People of ACM European Chapters - Francho Meléndez

April 3, 2018

Can you briefly describe your own line of research and how you became interested in this area?

I did my PhD in photogrammetry and digitization using photographs, and this is still very much one of my interests. Currently, I am working on computer vision using camera networks for behavior analysis, but I devote some time to computer graphics and virtual reality research.

My interest in these fields comes from love of cinema and visual effects, and the technology to make them possible, which is the perfect combination of computer graphics and vision.

In your area of research, what recent advance/emerging subfield will yield important advances in the years ahead?

I am probably biased, but I would expect the combination of computer vision plus deep learning plus cloud computing to permeate many industries and become ubiquitous. Some current examples are cashier-free shops and self-driving cars.

On the other hand, virtual and augmented reality are progressing from media-hyped buzzwords to mature mediums for content creation and consumption, powered by the continuous advances in real-time graphics. Virtual reality applications are endless, and as headsets become cheaper and wireless, they will only gain in importance.

Will you tell us a little about the Wroclaw ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter?

A big part of our activity includes technical seminars as well as screenings of the Computer Animation Festival. We also organize one or two bigger events a year in collaboration with industry partners. Our objectives are to bring people working in graphics together and complement other initiatives that are more focused on one particular topic, such as video games development or post-production. We have around 60 active members, but the events are open to anyone to join.

Our last event was actually a collaboration with ACM-W, “talk&tech ACM Celebration of Women in Computing”. We had 17 speakers working in different areas of technology, and four workshops in programming and design thinking. We had a great time and gathered more than 300 attendees.

Why is being part of the Wroclaw ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter beneficial to members?

The obvious benefits are meeting other people that are really passionate about computer graphics and related topics, and who enjoy the events we organize. Our events give access to SIGGRAPH content as well as the opportunity to meet “SIGGRAPH people,” a group that comprises some of the best professionals in the field.

A maybe less obvious benefit is the opportunity to volunteer for ACM and for SIGGRAPH, which in my experience has been always very rewarding and a fantastic experience.

Francho Meléndez is an assistant professor at the University of Wroclaw, Poland where he teaches subjects related to computer graphics, computer vision and computational photography. His research interests include photogrammetry, 3D filming, rendering, and computational photography.

Among his recent projects, he participated in the production of the movie “Loving Vincent,” which was billed as the world’s first fully painted feature film. Meléndez is the Chair of the Wroclaw ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter.