Today began with some Nvidia Tech Sessions, the first of which was Next-Generation Hardware Rendering of Displaced Subdivision Surfaces - An overview of the next-generation tessellation pipeline and its motivation. The focus is on one of the primary applications: rendering of displaced subdivision surfaces, which dramatically increases the realism of animated characters. The talk also shows how to adapt production pipelines to create compelling content that takes advantage of this innovative rendering model.
The second was Real-Time Rendering of Realistic Hair - Until recently, simulating and rendering realistic hair with tens of thousands of strands was prohibitively expensive for real-time use. This session reviews how to render realistic hair with high geometric complexity in real time on the GPU. Topics include efficient creation and rendering of large amounts of geometry for hair (essential for creating realistic hair, especially when the hair is moving), shading, self-shadowing, level of detail, and important performance optimizations. The talk also shows how next-generation hardware tessellation can make creating and rendering hair much more intuitive and efficient.
Both of these were good and showed off a lot of work Nvidia is doing promoting their development tools and especially hardware. They have everything corralled in one place at developer.nvidia.com, and I'm going to start messing around with shaders, so I just downloaded FX Composer to start experimenting.
I got to see a little bit of the ILM Production Session for Iron Man, mostly on how they made some of metal materials.
I had a small break so I went to the Nokia Theatre for some Computer Animation Festival Invited Screenings.
The first screening was a lot of material from the Demoscene, uh, scene, and it's getting it's own post.
The second screening was the Studio Eye Candy, where they showed : Presto, from Pixar; Glago's Guest, by Disney; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man and Spiderwick Chronicles by ILM; a liquid Bacardi spot and something else by Digital Domain; Live Free or Die Hard F35 sequence, by The Orphanage; I am Legend alternate ending, by Sony Pictures Imageworks; Scrat montage, by Blue Sky; and The Fourth Magi, by Lightstream Animation.