Let’s get visual. Last in the series, for now.
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All linked out yet? Here’s more worthwhile stuff I’ve run across since last SIGGRAPH.
- Guidance and resources galore at this site on GPU debugging for OpenGL.
- Remember Animusic? It got real.
- If the article made me teary, well… I haven’t gotten up the nerve to play the game yet.
- 3D model capture is getting absurdly good.
- It’s been a number of months since the last chapter was released, but it’s worth noting the free & interactive Immersive Linear Algebra book is now up to six chapters.
- Car models made of paper, everyone’s building them. One artist’s effort (her site here), and more corporatish efforts from Nissan and from Toyota.
- Speaking of paper, Halloween’s only a half-year away, so consider making a Wintercroft polygonal mask. The plans and materials are cheap, and I recommend printing directly onto the paper vs. making templates. Post to Twitter or elsewhere; I did.
Next in the continuing series. In this episode Jaimie finds that the world is an illusion and she’s a butterfly’s dream, while Wilson works out his plumbing problems.
- Ray tracing blasts from the future-past: Rayshade is on Github, and the IBM 1401 is now rendering. Oh, and at the other end of things, 2D light transport simulation.
- Speaking of ray tracing, here’s a 4K demoscene demo that’s pretty great considering its size. I started it 50 seconds in because it gets nice after that. More info and code’s here.
- 3D printing is dead, thank heavens, and has lots going on: phone-driven 3Dprinter (color me skeptical), and Mattel plans on releasing a 3D printer for kids (if it doesn’t burn or maim, is it real technology?).
- How did this lovely image fill technique not get discovered long ago? Very clever. Code here.
- $3 million in art and sound assets from Infinity Blade are free for download, for use in Unreal Engine. Find them this way.
- Pixar collaborated with Khan Academy to make a free set of lessons on computer graphics with nice production values for grade/high schoolers. A few questions were mildly buggy when I tried them, and I reported the problems, so these may have been fixed.
- Freaky – click and orbit it a bit.
- If you are involved in videogames and education, or even have just a passing interest, get Mark Deloura’s free weekly Level Up Report.
- Are those cool computer graphics researcher kids at school still mocking you? Read this pronunciation guide (related post of ours here).
- Entrim 4D: I tried this technology long ago at SIGGRAPH (after signing a “don’t sue us if we mess you up” form), it’s super-weird. Best part of the demo was when they handed you a joystick so you could control your perception of gravity.
- Physical, artistic environment map.
- TiltBrush drawing in VR is amazing to watch. This video is fun, too.
- Newell’s Utah teapot siting over Linz, Austria.
- Effect of changing field of view and distance to subject:
Some years ago I read the book The Public Domain about copyright and learned an interesting tidbit: photos of public domain paintings or photos are not covered by copyright in the U.S., they’re free to reuse.
Here’s the relevant bit from Wikipedia:
Reproductions of public domain works
The requirement of originality was also invoked in the 1999 United States District Court case Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. In the case, Bridgeman Art Library questioned the Corel Corporation‘s rights to redistribute their high quality reproductions of old paintings that had already fallen into the public domain due to age, claiming that it infringed on their copyrights. The court ruled that exact or “slavish” reproductions of two-dimensional works such as paintings and photographs
Another court case related to threshold of originality was the 2008 case Meshwerks v. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. In this case, the court ruled that wire-frame computer models of Toyota vehicles were not entitled to additional copyright protection since the purpose of the models was to faithfully represent the original objects without any creative additions.
The wire-frame case is obviously relevant to computer graphics. There’s a rundown of other countries’ laws on Wikimedia Commons’ site.
Private collections are within their rights to limit access as they wish, as misguided as I think it is to sell public domain works to the public. I have a problem with any public institution invoking protection of photos of works, since there’s no legal basis for this.
The Public Domain is free to download and worth a read. To be honest, after a bit I skimmed chapter 2, but I particularly enjoyed chapter 7, a case study in which the U.S.’s more permissive rules on what is in the public domain (“sweat of the brow” works are not copyright in the U.S.) are contrasted with Europe’s more restrictive laws.
