February 4, 2004

New story: A Fairy Tale

February 4, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I forced myself to write today (last night?), and here is the result:
A Fairy Tale. Like many things, this story will
mean different things to different people. It has some meaning, but
should not be taken as definitive. The true test of it as literature
would be if complete strangers can understand it, but what complete
stranger reads my ShortStories, anyway?

It doesn’t feel very fairy-tale-ish. Perhaps I need to make the plot
formulaic. ;)

SIGGRAPH

February 4, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
Introductions

- Father Rene Javellana, director of Fine Arts program in Ateneo
- Richi Lerma
- Glen from the office of international programs
- Dondon, ASTI/DOST
- Fatima Lasay, UP College of Fine Arts, independent
- Norelyn Babiera, private sector, organized trade shows and exhibitions. one of the events was the Graphic Expo. Industry professionals in the graphic design sector and the academe. That’s how I met Fats. Familiar with SIGGRAPH.
- Joel de Leon, assistant curator of the Ateneo Art Gallery
- Sammy Villareal, iAteneo president.
- Russell Santos, 4 BS CS. Academe officer of CompSAt
- Sandra Lovenia, CS department OIC
- Eric Vidal, teaches CG at the department
- me
- Martin Gomez, External VP of CompSAt
- Luis Sarmenta, director of AJWCC and a whole bunch of senior theses students

Brief background

Fatima Lasay

ACM SIGGRAPH is a special interest group in computer graphics. Since
1974. It was founded to promote the generation and dissemination of
interactive technologies. The parent organization is ACM. ACM is the
world’s first educational and scientific community. Fats wrote to them
in 1995 in the hopes of establishing a professional or student chapter
in the Philippines, which unfortunately never materialized. Some
people from SIGGRAPH in Singapore contacted her. The senior delegation
intended to visit SE Asia, so she’s coordinating in Manila. Last time,
actually, they had plans, but they backed out because of SARS. They’ve
already booked the tickets. Also, a reminder, the SIGGRAPH meeting is
not a UP initiative – I’m just coordinating the meeting so that they
meet the right people. Practictioners and developers in the field.

Particulars of the visit

Communication from Lee Young Tsui from Nanyang University. 4 people in
the delegation. President of SIGGRAPH, Alain Chesnais (find out right
pron), VP Alan Chalmers, and YT Lee. The delegation will meet its own
costs for travel and accommodation, purpose: connect with local
activists and determine level in region and how SIGGRAPH can help.

For SIGGRAPH, this is a fact-finding mission and they expect a very
exploratory discussion – round-table type. They want to meet with
people responsible for development in the field. This might also be
an opportunity for a technical seminar before or after the meeting.
We have three seminars; pick one or two. They also hope to hear some
local works.

Given the time constraints, it would be good for the delegation to
stay at one place for one day, then move to Makati in preparation for
the trip. Moderate refreshments will be enough. Informal setting. Key
objective: interact. (Yay!)

In coordinating this meeting, I asked several institutions to host. I
have asked UP, Lasalle, and Ateneo. Ateneo responded fastest, so it
well be held there. I’m very pleased that we have the OIP to help out
hosting the delegation.

Several objectives:

- bringing the right people together. How are we going to strategize

the interest of SIGGRAPH in Asia and the Philippines? I want this
relationship to be mutually beneficial. How do we put these
strategies into the presentations we are going to deliver? What
kinds of presentations should we deliver? What questions and issues
are we going to raise? For example, the people from Indonesia want
to raise the issue of the price of software. Of course, some of us
want to use open source software. We try to balance these things.

- I like the possibility also that we are going to forge renewed

relationships between our different organizations. A lot more
exciting results from this meeting beyond just the SIGGRAPH.

Before we go to the itinerary, are there any questions?

Luis: So you want to talk about the strategy now?

Well, if we can do that now. Of course, we can also do that over
e-mail. Important to look at the itinerary.

Martin: Is this meeting open to the public?

Yes it is.

Martin: Can the Ching Tan Room accommodate this?

Glen: ~ 80 people.

Martin: We might as well promote it. When do we start promoting?

Richi: After this meeting.

