New light transport model to be presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2018

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New light transport model to be presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2018

A radiative transfer framework for non-exponential media

Authors: Benedikt Bitterli, Srinath Ravichandran, Thomas Müller, Magnus Wrenninge, Jan Novák, Steve Marschner, Wojciech Jarosz

A collaborative research project between Dartmouth College (Benedikt Bitterli, Srinath Ravichandran, Wojciech Jarosz), Disney Research (Thomas Müller, Jan Novák), ETH Zurich (Thomas Müller), Pixar Animation Studios (Magnus Wrenninge), and Cornell University (Steve Marschner) will be presented at SIGGRAPH Asia next month in Tokyo, Japan.

The motivation for this project came from observing the real-world behavior of light-scattering media composed of tiny particles, such as fog or clouds. When simulating such media in computer graphics, one typically assumes that the scattering particles are independent, or randomly distributed, in space. However, research in other fields has shown that these particles can exhibit a number of other spatial distributions, from uniform to clumped. Based on experiments detailed in the new paper, we now know that the spatial relationship between particles affects the transmission of light through the medium, and by extension, its appearance.

The paper derives a new model for light transport in a scene that does not assume independence between scattering particles. This means particles can now exhibit any number of spatial relationships, including blue noise and fractal patterns. A natural consequence is that light decay through scattering media is no longer limited to exponential decay (which follows from the independence assumption), and can be described in any number of ways, as illustrated in the paper. This will allow for a much greater degree of freedom in controlling the appearance of any scattering medium.

For more information, check out the project page.

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Bo Zhu joins VCL

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Bo Zhu joins VCL

Dr. Bo Zhu joins us here in the forest as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science. He hails from MIT, where he spent the past three years working with Professor Wojciech Matusik in the Computer Graphics Group and Computational Fabrication Group.

Dr. Zhu’s research interests span a wide gamut, from computer graphics to computational physics to robotics to 3d printing. His recent projects have included optimizing topology with thin, sparse features under physical constraints, interactive exploration of CAD model geometry and physical properties, and simulation of non-Newtonian fluids such as thick paints and melted cheese.

He will be teaching a course on computational physics in winter 2019.

Welcome, Bo!

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VCL welcomes new students

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VCL welcomes new students

Beginning in fall 2018, the VCL welcomes three new PhD students, one Master’s student, and two undergraduate students who plan to further the field of computer graphics in several key areas. All are currently advised by Asst. Professor Wojciech Jarosz.

DARIO SEYB // PhD Student
Dario is interested in using alternative geometry representations as a basis for intuitive 3D creation tools. He is particularly excited about real-time animation and VR.

KATE SALESIN // PhD Student
Kate is coming from two years of sailing big, old boats all over the world. Her research interests revolve around incorporating elements of design into computer graphics, which may include creating artistic editing tools for complex material and light phenomena and finding new applications for non-photorealistic rendering.

SHAOJIE JIAO // PhD Student
Shaojie is a student from China. His research interests spread from appearance modeling and light transport in participating media to procedural content generation and game design.

ANNIE DAI // Master's Student
Annie was born in America but grew up in China. She came back for her undergraduate education in Boston and studied mathematics. Her interest in computer graphics brought her to Dartmouth, and right now she is working on a computational fabrication project that uses strings to create art images.

NEERJA THAKKAR // Undergraduate
Neerja is an undergraduate from St. Paul, Minnesota, studying computer science and mathematics. She is interested in computer graphics and vision.

AFNAN ENAYET // Undergraduate
Coming from Richmond, Virginia, Afnan is an undergraduate at Dartmouth studying computer science. He is interested in improving Monte Carlo rendering speed and deep learning.

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"Smart" Spray Paint Cans Developed by VCL Professor and Team

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"Smart" Spray Paint Cans Developed by VCL Professor and Team

Prof. Wojciech Jarosz, together with Romain Prévost (ETH Zurich/Disney Research Zurich), Alec Jacobson (ETH Zurich/Columbia University), and Olga Sorkin-Hornung (ETH Zurich) have developed a computationally-assisted spray painting system that allows novices to spray paint accurate reproductions of photographs as large murals. The research appears in April's issue of the journal Computers & Graphics.

