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There’s lots of interesting things that will be showing at Siggraph this year, the annual conference for computer graphics research. Even if many of these technologies might seem far away from being practical, one thing I like to keep in mind is that a majority of the research is funded by universities and thus the formulas are made available for open source software which occasionally shows up in commercial and open source software packages like Blender, Photoshop, or Renderman about a year or two later.

Check out the list of presentations and the videos below.

technical paper

Some of my all time computer graphics research heroes include Paul Debevec, Takeo Igarashi, and Mark Carlson.


Thanks Adobe. Really. CS4 was the bomb, and CS5 looks even more powerful. CS4 also had a bunch of stupid problems that Adobe seemed perpetually bent on ignoring for the past decade (I could rant for hours on this). While there are some really crazy amazing features on the way like a super-smart content re-shuffling tool for photoshop, there’s also a slew of useless processor-hogs on the way too like 3D-physics powered brush bristle simulation. Flash will get iPhone app publishing to answer Apple’s idiotic and rigid stance to not support flash within Safari, Premiere (and After Effects?) will be using more GPU power to make video previewing even more smooth — a valuable feature that Final Cut lacks entirely.

Anyway, if you aren’t signed up, don’t bother. To get an Adobe account, you pretty much have to sell your soul away. I’ve set up a disposable account for everyone to piggyback on.

  • i<3mmac

I just hope Adobe realizes that they’ve been digging their own grave by trying to lock people in. The way of the graphical future is technological convergence — despite the opinions expressed in a previous blog post. If their divergent bullshit keeps up, someone’s going to get angry enough to start another company that doesn’t stick its claws in you.

this isn't cool

this isn't cool

Not to mention that their software is getting increasingly bloated with things that have nothings to do with each applications’ functionalities.

this isn't cool either

The best next move would be to start fusing stuff together. Everyone keeps waiting for the day when After Effects, Premiere, and Audition really should be just one thing. Photoshop, and Fireworks, and Lightroom should be one thing. Illustrator, Acrobat, and InDesign should be one thing. Flash, Flex, Air, Director, and Papervision should be one thing. Essentially: a solution for screen images, a solution for video, a solution for print, and a solution for web applications. That’s just my opinion. We’ll see how well Adobe serves up or flops.

In case you’re living under a rock and haven’t seen a poster yet, Gene Felice is throwing a happening this Saturday at Black Mountain College. Admission is cheaper if you’re part of MAP. There are so many artists on the roster that blogging about what they all do individually would be overwhelming. But I’m in there, and so is Lorraine Walsh, and I’ve seen what Queen Mae and The Bells can do, and I’d say it’s worth going for them alone.

(click for full view)

Gallery of Black Mountain College photos

{Re}HAPPENING Artists:

Mark Hanf & Marnie Muller
Scott Fur
Megan McKissack
Mark Koven
Lorraine Walsh
Lei Han
Wray Bowling

Gene Felice

Mark Rosenstein

Claire Elizabeth Barratt / Cilla Vee Life Arts
Julie Becton Gillum
Sara Baird

Tina Matthews & Eve Warnock (AWESOME)

Elisa Faires

Poetix Vanguard: Graham Hackett – Spoken Word

Madison J. Cripps – Puppeteer – Strings Attached Puppet Show

Jinx aka “Sean Pace” (link 1, link 2)

Melissa Terrezza – ceramics

Wayne Kirby
Greg Olson
Dave Hamilton – Moog Foundation Creative Director

Ross Gentry & Chris Ballard

Salvatore D’Angio – Audio Installation

Kima Moore

Chandra Shukla – Sound Performance

machinarium plaza 1920x1200

Machinarium :: $20 / Point & Click / PC, Mac, Linux

IGF logoThere were 306 entries at IGF 09, and a good lot of them were unique. Independent games are on the rise, and I’m glad they are because a lot of them are 1. affordable, 2. very fun, 3. good looking. Independently produced games range from senseless to experimental to better-than-a-commercial-title-quality. Each one has it’s own quirks, usually with confusing/unconventional installations, or piggyback on some sort of existing technology to make a game engine. Machinarium (above), for example is a Flash Projector with a lot of SWFs in various folders. Similarly, Closure (down there somewhere) takes advantage of the fact that Actionscript 3 has better capabilities for image processing. My love for Indy Gaming is long-standing, so I’m a bit biased. Anywho, here are my picks from the crop!


