Archive for the ‘Interactive Graphics’ Category

Indian American scientist designs eye testing tool on mobile to be showcased at the Siggraph conference

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 7th July 2010 in Interactive Graphics

Ramesh Raskar, an Indian-origin American scientist has come up with a novel concept of testing your eyes by using a smartphone and a specially designed eyepiece in the confines of one’s home. The method uses the application called Near-to-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment (Netra). It includes a viewer fitted over a cellphone’s screen combined with software running on the phone.

Raskar, working with the Camera Culture group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says of his unique innovation, “It can be thought of as a thermometer for visual performance.” It will be showcased at the Siggraph conference in Los Angeles in July.

The test follows a simple method. The phone will show an image that appears as a pair of parallel lines, which is converted into a virtual 3D by the eyepiece. The subject needs to focus on the image and use the phone’s keyboard to adjust the line so that they merge. The correction needed to the eye is gauged by the amount of adjustment done, which is then translated in dioptres-a number which opticians can use to provide corrective lenses.

A customary 3D display presents a little different view to left and right eyes. However, the Netra creates the 3D illusion in another fashion- by presenting different views to different parts of the same eye simultaneously. Ankit Mohan, a Postdoctoral Researcher, who also worked on the design, explains that if the person has perfect eyesight, these separate images will overlap and appear as a single image.

The innovation of Netra surely promises to be very helpful in detecting any eye correction at your home, rather than going all the way to an eye clinic. It also will be helpful to scores of people who cannot easily access regular optometry services

Siggraph 2010 Includes Interactive Sessions

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 30th June 2010 in Interactive Graphics

The Computer Animation Festival at SIGGRAPH 2010 offers more than just a viewing experience. In addition to film screenings, the Festival includes interactive sessions and opportunities to learn industry secrets, behind-the-scenes stories, and advice from some of the most successful professionals in this field.

“Attendees will get a glimpse of the work that went into creating some of this year’s most successful films, including ‘Avatar’, ‘The Last Airbender’, ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and many more,” said Isaac Kerlow, Computer Animation Festival Director from The Earth Observatory of Singapore/NTU ADM. “Nowhere else in the world will so many computer graphics and animation experts come together under one roof to discuss both success stories as well as failures. In essence, sharing information is how this industry continues to move forward by leaps and bounds year after year.”

Listed below are just a few of the learning opportunities during the Computer Animation Festival:

Production Sessions
Production Sessions are high-level discussions that showcase how computer graphics and interactive techniques are actually designed and implemented. Attendees of all experience levels will benefit.

The Making of God of War III
Izzy, Concept Artist; Patrick Murphy, Lead Character Modeler; Bruno Velazquez, Lead Animator; Bryan Koszoru, Environment Artist; Paul Coda, Sr. Environment Artist; Jung Ho Park, Concept Artist; SCEA, Santa Monica
The makers of God of War III detail the creative process behind the game’s groundbreaking visuals. The first part of the session follows the lead character, Kratos, from initial concept art through modeling to animation. Particular emphasis is given to issues specific to game animation, such as integration with player control and combat systems. The second part focuses on the game environments, exploring different approaches used to create game levels from initial concept art.

Making “Avatar”
Joe Letteri, Senior Visual Effects Supervisor; Stephen Rosenbaum, Visual Effects Supervisor; Richard Baneham, Animation Supervisor; Weta Digital
“Avatar” is the first predominately digitally created film, shot and directed as a live action film. Key to the director’s vision was having photorealistic, believable digital characters and environments fit seamlessly with live action. To accomplish this, Weta Digital, led by Joe Letteri, developed innovations that enabled the director and actors work as if they were in a conventional live-action movie, even when filming sequences that were entirely computer-generated. For the audience to connect with the blue-skinned ten-foot-tall “Na’vi”, they had to see the actor’s soul shine through the character’s eyes. This required increased realism in character animation, especially the facial animation. The emotional performances of the characters in “Avatar” take digital characters to a new level of believability and, at the same time, enhance story telling.

Animation Blockbuster Breakdown
Shawn Kelly, Lead Animator, Industrial Light & Magic; and Co-Founder, Animation Mentor
Carlos Baena, Lead Animator, Pixar Animation Studios; and Co-Founder, Animation Mentor
Eric Goldberg, Supervising Animator, Walt Disney Animation Studios
Michael Makarewicz, Supervising Animator, Pixar Animation Studios
Aaron Hartline, Animator, Pixar Animation Studios; and Animation Mentor
Animation industry veterans break down shots from your favorite animated films. In 10-minute presentations, they each show two animated shots from recent feature films, summarize the challenges they experienced with each shot, and reveal new ways to approach the craft of animation.

