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Artistic Computer Graphics - Seven Advantages of Computer Generated Art

By Bruce Gooch

The early adoption and subsequent interest in photorealistic rendering by the graphics community is most likely due to the "mission statement'' of photorealistic rendering: "Create an image that is indistinguishable from a photograph." This mission statement gives photorealistic rendering a visual "Turing test", and an easily defined metric for a successful image. Artistic computer graphics does not have a single mission statement. Instead, researchers are pursuing a number of image creation goals. The goals of Artistic computer graphics include simulating traditional artistic media, understanding the human visual system, communicating effectively with low bandwidth, abstracting images, enhancing learning, and improving user interaction.

The control of detail in an image for purposes of communication is becoming the hallmark of artistic computer graphics. Often this control of image detail is combined with stylization to evoke the perception of complexity in an image without an explicit representation. Artistic images also provide a more natural vehicle for conveying information at different levels of abstraction and detail. Seven occasions when an artistic computer generated image has an advantage are listed below.

1. Image Reproducibility: In a technical journal printed in black and white, fully shaded three-dimensional geometry may not print well. For example, photographic images do not copy or fax as well as line art images.

2. Medical Visualization: Researchers are focusing on providing artistic algorithms, which can be manipulated interactively, for real time visualizations of volume data. A good example is the visualization of electric fields inside the human body.

3. Communication of Abstract Ideas: The human visual system expects realistically rendered characters to behave realistically. Therefore, nonphotorealistic animation can be used to express ideas beyond the physical and logical norm, in a way that is acceptable to a general audience. An example of this is force diagrams used in physics textbooks.

4. Evoking the Imagination: Simple line drawings can communicate abstract ideas in ways that a photograph cannot. In a photorealistic image, everything in the scene is rendered in fine detail, leaving little to the imagination. In comparison, by not depicting every detail, a nonphotorealistic image allows the viewer to share in the interpretive process.

5. Animation: When creating an animation it is necessary to focus the attention of the audience on the relevant actions and elements in the scene. A viewer inspecting the fine details of a photorealistic scene can miss the big picture. Most nonphotorealistic techniques employ an economy of line, limiting the detail in a scene, which makes directing the attention of the viewers easier for an animator.

6. Compression: By not depicting all the detail required for photorealistic images, nonphotorealistically rendered computer graphics images typically take less time to create, can be rendered to the screen faster, and use less storage space. For example, half-tone images yield the same shape from shading cues as traditionally rendered computer graphics images when viewed from a distance. However, the half-tone images require between one tenth and one one-hundredth of the storage space.

7. Communication of Design or Process Completeness: Photorealistic rendering implies an exactness and perfection that may overstate the fidelity of the simulated scene to a photograph. Artistic computer graphics can aid a viewer in understanding that the image they see is only an approximate depiction of a scene. An excellent example of this phenomena is architectural rendering. Architects have found that on-site building conditions and variations in regional building codes can lead to last minute changes in building plans. If clients are shown realistic images of the proposed building these last minute changes can come as a shock, leading to angry, disappointed clients. However, if the clients are shown nonphotorealistic images of the proposed building clients tend to accept the design process as incomplete and the plans as changeable. Therefore, the clients usually accept on-site changes.





Computer Graphics - The Graphics Pipeline

By Deon Hugo

In 3D computer graphics the terms graphics pipeline or rendering pipeline refers generally to the latest method of rasterization rendering which is supported by graphics hardware. On the input side of the pipeline is fed a three-dimensional representation of a scene for instance a battle scene of a computer game. This three-dimensional input is then processed so that the output is a 2D raster image of the three-dimensional input. OpenGL and Direct3D are two well known rendering models.

Efficiency

All vertices and fragments are independent. This makes the graphics pipeline well suited to the rendering process. It allows the GPU to function as a stream processor. Further all stages of the pipeline can be used at the same time for different vertices or fragments. Graphics processors can due to the independence of the vertices and fragments make use of parallel processing units to process multiple vertices or fragments in a single stage of the pipeline at the same time (1).

The Graphics Pipeline

The typical pipeline has the following stages:

Bus interface or front end - used to send and receive data and commands.
Vertex processing - converts each vertex to a 2D screen position.
Clipping - removes parts of the image not visible on the screen such the back of buildings.
Primitive assembly, triangle setup - vertices are collected and converted into triangles.
Rasterization - the triangles are filled with pixels known as fragments. Fragments may end up in the frame buffer if there is change or if not hidden.
Occlusion - pixels that are hidden are removed.
Parameter interpolation - the values for each pixel that were rasterized are computed, based on colour, fog and texture.
Pixel shader - texture and final colours are added to the fragments.
Pixel engine - mathematically combine the final colour, its coverage and transparency. Output is a depth value for the pixel.
Frame buffer controller - interfaces to the memory used to hold the actual pixel values as displayed on screen (2).


References

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2005, August 16). Graphics pipeline. Retrieved 2009 November 2009 from the Wikipedia website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics_pipeline
Answers.com. (undated). graphics pipeline. Retrieved 2009 November 22 from Answers.com website at http://www.answers.com/topic/graphics-pipeline-technology




Studio 3D Graphic Animations Made Easy With Revolutionary 3D Software

By Julia Spence

3D Animations have always caught my eye. They are graphically rich, a fantasy world brought to life in 3 dimensions. To create such a world seems impossible.

