Two Minute Papers – Capturing Waves of Light With Femto-photography

Researchers at MIT and the University of Zaragoza used a technique called femto-photography to capture how a waves of light propagate in space and time. Awesome, isn’t it? 🙂

What is femto-photography? To be able to capture how waves of light propagate in space, one would need to build a camera that is able to take one trillion frames per second. At first, this sounds impossible, but researchers at MIT and the University of Zaragoza have managed to crack this nut: in their newest work they published to SIGGRAPH that they call femto-photography, we can observe how a mirror lights up with its image as light propagates from the light source to the camera. All this in slow motion!

Two Minute Papers – Creating Stunning Fluid Simulations with Wavelet Turbulence

A quick two minute explanation of one of the greatest fluid papers ever written: the Academy Award-winning Wavelet Turbulence.

Creating detailed fluid and smoke simulations in Blender and other modeling software is a slow and laborious process that requires a ton of time and resources. Wavelet Turbulence is a technique that helps achieving similar effects orders of magnitude faster. It is also much lighter on memory and is now widely used in the industry, so it’s definitely not an accident that Theodore Kim won an Academy Award (a technical Oscar, if you will) for this SIGGRAPH publication. It is implemented in Blender and is available for everyone free of charge, so make sure to try it out! The paper is available here.

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.