“The Last Airbender” – Harnessing the Elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire
Pablo Helman, Visual Effects Supervisor; Olivier Maury, R&D Engineer; Daniel Pearson, CG Supervisor; Industrial Light & Magic
To create the visual effects work for M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender”, ILM developed a hybrid GPU-based simulation engine and renderer. In this session, the production team explains how this novel system allowed artists to achieve photorealistic results at exponential speed increases over previous methods of complex simulation. The team also sheds light on the vast 3D environments created for the show, dissects some of the more challenging effects sequences, and reveals how the results were achieved.

“Day & Night”
Teddy Newton, Director; Kevin Reher, Producer; Pixar Animation Studios
When Day, a sunny fellow, encounters Night, a stranger of distinctly darker moods, sparks fly! At first, they are frightened and suspicious of each other, and they quickly get off on the wrong foot. But as they discover each other’s unique qualities and realize that each offers a different window onto the same world, their friendship helps both to gain a new perspective. The stereo 3D screening of “Day & Night” precedes a presentation by the director, Teddy Newton, who explains his inspiration for the film, what it took to get a green light from the studio, and the challenges posed by such a technically ambitious process.

Live Real-Time Demos
This content showcases the very best of video games and real-time simulations. To help emphasize the difference between these works and pre-rendered works, real-time pieces are demonstrated live on their actual platforms without any post-production. In addition, a selection of these projects will be available for interactive demonstrations in The Sandbox, an open videogame play area.

Agenda Circling Forth
Fairlight and CNCD
A unique real-time demo that takes its inspiration from the Impressionist painters but with an innovative modern twist: it builds animated 3D scenes entirely from particles. Every pixel truly is alive in this piece.

University of California, San Diego
Real-time demonstration of novel glyph-based visualization techniques. One of the scenarios shows the “Big One” earthquake simulation, highlighting effects on the Los Angeles region.

God of War III
Sony Computer Entertainment
God of War III is the latest entry in the successful God of War series and the first on PlayStation 3. It combines epic set pieces with exquisite fine detail, and its visuals display both technical and creative virtuosity.

Making Love
Quel Solaar
This demo is an exploration of the world of the procedural one-man indie “MMO LOVE”. The demo also showcases the tools used to create assets, like sketch-based modeling, 100% automatic UV mapping, shader and asset management tools, and the layer-based procedural texturing tool.

Supersonic Sled
NVIDIA Corporation
The NVIDIA Supersonic Sled is a full physics simulation of a mechanical assembly subjected to heavy loads. Using PhysX, CUDA, and DirectX 11, this demonstration uses real-time simulation and graphics techniques to produce a realistic and exhilarating experience of driving a powerful machine on the edge of control.

SIGGRAPH 2010 Art Gallery Glows

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 21st June 2010 in Interactive Graphics

From virtual bugs to wearable devices, the SIGGRAPH 2010 Art Gallery investigates the multi-sensory nature of human experience in a technologically enhanced environment. The official title is TouchPoint: Haptic Exchange Between Digits, and from more than 250 submitted pieces, the jury selected 14 to be featured at SIGGRAPH 2010.

“The exhibition becomes an interactive environment where the viewer or participant is essential to the manifestation of the work,” said Richard Elaver, SIGGRAPH 2010 Juried Art Chair from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. “This is art that immerses people, and the end result is an art experience that many have never encountered before.”

Works exhibited in TouchPoint are published in a special issue of MIT Press’s Leonardo, the Journal of the International Society of the Arts, Sciences and Technology. Peer-reviewed SIGGRAPH 2010 Art Papers will also be published in this special issue, which coincides with SIGGRAPH 2010 in July. A reception for the Art Gallery will be held Tuesday, July 27 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. in Room 150 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where attendees can talk with the artists, designers, and Art Papers authors about their work and meet the members of the SIGGRAPH 2010 committee who organized this year’s Art Gallery.

The Art Gallery jury consisted of a wide range of the leading experts in haptics, design theory, architecture, and sculpture.

Highlights of the SIGGRAPH 2010 Art Gallery include:

Echidna ll
Tine Bech, University of the West of England and Tom Frame, Surrey Space Centre
This interactive sound sculpture is a fussy, tumbled creature that has an electronic voice. Undisturbed, it hums happily, but when it is touched it squeaks and reacts to human presence. The work combines a circuit that directly measures electrostatic changes in the environment and a custom-designed, phase-locked loop system that drives an audio speaker.