Don't Shit Your Pants

Don't Shit Your Pants :: Free / Text-based / Flash



IGF 3 Closure

Closure :: Free / 2D Platformer / Flash

Enviro-Bear 2000: Operation: Hibernation :: $? / ??????? / ?


Super Meat Boy :: $? / 2D Platformer / WiiWare

Osmos :: $10 / Casual Survival / PC, Mac, Linux

Cortex Command :: $18 / 2D Platform War Strategy / PC, Mac (yeah, I’m wondering if my computer could handle this game!)

So the next time you’re at a LAN party (and there should be a time you give that a chance if you haven’t), be like me and annoy everyone with your new-found love for indy games. And even if that never happens, I put these up because it’s a small glimmer of hope for anyone who wants to start making something in their basement. Remember: Indy = no funding. Now go play the Machinarium demo! It’s so genius in it’s hot-spot-clicking simplicity… and that’s why I christen it the TRUE WINNER of the indy games festival (though it did not win. some other game called “Blueberry Garden” won, and it looked just pointless and boring)

Machinarium cover_1920x1200

Best. Game. Ever.

The Webby Awards of 2009 have come and gone. As with most award ceremonies, plenty of folks won awards that no one has ever heard of. I don’t intend to bore you, and don’t actually know much about the whole Webby phenomenon, but it’s worth looking over.

Twitter, no surprise, won an award for being the “Breakout of the Year”. Everybody and their dog has a twitter these days. Personally, I haven’t yet succumbed.

R/GA won an award as the most accomplished design firm. Their video on how design firms have worked in the past, present and will in the future was eye-opening.

And of course, a few other people got awards but generally when the Webby’s come around not you or I or anybody else really needs to care — just like the oscars.

Writing papers is a pain in the butt. I would know because I’m currently way too involved in this big project we’re doing in Senior Capstone.

Esc promotional

Appropriately titled nothing more than “esc”, we’re using two LCD projectors and a lot of geometry texture mapping to make it appear as if the library steps are nothing but a big ol’ movie screen. The theme? Temporary escape from your work. Ironically none of this was made possible without avoiding any and all diversions. I hope to see you there, this friday from 9pm (when the library closes) until… we get shut down.

A link to the Facebook Event

And um… here‘s some links to everything that made me not write my paper.

With a strong resemblance to “Project Project” next friday (more on that later) this saturday is an event being hosted by students at Black Mountain College with dancing and skateboarders and multimedia projection in to the Food Lion skate bowl.

Tickets for students is 7$ bucks

Show starts at 8:00pm with a preshow from an interactive theremin performer Jason Daniello, whoever that is.



I think it is important that you remind more than ten people every day up until the actual time-of this event that The Student Show is at 3:00 in the afternoon. A silly part of me, like most people, dreamed up times that I would have liked the student show to be like 6:00pm, or 5:00, or even cheese o’clock. Well, any of these would be wrong. It’s at THREE THREE THREE


There are some things I should skip class for. This looks like it was one of them…

Look for Marshall, Chas, Troy, and a few other people you might know.

Helloo friiennnds

If you havent already seen the door on 201, we will be having a meeting in Zeis 202 this Thursday, March 26th, at 12:30.  We will talk about future events, recap game night, the student show, and available positions for next year.  I encourage everyone to come even if you havent came to any previous events.  It is a good chance to meet people and get involved. So remember to come to

ZEIS 202 — Thursday March 26th — 12:30

UNC Asheville Multimedia Arts + Sciences  Exhibit your work!  MMAS 2009 Annual Student Exhibition  CALL FOR ENTRIES

3D printing is expensive, usually. Shapeways turns a year old this March, and for the occasion everything is 25% off. There’s also a contest going on to win $300 worth of 3D prints. That’s sort of cool, yeah?

Our White, Strong & Flexible material allows for live hinges, simple gears and springs. Because of this we’ve been thinking a lot about motion, movement and moving parts at Shapeways. We’ve made simple spinners ourselves and shown you how to make them. But, we thought that the community could best push the limits of the material and of 3D printing. Ergo: the moving parts contest. Starting today you can enter by adding the tag movingpart to your model. The community votes decide the winner and that person will get $300 in 3D printing.

3d printed spring

3d printed car

Events Calendar

Student Show 2010
April 2nd

April 1st

Up All Nights
Sunday, Feb 28
Friday, April 30

Super Saturday
March 6th - March 27th