Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the jump page

I will update this post, with useful links.

best "state of the art" stuff, mostly by top companies, latest tech (starcraft2, crysis..)
SIGGraph course on real-time rendering
(2006) http://developer.amd.com/media/gpu_assets/Course_26_SIGGRAPH_2006.pdf
(2007) http://ati.amd.com/developer/SIGGRAPH07/Course28-Advanced_Real-Time_Rendering_in_3D_Graphics_and_Games_SIGGRAPH07.pdf
(2008) http://ati.amd.com/developer/SIGGRAPH08/Siggraph2008-Advances_in_Real-Time_Rendering_Course.pdf
http://www.codersnotes.com/notes/papers-please (overview on classic graphics papers)
(2009) more to come: http://www.bungie.net/News/content.aspx?type=topnews&link=Siggraph_09

Siggraph 2008 GI course: http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~jaroslav/papers/2008-irradiance_caching_class/index.htm

and because I mostly just grab links from these:
company publication sites
(pixar) http://graphics.pixar.com/research/ (the mecca)
(guerilla) http://www.guerrilla-games.com/publications/dr_kz2_rsx_dev07.pdf (killzone 2 tech overview)
(valve) http://www.valvesoftware.com/publications.html (valve has lots of papers on their tech, really good stuff)
(bungie) http://www.bungie.net/Inside/publications.aspx (also spilled the important beans similar to valve)
(insomniac) http://www.insomniacgames.com/tech/techpage.php (more ps3/code oriented)
(epic) http://unrealtechnology.com/whats-new.php?ref=downloads
(nvidia) http://developer.nvidia.com/page/documentation.html
(ati) http://ati.amd.com/developer/techreports.html
(crytek) http://www.crytek.com/technology/presentations/

hair
http://graphics.stanford.edu/papers/hair/hair-sg03final.pdf
http://ati.amd.com/developer/gdc/scheuermann_hairrendering.pdf (real-time variant)

shading
http://www.valvesoftware.com/publications/2006/SIGGRAPH06_Course_ShadingInValvesSourceEngine.pdf
http://www.bungie.net/images/Inside/publications/presentations/lighting_material.zip
http://web4.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/t.weyrich/projects/phd/weyrich-2006-phd-lowres.pdf

compression
http://developer.nvidia.com/object/real-time-normal-map-dxt-compression.html

meshing / deformation
http://www2.in.tu-clausthal.de/~hormann/parameterization/index.html
http://graphics.uni-bielefeld.de/publications/papers/
http://www.cs.nyu.edu/~sorkine/

filter/image
http://people.csail.mit.edu/sparis/bf_course/
http://web4.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/t.weyrich/projects/xlrcam/kim09xlrcam-lowres.pdf

architecture
http://beautifulpixels.blogspot.com/2008/08/multi-platform-multi-core-architecture.html
nice post by a gamebryo dev on the different architectures.
http://www.crytek.com/fileadmin/user_upload/inside/presentations/2009/A_bit_more_deferred_-_CryEngine3.ppt

raytracing
http://ompf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9

mostly code related, sometimes however hints at what tech is to come in future
individuals / blogs
timothy farrar (human head): http://farrarfocus.blogspot.com/ http://www.farrarfocus.com/atom/
ignacio castano (nvidia): http://castano.ludicon.com/blog/
wolfgang engel (former rockstar): http://diaryofagraphicsprogrammer.blogspot.com/
tom forsyth (former radgametools, now intel): http://home.comcast.net/~tom_forsyth/blog.wiki.html
Iñigo Quílez (demoscene): http://iquilezles.org/www/
Kun Zhou (researcher): http://www.kunzhou.net
Rui Wang (researcher): http://www.cs.umass.edu/~ruiwang/#publications
Carsten Dachsbacher (researcher): http://www.vis.uni-stuttgart.de/~dachsbcn/publications.html
Szirmay-Kalos László (researcher): http://www.iit.bme.hu/~szirmay/puba.html
http://erdani.org/publications/
Marc Stamminger (researcher): http://www9.informatik.uni-erlangen.de/people/publishedby/marc/stamminger/
computer graphics at williams college: http://graphics.cs.williams.edu/papers/
Jiaping Wang(researcher) http://www.lightthoughts.com/jpwang/
icare3d (researcher): http://www.icare3d.org/blog_techno/
Jaroslav Krivanek (researcher) http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~jaroslav/

Sunday, June 28, 2009

the trine time

I've recently stumbled upon a very nice game to appear soon Trine. There is a demo for the PC version. It has gorgeous graphics and cool gameplay. Good old 2d gameplay but with recent looks. It's a bit like Lost Vikings with different characters having different abilities. Very refreshing from the "next-gen shooters / 3rd person action". It also shows that narrating a story doesnt have to "cost" a lot. They use moving images with parallax effects for narration (bit like Max Payne, though different style) and have very good voice acting.