Glowing Pathfinder Bugs
In this shared environment of a sandpit, virtual creatures and real people coexist and communicate. The sand operates as a tactile interface, allowing participants to define physical landscapes to which the digital creatures respond in real time. The result is a form of animal husbandry, a sense of controlling and caring for the bugs.

Yasuaki Kakehi, Keio University; Motoshi Chikamori and Kyoko Kunoh, plaplax
To experience hanahanahana, the participant applies perfume to a leaf-shaped piece of paper and shakes it in front of a bud-like device. A flower appears and changes intensity according to the strength of the floating scent, while color and shape also vary according to the type of fragrance applied to the paper. Participants can enjoy temporal and spatial variations of floating air with olfactory sensations from the scent, visual sensations from the projection screen, and tactile sensations from the wind.

In the Line of Sight
Daniel Sauter, University of Illinois at Chicago and Fabian Winkler, Purdue University
In the Line of Sight is a light installation that uses 100 computer-controlled tactical flashlights to project low-resolution video footage of suspicious human motion into the exhibition space.

Tools for Improved Social Interacting
Lauren McCarthy, University of California, Los Angeles
This series of wearable devices (the Anti-Daydreaming Device, the Happiness Hat, and the Body Contact Training Suit) uses sensors to condition the wearer to better adapt to expected social behaviors. The work explores the potential for technology to shape how we think, feel, and act. It also questions our social expectations and attempts to improve our understanding of their function and worth.

SIGGRAPH 2010’s Emerging Technologies

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 11th June 2010 in Interactive Graphics

SIGGRAPH 2010’s Emerging Technologies presents innovations across a broad range of applications, including displays, robotics, input interfaces, vision technologies, and interactive techniques. Presented in a combination of technologies chosen by the organizers and works selected by a jury of experts, the 22 selections came from more than 107 international submissions and will be on display and available for interaction with attendees in Los Angeles this summer.

“With every passing year, the technologies presented at SIGGRAPH become more and more astonishing,” said Preston J. Smith, SIGGRAPH 2010 Emerging Technologies Chair from Laureate Institute for Brain Research. “This year is no different as conference attendees will experience first-hand the latest achievements across science, commercial, and research fields. In some instances, these technologies are making their first public appearance and are coming to SIGGRAPH directly from research labs.”

 Listed below are just a few highlights from the SIGGRAPH 2010 Emerging Technologies. Acroban the Humanoid Olivier Ly, INRIA/LaBRI; Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, INRIA Acroban is the first humanoid robot able to demonstrate playful, compliant, and intuitive physical interaction with children while moving and walking dynamically. Also, it is able to keep its equilibrium when moving even if unpredicted physical interactions are initiated by humans. Potential Future Use: The system is presented in an entertainment human-robot interaction context specifically meant to engage children. In this demonstration, the robot has a range of behaviors that it combines in order to react intuitively, naturally, and creatively to uncontrolled external intervention. A Fluid-Suspension, Electromagnetically Driven Eye with Video Capability for Animatronic Applications Lanny Smoot, Disney Research; Katie Bassett, Yale University; Marcus Hammond, Stanford University This compact, fluid-suspension, electromagnetically gimbaled animatronic eye requires minimal operating power, a range of motion, and saccade speeds that can exceed those of the human eye without the traditional frictional wear points. Potential Future Use: In a special application, the eye can be separated into a hermetically sealable portion that might be used as a human eye prosthesis, along with an extra-cranially-mounted magnetic drive. Gesture World Technology Kiyoshi Hoshino, Motomasa Tomida, Takanobu Tanimoto, University of Tsukuba This technology allows people to control devices such as computers, household appliances, and robots by means of everyday gestures without using sensors or controllers. It employs high-speed and high-accuracy computer vision technology capable of estimating the hand and arm poses captured by a compact high-speed camera. Potential Future Use: This technology could be applied in a wide range of areas, such as gesture-based computer operation, virtual games, remote control without a remote controller, digital archiving of artisan skills, and remote robot control. 360-degree Autostereoscopic Display Hiroki Kikuchi, Katsuhisa Itou, Hisao Sakurai, Izushi Kobayashi, Hiroaki Yasunaga, Kazutatsu Tokuyama, Hirotaka Ishikawa, Hidenori Mori, Kengo Hayasaka, and Hiroyuki Yanagisawa, Sony Corporation This autostereoscopic display is a compact, cylindrical display, which can show full-color, high-quality, volumetric, 3D images, videos, and interactive animation viewable without glasses from any angle (360 degrees). Potential Future Use: This display has many potential applications, such as amusement, professional visualization, digital signage, museum display, video games, and futuristic 3D telecommunication. Meta Cookie Takuji Narumi, The University of Tokyo; Takashi Kajinami, The University of Tokyo; Tomohiro Tanikawa, The University of Tokyo; Michitaka Hirose, The University of Tokyo Meta Cookie is a novel pseudo-gustation system to change the perceived taste of a cookie by overlaying visual and olfactory information onto a real cookie with an augmented reality (AR) marker by using AR and olfactory display technology. Potential Future Use: Meta Cookie combines augmented reality technology and olfactory display technology. Merging these two technologies creates a revolutionary interactive gustatory display that reveals a new horizon for computer-human interaction. Meta Cookie combines augmented reality and olfactory display technologies to change the perceived taste of a real cookie. © 2010 The University of Tokyo, Takuji Narumi. In-Air Typing Interface for Mobile Devices with Vibration Feedback Takehiro Niikura, Yuki Hirobe, Alvaro Cassinelli, Yoshihiro Watanabe, Takashi Komuro, Masatoshi Ishikawa, and Atsushi Matsutani, The University of Tokyo This vision-based 3D input interface for mobile devices does not require space on the surface of the device, other physical devices, or specific environments. Based on a camera with a wide-angle lens, it can operate in a wide 3D space. Potential Future Use: This device could one day replace the need for physical keyboards across all hardware.

