Global Illumination Across Industries
This is another film-game crossover course. It starts with a 15-minute introduction to global illumination by Jaroslav Křivánek, a leading researcher in efficient GI algorithms. It continues with six 25-30 minutes talks:
- Ray Tracing Solution for Film Production Rendering, by Marcos Fajardo, Solid Angle. Marcos created the Arnold raytracer which was adopted by Sony Pictures Imageworks for all of their production rendering (including CG animation features like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and VFX for films like 2012 and Alice in Wonderland). This is unusual in film production; most VFX and animation houses use rasterization renderers like Renderman.
- Point-Based Global Illumination for Film Production, by Per Christensen, Pixar. Per won a Sci-Tech Oscar for this technique, which is widely used in film production.
- Ray Tracing vs. Point-Based GI for Animated Films, by Eric Tabellion, PDI/Dreamworks. Eric worked on the global illumination (GI) solution which Dreamworks used in Shrek 2; it will be interesting to hear what he has to say on the differences between the two leading film production GI techniques.
- Adding Real-Time Point-based GI to a Video Game, Michael Bunnell, Fantasy Lab. Mike was also awarded the Oscar for the point-based technique (Christophe Hery was the third winner). He actually originated it as a real-time technique while working at NVIDIA; while Per and Christophe developed it for film rendering, Mike founded Fantasy Lab to further develop the technique for use in games.
- Pre-computing Lighting in Games, David Larsson, Illuminate Labs. Illuminate Labs make very good prelighting tools for games; I used their Turtle plugin for Maya when working on God of War III and was impressed with its speed, quality and robustness.
- Dynamic Global Illumination for Games: From Idea to Production, Anton Kaplanyan, Crytek. Anton developed the cascaded light propagation volume technique used in CryEngine 3 for dynamic GI; the I3D 2010 paper describing the technique can be found on Crytek’s publication page.
The course concludes with a 5 minute Q&A session with all speakers.
An Introduction to 3D Spatial Interaction With Videogame Motion Controllers
This course is presented by Joseph LaViola (director of the University of Central Florida Interactive Systems and User Experience Lab) and Richard Marks from Sony Computer Entertainment (principal inventor of the Eyetoy, Playstation Eye, and Playstation Move). Richard Marks gives two 45-minute talks, one on 3D Interfaces With 2D and 3D Cameras and one on 3D Spatial Interaction with the PlayStation Move. Prof. LaViola discusses Common Tasks in 3D User Interfaces, Working With the Nintendo Wiimote, and 3D Gesture Recognition Techniques.
Recent Advances in Real-Time Collision and Proximity Computations for Games and Simulations
After an introduction to the topic of collision detection and proximity queries, this course goes over recent research in collision detection for games including articulated, deformable and fracturing models. It concludes with optimization-oriented talks such as GPU-Based Proximity Computations (presented by Dinesh Manocha, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the most prominent researchers in the area of collision detection), Optimizing Proximity Queries for CPU, SPU and GPU (presented by Erwin Coumans, Sony Computer Entertainment US R&D, primary author of the Bullet physics library, which is widely used for both games and feature films), and PhysX and Proximity Queries (presented by Richard Tonge, NVIDIA, one of the architects of the AGEIA physics processing unit – the company was bought by NVIDIA and their software library formed the basis of the GPU-accelerated PhysX library).
Advanced Techniques in Real-Time Hair Rendering and Simulation
This course is presented by Cem Yuksel (Texas A&M University) and Sarah Tariq (NVIDIA). Between them, they have done a lot of the recent research on efficient rendering and simulation of hair. The course covers all aspects of real-time hair rendering: data management, the rendering pipeline, transparency, antialiasing, shading, shadows, and multiple scattering. It concludes with a discussion of real-time dynamic simulation of hair.