This summer, Associate Professor Morgan McGuire collaborated with colleagues at Vicarious Visions in Albany, NY to develop and present new research on video games in a course at the ACM SIGGRAPH 2012 conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques.
Creating visual effects that scale with resolution and hardware capabilities is a major challenge in real-time 3D graphics production today. Such effects must run in real-time on older hardware, cost no more than linear time in the screen resolution to support HD displays, and exhibit an increase in visual fidelity on current and future hardware without artist intervention. The last point in particular is a departure from traditional algorithms for visual effects, which tend to run faster yet fail to increase in quality as hardware advances.
In August, Bukowski, Hennessy, McGuire, and Osman shared their approach for developing scalable effect algorithms at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles, CA. Their course focused on two concrete examples of algorithms for estimating shadowing and camera blur in a new Xbox360 video game. The course notes are online. This work is a continuation of previous publications with Vicarious Visions, Williams undergraduate Michael Mara ’12, and David Luebke at NVIDIA.