Jim Morris, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Production at Pixar Animation Studios to Keynote at Siggraph

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 25th May 2010 in Interactive Graphics

ACM SIGGRAPH announces the selection of Jim Morris, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Production at Pixar Animation Studios, to give one of the keynote presentations at SIGGRAPH 2010, the 37th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques.

Courtesy Pixar Animation Studios At Pixar since 2005, Morris has worked as a producer and production executive in the motion picture industry for more than 23 years. As part of Pixar’s executive team, he has served as production executive on many of Pixar’s most successful films including “Ratatouiile,” “Up,” and the upcoming “Toy Story 3.” In 2009, he produced Disney•Pixar’s highly acclaimed, “WALL•E,” which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and garnered him the Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures from the Producer’s Guild of America. He is currently producing Disney’s much anticipated “John Carter of Mars,” which is scheduled for release in 2012.

“As an industry leader and visionary, Jim’s keynote will be one of many ‘can’t miss’ moments of SIGGRAPH 2010,” said Terrence Masson, SIGGRAPH 2010 Conference Chair from Northeastern University. “His contributions over the years have moved the industry forward in ways we never imagined. His impact will be felt for decades to come. With his breadth and depth of experiences, he truly is the epitome of this year’s underlying focus of the ‘People Behind the Pixels.’”

Prior to Pixar, Morris worked for Lucasfilm and its divisions for 17 years. He served as president of Lucas Digital Ltd. for 11 years, where he was responsible for Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Lucasfilm Animation, and Skywalker Sound. At that time, Morris served as ILM’s general manager, where he supervised a staff of more than 1,400 artists and technicians, and guided the largest visual effects facility in the entertainment industry. Under Morris’ leadership, ILM created the groundbreaking and Academy Award®-winning visual effects seen in “Jurassic Park,” “Death Becomes Her,” “Forrest Gump,” and more than 150 other films.

Morris had previously supervised all of ILM’s production, including “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” which won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, “Hook,” “Star Trek VI,” “The Rocketeer,” “Backdraft,” “Die Hard 2,” and dozens of other successful film projects.

Morris first joined ILM in 1987 as a producer of visual effects for films and commercials. Among other films, Morris produced effects for James Cameron’s “The Abyss,” which also earned an Academy Award® for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, and Steven Spielberg’s “Always.”

Morris earned a B.S. degree in film from the Newhouse School, Syracuse University, and holds a M.S. in television and radio from the same institution. He has served as president of the San Francisco Film Commission and was the founding chair of the Visual Effects Society (VES). Morris is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild.

Learning Challenge at SIGGRAPH 2010

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 15th April 2010 in Interactive Graphics

ACM SIGGRAPH announces the launch of the Learning Challenge at SIGGRAPH 2010 – an open competition sponsored by Disney Research with the goal of finding new and creative ways to use technology to make learning fun for children. Based on the principle that fun and learning should not be contradictory, teams are asked to develop an engaging, computer-based learning application that will delight, inspire, and reveal key learning concepts for children ages 7-11.

The learning application must be a layered activity that moves a child from minimal knowledge to active knowledge in one or more learning concepts via entertaining interactions on computers. The subject matter should be in the areas of math, art, science, music, or reading/writing and involve at least one of 10 key learning concepts.

