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We Finally Figured Out How To Make Realistic CG Mud

Jurassic Park had just six minutes of computer-generated dinosaurs in it, compared to modern blockbusters which can have thousands of shots requiring complex visual effects. It’s no surprise that animators are eager to embrace any shortcut they can—which is why realistic-looking CG mud could be a game changer. Read More >>

art
Virtual 3D Oil Painting Perfectly Simulates How the Brush, Paint, and Canvas Interact

Nvidia and Adobe teamed up to develop a 3D-painting app that is sure to become an essential tool for modern day art forgers. The software accurately simulates the 3D texture of oil paints, and how the bristles of a brush work to smear it across a canvas. Read More >>

virtual reality
The One Big Problem With VR 

At this week’s SIGGRAPH design conference, I spent two days wandering between basketball courts with Tron-like motion capture suits and CGI-rendered roads. But I spent most of my time in a place called the VR Village, a dark, throbbing corner where I saw the awkward future. Read More >>

design
The Haptic Tech That Could Let You Touch The Person You’re Skyping With

I was sceptical. Two cubes sat side-by-side, looking like stripped-down 3D printers. I sat in front of one as instructed, and reached my hand inside, toward a floating disembodied finger. Just at the moment I knew I’d stab through the illusion, I had the ultimate “E.T. phone home” moment—I swear I could feel the other finger pressing on mine. Read More >>

science
You Can Feel These Plasma Holograms Made With Femtosecond Lasers

With each passing year, engineers are getting closer to recreating the 3D interface technology that pop culture has rendered so clearly for decades. Read More >>

design
This Clever Carpet “Printer” Brushes Pictures Onto Your Rugs

You know that incredibly satisfying feeling of seeing a freshly vacuumed carpet with the fibres all perfectly upright and unmarred by footprints? Designer Yuta Sugiura has found a way to take advantage of that effect to print detailed images on a rug or carpeting using a handheld machine he developed and built. Read More >>

science
Unbelievable Display Technology Uses Levitating Particles as Pixels

The Pixie Dust display uses sound waves to create images and animations from real particles that appear to float in mid-air. It probably sounds implausible, but there's video of it in action. And yes, what you're seeing is actually happening, no gimmicks or special effects. Read More >>

3d printing
Microsoft Has Invented a Way To Embed Data in 3D Printed Objects

Say you have a 3D-printed item that you're selling. Maybe you slap a barcode on it that identifies what it is, where it came from, and how much it costs. However, Microsoft has developed a new technology called InfaStructs that offers a better alternative. With it, you could embed information directly inside of an item. Read More >>

KaleidoCamera
cameras
A Revolutionary All-Seeing Camera Lens That Puts the Lytro to Shame

It hasn't exactly been a runaway hit with consumers in the US and may have only just made it over here, but on a technical level the Lytro camera introduced some brilliant innovation to the world of digital photography. Its revolutionary optics capture an almost infinite depth of field letting you adjust focus to whatever's in the frame when you're post-processing. But as researchers from Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, have demonstrated with a new camera accessory, the Lytro is just the tip of the iceberg. Read More >>

computer graphics
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A Sneak Peek At the Mind-Boggling Future of Computer Graphics

Computer graphics have come a long way since a T-Rex ate that lawyer in Jurassic Park. But if these glimpses of what the next generation of CG has in store, we ain't seen nothing yet. Cloth simulations with hyper-realistic wrinkling, modelling complex human hair using thermal imaging, and new approaches to smoke rendering will make our future blockbusters even more blockbustery. Read More >>