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What’s New in
Computer Graphics?
Bill White will present a survey of recent graphics research projects and computer
animations that were demonstrated at SIGGRAPH 2002 in San Antonio this summer.
Wednesday – September 25, 2002
2:00 – 3:30 PM
Engineering Building 1033
The 29th International Conference on
Computer Graphics and Interactive
July 21-26, 2002
Principal Activities:
Fields of Interest:
• Courses & Tutorials
• Character Animation
• Research Papers
• Panel Discussions
• Technical Sketches
• Educators Program
• Special Sessions
• Computer Animation
• Rendering Nature
• Graphical Processors
• Programming
• Artificial Intelligence
• Computer Gaming
• Virtual Reality
Character Animation
Research Paper: “Trainable Videorealistic Speech Animation” by
Tony Ezzat, Gadi Geiger, and Tomaso Poggio – Massachusetts
Institute of Technology
• An audiovisual recording is
made of a human subject
uttering various words and
• A discrete set of images is
culled from the recording, with
each visual image associated
with a specific phoneme.
• When applying these images
to a different audio recording, a
shortest-path algorithm is used
to morph between phoneme
Character Animation
Research Paper: “DyRT: Dynamic Response Textures for Real Time
Deformation Simulation with Graphics Hardware” by Doug L. James
and Dinesh K. Pai – University of British Columbia
• Real-time simulations of
dynamic deformations are
achieved via precomputed
vibration models that are
stored in graphics
• This increases the
realism of the scene while
allowing the main CPU to
focus on the simulation of
more complex tissue
models involved in user
contact interactions.
Rendering Nature
Research Paper: “A User Interface for Interactive Cinematic Shadow
Design” by Fabio Pellacini, Parag Tole, and Donald P. Greenberg –
Cornell University
• Placing shadows to achieve a
desired visual effect can be
difficult, requiring repeated
repositioning of light sources and
shadow-generating objects.
• This research allows users to
directly manipulate the shadows
themselves, with lights and
objects automatically
repositioned to correspond to the
desired shadow effect.
Rendering Nature
Research Paper: “Robust Treatment of Collisions, Contact and
Friction for Cloth Animation” by Robert Bridson, Ronald Fedkiw, and
John Anderson – Stanford University and Industrial Light & Magic
• Since every point on the surface of a cloth has the potential of
colliding with every other point, as well as with the surrounding
environment, the computation required for realistically simulating cloth
animation is massive.
• By modeling cloth elements with discrete repulsion forces, collisions
are avoided and complex cloth motion can be efficiently modeled.
Rendering Nature
Research Paper: “Physically Based Modeling and Animation of Fire”
by Duc Quang Nguyen, Ronald Fedkiw, and Henrik Wann Jensen –
Stanford University and Industrial Light & Magic
• Visually realistic fire animations are produced by modeling the
physics equations for the vaporization of fuel into hot gaseous
• The blackbody radiation emitted by such gaseous products is also
graphically modeled, producing smoke and soot effects.
Rendering Nature
Research Paper: “Animation and Rendering of Complex Water
Surfaces” by Douglas Enright, Stephen Marschner, and Ronald
Fedkiw – Stanford University and Industrial Light & Magic
• Previous liquid modeling techniques have focused on modeling the
volumetric effects within a mass of liquid, ignoring the surface
interaction between the liquid and its surroundings (e.g., the air).
• By modeling the interaction between the two sides of the liquid
surface, this research yields more photorealistic images of the surface
Graphical Processors
Panel Discussion: “When Will Ray-Tracing Replace Rasterization?”
with Kurt Akeley (Stanford University), David Kirk (NVIDIA), Larry
Seiler (ATI Research), Philipp Slusallek (Saarland University), and
Brad Grantham (SGI)
Rasterization: Converting
images into pixel-sized
elements for display.
• Simple operations that can be
performed quickly in hardware.
• Producing realistic images is
hard, requiring many algorithms
to be spliced together.
Ray-Tracing: Producing images by
casting rays from the viewer through
the display screen to the scene objects
and light source.
• Produces high-quality images with
transparency, reflection, and shadows.
• Very computation-intensive, so
difficult to make interactive.
• Ray-tracing lends itself to a large amount of parallelism, encouraging
the development of multiprocessor graphics processing units.
• In addition, new application programming interfaces (like OpenGL)
need to be developed with built-in ray-tracing functionality.
Graphical Processors
Research Paper: “The SAGE Graphics Architecture” by Michael
Deering and David Naegle – Sun Microsystems
• Sun’s new Scalable
Advanced Graphics
Environment (SAGE)
architecture renders
over 80M fully lit,
textured, antialiased
triangles per second.
• New memory devices
are used to implement
high-density nonuniform supersampling
of up to 16 samples per
Programming Languages
Course: “Performance OpenGL: Platform-Independent Techniques”
by Brad Grantham and Dave Shreiner – Silicon Graphics
This course, conducted by two of SGI’s OpenGL gurus,
examined several “tricks of the trade” for improving
rasterization performance on any hardware platform
supporting OpenGL.
