Welcome to SIGGRAPH 2021
We often receive similar questions from contributors: Can I submit more than one submission to the conference? Can I submit work that I’ve published or presented elsewhere? How do I upload my submission? What are the image guidelines? How does the jury select submissions? This section provides answers to these and other frequently asked questions.
Can I submit after the deadline?
No. The deadlines are absolute. All submissions receive equal consideration up to the published deadline. Please respect other contributors and allow time for unforeseen circumstances in your submission, including (but not limited to) network connectivity, equipment failures, job impacts, life or family events, etc. These are outside of SIGGRAPH 2021’s direct control and cannot be accommodated fairly.
Immediately after the submission deadline, we start processing and reviewing the submissions on a very tight time schedule, and we cannot accommodate exceptions.
How will SIGGRAPH 2021 address server-side network failures?
SIGGRAPH 2021 is only responsible for the availability of the submission server. If necessary, the conference chair will authorize an appropriate adjustment (and will prominently post notices at several locations online). All other network failures between your location and the SIGGRAPH server will not affect the submission deadlines. Please submit early to avoid missing the deadline due to technology-related issues.
In an effort to conserve server resources and bandwidth, file uploading and downloading may be disabled as the submission deadline nears. If uploading and downloading are disabled, all submitters will be required to use the MD5 checksum mechanism. We don’t know the exact time this might take effect; it will be determined by server loads to ensure that all submitters are able to access their submission(s). For complete information, see the MD5 Checksum of Uploaded Materials section of this Submissions FAQ.
The SIGGRAPH 2021 English Review Service failed our schedule, so it is SIGGRAPH’s fault that our proposal is late. Can I have an extension?
No. The English Review Service makes no guarantee for service turnaround. Also, it is administered separately from the conference program. Please schedule your work appropriately. For the best chance of having your submission reviewed by the English Review Service, please ensure it is submitted and marked “complete” in the submission system at least 14 days before your program’s submission deadline.
Nature of Content
How should I write up work that is based on a recent paper I wrote but extends that work?
Please reference the original paper(s) and clearly explain how the new work differs from, extends, or improves the previous work.
Can I submit work that I did for my thesis?
Yes. See the Work Submitted Elsewhere section of this Submissions FAQ if some or all of your thesis work has been formally published.
My company sells educational software. Can we make a sales presentation?
No. The Exhibition is the best place for that. You can contact Exhibition Management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a great idea for a presentation, but I’m not sure if it’s appropriate (too basic, advanced, fuzzy, etc.) for SIGGRAPH 2021.
Please consider reviewing the various programs and their submission requirements to understand how your presentation might fit into SIGGRAPH 2021. Please also consider contacting the program chairs for additional information or answers to questions about your potential submission.
My Technical Paper was rejected. Can I submit an abstract about the same work for possible presentation elsewhere in the conference?
Some submission deadlines will be closed by that time.
My company has a great new product that is of general interest to the SIGGRAPH community. Can I submit an abstract?
A simple product announcement or sales pitch would not be appropriate for the conference program. However, a methods or systems description that presents the engineering design and algorithms behind the product could be appropriate. If you are an exhibitor interested in a presentation on all aspects of your new product, please contact Exhibition Management about organizing an Exhibitor Session.
Should all submissions be prepared anonymously, like Technical Papers?
No. The review processes for programs other than Technical Papers are single blind, which means the reviewers will know who the authors are, but the authors will not know who the reviewers are. Your submission should be as close to its final form as possible (see the Completeness, Work in Progress section), including the names of all collaborators on the work and their institutions. Potential conflicts of interest are taken into account when submissions are assigned to reviewers.
Number of Submissions
Can I (or my company) submit more than one work to SIGGRAPH 2021?
Yes, please do. The jury will evaluate and decide on each submission separately. Please bear in mind, though, that the committee will be evaluating all of the accepted submissions as a whole. So it is not appropriate to break up a potentially strong piece of work into smaller components in an effort to increase the number of works you have accepted.
Can I submit a work to be considered for multiple formats?
Yes, please do. SIGGRAPH 2021 encourages synergy between different parts of the conference. However, you will need to submit an individual submission form for each format. The General Submission form allows you to check off any number of presentation formats for a single submission. For example, you may be willing to demo your hardware and/or give a talk about it, or give a talk about a technique and/or lead so participants can experience your technique. The jury will decide which format(s) to accept.
Completness, Work In Progress
Are partial or incomplete submissions considered?
Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. Contributors are required to meet all submission requirements by the published deadline. The jury will evaluate the merit of each completed proposal as it was submitted at the deadline, even if it does not meet the author’s personal quality objectives. Please allow enough time to meet your own quality goals.
Can I submit a Technical Paper and submit the same work to the General Submission process or to Posters?
SIGGRAPH 2021 does not allow simultaneous submission to the Technical Papers and Talks tracks, though it does allow content related to a Technical Papers submission to also be submitted to the other General Submission venues. The General Submission form has a checkbox to indicate work submitted elsewhere. Please check this box and explain that the work was submitted as a Technical Paper for SIGGRAPH 2021.
Papers rejected from the SIGGRAPH 2021 Technical Papers program may be submitted as Posters. Accepted SIGGRAPH 2021 Technical Papers also will be given the opportunity to present their work in the Posters program.
Work Submitted Elsewhere
Can I submit work that I’ve published, presented, or has been accepted for publication or presentation elsewhere?
Yes, though with some caveats. First, you must indicate the prior appearance via the checkbox on the General Submission form and provide a description of how and where the work appeared. Second, be aware that SIGGRAPH participants expect to see things they’ve never seen before. The jury will decide if the novelty and impact of the submission warrant acceptance despite its appearance elsewhere. Generally speaking, it’s OK if your work has been presented in a small workshop or colloquium, and it’s OK if your work has been published in journals in other fields. However, work that has appeared in a major computer graphics journal or a mainstream computer graphics conference is not what SIGGRAPH is looking to feature and should not be submitted. Please make sure your materials have been revised to reflect the submission requirements, e.g., do not submit a dissertation or a 200-page book as course notes.
Can I submit work to SIGGRAPH 2021 and submit a more complete description to other conferences (for example EGSR, SGP, or SCA) while the submission is still in review?
The other conference or journal is likely to consider this an unacceptable “dual submission,” so you must check with them. If they are OK with it, SIGGRAPH 2021 is OK with it. But if you intend to submit this work elsewhere before the conference, you must indicate this intent via the checkbox on the General Submission form and provide a description of where you intend to submit and when it would appear.
Can I submit work that was presented at a previous SIGGRAPH conference?
The General Submission form has a checkbox that requires you to indicate this fact. The jury will decide if the novelty of the submission warrants acceptance regardless of prior presentation or publication. Submissions in most formats require novelty and will not be accepted unless the work has progressed since the last SIGGRAPH conference. However, Courses and Panels may remain valuable from year to year and will be considered by the jury, but proposals should clearly offer compelling reasons for repetition.
Formats and Categories
What is the purpose of submission keywords and categories?
The jury is comprised of experts from many areas of computer graphics, and choosing appropriate keywords helps ensure that the best-qualified jurors will review your work.
Please do not submit the same piece multiple times under different categories using different online submission numbers. You should select whichever keywords most closely match your work. The submission categories help the jury group submissions together for apples-to-apples comparisons.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
Uploading is not always perfectly smooth. The online submission system uses a robust server with high-bandwidth access to the internet, but everything has a limit. In previous years, last-minute submitters tried to upload 5 GB of data in the final half-hour before the deadline. This didn’t work well. Don’t get yourself in that situation.
The deadlines are absolute. We’re on a tight schedule, and we won’t be able to extend the deadline to accommodate late uploads.
Despite all these dire warnings, we are happy to report that the online submissions process works very well. We don’t anticipate major problems. Just don’t wait until the last minute!
Upload early and often.
Once your submission is complete, you are still allowed to edit, add to, or modify the supplementary materials right up to the deadline. This means you can upload some materials early as soon as they are ready and upload the remainder later, avoiding the need to upload everything at once. This also means you can upload a rough draft of your materials early and replace it with more polished versions later. Upload drafts that are roughly the same size as your final material. This will allow you to get a feel for the upload process and the time it takes to upload files of those sizes, and give you time to diagnose problems. Then, as your draft gets refined, upload revisions. This way, if the last polish or final render encounters problems, you only lose the polish, not the entire submission.
We do not control the internet.
In our tests, we have found upload speeds of anywhere from 20 megabit/second to five kilobit/second. We have tested uploads from two gigabytes to 10 kilobytes. We have seen upload times from one second to 24 hours. If you are traversing a path to our server that is through congested nodes, your upload may fail, and you will have to retry. You may even have to do the upload from work, school, home, or a local business-services firm. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out.
Don’t try to upload too much.
Some programs have upload limitations. Upload limits for required materials are described in the online submission system.
