Siggraph 2003

The lurch in journal entries of late has been almost entirely due to Siggraph 2003, jusy finished in San Diego. I spent the week there, giving about eight classes in Cg all week and helping Kurt Akeley with demos for his real-time shading course. I put in a little booth duty for NVIDIA and some demo time for Studio Relations while I was there, too — so a ver busy week.

Perhaps my perspective is warped but this really seemed to be the year that real-time shading was everywhere. Every major design application either has realtime shading (usually via Cg) or is scrambling to add realtime shading. Last year I thought that the new, meaty edition of Real Time Rendering was poised to be the new industry bible, as Foley &l; van Dam had been in the previous decade (or two). This year that notion felt vindicated.

The hardware scene was otherwise sparse — the show is definitely smaller than in years past, and this year — no SGI on the show floor! No IBM either, as far as I could tell. Sunrise, sunset.

And speaking of sunsets, the coolest new piece of kit has to be Sunnybrook Technologies's new high-dynamic range display. With a range of around 70,000 to 1, the display can show almost as wide a range of luminanaces as your eye can see. In HDR photos of a sunset, I could see detail in the dark landscape, or in the sky — but not both at the same time. As one of my colleagues opined: "it's almost like looking out a window."

The other cool hardware device was my new (temporary? hmmm) laptop, a Dell Precision M60 Mobile Workstation.

I know Courtney likes her new toy but the M60 is pretty darned sweet (and big) — not only a 1920x1200 display, but an integrated NVIDIA Quadro FXGo 700 GPU — not just a GeForce FX, but a Quadro FX — which provides hardware pixel shaders, vertex shaders, and the full-powered oomph to run (as I do) Maya, SoftImage XSI, and 3ds Max on the laptop. In fact, as a lark I ran them all at the same time :) Sorry Chris, and sorry for having to miss Gnomedex, but Dell really does rule.

Comments on "Siggraph 2003"

courtney
August 8, 2003 09:31 AM

I like my toy cos it's CUTE. ;)

 

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