The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'computer graphics'


In case you haven't seen it: Radiohead's video for their new song House Of Cards. Shot using no cameras but only 3D volumetric scanners and computer rendering, the video consists of disintegrating 3D dot representations of suburban streetscapes, key parties and Thom Yorke singing. What's more, there's a video on the making of it, the data set is available for download (in CSV format), and Radiohead are soliciting user-made reinterpretations of this video here.

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A BBC TV programme is using computer-based photo-aging technology to model the effects of decades eating junk food:

I wonder what algorithm chose the grey sweatshirt/polo shirt in the aged images.

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An interesting item cribbed from Jim: WordsEye is an experimental system that takes sentences in English (such as "The marmalade sky. The zebra skin ground is red. The sun is large. The hippo is next to the horse.") and renders them as images (such as this one). There's a wealth of example images here. It can represent abstract ideas (such as "John believes the cat is not blue", and automatically infer how to symbolise that something happened at a certain time, and map adjectives to textures. Of course, sometimes it gets amusing results, such as its rendering of "John looks at the cat on the skateboard", or, indeed, "the devil is in the details".

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An article on the new generation of computer-generated über-babes, as seen in films, ads and Taschen coffee-table yuppie-erotica books, and soon to be taking jobs from yesteryear's meat-based supermodels.

Interestingly enough, the most impressive examples of computer-generated models are those with meticulously-computed imperfections (of the sort that get photoshopped out of photographs of live models). Though these are outnumbered by male geeks' idealised fantasy images of The Perfect Woman:

Obsessive behaviour often creates obsessive subject matter. Which is perhaps why a fair chunk of Weidemann's book could be written off as coffee-table porn. For every hyper-realistic exploration of a digital woman, such as Kaya, Digital Beauties features three with unrealistically large breasts. But filter out the provocative imagery of scantily clad women and you will discover some of the finest examples of computer graphics yet produced. Take Daniel Robichaud's hauntingly real digital resurrection of Marlene Dietrich. The Canadian animator chose the German chanteuse as the subject of his digital model and brought her back to life a decade after her death. The effect is simply breathtaking.

And then there's the story of Annlee, rescued from copyright slavery by two artists and now living it up in the creative commons:

As the critic Elizabeth Bard commented in the art magazine Contemporary, until the pair of French artists freed her from the Manga studio, Annlee was no more than an extra, "destined to live no more than a few pages in a comic book or frames of a film". Instead, Annlee has enjoyed a rather more illustrious career, showing at the Venice Biennalle, the New York Guggenheim, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London before culminating in a solo show called No Ghost Just a Shell at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art earlier this year.

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The Beast of Redmond: Microsoft buys SGI's graphics patents; penguinheads concerned they may be used to crush OpenGL, or cripple 3D graphics capabilities on non-Windows platforms. Meanwhile, if you use Windows Media Player to download content from sites, the sites can keep track of you, using a convenient global ID number. Apparently this is not a bug but a feature. (via Slashdot)

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Marketing ploy of the day: ASUS, manufacturer of 3D graphic accelerator cards favoured by computer gamers, have hit upon a clever way of boosting the sales of their brand: offering the cards with a driver which allows you to see through walls, thus giving ASUS-based players of first-person shooters an unfair advantage over those using rival cards. However, the public didn't like this idea much, and the driver was withdrawn.

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