SIGGRAPH - Day 1: From Virtual Cookies to Image Statistics

Posted By Michele Sciolette on July 26, 2010 12:00 am | Permalink
The first thing I did when I arrived at SIGGRAPH yesterday was have a look at the Emerging Technologies area as there’s always some amazing technology on display there. Unfortunately I only had time for a quick look, but I noticed a couple of noteworthy installations that are worth checking out.

The first is a 360-degree auto-stereoscopic display from Sony. It looks like a transparent pillar inside which 3D content is displayed. When you walk around the display you can see the subject from all points of view. It clearly hints at what could be available at home in the near future.

There’s also an amazing installation called MetaCookies which is a mixture of augmented reality, virtual reality and scent. You wear a virtual reality helmet and grab a real, plain cookie on which they burn a tracking marker. You choose what type of cookie you want to virtually recreate (chocolate or whatever), and as you move your real plain cookie around, you’ll see a virtual recreation of the cookie of your choice through the display. As you bite the cookie another device releases a scent to match the smell of your choice of cookie. Crazy!

I hope I get time to have a look at some of the other exhibits in the Emerging Technologies area, but I had to dash off to a presentation on Image Statistics. It was a good summary of research studies into natural images as collections of pixels that satisfy specific statistical patterns. It has some interesting applications in the area of automatic color correction.

Next was a presentation on physically-based shading and lighting where speakers from ILM and Sony gave a really interesting presentation on how moving towards physically-based lighting and shading has helped them produce more accurate results with faster turnaround.

Finally, I went to the Technical Papers Fast Forward which is always an entertaining way to get an overview of the latest research in all areas of computer graphics. The presentations didn’t disappoint and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the papers during the week.