Using the MD5 checksum of uploaded materials.
In an effort to conserve server resources and bandwidth, file uploading and downloading will be disabled as needed temporarily as each of our deadlines nears. If uploading and downloading are disabled, all submitters will be required to use the MD5 checksum mechanism. We don’t know the exact time this might take effect. It will be determined by server loads to ensure that all submitters are able to access their submissions. This may not apply to all programs. Check instructions on the online submission form for details.
What do I have to do?
To be accepted as uploaded, all files must: either be completely uploaded by the appropriate deadline or have an MD5 checksum computed and be submitted before the deadline. Files that do not match the MD5 checksum submitted before the deadline will not be accepted. If you choose to submit an MD5 checksum, you will then have 24 hours after the deadline to upload your files with the matching MD5 checksum previously uploaded by the appropriate deadline.
What does an MD5 checksum look like?
If you use the MD5 option, the MD5 checksum should be submitted without additional characters surrounding it and without any breaking characters.
An example of a correct MD5 checksum is:
Examples of incorrect MD5 checksums are:
871A 5178 5E2A 6414 DEB0 97C2 CEE8 9743
Note that the letter case is ignored.
How do I calculate an MD5 checksum?
You must use an MD5 calculator. We have tested the following MD5 calculators:
- Linux: md5sum command
- Mac: md5 command in Terminal
- Windows: FastSum
How can I test this process?
We recommend that you try uploading a small test file well in advance of the 22:00 UTC/GMT deadline to ensure that you are familiar with the procedure, that the MD5 calculator you are using is working properly, and that it is compliant with the MD5 standard that we are using.
What if I don’t want to use the MD5 checksum?
If you complete uploading all the necessary files by your deadline and before we revert to the checksum-only mechanism, you can ignore the MD5 checksum. However, the system will compute and report MD5 checksum for all the files you upload. You may find this useful if you want to check that your file has been uploaded without corruption. Just compare the MD5 checksum you compute for your file with the checksum computed by the submission system.
Representative Image Guidelines
What are the image guidelines?
- Every submission must include at least one representative image.
- The image must be digital, of the highest quality possible, with a pixel resolution of at least 1,500 x 1,000, at least 300 dpi at 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) wide, with proportional height, or the highest possible resolution screen grab.
- Images must be 24-bit (RGB, 8 bits per channel) uncompressed, in the highest possible JPEG resolution.
- A standard ICC color profile of sRGB also is recommended and will be assumed if not specified.
- Horizontal (landscape) images are required. Vertical (portrait) images are not acceptable.
- Your image will appear in 3 x 2 ratio on the SIGGRAPH 2021 website. Images that do not conform to this proportion will be cropped from the center.
- Avoid embedded rules, layers, tags, masks, color models (for example, CMYK), etc. If in doubt, use an image editor to paste into a new file.
- Please also specify copyright and image credits for each image. The file-upload manager offers an input field for this optional information.
- If your work is accepted, your representative image will be used both as an identifying image during the jurying and selection process, in publications, or for media purposes.
- Higher resolution images are often favored by media for publication use, so the minimum-resolution requirement is only a guideline.
- It is important that you have permissions to use this image.
- If your submission is for a technical session, such as Panels or Courses, and you are not sure how to best represent your proposal, you may consider an image that conveys the appropriate area of computer graphics or interactive techniques.
Copyright and Permissions
My time-based media presentation makes use of commercially recorded music. Is this OK? What if I use my own rendition of someone else’s song?
Using commercially recorded music in an animation is only acceptable if you acquire synchronization rights for the recording or performance rights if you use your own rendition of someone else’s song. Such rights are your responsibility, and SIGGRAPH will not purchase these rights for you. Although in many cases music rights can be obtained inexpensively, well-known popular music is often difficult to license. For that reason, many submitters work with composers and have scores designed specifically for their work.
Synchronization licenses must be secured for inclusion of copyrighted musical compositions in film or video presentations. Securing synchronization rights involves approvals from both the music publisher and the record label that owns the original master recording. This process is sometimes straightforward, sometimes painful, and sometimes — often for well-known recording artists — impossible. In the past, submitters of accepted pieces have had to cancel their participation in the SIGGRAPH conference due to music-licensing issues. Other submitters have had to replace their music tracks in a way that compromised their work. For these reasons, all submitters are encouraged to secure music rights for their work as early as possible in the production process. For more information on music licensing, and to find the necessary contacts for the recording you would like to use, visit the ASCAP and BMI websites.