Speaking of games, I've grabbed the Armed Assault II demo, lots of gigs. And was rather disappointed. While it's essentially the same gameplay as in Operation Flashpoint I, it has insane hardware requirements, and given that, it doesnt feel that much "bigger" than the original OFP. I wonder where all the development has gone into. Characters surely look nicer, and so does the vegetation. But the classic issues of AI problems, and "visibility" problems with lying in grass, that fades out with distance, still remain. Developers should have foremost focussed on that. In the meantime I can recommend Project Reality for BF2. It has a similar realistic/tactic approach to gameplay as OFP, but hosted in the nicer BF2 engine.

At the moment I mostly play GTR Evolution using my forcefeedback wheel + pedals, it's a blast. Graphics of environment are clearly inferior to the more arcade games (GRID), but the physics/handling and sounds are awesome. Oh and the people who drive the Nordschleife for real... insane...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

the drawing past

As in school or army I liked to doodle a bit during lectures in university. Now you will notice what I draw is in very strong contrast with the military models and animations I did before ;)

Due to the difficulty and heavy training needed I mostly avoid drawing humans, but from time to time I try. I havent done much drawing or "art" related work recently, so work presented here is several years old. I've finished school in 2001, army in 2002 and diploma thesis (studies) in 2008. But I try to invest some more time into it again. There is a nice program called artrage2 for drawing on the computer.







the lowpoly past - part II - freelancing

just coming home from a gorgeous once in a lifetime lovely fairytale wedding of my cousin. First some more background info.

During studies I did a little bit of freelancing for game art. Thanks to a colleague from the first mod I worked on (TerrorQuake2), I made contact with Lemsko, a German 3d artist and virtual aviation enthusiast. With his support I did work for IEN on warbirds2 and their tank game armored assault... yeah back then I was into military models quite a bit.










For a fantasy competitive jump'n run quake mod following animations were created. I've also done a bit of character work for that project, which died soon.



The earlier military model work lead thru freelance work for esimgames.




As my studies required lots of time, I only did very little freelance work basically to keep the 3dsmax license floating ;)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

the lowpoly past - part I - quake days

From early on I enjoyed watching movies a lot, especially the technical effects have always fascinated me. Seeing Star Wars for the first time, I was amazed at how convincing the scenery was set; the world seemed so real. After watching the Terminator, Abyss and other early CGI movies, this new technique of special effects got my attention.Finally, Jurassic Park in 1993, assured me that I want to do that in future, I want to create my own dinosaurs and bring my own worlds to life... This is why I got into 3D-modelling and animation.

CGI knows almost no limits, the creative mind can fulfill its dreams to all extents. This fascinated me, and still does. I enjoyed playing with LEGO's a lot, and once I moved from the floor to a computer desk, it was finally possible to bring things to life on the screen. With a 3D studio r2 dos student version I made my first steps in 3d. Having no internet and no tutorials I had to bite thru the complexity of this program myself. Once I got the hang of it, I wanted to do big stuff immediately, but the projects I set for myself were always too big, or too time consuming; I preferred playing games a lot more. Another reason was that I didn't really want to model all the things necessary, I wanted to animate it... so no project was finished, but I gained some experience on timing, camera movement, etc...

Later on I united my love for 3d with my love for computer games. After getting into the internet I searched for better software, tutorials and of course games. The Quake2 modification community caught my attention. There I found other young developers who create their own games, and of course need 3d art aswell, models of weapons, characters... My first job was being a modeller for Terror Quake 2 around late 1998. After the team was restructured I also took over the job as animator. Since this team, which later changed name to TeamHavoc, absorbed me I have been working on mods for quite some time. I was lead animator for a Quake3 mod, called Urban Terror. Thru this team's skill and good connections to id software, I managed to get a license of 3dsmax at quakecon 2000, thanks again to my teammates from Silicon Ice Development, to id software and to discreet for giving away some copies to young developers.

Here is some work for urbanterror (mostly animations, but also some weapon models):








With starting my studies of "computational visualistics" at the Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg in 2002 I left the development team of urbanterror before beta3 release and got more into coding myself.