Disney's Practical Guide to Path Tracing (YouTube) Hyperion handles several million light rays at a time by sorting and bundling them together according to their directions. When the rays are grouped in this way, many of the rays in a bundle hit the same object in the same region of space. This similarity of ray hits allows us – and the computer – to optimize the calculations for the objects hit. [more inside]
David O'Reilly (previously), animator and creator of the indie game Mountain, and Kim Laughton, post-internet artist, have started the tumblr blog #HYPERREALCG. It's dedicated to "showcasing the world's most impressive & technical hyper-real 3d art." A number of tech outlets have picked up on the project, apparently (?) taking it at face value: Gizmodo, Huffington Post, Laughing Squid. A fun bit of trolling and perception for your Saturday afternoon.
Louis Gorenfeld lovingly explores the mathematics and techniques behind early, pseudo-3D games. [more inside]
Ikea migrated from product photography to digital rendering in V-Ray and Max so 75% of its catalog is virtual - down to the afternoon sunlight filtering through soft NORDIS curtains across SLÄTTEN floors near that framed BILD print resting against the BILLY bookcases...
Like cheesy 3D animation and PornHub comments? Here you go!
If you are like me and always tinkering with UI fonts in Linux... Just tripped over Infinality which is a set of pretty nifty FreeType patches. Got it installed and my painfully tweaked Linux font settings look lovely.
This video is a sample of many of the amazing new CG technologies developed over the past year, featured at SIGGRAPH 2013. The video shows things like flowing water, cloth, bouncing blobs, realistic hair, and on-the-fly generation. Previous years' videos inside! [more inside]
We've all seen it. The off-white UAV is seen side on, nose tilted slightly down, a stubby missile caught at the moment of launch beneath it, a blue and grey landscape of treeless mountains behind it. There's no motion blur and none of the markings on the aircraft have been obfuscated. It's a perfect shot. Except for one or two details. [more inside]
Every film Pixar has produced has landed in the top fifty highest-grossing animated films of all time. What's their secret? Mathematics. Oh, and 22 Rules of Storytelling. [more inside]
These days, it's easy to take visualizations of biological molecules for granted, what with the easy availability of an ever-increasing supply of high-resolution X-ray and neutron crystallography data, as well as freely available software that render them into beautiful and useful images that help us understand how life works. The lack of computers and computer networks in the mid-1950s made creating these illustrations a painstaking collaboration, requiring an artist's craftsmanship and aesthetic sense, as well as, most importantly, the critical ability to visualize the concepts that scientists wish to communicate. One such scientific artist was Irving Geis, who painted the first biological macromolecule obtained through X-ray data: an iconic watercolor representation of the structure of sperm whale myoglobin, as seen in the third slide of this slideshow of selected pieces. His first effort was a revolutionary work of informatics, including coloring and shading effects that emphasized important structural and functional features of the myoglobin protein, simultaneously moving the less-important aspects into the background, all while stressing simplicity and beauty throughout. The techniques that Geis developed in this and subsequent works influenced the standards for basic 2D protein visualization that are used today.
The nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh was built in measureless eons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars.
Have you ever wondered what non-euclidean geometry actually looks like? This video uses a custom ray tracer for the Minecraft engine to give some examples.
When Iñigo Quílez isn't hard at work at Pixar, he's active in the demoscene, creating 4KB programs that render incredible procedurally generated scenes. He also writes tutorials on both video and audio synthesis, but arguably the coolest section of his site features live-coding videos of him improvising both audio and video rendering code that will make any experienced programmer feel wholly inadequate.
40 Year Old 3D Computer Graphics, created by Edwin Catmull and Fred Parke (with some help from Bob Ingebretsen) in... wait for it... 1972!
Fascinating 3D renderings of different processes inside of a human body. Yes, the style is quite similar to The Inner Life of The Cell, but this one is different. Dissolving of the pills was definitely entertaining. It would be great if a doctor could comment on the other processes that are displayed.
Here are some beautifully rendered views of polytopes, and a few more. The rendering program, Jenn 3D, is free and downloadable, (OS X, Linux, Win) and includes some really dazzling fly-about and camera effects as well as tons of high-dimensional models to explore. There's also a mind-boggling possibility of playing Go on boards in projective space. Via the Math Paint blog, which leads to other interesting places...
Delicious Arson at the Hog Rendering Plant? New York Pork, a Toronto based slaughterhouse, burned to the ground on November 6th. While the cause of the fire is still under debate, the photographs of the cleanup of more than 700 seared pig carcasses make for a disturbing Flickr slideshow.
How Sub-Pixel Rendering Works: a method of anti-aliasing, sub-pixel rendering (or ClearType as Microsoft calls it) exploits the fact that pixels on LCD screens are actually made up of three sub-pixels: red, blue, and green. By constructing fonts using the sub-pixels, the results are arguably smoother lines and easier-to-read type. Sadly (or happily) CRTs benefit little, if at all, from the technology.
Digital Artform is a fascinating resource for those interested in 3D graphics, digital painting, and the like. How about turning 2D stills into 3D animations, the truth about motion blur and colour mixing, or outlines in action? Also, a recipe for making your own Viewmaster reels, and the politics of colour saturation.
"Since I was a little boy I have always dreamed that one day man would journey to the moon and beyond. I now try to create images that show the possibilities of space flight with the technologies that are currently available today or what could be in the near future. In doing so, I try to depict what a manned space mission might actually look like to one of the 9 planets in our solar system." [Not Flash, but fun for Friday anyway.]
Platonic Ideal? Or banality? Some chums and I were having the classic argument over 3d package superiority when we discovered, overjoyed, that they all had one thing in common, the Utah Teapot. I didn't realize this oddball shape had a history, or that is was real . . . but if the virtual (actual scan!) isn't your gig, whip out yer foldin' fingers.
The Buddhabrot Set is a re-visualization of the Mandelbrot Set, created with a rendering technique invented by Melinda Green, who further extended it to create the Buddhagram. [Via MonkeyFilter.]
There's a new 3D picture every day, and if you look at the archive all at once, it's like reading a slightly unnerving children's book.
For the last year or so, I've been messing around with a little app called Blender. Blender is a piece of 3d rendering and animation software that does quite a bit of what high priced renderers like 3D Studio Max and Ray Dream do [samples]. The difference is that Blender is free.[more...]
The Brazil Rendering System, a render-farm arsenal of 3D Studio Max talent, has some unbelievably realistic pictures in its gallery. Some of these images took days just to render few 10 megabyte files. Stunning.
If you've ever wanted your first-person shooter to feel a little less real, NPRQuake may be just what you need. The blueprint and brushstroke versions are nice, but for my money you can't beat sketchy Quake. Unfortunately, the NPR in the name stands for Non-Photorealistic Rendering, not that other NPR, so don't expect Robert Siegel or Linda Wertheimer skins any time soon. (via haddock.org)