It is over! I thought I would add some closing thoughts.
I managed to check out the Blender display (back in the far corner) and they had some cool stuff going, but could not help thinking that the Autodesk slogan “Don’t blend in, stand out” may have some additional marketing subtext. I like Blender, and with their latest updates they are the best open source 3D modeling package out there, and while they are a few steps behind all Maya can offer, free is hard to beat when you are selling something. It was just a though, I still prefer Maya and really like Autodesk in general, but it was just a curious thought that passed my mind.
Otherwise, I think that Siggraph is a great pool of knowledge, but next time I go, I think I will try and spend the majority of my time in the talks, rather than the exhibition and galleries. I learned quite a bit, but I wouldn’t say my mind was blown or anything like that. I felt like the exhibition and gallery were focused more on beginner to intermediate information, which is great when showing off a new technology, feature or process, but there is only so much detail you can go into in those kinds of demonstrations before you start losing people. The more formal presentations would likely not be as interested in attracting a crowd as exploring the depth of the ideas, and this, I think, would be very appealing.
Overall, I am very happy to have attended, and saw some neat things, learned some new technologies, and generally made me excited to work in this industry.
Can’t really ask for more than that,