Seven Things for June 22nd

Here goes:

  • The Journal of Computer Graphics Techniques has published its first accepted article: “Importance Sampling of Reflection from Hair Fibers”. Free for download, of course.
  • Mauricio Vives pointed out that the thirteenth article in a series going back to 2010 is now up: Fluid Simulation for Video Games. Not my particular interest, but my gosh this collection is impressive, it’s practically book-length at this point, and includes code snippets and a demo with source (you’ll need to install TBB to compile).
  • A new book has been announced, coming out in October: The CUDA Handbook. The author, Nicholas Wilt, was a software architect at NVIDIA who worked on CUDA since its inception.
  • John Owens pointed out an interesting way to search Google Scholar, by publications with the word graphics. This gives an interesting weighing of influence – no real surprises, and note that some conferences are not included (I highly doubt that EGSR, I3D, and HPG don’t make the cut).
  • Sebastien Lagarde gives an in-depth analysis showing how the Phong and Blinn specular highlight models are related by a factor of 4 in the power. This is an old result from Fisher & Woo in Graphics Gems IV, but it’s nice to see an independent verification and analysis.
  • Thinking of Graphics Gems, I wanted to mention this old piece of news now: Jim Arvo (editor of Graphics Gems II) passed away¬†back on October 19th of last year. He did seminal work in ray tracing, Monte Carlo sampling, light transport, and many other areas, and was also just a great guy.¬†See his homepage while it still is there.
  • There are mutant women who live amongst us with a fourth type of cone cell. There’s more information on Wikipedia.

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  1. slothlovechunk’s avatar

    I don’t know if this is appropriate, but does anyone know how Jim Arvo died? It doesn’t seem to be published anywhere.

    I remember seeing him a few times either last summer or summer of 2010 at WDAS, and always regretted never introducing myself, now even more-so.

  2. Mauricio’s avatar

    Congratulations to the JCGT crew for the great start! It is interesting to see that papers will be “appended” before the first issue is actually done. No need to wait for the content.

  3. ingenious’s avatar

    Wow, JCGT is already ganing speed! Good to see that. But is this paper’s template the final JCGT one? Wouldn’t something like Siggraph’s two-column format be more appropriate? I find it much more easy to read (due to the narrow columns) and more space-efficient – presents more content on one page, minimizing the annoying page flipping.

  4. morgan3d’s avatar

    In response to ‘ingenious’, thanks for the kind words, and I acknowledge (and to some extent sympathize with) your comments about two-column vs. one-column. It is something that we thought about carefully. Here are some of those thoughts:

    I think the two-column SIGGRAPH format is a poor fit for modern (i.e., electronic, which all proceedings now are) papers.

    I believe that the two-column format was designed to minimize the printing cost of the SIGGRAPH proceedings. For the reader (and reviewers!), it makes it hard to copy sections of text, and hard to read on a mobile device or web browser because one has to scroll in two dimensions.

    For the author, two columns it means taking equations, figures, and code that might naturally have a fairly wide layout and breaking them across lines to try and shoehorn into 3 inches.

    The JCGT template uses the same fonts and macros as the SIGGRAPH template and has strictly wider text width, which makes it easy to port papers originally formatted using the SIGGRAPH template. We kept fairly narrow text width to improve readability, and will probably continue to tweak line spacing and text width. Equations, figures, and code can span as much of the page (even into the margins) as they need.

    It is nice to get as much as possible on one page, and the current JCGT template does not excel in that area. Viewing as a continuous PDF on a tablet is one solution today. In the future, I’d like to see a format with layout as precise as PDF enable reflow, which would allow papers to adapt to the reading habits and devices of the readers. HTML 5 still provides insufficient kerning and equation formatting for a mathematically-dense technical publication (although it is getting much better), but perhaps in a few years we will see a better standard. There have been some great graphics papers on dynamic text layout and general document resizing–perhaps a future JCGT paper will pave the way for better formatted papers everywhere. But, this is very much in the future right now. Choosing a widely-accepted document format (PDF) and tailoring the template to the needs of the equations and code that are the heart of a JCGT paper remains our best solution.

    For readers who prefer to see two columns, the solution is simple: from your PDF viewer, print the paper with two or four pages side-by-side. You can print to PDF to continue reading electronically or print onto paper and read that way.

    I promise to continue revisiting this issue and adjusting the template to maximize readability as we gain more experience typesetting papers for electronic-only publishing. The first version of our template already includes bookmarks and hyperlinks within the document and to external resources, which is an important step towards leveraging the advantages of the medium.

    Morgan
    JCGT Editor-in-Chief

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