But that 3D world is now a possible reality with IllusionMage, the revolutionary 3D graphics program similar to leading studios such as Pixar or even Walt Disney. This is no playground program. It is a solid 3D animation software that can construct the most beautiful and overwhelming of 3D scenarios. Maya and 3D Max are similar programs that cost no less than $7500. The best thing about IllusionMage is the price: $47 marked down from normal value of $497.

The IllusionMage suite software can be test driven for 60 days, promising wonderful capabilities of interface, 3D rendering, modeling, cartoon animation, realtime 3D/game creation, and editing and composition. Complex 3D shading and interactive 3D rigging, as well as realistic physics and particles, is all a part of the package. IllusionMage is an advanced animation software and a full featured integrated modelling, rendering, animation and real-time 3D game creation package. This hi-end software suite allows you to:

- Create high quality 3D graphics -
Produce your own cartoon animated film -
Draw and animate 3D models -
Design your own 3D game easily -
Create real-time interactive 3D content -
Creating and render exceptionally rich & realistic natural environments.

This software truly allows your imagination to come alive with the easiest way to create stunning animations! Not only that, but you also get a ton of guides and video training along with the program. For the 3D pro or fantasy creator wannabe, IllusionMage is a wonderful program with unending possibilities of creations. It is guaranteed to perform beyond expectations. Test drive it now at 3D Animations Software!




How Computer Graphics (CG) Changed Special Effects in Movies

By Saju Asokan

If you spend some time during your weekends to watch some old thriller titles, you would get nothing but boredom, from those special effects that kept you at the edge of your seat, a couple of years back. What makes this tremendous change in the special effects industry in such a short span of time? Nothing but the magical entry of computer graphics into the special effects industry.

Special effects in olden days: The special effects in olden days were sometimes referred to as camera techniques. During those days, computers had no role in the industry that we see today. Most special effects movies with human casts would do some stunts with an alien or a monstrous creature. Either they would make a full sized model of the creature with the aid of robotics and hydraulic systems or would create a small scale model and magnify it while mixing up the scene. Usually a combination of these techniques was used in olden days.

How computer graphics revolutionized the field: Computer graphics really became a magic wand for the movie director. lets see how:

o Limits imposed by real world models are gone: Before its introduction, a movie director how ever creative he is had so many limitations. The special effects he could incorporate into a movie were limited by the robotic creatures, whose movements were obviously limited by the hydraulic machines that powered them. Keep in mind that the robotics field was not as developed during those times as it is now. In the case of computer graphics, the models are modeled using a graphics workstation. All it takes is a team of skilled graphic designers and powerful workstations to render the scenes. The physical restraints got almost completely dissolved.

o Cost has been dramatically reduced: In the olden days, budget had been a significant constraint since, the monstrous models created for movies used to cost a fortune. These models were crafted with robust devices and the drive train that powered them would be highly sophisticated, so that they would appear as real and their movements as fluid as possible. Due to this level of sophistication, the expense for the creation of such models always turned out to be high. With the introduction of computer graphics, the cost of creation of a model could be limited to the hiring cost of a team of graphics professionals, a farm of fast computers for rendering and experts to control the work flow. The physical models created could be brought down to the minimum.

o Minimal wastage of resources: In the past, the models created for a movie would cost a significant share of the whole budget but if the movie happens to be not a sequel, the models might not find a reuse in the future at all. This would be nothing but a pure wastage of money and resources. Since, in computer graphics, nothing much exists physically, no wastage of real physical resources occur. If a CG model ever needs to be altered, all it takes is the effort from the part of a graphics professional.

o Time saving: The fabrication process, used for the creation of physical models was time consuming. The process would demand time for the setting and fixing of joints irrespective of the availability of human labor. But in the case of computer graphics, the more the number of skilled workforce the production team has at hands, the faster the work will get done.

o Far superior reality: With the advent of the latest animation and modeling software, the scenes are getting so realistic that it is hard to distinguish. The presence of latest composing, mixing and editing software, makes it a cakewalk to blend special effects scenes with the usual cast shots.

The introduction of computer graphics can be claimed as one of the very few industry refinements that has caused almost zero negative effects. The days of fabricating huge casts and models to make a six legged creature, that would make the audience scream are far gone. CG revolutionized the field so dramatically that our expectations and benchmarks have been quadrupled in a time-frame of couple of years.

 

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Light, God's eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building.
Thomas Fuller

I don't think of form as a kind of architecture. The architecture is the result of the forming. It is the kinesthetic and visual sense of position and wholeness that puts the thing into the realm of art.
Roy Lichtenstein

Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
Ambrose Bierce

An architect should live as little in cities as a painter. Send him to our hills, and let him study there what nature understands by a buttress, and what by a dome.
John Ruskin

Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, are merely shadows cast by outward things on stone or canvas, having in themselves no separate existence. Architecture, existing in itself, and not in seeming a something it is not, surpasses them as substance shadow.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

No architecture is so haughty as that which is simple.
John Ruskin

We may live without her, and worship without her, but we cannot remember without her. How cold is all history, how lifeless all imagery, compared to that which the living nation writes, and the uncorrupted marble bears!
John Ruskin

All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton

No person who is not a great sculptor or painter can be an architect. If he is not a sculptor or painter, he can only be a builder.
John Ruskin

Believe me, that was a happy age, before the days of architects, before the days of builders.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

A structure becomes architectural, and not sculptural, when its elements no longer have their justification in nature.
Guillaume Apollinaire

When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
John Ruskin

All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable.
Frank Lloyd Wright

 
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