Industry Talks

IN1: Bringing Innovation to Life

Session Chair: Stephan Würmlin Stadler Session Details: Wednesday May 6, 2015 - 08:30 - 10:10 Room: Vortragssaal

Disney Research: Creating the Magic through Technology

Disney Research was launched in 2008 as an informal network of research laboratories that collaborate closely with academic institutions such as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and Carnegie Mellon University. Its mission is to push the frontiers of technology in areas relevant to Disney's creative entertainment businesses. Disney Research develops innovations for Parks, Film, Animation, Television, Games, and Consumer Products. Research areas include video and animation technologies, postproduction and special effects, digital fabrication, robotics, and much more. This talk gives an overview of Disney Research spiced with some examples of our latest and greatest inventions. The focus is on the collaboration between ETH Zurich and the Walt Disney Company displaying the synergies arising from this program. This talk will highlight a company perspective as well as a view from the academic angle.

Prof. Dr. Markus Gross, Vice President Research and Development, The Walt Disney Company
Technicolor, 100-year-old and still at the innovation forefront

Abstract: This year, Technicolor is celebrating its centenary. From its debut as a key technology actor of the movie industry in Hollywood to its current place as a world-wide player of the Media and Entertainment industry, Technicolor has a rich and lively history. This presentation will give a glimpse of this 100-year journey and will cast light on the multiple facets of its current activities: Movie post-production, visual effects and digital distribution; Set-top-boxes, gateways and connected homes; Patent portfolio, Innovation and Research. Research and innovation outlooks will close the presentation.

Patrick Pérez, Distinguished Scientist, Technicolor
From Paper to Company

In this talk, Pascal will give some insights on how a research paper can be turned into a startup company, as well as how startup life looks like and how the acquisition of a big corporation changes things. Pascal is the Director of the Esri R&D Center Zurich, where novel tools for the design, modeling and visualization of 3D cities are developed. Based on the Siggraph papers ‘Procedural Modeling of Cities/Buildings’, the start-up company Procedural Inc. was co-founded by Pascal in 2007 and successfully sold to Esri in 2011. Current products developed at the R&D Center include the procedural city modeling tool CityEngine (in Java & C++) and browser-based 3D visualization solutions (in JavaScript/WebGL) on Esri’s ArcGIS platform. Our customers are in urban design/planning at architectural studios and city administrations as well as major motion picture and game developer studios for filmed/interactive entertainment e.g. for the city modeling in Big Hero 6 or Forza 5

Dr. Pascal Mueller, Co-Founder Procedural Inc. & Director Esri R&D Center Zurich

IN2: Applied Computer Graphics

Session Chair: Pascal Mueller Session Details: Wednesday May 6, 2015 - 10:35 - 12:15 Room: Vortragssaal

Medical Education with Virtual Reality Simulators

VirtaMed is a Swiss company that develops & produces highly realistic surgical simulators for medical training. Our virtual reality simulators provide instructional teaching and training of different diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic interventions in various medical fields. Today, many teaching institutions and medical device companies use VirtaMed’s simulators globally for training courses, physician training, and medical device marketing. VirtaMed is proud to build the currently most realistic endoscopic simulators on the market. This is only possible because we dedicate a substantial part of our efforts to research, development and application of state-of-the-art computer graphics technology. In this talk, we will give a brief introduction to the company and its products, and we will give an overview of past and current R&D that is part of these products.

Dr. Denis Steinemann, CSO VirtaMed AG
Risk Visualization in Software Engineering

Time-to-market cycles in software projects are getting ever shorter. As a result, testing has become more difficult – and effective prioritization of testing activities more important. Test prioritization relies on one basic principle: The higher the risk involved, the more intensively a component needs to be tested. But how can we identify risk quickly and reliably? Obviously, it would be far too expensive to continuously identify, assess, and communicate risks. This is where automated quantitative reporting comes into play. Our talk illustrates how technical risk can be identified and assessed by analyzing source-code complexity, and how it can then be communicated effectively through visualization. Smart visualization is a potent tool not only in risk visualization, but also in the specification of tests. Comparing risk metrics against test coverage provides valuable insights on the effectiveness of individual tests. The results enable us to identify and make better use of synergies between manual and automated testing. Calculated technical risk can be overwritten manually to allow for risks to be re-assessed from a business perspective. In addition, the results are very useful for prioritization during testing.

Marco Cicolini, Head of Software Quality Engineering, AdNovum Informatik AG
Challenges in Sports Storytelling

Vizrt provides 3D graphics, sports analysis, studio automation, and media asset management solutions for the broadcast industry and has customers in more than 100 countries worldwide including Fox Sports, ESPN, CNN, CBS, BBC, Sky, Al Jazeera, SRF, ZDF, Star TV, CCTV, NHK, and many more. With the ongoing changes in media distribution and consumption, live sports and news have become the major assets for broadcasters that continue to attract high audiences. However, they also require automated processing and highly efficient workflows to get the story as fast as possible to the consumers at home – ideally within seconds or less. In 2011, Vizrt acquired LiberoVision, a start-up company from ETH Zurich founded in 2006. The Zurich office is now responsible for Vizrt’s global sports business, with a passionate team of business developers, product specialists, and a dedicated sports R&D. Together with our clients, we are creating spectacular graphics and animations for television coverage of the world’s major sporting events, from the World Cup to the Superbowl. Our main focus is the development of unique and cutting-edge products dedicated to sports media. Our award-winning product Viz Libero provides revealing views from arbitrary viewpoints of sports scenes for in depth and comprehensive analysis. With Viz Arena, we recently launched an image-based solution for real-time virtual graphics placement into sports broadcasts. Even though these products are very successful on the market, many challenges related to Computer Graphics and Computer Vision remain to be solved to achieve our vision of the perfect sports storytelling solution for the future.

Dr. Christoph Niederberger, Head of R&D, Vizrt Switzerland