Fatima: Three choices for facilities – here, Artspeak, and Norelyn’s
in Makati.

Delegation there at Artspeak. The one at Ching Tan Room will be a
little more intimate, not as open to the public. We’ll decide when we
look at the itinerary.

Rich: What exactly will we doing in terms of the art of it? Bit of a
background on our interest in this project: none of us here in the
gallery are experts. First immersion in the field was actually
through Fats. New Media works last year, decode. The online component
is still ongoing. The online exhibition space of the museum. Our
interest really is having artists have course to utilizing new tools
in art-making and opening up new possibilities for Filipino
artists to compete internationally for the art they produce. Somehow
we want to get that in.

SIGGRAPH actually has a travelling art show. They have the annual
conference, small conferences, chapters around the world,
publications, awards, contests… They also provide for an exchange
of information between the organization and decision-makers in
government. Crucial that we have the arts in the meeting for
clarification before we go to the itinerary.

Proposed itinerary/programme for deliberation

Arrival of SIGGRAPH is 8:30PM at NAIA. Ateneo will pick them up.

(Late arrivals from CSB between Villareal and Norelyn.)

Vanessa Fuente, CSB, Multimedia Arts department.
Brya from faculty CSB, multimedia arts. Graphics side also.

I will take care of expenses incurred during the transfer. No
problem with the rooms. Anything for clarification…? They will be
billeted at Alingal Hall.

Glen: Two of the rooms will have dual bathrooms, but the other has common.
Is that okay?

No problem. (rent-a-car joke.)

February 20, Friday, is the round-table discussion proper at the
Ching Tan Room at JGSOM. Walking distance, yes.

Richi: We might need you to come in the day before to see if the room
layout is okay.

10 AM to 2:30 PM right? Is there any chance that can be extended?

Richi: No, sorry, it’s also used as a classroom. We can set it up in
the morning and they won’t touch it.

Martin: Would Escaler be too big for this?

Richi: I don’t know.

Martin: There’s a real lecture hall.

Sacha: It’s kinda large.

We begin at 10 AM. 10:15, Welcome remarks.

Richi: We’re trying to ask the academic vice president.

Glen: She’s willing to host one of the lunches.

Richi: Commitment to lunch or dinner?

Martin: Father Ben?

Richi: we’ll see.

1030. Introductions by myself. Presentation from SIGGRAPH.

And then 1055 a presentation by Norelyn on the graphic expo.

Norelyn: 20 minutes is actually already quite long. Clarify a few
things. Graphic industry is quite diverse: applications could be
print, web publishing, multimedia and animation. Being as diverse as
that, we don’t really have certain data or scientific data where you
know how many graphic designers are in the field. Considering digital
photography. There’s no data on practicing professionals in the
Philippines and how much commercial volume is the industry running
over an annual rate. The association of advertising suppliers of the
philippines is just catering to one group. animation, multimedia
production houses, commercials on tv. Of course we have the print
side, the large-format billboards that you see all over EDSA,
print-ads in the newspapers. I’m also a member of ASAP and I can’t
see any scientific data on industry volume in terms of pesos. Well,
since I’m the only one doing a very very mixed trade show catering to
graphics professionals. Dent GraphicExpo made, contribution to
industry over 10 years. Reason why she put her resources in this
trade show for the past 10 years and how they had been supported by
other organizations. The Graphic Expo is also supported by the
vendors like HP, Epson, Sony, and all others in the industry from
print to web publishing, even software, and of course CSB has always
been a partner to us. I will present Graphic Expo, the only trade
show for graphics in the country, but maybe 10 minutes is okay.

Martin: In presenting the industry, also professional organizations?

Norelyn: Yes, as far as I can. Pockets all over the country. EARP,
iDN Club Philippines. Outdoor advertising association of the
Philippines. PhilMUG. Philweavers. ACPI

Martin: Thanks for that input. I’m the moderator of Philweavers, so I
can encourage more people to contribute. Motion graphics. SIGGRAPH
might be very interested in that – interactive media as well. Thanks.