You may consider using public-domain music. Various websites provide listings and even some downloads. But be aware that although a song itself may be in the public domain, a particular recording of that song could be copyrighted.
There’s an illustration in my paper that I found through an internet search. Is that OK?
No, you must either obtain written permission to use the image or remove it. A reference in the text is OK.
Some of the supplementary material we intend to use in our submission is available or will be available as a publication. Do we need to discuss this in our submission?
Yes. Please discuss whether you have permission from the publisher to include this material in your SlGGRAPH 2021 published materials and if not, what alternate form you will provide.
Review and Upon Acceptance
Do you have any advice on how to write my abstract so that my submission will be accepted?
Meet the minimum requirements. First of all, make sure your submission conforms to the submission guidelines. Submissions that do not abide by the submission guidelines will be rejected without review. The jury has a small amount of time to review a large number of submissions. To maintain fairness, we have to be very efficient. Authors should prepare their abstracts according to the ACM SIGGRAPH formatting instructions. For more information about ACM publication requirements, please review Instructions for Authors.
Review. Non-native English speakers may wish to make use of the English Review Service to check for grammar errors and readability before submitting abstracts. Please don’t wait until the last moment to use this service.
Value the jury’s time. It should be obvious at the beginning of your abstract what the new contribution is. Lead with a concise description of your submission’s novelty factor, such as “We present a new method that’s N times faster,” “We have conducted a new study comparing A and B,” or “Effect X in feature film Y presented a new challenge.”
In addition, try to focus on one or two key ideas. Remember that the jury members have very limited time to “get it,” so keep it simple. If you propose to present work that extends previous work of your own, cite the previous work and explain what is different, for example, “We build on our previous work  by …” If there has been previous work by several others, choose one major work to cite and state why your work is different, for example, “Unlike previous work, such as  , we …”
How does the jury select pieces?
All submissions are juried together, and there are no strict rules for acceptance. The jury primarily looks for a combination of innovation and excellence. A longer list of traits the jury looks for includes originality, artistic achievement, technical accomplishment, technical innovation, production value, creativity, design, educational value, aesthetic appeal, community building, and social responsibility.
What makes a good proposal great?
Topics and proposals come in all shapes and sizes. Well-written proposals effectively communicate their ideas so that reviewers can assess the submission’s benefits to SIGGRAPH 2021 participants. Strong proposals clearly answer questions regarding relevance, content, and background.
The reviews we received from the jury were very positive, but we still didn’t get accepted. Why is this?
Ideally, everyone would have a chance to present their best work at the conference. It would certainly make the selection process easier! Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many great proposals do not make the cut due to limitations on rooms, resources, and schedule time. Here are some possible reasons for rejection:
- The work is not sufficiently outstanding to justify its presentation length.
- The submission did not show enough improvement over previous presentations.
- The submission overlapped with better proposals in a similar area.
- The submission overlapped with topics that have bigger anticipated attendance in a similar area.
- The work was not strong or relevant.
Does SIGGRAPH 2021 tend to favor or avoid specific levels of material (beginning, intermediate, advanced)?
SIGGRAPH 2021 will serve a wide international audience of many capabilities. The richest, most engaging submissions are desired, no matter what their level.
Patents and Confidentiality
When will my accepted submission become publicly available?
Public disclosure of a submission’s title, abstract, and contents can have important commercial and legal ramifications. Acceptances will be finalized in early May, at which time the submission’s title, abstract, and description (written by the contributors) will be publicly disclosed in SIGGRAPH communications. Excerpts of the submission’s companion video also may be disclosed. Please be advised that in order to receive maximum international patent protection on your submission’s idea, you need to file your application prior to early May.
What information about my rejected paper will become publicly available?
No information about rejected submissions will be made public.
What about patents and confidentiality? Are the reviewers under a confidentiality agreement not to disclose the contents of the submissions to others? Some organizations have all reviewers sign a confidentiality agreement. It is very important that I know for sure, since my employer may want to apply for a patent, and it affects when I may submit to the SIGGRAPH conference. Can I, for example, get a written guarantee of confidentiality?
Reviewers are asked to keep confidential all materials sent to them for review, but they do not sign a confidentiality agreement. In general, there is wide respect for the confidentiality of submissions, but we cannot promise anything or provide a written guarantee.
SIGGRAPH is not able to provide legal counsel on the matter of patents and publication. We urge you to seek independent legal advice.
Can I submit earlier papers or technical reports as materials?
Yes, earlier papers or technical reports may be submitted as supplementary materials. However, the jury is under no obligation to read these materials.