“Pushing the boundaries of computer graphics and interactive techniques is a core part of SIGGRAPH,” says Terrence Masson, SIGGRAPH 2010 Conference Chair from Northeastern University. “We are thrilled that Disney Research has chosen SIGGRAPH 2010 as the location for such a noble competition with a goal of improving youth education through the use of technology and creativity. We anticipate a fantastic response from both the academic and professional communities.”

The competition is open to individuals or teams (from collegiate students working with faculty advisors to working professionals) who must submit work by 7 June 2010. A complete submission includes a one-page abstract, one representative image suitable for use in promotional materials, and up to six supplementary images and/or a maximum five-minute supplementary video. The submission will be judged by a jury of industry leaders and experts.

Twenty finalists will receive travel grants of $1,500 per team and free SIGGRAPH 2010 registration. The winners will be announced 28 July at SIGGRAPH 2010 in Los Angeles and will be eligible to receive a $10,000 cash prize, Disney R&D Tours, Disney Animation Tours, and Walt Disney Studio Tours.

Panels to be Important Part of Siggraphs 2010

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 27th March 2010 in Interactive Graphics

Panels are moderated discussions on important topics, with expert panelists chosen by a SIGGRAPH jury to provide a wide range of perspectives. Panels have long been an important part of the annual SIGGRAPH conference because they provide a forum for the community to share experiences, opinions, insights, speculation, disagreement, controversy, and audience interaction with the leading experts in computer graphics and interactive techniques.

Siggraph 2010 is coming to Los Angeles

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 16th February 2010 in Interactive Graphics

Now in its 37th year, the SIGGRAPH conference is the premier international event on computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2010 is expected to draw an estimated 25,000 professionals from five continents to Los Angeles, California

The SIGGRAPH conference attracts the most respected technical and creative people from all over planet Earth. The SIGGRAPH community includes people everywhere who are excited by research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web. SIGGRAPH 2010 is sponsored by The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), an educational and scientific society uniting the world’s computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges.

The SIGGRAPH conference and exhibition is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience including a three-day commercial exhibition that attracts hundreds of exhibitors from around the world. SIGGRAPH is widely recognized as the most prestigious forum for the publication of computer graphics research. In addition to SIGGRAPH’s leading-edge technical program, the conference’s installations provide close-up views of the latest in digital art, emerging technologies, and hands-on opportunities for creative collaboration.

The conference also hosts the international SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival, showcasing works from the world’s most innovative and accomplished digital film and video creators. Juried and curated content includes outstanding achievements in time-based art, scientific visualization, visual effects, real-time graphics, and narrative shorts. Since 1999, the festival has been an official qualifying event for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Animated Short Film award.

Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, California, USA

Conference: 25 – 29 July (Sunday through Thursday)
Exhibition: 27 – 29 July (Tuesday through Thursday)

Don Marinelli, a leading Carnegie Mellon scholar and educator to give keynote at 2010 Siggraph

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 30th January 2010 in Interactive Graphics

ACM SIGGRAPH announces the selection of Don Marinelli, a leading Carnegie Mellon scholar and educator, to give one of its keynote presentations at SIGGRAPH, the 37th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, Sunday 25 July – Thursday, 29 July 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

Marinelli is the executive producer of Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center, a joint initiative between the College of Fine Arts and the School of Computer Science, where technologists and non-technologists work together on projects that produce installations intended to entertain, inform, inspire, or otherwise affect an audience, guest, player, or participant. 

“With each passing year, the boundary between artists, scientists, and graphic experts becomes more blurred,” stated Terrence Masson, SIGGRAPH 2010 Conference Chair from Northeastern University. “To truly have the highest quality final product, whether that is a film or an interactive installation, collaborators from different fields must understand each other. Marinelli is an expert at bridging these different disciplines for the best end result. In essence, this is an underlying theme throughout SIGGRAPH’s history and his insights will be enlightening to all working professionals and students.”

For the past 29 years Marinelli has served different roles at Carnegie Mellon including co-creator of the Master of Arts Management Program, co-creator of the Master of Fine Arts in Acting degree program with the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia, and co-founding the Master of Entertainment Technology Degree Program with Randy Pausch. Marinelli is also a tenured professor and holds degrees from the University of Tampa, Duquesne University, and a Ph.D from the University of Pittsburgh.

Marinelli’s upcoming book, The Comet and the Tornado, is being released this spring and recounts the six years he and Pausch shared an office creating the center that has become recognized internationally as Carnegie Mellon’s “Dream Fulfillment Factory.” Please note: Conference dates for SIGGRAPH 2010 have been changed from their original Monday through Friday pattern, to Sunday, 25 July 2010 through Thursday, 29 July 2010. SIGGRAPH Exhibition dates have remained Tuesday, 27 July 2010 – Thursday, 29 July 2010.