Well the first day of SXSW was full of bus rides, seminars, and walking, lots of walking. There is so much to take in that it gets hard and even overwhelming to decide what to put on the schedule. I attended panels, talks, booths, and product demos.

Social media seems to be a strong focus. It crosses many platforms and is so adaptable and ever changing. The topic is listed in more venues and locations on this first day than other topics. On a panel discussion, Noha Abdalla Senior Director of Social Media for Capital One talked about how important it was to reward followers, or even give a gift to them. She used the example of rewarding their Twitter followers during the 2013 NCAA tournament using preferred parking spots complete with signs of the customer’s Twitter name on the designated spot. Other examples were more simple like a photo that was funny or clever that  related to the customer’s tweet. They also made custom Tumbler pages as a gift as well.

There were many vendor booths with 3D printers and it was neat to see the progress that has been made on that technology. It seems cheaper and easier than what was available a year ago. However, the actual use of the desktop printers is still very slow and only seems practical for prototyping and testing products.

3D video and gaming was all over the place, including simulators and wearable controllers with heads up displays. This was all the rave in the gaming center which was cool, but I was determined to find way to connect this emerging technology with what our animation team at 360 Filmworks does. This lead me to a demo of some new and innovative ways to capture objects and movement in the digital world.  I was shown some very cool technology involving motion capture and live character movement, which I will talk more about how it could influence the way think about video animation and creative motion for our digital canvas. It was a great first day and I am looking forward to more.