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The LapTouch concept is targeted at the creative community (Image: Amir Labidi)

Einstein famously maintained that a cluttered desk is a sign of a brilliant mind. However, for many modern designers the desk is not just messy but is also jammed with a mandatory array of PCs, laptops, screens, tablets, and more. French designer Amir Labidi has developed a laptop concept dubbed the “LapTouch” for the creative community, with the specific aim of consolidating design functions and reducing desktop congestion.  Read More

Close-up: dramatic lighting enhances the look of Activision R&D's real-time character

GDC 2013 (Game Developers Conference) wraps up today after a week of presentations and late night parties. There have been some impressive tech demos shown, like Kojima Productions' FOX engine running Metal Gear Solid 5, but what really got people talking is Activision R&D's latest attempt at photorealistic characters. Check out the lifelike skin and eye shading in the uncanny video after the break.  Read More

Realistically-rendered hair promised by AMD's TressFX technology will change the look of v...

The problems associated with rendering realistic hair has held video games back for years. When Nintendo first created the sprite for Mario in the original Donkey Kong, it gave him a hat because it was too difficult to animate his hair. When video games made the leap into the world of real-time 3D graphics, things didn't get much better. Today AMD is officially unveiling its solution, TressFX Hair, that will significantly improve the look of virtual hair beginning with the new Tomb Raider.  Read More

The augmented reality-enhanced TARDIS model (Photo: Greg Kumparak)

Doctor Who. He'd be nothing but an incredibly brainy (if strangely dressed) bloke with two hearts and an attitude if not for his TARDIS. The TARDIS is a combination time machine and spacecraft that can poke into virtually any nook or cranny in the entire history of the Universe. Aside from the marvelous transport capabilities, the most notable thing about the TARDIS is that "It's bigger on the inside!" – a running gag throughout the show. Now, Greg Kumparak has produced an augmented reality model of the TARDIS that produces a remarkable illusion, making the TARDIS indeed appear to be bigger on the inside.  Read More

A newly-developed codec could make pixels obsolete within five years, according to its cre...

Unlike traditional bitmap graphics, which are made up of an array of pixels, vector graphics consist of lines, curves and shapes that are based on geometric formulas. Not only do they take up far less memory than bitmaps, but sections of them can also be enlarged without any loss of resolution. Currently, however, vector graphics aren’t well-suited to photorealistic applications, such as video. That may be about to change, though, as researchers from the UK’s University of Bath have developed a new program that is said to overcome such limitations – the scientists believe that the technology could make pixels obsolete within five years.  Read More

Muti-touch can be used to do things like manipulate a 3D model or pan, zoom and rotate an ...

Muti-touch functionality was added to Wacom's Intuos5 graphics tablets earlier this year and, after winning much praise from users, it's no surprise to see it arrive on the company's Cintiq range of interactive pen displays. The Cintiq range was first introduced in 2005 and the addition of the Cintiq 24HD touch now allows users to use their fingers to pan, zoom and rotate the canvas at the same time as using the pressure and tilt sensitive pen.  Read More

More clues can be had from the somber trailer itself which depicts a robot sitting motionl...

How does a two-man indie development studio create a game with the sort of gameplay and visuals one would normally associate with seven- or eight-figure budgets? That must be the question on at least some of the lips of the 400,000 or so people who've watched the trailer to Finnish studio Theory Interactive's Reset, a first-person puzzle game said to be very much in the mold of Portal.  Read More

Square Enix, developer of the Final Fantasy series, premiered an impressive tech demo at E...

Every E3 brings a fresh crop of video game trailers, each with more impressive visuals than the last. A new tech demo from Square Enix however may have blown them all out of the water in terms of graphics, and even give the KARA demo from a few months back some competition. The demo, titled Agni's Philosophy, was created with a new engine from Luminous Studios that depicts real-time graphics on par with pre-rendered CGI and will likely be used in a future installment of the acclaimed Final Fantasy series.  Read More

CG characters can be easily posed with Qumarion (Photo: DigInfo)

Comic book artists and animators often use posable mannequins or motion capture to help get tricky action postures just right, but transferring the figures to paper or computer screens still involves drawing or learning complicated animation and mo-cap software, not to mention all the cameras, hardware and people in funny suits running around. Last year, we reported on the efforts of a Japanese consortium to create what is essentially an action figure equipped with sensors at several joints that would allow real-time pose generation of on-screen CG characters. Still in development then, it's now called Qumarion and when it hits the market in a few months, it'll no doubt prove to be a major time saver for artists and animators alike.  Read More

With his 'separable subsurface scattering', graphics researcher Jorge Jimenez may just hav...

Graphics researcher Jorge Jimenez has cracked the problem of rendering what he calls "ultra realistic skin" in real-time with consumer-level computer and graphics hardware. It's a breakthrough made possible by the process of separable subsurface scattering (SSS) which quickly renders the translucent properties of skin and its effect on light in two post-processing passes. The code is based wholly on original research using DirectX 10. Jimenez describes the achievement as the result of hours of "research, desperation, excitement, happiness, pride, sadness and extreme dedication."  Read More

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