Pixel Vienna 9

I recently had the chance to hold a talk at the Austrian Academy of Sciences for the Pixel Vienna 9 conference. One rarely has the chance to speak to such a great audience at such a wonderful venue. Here’s the applause at the very end of the talk. Thank you! 🙂

Ps: this, alongside with the recent talk of Fields medalist Cédric Villani is a good example of the vibrant scientific atmosphere of nowadays in Vienna that I love so much.

Fluid Control

Control of Newtonian Fluids With Minimum Force Impact Using the Navier-Stokes Equations

Patrick Fürst‘s Bachelor thesis is now available! It is about controlling fluids in real time and the technique is now implemented in Blender. Congratulations, good job! The code is also available. For the thesis, click below.


Transient Rendering and Femto-Photography

There are some really cool advancements in light transport research: first, a technique that enables us to capture the propagation of light as an electromagnetic wave as it illuminates our world. There is a never-before-seen example I am really fond of: strictly speaking, if you stand in front of a mirror, there is a moment while you’re already standing there, but your image in the mirror is not visible yet. This phenomenon exists due to the finite propagation speed of electromagnetic waves and only lasts for a few nanoseconds, and is now caught on tape (around the one minute mark). I never thought this would be possible in my lifetime! Recently, Adrián Jarabo and colleagues built a rendering algorithm that replicates this behavior. It takes quite a bit to get my jaw dropped with novel research works, and it never ceases to amaze me that it still happens all the time.

Banding artifacts at EGSR 2014

The conference and the venue was second to none, with lots of fellow scientists who are very enthusiastic about rendering research. However, it seems that the shadows during the event suffered from severe quantization artifacts. Quite ironic, isn’t it? 🙂


Any Questions?

Silvana Podaras won both the #1 best presentation and #2 best paper awards at the Central European Seminar on Computer Graphics for students (2014) out of more than 20 submissions and talks (link). People went absolutely crazy after the talk and we got pinned down for questions and discussions until very late in the night.

All this as a Bachelor student. This is the proudest day of my life.




The applause after her talk (it’s loud!):


Automated Lighting Design For Photorealistic Rendering

Silvana Podaras, my Bachelor student had her paper accepted to CESCG 2014! It is implemented as a LuxRender module and is available here. Be sure to read the attached readme. Congratulations! 🙂

We’re continuing this work, so if you decided to pick this up and improve it in any way, let us know!


Dream Symphony Orchestra – Colors of The Wind

I have arranged and played an orchestra version of the incredible Disney hit song from Pocahontas, Colors of The Wind.

The song is available for download in mp3, and for the fellow audiophiles out there, flac. 🙂

Ramsey theory and the Happy Ending problem

…and searching for order in chaos.


And the Sci-Tech award goes to…

Eric Veach, Matt Pharr, Greg Humphreys and Pat Hanrahan! You can watch their speeches here and here.

One could hardly overestimate the usefulness of their work. Even in the fast-moving field of rendering, Eric’s methods have been prevalent for more than one and a half decade now. In this field, we usually borrow techniques from theoretical mathematics and physics after sculpting them here and there to fit a specialized, practical application. It is commonplace that an engineer takes a technique from a mathematician to solve a practical problem, but it’s quite rare that an engineer can give back something to the mathematician. With the theory of Multiple Importance Sampling, Eric Veach made such an example, which I have found so far unprecendented. That is, among many others, indeed an inspiring achievement.

Furthermore, with the pbrt book of Matt Pharr and Greg Humphreys, we finally have an intuitive, all-encompassing resource for global illumination rendering. It’s great to see these people getting proper recognition for their achievements!



On peer review and paper preprint dissemination

I have recently come across two great pieces:

Professor Larry Wasserman and Walter Noll suggests a simple two-tier publishing system.

CERN physicists show statistics on the viability of arXiv in High Energy Physics (HEP) research, where they found the following:

  • as of 2008, more than 95% of the peer-reviewed HEP journal articles are also published on the arXiv,
  • the highest impact factor articles are both submitted to a journal and published on arXiv,
  • articles that are submitted to arXiv before review obtain 20% of their first 2-year citation count by the time the journal article is accepted, and they also enjoy more than five times as many citations during this 2-year period,
  • scientists read the arXiv more often than journal websites.

Physicists have been doing this for more than two decades now. If we are to improve our publishing system in computer graphics research, this is definitely a promising direction. Why don’t we?