Computational creativity and the future of AI

Graphics

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

Shadows from set geometry are accurately depicted on added objects

For more than twenty years, the software program Photoshop has been the industry standard for seamlessly manipulating images, especially the removal of unwanted items like blemishes, wires and telephone poles. When it comes to adding something to a photo, however, the process is still rather involved. Now, a team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), led by PhD candidate Kevin Karsch, is presenting a new algorithm at Siggraph Asia 2011 that promises to radically simplify the procedure of believably incorporating new or "synthetic" objects in still shots and the results are quite impressive.  Read More

Browser-based 3D gaming is possible thanks to the Unreal Engine 3 getting Flash support

At the Adobe MAX 2011 conference in Los Angeles this week, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney demonstrated the Unreal Engine 3 running in fully inside Flash as part of his keynote address. The live technical demonstration saw a version of Unreal Tournament 3 running in Adobe Flash Player 11, which was also released this week. Adobe says the development could lead to console-quality 3D graphics in games running directly in the browser, such as Facebook social games.  Read More

AMD has unveiled the AMD Radeon HD 6990M GPU for laptops, claiming it's the world's fastes...

A couple of weeks ago, NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 580M laptop GPU, claiming it was the fastest graphics chip on the market. AMD has just unveiled a quick response, in the form of its Radeon HD 6990M GPU for laptops. The new graphics chip outpaces "any other announced notebook enthusiast GPU" by 25 percent, according to the Sunnyvale-based chipmaker.  Read More

NVIDIA project Kal-El

Quad-core CPU and a 12-core GPU in a tablet or smartphone? That's exactly what NVIDIA promised three months ago and the company has now shown what its newest system-on-a-chip (SoC) is capable of. Dubbed Kal-El, it looks to be an outstanding performer in terms of dynamic lighting and movement.  Read More

Twenty new processors, new chipsets and new wireless solutions have been introduced by Int...

Twenty new processors, new chipsets and new wireless solutions - including new Core i7, i5 and i3 processors, Intel 6 Series Chipsets, and Intel Centrino WiFi and WiMAX adapters - were introduced by Intel at CES today. The company brings a host of new features to the combined processor and powerful high definition graphics architecture, including super fast video conversion functionality and the ability to beam content to HDTVs via a new version of Intel WiDi. Collaborations with HD movie providers will also result in user being able to watch previously unavailable content on a PC screen.  Read More

Researchers have devised a technique that allows a PC to create 3D images of famous landma...

Researchers have devised a technique that allows a computer to create three-dimensional images of famous landmarks, by combining numerous two-dimensional photos of those landmarks from Internet photo sharing sites such as Flickr. For the Building Rome on a Cloudless Day project, 3 million photos of Rome were accessed online, and used to produce 3D images of all the city’s major landmarks. Utilizing commodity graphics hardware, it took a single PC less than one day to accomplish the task.  Read More

NVIDIA's new Quadro 4000, 5000, and 6000 GPUs

NVIDIA has revealed its new range of Fermi-based Quadro GPUs that the company says deliver performance that is up to five times faster for 3D applications and up to eight times faster for computational simulation. The Quadro Plex 7000 Array is a complete system solution whereas the Quadro 6000, Quadro 5000 and Quadro 4000 are aimed at desktops and workstations. They are all compatible with NVIDIA’s new 3D Vision Pro active-shutter glasses solution, incorporate the new NVIDIA Scalable Geometry Engine and take advantage of NVIDIA Application Acceleration Engines (AXE).  Read More

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