July 26, 2002
With increasing interest in creating realistic characters, be they
human or animal, animators, modelers and engineers continue to push
the boundaries of the possible. Exploring such concepts as human
body deformation, hair modeling and editing, and modeling and rendering
of realistic feathers, this paper strove to shed some light on advancements
in the area.
In terms of the hair modeling approach described, it succeeded where
others fell short - enabling modeling of complex hair. This multiresolution
hair model can be edited to create extremely complex hairstyles.
Rendering with shadows and controlling antialiasing filters further
extends the system's capabilities, creating impressive results.
In terms of future prospects, the speaker mentioned that his team
is currently looking into animating their model.
In the hopes of creating a complete pipeline
to model and render feathers systematically, many factors need to be taken into account. To model individual
feathers, the mesostructure of each feather blade must
be captured. The complexity of the system increases due to the fact
that there are different types of feathers on different parts of
a bird. The system presented dealt with issues concerning the
addition of these thousands of feathers to the bird. To minimize
overhead, the technique is based on structured feather anatomy. Details of
the individual feathers are never stored. Instead, their compact
representation is stored. Adding randomness to feathers, by inserting
random gaps (such as those created when a twig catches the feather)
further adds to their realism.
Be it through the use of techniques to create realistic body deformations,
hairstyles, feathers or eye movement, technological advances continue
to challenge our perception of reality. Already we find ourselves
asking what is real and what is not. It seems that the future promises
to more fully, if not completely, wipe away this uncertainty.