December 2008

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I3D 2009, the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games, will be in Boston on February 27 to March 1. Along with Morgan McGuire I’m a papers cochair this year. Naty served on the papers committee along with 81 others, plus external reviewers; over 300 reviewers were written. We were happy to see a large number of submissions: 87, up from 57 last year. 28 papers were accepted. The papers to be presented are now listed at

Heh, I just noticed Naty also posted this site; well, a little duplication won’t kill you. Amazing to me, Ke-Sen had already tracked down 9 of the papers accepted at I3D – acceptance notices went out on the 5th. I sent the list of all papers accepted to Ke-Sen, as this became open knowledge on the 15th. Ke-Sen’s listing is about as official as it will get until the final program is published at the I3D site.

I should also note that the Posters deadline is just a few days away, on December 19. Posters are a great way to present an idea or a demo and get feedback from the community, without having to spend the time and effort of writing a full formal paper.

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The ever-amazing Ke-Sen Huang already has paper pages up for I3D 2009 and Eurographics 2009. Both conferences are currently in that twilight zone where the authors have been notified (and are putting notifications and preprints on their web pages) but the official paper list has not yet been published.

There are already several interesting papers there: Approximating Dynamic Global Illumination in Image Space (available here) extends the popular SSAO (screen-space ambient occlusion) technique to support directional occlusion and single-bounce diffuse reflection. Automatic Linearization of Nonlinear Skinning (available here) introduces a method to automatically place virtual bones, resulting in quality similar to dual quaternion skinning but using traditional linear skinning. Multiresolution Splatting for Indirect Illumination (available here) speeds up reflective shadow maps by using a multiresolution data structure. Bounding volume hierarchies are important for many algorithms (including ray tracing), so a method to rapidly construct them on the fly is useful. Such a method is detailed in Fast BVH Construction on GPUs (paper web page here). The final paper has a somewhat self-explanatory title: Temporal Glare: Real-Time Dynamic Simulation of the Scattering in the Human Eye (available here).

Two papers, although lacking preprints as of yet, have particularly interesting titles, and I look forward to reading them: Soft Irregular Shadow Mapping: Fast, High-Quality, and Robust Soft Shadows and Real-Time Fluid Simulation using Discrete Sine/Cosine Transforms.

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Gift Books

What with Saturnalia and Festivus coming up, I’ve been buying books. Here are some of the more visually-related titles I’ve found:

  • Mars 3-D – a book of 3D red/blue stereograms of pictures of Mars. I like the way that you cannot lose the glasses: they’re built into the cover of the book.
  • ABC3D – Officially a kid’s alphabet book, it’s actually a well-crafted (and relatively inexpensive) pop-out book with clever little mechanisms and visual tricks throughout.
  • Gallop - This one really is a kid’s book, but the animation mechanism is fun. You can also get a set of greeting cards of the book. Swing is another by the same author.
The main reason GPUs are so numerous and so cheap is games, of course. My current addiction is Left4Dead, but I hope to play a lot of good board games during the holiday break. Some books I’m passing out this year:
  • Game Design Workshop - My older son hopes to do a class project of designing a board game, and this looks like a book that will help. I wish Game Developer magazine would gather its game design articles into book form.
  • The Game Maker’s Apprentice - I hope to lure my younger son into making simple videogames with this, a good book of tutorials for the Gamemaker software, which itself is free to download.
  • One Jump Ahead – About a computer program to play checkers and so much more, by the person who eventually solved checkers. Longer review here. I just love this book on so many levels. I don’t know what the new edition adds; the older edition is noticeably cheaper on
OK, enough diversion from the main topic of this blog; I’ll get back to that next post.

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More Free Books

GPU Gems 3NVIDIA’s done it again, they’re releasing GPU Gems 3 to the web. It’s being done in the installment plan, I expect so that there’s something to announce every few weeks, which is fine. Eventually the whole book will be available, so much better to have this “section a month” scheme than not at all. NVIDIA’s to be complimented on their progressive attitude. GPU Gems 3 is less than a year and a half old, so could still make a few dollars, but NVIDIA’s goal is to get the information out there.

ShaderXThis summer Wolfgang Engel and I tracked down authors of the ShaderX and ShaderX^2 books and secured releases. The ShaderX^2 books quickly found a home at, but Wolfgang had to dig around for the PDF for the first ShaderX book, then find a place to host it, plus the dog ate my homework, etc. Long and short, the original ShaderX book is now free for download here: - I decided to host it on the ACM TOG site, as it’s a valuable resource, despite its hoary old age. Just ignore the first chunk about using 1.x shaders and enjoy the rest.

I do wish the GPU Gems books were available as PDFs (hint, hint, NVIDIA), as they would be much easier to search for those “I know I saw this in one of these books” moments.

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The mention of bilateral filters in the last post reminded me – the updated SIGGRAPH 2008 version of the bilateral filtering course slides have recently been put up on the course web page. The course (also discussed in a n older post) is an excellent introduction to this increasingly important topic.

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