The group wanted to create a way to allow untrained users to spray paint large graffiti murals. To accomplish this, they instrumented a physical spray paint can with an actuator to turn it on/off and QR codes to track its location. A nearby computer analyses the position of the spray can as well as the current painting on the wall/canvas, and automatically turns the spray on or off. In essence, the spray can "knows" what it wants to paint, and the user just has to wave it around, seeing the image appear in front of them.

For more technical details, including a preprint of the publication and a demonstration video, check out the project page on Prof. Jarosz's website.

Several news agencies are also reporting on the research:

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Liane Makatura wins Adobe Scholarship

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Liane Makatura wins Adobe Scholarship

Congratulations to Liane Makatura! She is among eight undergraduate students selected internationally to win the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship.

http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2016/04/inventing-the-future-with-up-and-coming-talent.html

Each recipient received a $10,000 award, an internship at Adobe, and a mentorship. Liane will work at Adobe's Creative Technologies Lab this Summer in Seattle.

Liane (4th from left) at the awards ceremony in San Jose.

Liane (4th from left) at the awards ceremony in San Jose.

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Paper Presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2015

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Paper Presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2015

Perceptual Models of Preference in 3D Printing Direction

Authors: Xiaoting Zhang, Xinyi Le, Athina Panotopoulou, Emily Whiting & Charlie C.L. Wang

Research from VCL's Prof. Whiting and PhD student Athina Panotopoulou was presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 in Kobe, Japan. The work was in collaboration with researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong . The paper introduces a perceptual model for determining 3D printing orientations. Additive manufacturing methods involving low-cost 3D printers often require robust branching support structures to prevent material collapse at overhangs. Although the designed shape can successfully be made by adding supports, residual material remains at the contact points after the supports have been removed, resulting in unsightly surface artifacts. To prevent the visual impact of these artifacts, the paper presents a training-and-learning method to find printing directions that avoid placing supports in perceptually significant regions.

See the ACM Digital Library for the full publication.

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VCL Researchers Confirm Authenticity of Lee Harvey Oswald Photo

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VCL Researchers Confirm Authenticity of Lee Harvey Oswald Photo

The Daily Mail reports on a new analysis by Srivamshi Pittala, Emily Whiting and Hany Farid that confirms the authenticity of the famous backyard photo of Lee Harvey Oswald. See the whole article at the Daily Mail.

The research paper, titled "A 3-D Stability Analysis of Lee Harvey Oswald in the Backyard Photo", has been featured internationally in many news sources including Discovery Newsgizmag, and the BBC.

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VCL research wins Best Paper award at Pacific Graphics 2015

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VCL research wins Best Paper award at Pacific Graphics 2015

Research lead by VCL's Prof. Jarosz in collaboration with Disney Research was presented at Pacific Graphics 2015 last week, where it won the Best Paper Award. The paper describes a novel method for projecting color images using a white light source and an optical device with no colored components—consisting solely of one or two prisms and two masks printed on transparencies. In the future, the prototype technology could be refined to provide improved spectral color reproduction or increased light efficiency compared to current techniques.

Check out the project page for more details.

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MS Digital Arts Students at SIGGRAPH

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MS Digital Arts Students at SIGGRAPH

MS Digital Arts students, Runi Goswami and Tim Tregubov, presented their thesis work at SIGGRAPH 2015 in LA. Titled "FrameShift: Shift Your Attention, Shift the Story", the project introduces a novel framework for graphic storytelling. It uses reader attention, as measured by eye-gaze fixation, to introduce subtle narrative and graphic changes and in turn change readers’ belief states over time. The thesis was advised by Professor Lorie Loeb, and was presented as both a Studio Talk and demoed in the poster session at SIGGRAPH.

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