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?

Image-free computer graphics

Eugene d’Eon, one of the most influential and prolific authors in subsurface light transport research states an indeed very interesting and thought-provoking thought in his review of the Photon Beam Diffusion paper:

“It seems unclear to me that graphics papers like this one need images anymore. Carefully presented plots do much more to convince the reader of the accuracy of the proposed transport theory approximations. Showing selected results where a half-space searchlight solution is applied approximately to curved geometry, while pretty, does little to convince the reader of the method’s overall robustness.”

Just keep it nice and mathematical: if you have the plots of the convolution kernel you are using for rendering images, that is basically all you need to show – for rendered images, one can find an angle and a lighting setup where any possible algorithm can come out on top. If we wish to call computer graphics research scientific, it is definitely an argument that I find worthy of some discussion.

Progress on Navier-Stokes regularity

To the very best of my knowledge, Kazakh professor Mukhtarbay Otelbaev submitted a paper on the solution of the Navier-Stokes regularity Millenium problem. It seems that he had found an upper bound for a unique solution for the periodic boundary condition formulation of the problem. For the readers who are familiar with the notation, the main result is stated as follows.


This result is under review as we speak. In the end, we are hoping for a solution that is constructive, i.e. an algorithm that provides the solution itself, not only shows the existence of it – if so, this work might be an important stepping stone in this process. The translation of the main result without the proof is available here. Terence Tao also has some interesting recent results.

Wisdom of the Buddha(brot)

This little gem is among the most fascinating mysteries one can encounter in mathematics. Read below.


Scalar fields, vector fields, divergence and curl

These complicated terms bear quite simple and intuitive meanings. Read below.


Oddtown, Eventown

I have added a short write-up on the oddtown, eventown problems in mathematics.