(Father Rene Javellana, director of Fine Arts program in Ateneo)

Important thing: How active the industry is. Details – a visit to
facilities, meeting with artists in the Philippines – following day,
when they go to Makati.

Luis: How active is the industry here? A lot of it is going into
advertising, media. Is this local?

Norelyn: Graphic design – print, motion graphics (multimedia,
animation). Professionals are also involved in outsourcing. Key
sector of DTI. Animation sector for outsourcing jobs for film and
other things here in the Philippines. The mission now for the
Animation Council of the Philippines – they’re in touch with DTI and
they’re one of the primary sectors. File transmissions over the
Internet. Digital network. Even before the advent of technology,
several production houses are doing cel animation. When they do cel
animation, they do a lot of cel animation sent to Japan. Scanned and
digitized in Japan. 80s, cel animation, now, migrated to digital.
Price of the software is another question. The thing now is
outsourcing, but even before the advent of digital technology -
utilized Philippine creative cartoonists for Disney and anime and
several others. I want the delegation to see what Roadrunner is
doing, UNITEL…

Also, if there are specific issues in the industry, maybe we can get
them to help out. Maybe that would be our chance also to present the
issue.

Luis: I have a couple of questions following up on this. Do you have
a sense of… So, we’re doing a lot of outsourcing. Do you have a
sense of how the rest of the world sees the Philippines in terms of
outsourcing? I wonder if part of our strategy should be promoting our
artists. How do they perceive the Philippines?

Norelyn: It’s always being promoted by the government. Their clients
have really, really taken a look at the Filipino creativity and trying
to balance the work ethic. Deadlines… Artistic temperament. No
formal discipline. Weak points I’d heard from them. Aptitude is there.

Luis: So it’s well-known. The reason I

Norelyn: Our software proficiency has to be really beefed up.

Luis: Is that something we’re lacking right now?

Norelyn: Not really. Certification institutes. Photoshop, Illustrator,
Indesign, Macromedia certification… for very very specific software.
The upgrades for these are just a matter of months. We were only at 7
and now there’s 8. That was just 6 months ago. Industry professionals
have to take new certifications for the new versions. Our creativity
has to be enhanced by the digital tools – software proficiency. There
are so many training institutes handling that, especially in the
graphics arts industry. Prices are quite steep in terms of
certification. I only do it twice a year. PCCI. Helps people in the
advertising industry to come for night classes for refresher courses
and upgrades. We are very much abreast with the worldwide industry.

Luis: Are our graphic artists well-versed in all the new… like
Maya…

Norelyn: Yes. Alias, Maya… Their applications are actually more
geared toward TV commercials. Very specific specialization. People who
are doing TV commercials… There has to be a reengineering. I’m glad
CSB provides software for its students and trains it in very very
specific software. They’re preparing their students for the industry,
and that’s very good. That’s a good thing. On my side, in the Graphic
Expo, I do several competitions, and we always invite several levels.
Buoyant industry.

Luis: One last thing. I bring up these things because I was in
Singapore two weeks ago and my personal area of research is in grid
computing, which is doing geographically distributed computation. I
was in Singapore talking to some people there. Sun Microsystems.
They’re trying to promote grid computing. How can we promote it in the
Philippines? In other countries, pharmaceutical research, etc. Their
idea was (they don’t know how to pursue it) to take advantage of the
Filipino’s creativity when it comes to graphical stuff. They were
suggesting something like… Singapore has all the computational
resources, but lacked the talent. Do the creative stuff in the
Philippines then ship the data to Singapore where they can crunch the
numbers. ASEAN multimedia grid? Outsourcing for Hollywood.
Interesting idea. If well-known for talent, maybe we can do that.
From the computational side, there also is… A lot of these things
already use grid computing, render farms. Anyway, that’s an idea that
I just ran into a couple of weeks ago. I think this is something that
SIGGRAPH will find interesting. I’m not sure.

(Sacha excuses herself.)

E-Mail from rlerma@ateneo.edu

Debconf4

February 4, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Debconf4 will be held in Brazil from 2004.05.26 to 2004.06.02. I wish
I could go. Hey, maybe I can!

E-Mail from Pablo Lorenzzoni