 footprint. Read more.

A Glimpse Into the Future: Rendering the Aftermath of Climate Change Through ‘3.5%’

What might Europe look like if we continue to ignore the climate crisis? Lukas Bieri’s SIGGRAPH 2022 Electronic Theater selection paints a vivid picture of what Lucerne, Switzerland, would look like after the devastating effects of a climate crisis with his short film “3.5%”. Dive into his creative process, get inspired by the message behind the film, and read his advice for aspiring animators. Read more.

Environmental Modeling Research With Sören Pirk

Sören Pirk is a wearer of many hats; he’s a longtime SIGGRAPH contributor and participant, he’s worked with Google and Adobe Research, and he’s conducted groundbreaking research using environmental modeling. Check out Sören’s career journey and research background involving natural phenomena in the world of computer graphics. Read more.

‘Glacier’s Lament’: An Ode to Glaciers’ Magnificence and Fragility

Glaciers are sentinels of climate change and the most visible evidence of global warming’s impact on the environment today. Jiabao Li’s award-winning SIGGRAPH 2022 Art Gallery selection “Glacier’s Lament” portrays the beauty, fragility, and magnificence of glaciers and personifies the impact of climate change on these stunning landscapes. Read more.

VR Experience Contributes to Environmental ‘Buzz’

Wondering how you can make an environmental impact and stride toward reducing your carbon footprint? SIGGRAPH 2021 Talks selection “Beeing — Nature Inspired VR Journey” demonstrates how a synchronized virtual reality (VR) experience can add customer value to a daily commute in short distance trains, therefore encouraging more users to take advantage of public transit. We sat down with contributor Volker Helzle to discuss “Beeing” and how this virtual reality experience adds to the broader environmental “buzz” and encourages change in the community. Read more.

‘Homeostasis’ and Human Interference

Computer graphics is an excellent tool for modern storytelling; but you know what’s an undervalued tool? Data! Emil Polyak emphasizes the importance of this powerful narrator when demonstrating the human impact on climate change with his SIGGRAPH 2020 Art Gallery selection “Homeostasis”. Discover Polyak’s process for developing generative art, working with a multidimensional dataset, and creating interactive elements. Read more.

Visualizing Pollution? There’s an App for That

In 2023, it seems like there’s an app for everything. The Appy Hour program encourages app creators and developers to come together and present their innovative apps that can change the way we interact with others and with the world. “Aire – Visualize Air Quality” lets users see and learn about the air pollution surrounding them. We sat down with creators Paulina Escalante Campbell and Natalia Garcia Torres to hear about the story behind this revolutionary app and how it can change the future. Read more.

Discover what’s next in computer graphics and interactive techniques by participating in SIGGRAPH 2023, 6-10 August in Los Angeles. Register now.

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