Can I submit a URL pointing to my work rather than the work itself?
No. It’s OK to include a URL in your submission so that we can get additional information about your work if needed. But in order to ensure fairness and adherence to our deadline restrictions, the jury will not examine the information at that URL when evaluating the submission.
Do I have to submit a supporting video of my work?
Although you are not required to, the power of a video during the jury process cannot be stressed enough. The jury has a small amount of time to review a large number of submissions. Seeing a video can answer many questions that the jury might have after just reading an abstract. It is a shame if the phrase “I wish they had provided a video” is uttered during the jury meeting. If your submission has an interactive, animation, or simulation component, we strongly encourage you to submit a video demonstrating your work in action, as it is very difficult to evaluate your work without this.
My submission is about production visual effects, but the studio won’t give permission to submit supporting images or video because the movie hasn’t been released yet. What should I do?
First, be certain that you will have permission to show the actual material at the conference.
Upload whatever demo, test, or stand-in images or video that you can in order to illustrate the techniques in question. The submission with the uploaded materials should stand alone as much as possible so that reviewers can properly evaluate it. Include a note explaining that the final images or footage will be shown at the conference.
In some cases, some studios that don’t allow uploads will allow a special delivery of a DVD to show the jurors at the jury meeting. If so, contact the appropriate program chair to discuss possible arrangements. However, as much as possible, the content on the DVD should serve only to provide confirmation to the jurors of the final quality of the work rather than primary technical material to review.
I know your “real” email address. Is it OK to write you there?
No. Please use the “Contact Us” email form. This ensures that all members of our committee are properly copied on your messages. Our response quality will invariably be higher if you respect this convention.
Should I use a specific file name convention for my submission material (for example: abstract, image, video)?
No. You do not have to worry about this. The submission portal will take care of that for you when you upload your material.
I’m having trouble uploading the high-resolution digital image required for online submission. What should I do?
If, due to bandwidth restrictions, you cannot upload a high-resolution image or supplemental movies, please instead upload a lower resolution version. If we need to include a higher resolution version for jury review or publication stills, we will contact you to make arrangements. For more details, see the Uploading File tab.
My email address will be changing soon. How can I notify you of the update?
You will be able to change your email address in the online submission system. Please take advantage of this feature to ensure you are notified of your submission status in a timely manner. Also, this will give you the best chance of meeting our publication deadlines.
I’ve completed the online submission form, but the system still allows me to edit my account. Am I done?
Yes. However, you are allowed to edit your online submission account until the submission deadline.
What file formats are acceptable for video submissions?
We only accept uploaded videos in QuickTime MPEG-4 or DivX Version 6 formats, and the file size should not exceed 100 MB. The file must be uploaded using the online submission system. The Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater and Real-Time Live! demos have different requirements for video submissions. If you are an Electronic Theater submitter, please review the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater Submission Guidelines for details. See Real-Time Live! if you are submitting to that program.
I’m trying to upload my video file through the online submission system, and I can’t tell if it’s working. It’s been over an hour since I clicked the submit button.
Uploading a large video file requires a significant amount of time, even on a fast network connection. Even if it does not look like anything is happening, your movie file very likely is still uploading. Please test the system (and, ideally, upload your final video) many days in advance of the submission deadline to gauge the upload time required for your material. Note that network performance may decrease close to the deadline due to the large number of submissions. Once your material is uploaded, a web page will indicate the successful upload, and you can return to the electronic submission page to re-download your material and verify that it uploaded properly. For more details, see the “Uploading Files” tab located above.
Do you accept anything other than PDF for text-based submissions?
No. Please submit in PDF format. We expect our reviewers to support at least one review type that is self-contained and available on many operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, Unix, Linux, etc.). PDF provides easy standardization (universal viewer support, graphics, embedded fonts, etc.) for both the reviewer and the proposer. For example, it preserves intentional formatting by the submitter, even ASCII clear text is not “universal” due to carriage-return differences, column widths, lack of graphics, etc.
My video files are larger than 100 MB. What should I do?
Do everything possible to make them smaller. The total size of your uploads should be below 100 MB. Jurors in various locations around the world will need to download the submitted videos, and we need to keep the total size of all submissions reasonable.
First, try decreasing the image resolution, and/or using a better compression technique, and/or settling for higher compression at the cost of somewhat-reduced image quality. If you have tried very hard to do all of this but still can’t get the size down, contact us and explain the specifics of your situation in detail, and we’ll see what we can work out.