Programming Languages
Course: “OpenGL 2.0” by Randi J. Rost (3Dlabs), Bill Licea-Kane (ATI
Research), and Evan Hart (ATI Research)
This course
ts in the next
release of
planned for
two years
• Improved vertex processing
from now.
(transformations, shading, texture
coordinates, lighting)
• Streamlined data retrieval and storage
(unpacking and packing)
• New fragment processing (pixel shading, fog
effects, texture application)
• Expanded set of data structures to improve
shading, texturing, and storing graphical data.
Artificial Intelligence
Research Paper: “Integrated Learning for Interactive Synthetic
Characters” by Bruce Blumberg, Marc Downie, Yuri Ivanov, Matt
Berlin, Michael Patrick Johnson, and Bill Tomlinson – MIT Media Lab
• To ensure that interactive synthetic
characters (e.g., game NPCs) are
compelling over time, these researchers
are attempting to get them to “learn”
from experience.
• Virtual dog training is used to test this
technique, with the trainer interacting
with an animated puppy via a
microphone (for whistles and uttered
keywords) and a gamepad controlling
two virtual hands (the left holding a
clicker, the right for luring and for headpetting rewards)
Artificial Intelligence
Technical Sketch: “’Low Level’ Intelligence for ‘Low Level’ Character
Animation” by Damian Isla and Bruce Blumberg – MIT Media Lab
• In this research, “low level”
intelligence is modeled in an
animated character via object
persistence, in which a character
can “deduce” where a tracked
object is, even when the object is
no longer in sight.
• “Low level” character animation
involves subtle, emotion-based
reactions, such as eye motion,
gaze control, and facial expression.
Computer Gaming
Educators Program: “Game Development, Design and Analysis
Curriculum” with Jason Della Rocca (IGDA), Robin Hunicke
(Northwestern University), Warren Spector (ION Storm), and Eric
Zimmerman (gameLab)
The International Game Developers Association’s Education Committee is
developing a framework for a curriculum in game development, design, and
Game Criticism, Analysis & History
Technical Skills,
Interactive Storytelling,
• Theoretical and practical analysis
of electronic and non-electronic
games from a Humanities point of
Games & Society
• Ways of understanding games,
drawn primarily from the Social
Game Systems & Game Design
• Conceptual and practical
concerns that offer a designcentric look at how games create
experiences for players.
Programming & Algorithms
• Aspects of traditional
Computer Science, modified
as necessary to address the
technical aspects of gaming.
Visual Design
• The many aspects of
creating the visual
components of games.
Audio Design
• Creating game sound
Writing & Scripting
• Traditional storytelling as
well as the challenges of
interactive narrative.
The Business of Gaming
• Economic, legal and policy
aspects of games.
People & Process
Management in Game
• Practical challenges of
managing game
Computer Gaming
Special Session: “The Fate of Play: Game Industry Revolutionaries
Speak Out”
Raph Koster
Sony Online
Head Designer:
Star Wars Galaxies
Lorne Lanning
Oddworld Inhabitants
Creator: Oddworld:
Munch’s Oddyssee
Scott Miller
3D Realms
Duke Nukem
Warren Spector
ION Storm Austin
Studio Director:
Deus Ex
Will Wright
The Sims
The Consensus:
• Games are experiencing the same problem as the movies: too much
emphasis upon fancy graphics, not enough on content!
• Gaming is an interactive medium with new, preferably user-created,
content; developers shouldn’t overemphasize storytelling, but should provide
character development opportunities!
Virtual Reality
Technical Sketch: “MasterMotion: Full Body Wireless Virtual Reality for Tai
Chi” by Philo Tan Chua, Rebecca Crivella, Bo Daly, Ning Hu, Russ Schaaf,
David Ventura, Todd Camill, Jessica Hodgins, and Randy Pausch – Carnegie
Mellon University
• Full-body optical motion capture,
wireless audio/video broadcast,
belt-worn electronics, and
lightweight head-mounted displays
are combined to provide a widearea untethered virtual
• A Tai Chi training application has
been developed, with on-line
feedback and correction provided
to students, whose movements are
compared to those of the teacher.
Computer Animation Festival
“Carl & Ray”
Tippett Studio
“Passing Moments”
Ringling School Of Art &
“It’s Not The End
Of The World”
Duran Duboi
“Panic Room”
BUF Compagnie
Episode 2”
Ringling School Of Art &
The SIGGRAPH Student Volunteers Program provides full access to programs
and events seen by conference attendees, sneak peaks at conference events,
special opportunities at the SIGGRAPH 2003 Career Center, and admission to all
programs, receptions, and many special programs.
This is available to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students who are
enrolled full time for at least one semester during the 2002-2003 school year.
Students can apply to work either 20 or 35 hours during the conference.
Volunteers from outside the San Diego area willing to work at least 35 hours can
also receive complimentary housing in San Diego for the week. In addition, all
applicants are eligible to apply for the Travel Grant program, which offers
monetary assistance to accepted Student Volunteers to offset the costs of travel to
and from the conference.
On-line application submissions (at begin in early
November, with a final submission deadline of February 26, 2003.