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Keynote speakers for TAGA's Technical Conference

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, PA -The Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA) proudly announces the keynote speakers for its 62nd Annual Technical Conference taking place March 14-17 in San Diego. They are: Randy D. Vandagriff, Dr. Ken Museth, Roland Ortbach, and Bengt Larsson.

Keynote #1
Randy D. Vandagriff
General Manager, Graphics Inkjet Platform Center
Kodak's Graphic Communications Group

Inkjet printing is transforming the printing industry. Today more than 77 trillion pages are produced annually in the world with only a small percentage printed by digital solutions. Inkjet technology will provide digital growth in many commercial applications such as books, direct mail, and catalogs/inserts. Digital print penetration in these market applications depends on a number of factors including productivity, image quality, substrate flexibility, and total cost of ownership. Kodak's Stream technology promises to deliver on these key attributes, enabling the migration of printed pages from analog to digital with the added benefit of total variable-data print.

Vandagriff is General Manager, Graphics Inkjet Platform Center for Inkjet Printing Solutions, Kodak's Graphic Communications Group (GCG). Mr. Vandagriff is responsible for advancing the continuous inkjet technology and guiding its development for successful integration into the company's product portfolio. Vandagriff has more than 27 years of experience in research, product development, and manufacturing of inkjet printing equipment. He holds multiple patents in continuous inkjet technology and he has successfully integrated drop-on-demand printing technologies into Kodak solutions. In addition to his strong product development capabilities, Vandagriff has traveled internationally, working with Kodak customers to successfully implement inkjet into their production processes. His broad background has contributed to making Kodak the world's leader in high-volume variable printing solutions. Vandagriff holds an MBA degree from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wright State University.

Keynote #2
Dr. Ken Museth
Senior Engineer and Research Scientist
DreamWorks Animation SKG

Museth's keynote title is "Short-cuts to Reality: The Art and Compromise of Software Development for Physics-Based Visual Effects." His presentation will provide a snapshot of some of the cutting-edge techniques and production tools used in physics-based visual effects in life-action and feature-animation production. This includes effects like fluids, fire, fracture, and other dynamic animations. His presentation will also discuss several of the fundamental design developments behind these kinds of effects as well as typical success criteria and how they affect design requirements, decisions, and compromises. In this context, a topic of special interest to the presenter is technology transfer from academia. It is a common perception that the VFX industry relies heavily on academic research. However, it is not widely known that few academic research papers are directly applicable in production, or why that is the case. In an effort to promote and explore a tighter relationship between the VFX industry and academia, this keynote intends to shed more light on the process (or art) of VFX tools development for practical movie production. In the process we hope to showcase some of the latest progress as well as "grand challenges."

Ken Museth is a senior engineer and research scientist at DreamWorks Animation, where he develops various techniques for visual effects in animated features. He has also worked on visual effects for live-action features at Digital Domain. Among his movie credits are "Pirates of the Caribbean 3," "The Golden Compass," "The Mummy 3," "2012,'" and most recently, "How to Train Your Dragon." He was a full professor in computer graphics at Linkoeping University, Sweden from 2003 to 2007, and is currently an adjunct professor in both Sweden and Denmark. He received his M.Sc in Physical Chemistry in 1994 and a Ph.D. in theoretical Quantum Physics in 1997, both from the University of Copenhagen. From 1998 to 2003, he was a visiting faculty member and research scientist at Caltech. During this period he also worked on mission design and visualization at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Keynote #3
Roland Ortbach
Vice President, Commercial Web Sales
manroland, Inc. North America

Roland Ortbach's presentation is titled "Printing Press Technology in a Global Marketplace: a Perspective from a Global Press Manufacturer." He will discuss how printing press technology is adapting and evolving to meet the rapidly changing application demands for different market segments both globally and in North America. His presentation will include discussion on the challenges for the printer who is working to stay on the cutting edge of technology, and how they can stay there successfully.

Roland started in the printing industry in 1983 as a sheetfed salesman with Sears in Canada (purchased by the Miller Printing Company which in turn was purchased by manroland in the late 90s). Over the past twenty-six years, he has worked on three different continents in all offset printing markets. Roland has held critical roles with manroland in sheetfed, commercial web, and newspaper business segments, including specialized roles as Product Manager, Regional Sales Manager and the Managing Director leading the Sheetfed Sales business in Canada. For more than ten years he worked with NA-based corporate accounts, first as Director of Corporate Accounts for the commercial web business and then as VP Corporate Accounts. He has enjoyed considerable success in this role, having been an integral part of developing strong corporate relationships resulting in record sales during his tenure in this role. Roland is currently assigned a leadership role within the company as Vice President of Commercial Web Sales.

Keynote #4
Bengt Larsson
Graphic Development
IKEA Communications AB 

This keynote will focus on the transition taking place at IKEA in picture production. It will show some glimpses of how IKEA works with photography, digital files, and rendering. Larsson will give a brief description of workflow and history of visual 3D. He will show illustrations with samples and the ideas behind development. The session will also cover fundamentals in production, like proofing. He will show an elaborated color management technology Ikea uses, called "ColorFamily", and the process the company uses to print.

Bengt Larsson has a long involvement in image production. Over the years he has been active in photography and digital retouching, system evolution, and graphic development. His knowledge in color management and printing for the production of the IKEA catalogue has resulted in shorter lead times and higher quality. Recently he has also been instrumental in the use of full 3D photorealistic rendering and further development of color management in the production of material for print, such as the IKEA Catalogue, and also the Web. Bengt Larsson is now responsible for the production and technical quality within IKEA Communications AB as "Graphic Developer." In this capacity he is devoted to the development of production workflow and image quality.

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