this is the 2nd post today

Very exciting day.  I’ve now had scans of my face/person by three new technologies — one of them just a week old, but already biggo sophisticated.  When I’ve got all three examples on disk I’ll pull them into my artmaking and share.

Such a non-LA crowd at SIGGRAPH, not only the myriad languages spoken around you but the total non-focus on coolth and hipness.  I grew up here.  Yesterday and today, real people genuinely interested in each other, scientists, code-writers, artists.

My attendance at the Virtual Textures course resulted in me fighting off drowsiness, oh hypnotic drowsiness, while we were walked through Powerpoint points.  All about visuals, but the talk was about the coding underneath.  Oh my, a complex task.  I woke up when we were talked through sample screenshots.  The topic was the game RAGE.  One scene showed a mass of cliffs, a road running in front of it, foreground details.  What I learned was that a game-coder’s job inludes this:

  •  •  Those cliffs need to be convincing from a distance (meaning that tiling a texture wouldn’t work because the human eye would pick out the repetition).
  • •  But the game players might navigate themselves closer and closer to those cliffs and the texture maps had to swap in and out for more and more close-up versimilitude.  A nesting nightmare.  Without new coding techniques (as were presented today) the computer overload wasn’t scalable.  Scalability is another hot topic here.
  • •  Ergo, these new techniques have to rethink how they define various textures (the cliffy-ness of cliffs, the clothy-ness of garments), and make these more and more convincing realities perform as they must in games.

But at some point I snuck out.  Not for me.

What does seem made to order is the SIGGRAPH presence of folks who interact with humans (not code) where I can test out technologies and ask questions of the very brains who are developing those technologies.  My first SIGGRAPH, I’m learning.  But oh my God, these encounters are energizing, nourishing, and soul-satisfying.

Now time to regroup for tomorrow, another big day…







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