Oh, and if you like to read about copyright (you weirdo), you might enjoy The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet. The second half is worthwhile, though quite sad, and a story I suspect many of us know to some extent. The first half is about the evolution of copyright laws in the United States, which went from being a haven for piracy of foreign (primarily English) works to an ardent defender of extending copyright almost into perpetuity (despite there being no incentive benefits in extending copyright retroactively, since the law at the time the work was created was found sufficiently appealing to the original author; sorry, I feel a rant coming on…). Ahhh, imagine this alternate universe. <– That’s a great link, by the way, well worth a click.
I haven’t made one of these link posts for awhile. This one’s recent news, the ones to come will have more fun stuff.
- Forget the dropped mic, Google’s VR announcement yesterday was exciting, almost as good as the Apple Pencil (oh, wait, that one’s real).
- This week I learned that you can embed Sketchfab models in Facebook posts (just post the share link; another example and another), and also set them to automatically spin (though not both at once, yet) and other options.
- Pete Shirley’s last book in his trilogy of “Ray Tracing Minibooks” is free to purchase until April 5th. Short & sweet & solid. More information on the series and other stuff on Pete’s blog, and here’s his how-to publish guide – go make one yourself!
- GPU Pro 7 was briefly available on Amazon but then sold out, the rest of us have to wait for the slow boat making its way to Amazon. Source code repository has been started here (also includes GPU Pro 6 code).
- In a similar vein, Eric Lengyel’s Game Engine Gems 3 should be out in a few weeks.
- The figures for “Real-Time Rendering, 3rd edition” are now on Flickr for easy viewing. These have been available for a long while, and I tossed them up on to Flickr in good part so that I can find a figure easily, any time I want.
- Ray casting gets attention, see the original here.
The deadline for submission is April 5th. See http://s2016.siggraph.org/real-time-live-submissions
If you don’t know, “Real-Time Live!” is an event showcasing cool rendering and interactive techniques over the past year. If you’re working in this area, submit a proposal and let the rest of us enjoy seeing it.
I got tired of re-finding various useful WebGL and three.js links, so I made a page:
What cool things am I missing?
I’ve made it a page of links I am likely to want to check out in the future. It’s a bit hard to draw the line. For example, I didn’t bother adding fun demos such as this and this, but I did add the page where I browse new demos. I don’t list development systems such as Goo Create for non-programmers, which is built on this open-source WebGL engine and has some interesting features. Nice things all, but I personally am unlikely to come back to them (or if I do, they’re now in this blog post).
Michael Cohen was looking at John Hable’s useful test image:
He noticed an odd thing. Looking at the image on his monitor (“an oldish Dell”) from across the room, it looked fine, the 187 area matched the side areas:
(yes, ignore the moires and all the rest – honestly, the 187 matches the side bars.)
However, sitting at his computer, the 128 square then matched the side bars:
Pretty surprising! We finally figured it out, that it’s the view angle: going off-axis resulted in a considerably different gray appearance. Moving your head left and right didn’t have much effect on the grays, but up and down had a dramatic effect.
Even knowing this, I can’t say I fully understand it. I get the idea that off-axis viewing can affect the brightness, but I would have thought this change would be consistent: grays would be dimmed down the same factor as whites. That last image shows this isn’t the case: the grays may indeed be dimmed down, but the alternating white lines are clearly getting dimmed down more than twice as much, such that they then match the 128 gray level. It’s like there’s a different gamma level when moving off-axis. Anyone know the answer?
Addendum: and if you view the first image on the iPhone, you get this sort of thing, depending on your zoom level. Here’s a typical screen shot – I’ve trimmed off the right so that the blog will show one pixel for pixel (on desktop computers – for mobile devices you’re on your own). This darkening is from bad filtering, see the end of this article.
Follow-up: one person commented that it’s probably a TN panel. Indeed, there’s a video showing the tremendous shift that occurs. The blue turning to brown is particularly impressive. I haven’t yet found a good explanation of what mechanism causes this shift to occur (Wikipedia notes other monitors having a gamma shift, so maybe it is something about gamma varying for some reason). There’s a nice color shift test here, along with other interesting tests.
Even better: check out this amazing video from Microsoft Research. (thanks to Marcel Lancelle for pointing it out)
- Research papers should be free to anyone to access, especially since the authors do not earn royalties and want their papers to be read.
- Publishers deserve to eat. Update: by which I mean, whoever is hosting and maintaining the journal deserves some reasonable amount of money. I don’t subscribe to the “people making buggy whips should have their jobs maintained and the automobile should be outlawed” school of thought.