Half a dozen leading New Zealand graphics companies will attend the largest graphics and animation conference in the southern hemisphere, Graphite 2003, in Melbourne later this month, among them keynote speaker HitLabNZ's Mark Billinghurst.
With the Lord of the Rings trilogy helping to bring the New Zealand graphics industry into the limelight, effects firm Weta FX will be represented, along with Auckland-based graphics tools developer Right Hemisphere, the Wanganui School of Design, Auckland-based developer Oktober and the Canterbury Development Corporation among others.
Billinghurst, one of the world leaders in interface design, is one of three keynote speakers at the inaugural Graphite event, which runs from February 11 to 14. The other two are David Kirk, vice president of architecture for graphics card manufacturer NVIDIA and the honorary professor of art and robotics from Carnegie Mellon University who goes by the name Stelarc.
Graphite 2003 is being run by the company that organises Siggraph, the world's largest computer graphics conference held each year in the US. Last year's Siggraph tour through the Asia Pacific region generated enough interest to lead to the development of a regional conference.