Scientists improve special effects tool for movie realism

April 17th, 2008 - 4:15 pm ICT by admin  


Washington, April 17 (IANS) An improved version of ‘Photon mapping algorithm’ that works computer-generated imagery in Hollywood blockbusters is expected to bring down the production cost of movie making. The newer version would also help pull cutting-edge graphics techniques out of research labs and into movies and eventually video games and beyond, including 3-D imaging, according to a research paper prepared for Eurographics 2008.

The technique betters its earlier version that had also won an Oscar after being first developed by U-C scientist Henrik Wann Jensen, says Wojciech Jarosz who has co-authored the Eurographics paper along with Jensen and Matthias Zwicker.

Photon mapping, or (light) ray tracing technologies, hinges on calculating how light in computer generated imagery (CGI) would behave if it were set loose in the real world and followed the laws of nature.

Photon mapping is primarily used in settings where realism is required without factoring in real-time image rendering. An ice-cube-filled drink in the animated movie Final Fantasy is one example of photon mapping.

The findings will be presented at Eurographics 2008 in Crete.

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