What next to discuss on VFX?

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  09 September 2012
What next to discuss on VFX?

Hi Folks,

What would you like out next event to be about? Some ideas off the cuff; convergence of film VFX and game engine technology? Use of cloud computing in rendering? Or how about a debate on VFX artists getting fair credit and working conditions?

On the 15th November 2012 from 7pm we have our next cgiCITY event at (a plush venue in the City of London, UK). Our first ever took place a couple of weeks ago and was a deep and fascinating walkthrough of BAFTA VFX winner Will Rockall and John Sellings's workflow of their use of Modo, Maya, Nuke and Mudbox on three quite different productions; from horror to science fiction to documentary. For a review, click http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...?f=59&t=1069171 .

What would you like our next cgiCITY to be about? Any topic(s) you'd like to see or discussed? Perhaps you have something you'd like to present? Feel free to reply to this thread or email cgicity@nonmultiplexcinema.com

Cheers,
Julian
(Non-Multiplex Cinema )

Last edited by Jules123 : 09 September 2012 at 03:34 PM.
 
  09 September 2012
I must point out that these events are also a good excuse to have a drink with other fellow VFX artists after the event in the nearest pub (next building along). And we get quite a few filmmakers and other people involved in the film industry too joining in.

Don't be shy. Let it all out if you have suggestion(s) for our next cgiCITY event.

Cheers,
Julian
 
  09 September 2012
I won't be able to attend, since I'm not in the UK.

But two technical things spring to mind:

- The inclusion of ready-made "Synthespians" in 3D software; Ready-to-animate virtual 3D actors whose face/body/appearance once can manipulate to create many different kinds of virtual actors.

- Realism Boosting Algorithms; Intelligent image processing algorithms that make achieving realistic/photoreal 3D renders much easier than it is now.

Don't know if that fits the bill for your gatherings at all...

Good luck!
 
  09 September 2012
Hi DePaint,

NVIDIA doing some cool stuff here on real-time crowd scenes:
http://nvidia.fullviewmedia.com/sig...mand/SB145.html

For second point, when you mean easier?... I saw a demo on Houdini used for game level design. Used procedural programming to generate different versions of the same e.g. Window frame, chosen from a library, and sliders were moved to automatically add more panes or change the arrangement, in the scene etc. A whole town was built in 2 hours, rendered real-time in UDK. Wasn't photo-realistic but easier.


Julian
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by DePaint: - Realism Boosting Algorithms; Intelligent image processing algorithms that make achieving realistic/photoreal 3D renders much easier than it is now.
!


Achieving photorealism is not really that hard. I'd say the hard part is making something look both realistic and aesthetically beautiful. Physically accurate rendering has been around for a while already, it's just very expensive in terms of render time.
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  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by leigh: Achieving photorealism is not really that hard. I'd say the hard part is making something look both realistic and aesthetically beautiful. Physically accurate rendering has been around for a while already, it's just very expensive in terms of render time.


I was about to say: "Realism Boosting Algorithms" already reside in the human brain. But you beat me to it.

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  09 September 2012
This is an interesting point but we haven't talked about what's been modelled?

If it's of a marble ball, probably dead easy right? A bit of environment mapped lighting, reflection/refraction material done.

What about an animated talking human head? Our brains are wired to easily sense if we are watching a real person or something that could audition for Resident Evil? You can throw as much computing power on it as possible and I believe it won't solve the problem. There's still areas we haven't solved yet, so we are unable to instruct computers to crunch the numbers to do it.

An interesting topic!

Julian
 
  09 September 2012
Okay, from the conversation we're having here, a good topic for the next cgiCITY event appears to be something like:

"The Challenge of Photo-Realism in Computer Graphics"

or something similar.

Who to ask to do a presentation? Maybe have about three experts screening some of their work and then sitting down for a panel discussion/ Q&A?

Who would you like to see on the panel?

Cheers,
Julian
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by leigh: Achieving photorealism is not really that hard. I'd say the hard part is making something look both realistic and aesthetically beautiful. Physically accurate rendering has been around for a while already, it's just very expensive in terms of render time.


Leigh, what I was talking about was an intelligent Image Processing Algorithm that analyses the shading of a final CG render frame, and intelligently modifies/manipulates the shading of the frame to give a more photoreal look or impression.

This is something that can probably be acomplished with a few months of R & D and trial & error.

As far as I know, no CG software or DCC package on the market has this feature currently, so it would be something interesting to discuss...
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by DePaint: Leigh, what I was talking about was an intelligent Image Processing Algorithm that analyses the shading of a final CG render frame, and intelligently modifies/manipulates the shading of the frame to give a more photoreal look or impression.

This is something that can probably be acomplished with a few months of R & D and trial & error.

As far as I know, no CG software or DCC package on the market has this feature currently, so it would be something interesting to discuss...


What you're suggesting is, I think, impossible. No amount of intelligence could analyse a flat image and make it "more realistic" because realism isn't simply an adjustment of colours or tonal values, which is pretty much the only kind of automated adjustment you can do to an image. No intelligent algorithm would be able to, for example, identity a metal surface in a flat image, judge it to be lacking in realism, and accordingly improve it. That's the kind of intelligent adjustment that only exists in CSI and other FBI type TV shows.

Physically accurate renderers like Arnold and others already do a fine job of reproducing realistic light behaviour, which is the key to photorealism from a rendering perspective. But like I mentioned, they're expensive in terms of render time, making them fine for still-based work but a trickier beast when you're rendering full length shots.
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  09 September 2012
I beg to differ Leigh,

This presentation uses image based shaders to detect edges of e.g. walls and splats paint spill, to give a more realistic natural look.
http://nvidia.fullviewmedia.com/gtc...15-B-S0611.html

Also I remember an image based technique to help ray-tracers find solutions quicker. Instead of doing >2000 samples per pixel, do e.g. 4 per pixel, so your image would be totally dotty. Then an image based technique fills in between the dots. So if you are trying for real-time/interactive ray-tracing this helps to give a more realistic image quicker.

I'm sure there are more...

Julian
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by Jules123: I beg to differ Leigh,

This presentation uses image based shaders to detect edges of e.g. walls and splats paint spill, to give a more realistic natural look.
http://nvidia.fullviewmedia.com/gtc...15-B-S0611.html

Also I remember an image based technique to help ray-tracers find solutions quicker. Instead of doing >2000 samples per pixel, do e.g. 4 per pixel, so your image would be totally dotty. Then an image based technique fills in between the dots. So if you are trying for real-time/interactive ray-tracing this helps to give a more realistic image quicker.

I'm sure there are more...

Julian


But that's not what DePaint is talking about, at least, that's not how I understand his post. He's not talking about rendering algorithms, he's talking about a tool that looks at a render itself (ie an image file like a Tiff) and analyses it for changes after rendering. Unless I am misunderstanding him, he's talking about something you'd use if you rendered your work and found the render not realistic enough; you'd then click a button to run some kind of filter that would intelligently make it more realistic. I'm saying this kind of technology is impossible.
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  09 September 2012
Mmmm, can taste the beer already!

Perhaps people are sick of discussing or thinking about the subject but maybe it could be packaged in an interesting way. With the web and the power of distribution being decentralized and morphing away from our standard commercial operating model where do the gurus of the vfx world think this discipline is heading?

I think the web has just shown us it's baby teeth and we have no idea what this monster is capable of yet Especially in the entertainment area we have seen free to use, free to view, and free to play which has had a big effect on all of us. What is next?

Cheers
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  09 September 2012
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